Q: Why do I have to pay for my deli food at the deli register, when sometimes the line can be very long?
A: You don't! You can pay for your Deli buffet purchases at any register in the store. Only made-to-order items have to be ordered and paid for at the Deli registers.
Q: Do you carry raw milk?
A: The state of Oregon forbids the sale of raw cow milk products. Oregon state law does allow raw goat milk to be sold. When we can stock high-quality raw goat milk we do, but availability is sporadic.
Q: Where are the sesame seeds located?
A: They are located in wall-mounted dispenser bins close to the bulk honey within the bulk department. We usually have two types, golden and brown.
Q: Where is the nutritional yeast located?
A: At the end of Aisle 1 in the bulk area, in a large wooden pull-out drawer located under the grind-your-own nut butters.
Q: Will you bring in my favorite new product?
A: If we can, we will. We need to look at how we can get it and if we have room on the shelf for it. We bring in new products on a regular basis. However, we are limited in size and many times we need to discontinue a product in order to bring in another one. We appreciate your patience and understanding and hope to be able to get that new product on the shelf. You are also welcome to special order a case of it in the meantime. If you are interested in placing a special order, e-mail [email protected] with the product you would like ordered, the size (if applicable), and a phone number to reach you.
Q: What is the difference between the regular Smart Chicken and the Organic Smart Chicken?
A: Organic chickens are fed only certified organic feed. Regular, or No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) birds are fed grain that isn’t organic. Organic birds have free-range access to the outdoors, while NAE birds are free-roam within the barn.
Q: Why is it okay to have farmed fish?
A: Our goal is to provide healthy, responsibly and sustainably harvested fish varieties. Wild fish is a great choice if it is sustainable and farmed fish can be a good alternative if that is the only real option. Some species such as steelhead are only available farmed. Others such as tilapia are not feasible to harvest in wild conditions. Please know that we do a lot of research about the fish and the integrity of the fishery before we decide to bring in a farmed fish.
Q: Is your beef grass fed and grass finished?
A: Yes. Our beef is raised exclusively for the Co-op in Days Creek, Oregon by Emerald Hills, a 5th-generation family ranch. Their cattle live on beautiful lush pastures of the Umpqua Valley their entire lives. They are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. They are exclusively grass fed and finished and never spend any time in a feedlot.
Q: What does "All Natural" meat mean?
A: While the term "all natural" is not regulated, we take it to mean no hormones/no antibiotics. Under the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines, natural is defined as such: A product containing no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed.
Q: What's the mildest fish you carry?
A: Tilapia, Dover sole, rockfish, cod and halibut.
Q: Are your products raised humanely?
A: Yes they are. In the case of our lamb and beef, we have a personal relationship with the growers and have visited their ranches. Our Meat Manager, Derek Shilts, has visited the Smart Chicken facilities as well. If you have further questions, please contact Derek.
Organic Produce FAQs
Q: How do the Co-op's Product Standards relate to the Produce Department?
A: Our Product Standards call for the Produce Department to offer "predominately organic produce" and buy "from local organic farmers whenever possible."
Q: You sell GROW Bananas. What is GROW?
A: We love talking about organic GROW bananas! GROW Bananas are a product of Organics Unlimited. GROW refers to The GROW Foundation (Giving Resources and Opportunities to Workers), an international outreach initiative with the mission to ensure that field workers receive a living wage for a day's work and are treated according to internationally accepted standards. The GROW Foundation supports many efforts that improve the lives of workers and their communities and has a close relationship with Project Amigo, a project of Rotary International. GROW helps provide educational opportunities, dental and vision support, clean drinking water via filtering facilities, storage, and education to residents on appropriate drinking water practices. GROW also provides higher-education opportunities to children from banana-growing communities, discounted milk for growing children, and opportunities for micro-loans along with business skills education to young members of the community.
Q: What are sulfites?
A: Sulfites (sulfur dioxide) are a fruit preservative used widely in dried fruits and most notably wine. Most wines contain sulfur to preserve freshness whether naturally occurring or as an additive. Sulfites have been used since the earliest days of wine making, and have been found in ancient storage jugs. Organic wine and Biodynamic wine both contain naturally occurring sulfites, UNLESS it states clearly on the label “no detectable sulfites.”
Q: Why does the cheese I am used to buying taste different?
A: Many of the cheeses we offer come from small dairies, and are subject to change due to what the cow, goat, sheep, or water buffalo are eating. In the spring they have fresh pasture to graze on, but in the winter meals are supplemented with feed. All this makes a difference in color and flavor.
Q: Can I special order cheese?
A: Most products in the cheese case are available for special orders.
Q: What’s the best form of calcium?
A: Look for "calcium citrate" which is easier for your body to absorb. Vitamin D and magnesium help to absorb calcium, so often you will find combinations of the three in formulations.
Q: What’s your best sunscreen?
A: Look for natural mineral sunscreen such as titanium dioxide or zinc. These ingredients form a barrier on your skin which protects from damaging rays.
Q: What’s the difference between the different types of Vitamin D?
A: Vitamin D3 is the preferred form. However it’s not suitable for vegetarians. Vegetarians should take D2.
Q: Where are the bottled herbs and herbal tinctures?
A: On Aisle 4 across from the shampoos/dental care/bulk wellness.
Q: Who makes the Co-op brand supplements?
A: Vitamer Laboratories is a family owned and operated nutritional company, celebrating 90 years of promoting natural health and wellness.
Q: Do you carry molecularly distilled fish oil?
A: All our fish oil is molecularly distilled and guaranteed free of heavy metals and other contaminants.
Q: What makes the Co-op different?
A: YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS OWN IT! The Co-op is consumer owned and operated for the benefit of the community. The primary purpose of cooperatives is to serve the needs of the owners. Instead of focusing on investors and corporate strategies, we focus on community.
Q: Can I shop if I'm not an owner?
A: Yes. Everyone is welcome to shop at the Co-op. Becoming an owner is voluntary. If you are 16 years or older, we invite you to join us! We have lots of owner perks waiting for you.
Q: How does the Co-op help our community?
A: The Co-op invests in the people it serves. We actively build community through classes, special events, and service. Our Community Grant Program donates money to non-profit organizations in our region. We also give out many small donations of gift certificates or food for fund-raising events, class trips, or other community activities. Getting involved with the Co-op is a great way to meet people and strengthen our local economy. By shopping at the Co-op you support employees earning living wages which they too spend locally.
Q: Why the $100 investment?
A: Your $100 purchase of equity is a socially responsible financial investment. You become a co-owner of a business you know and trust. It's not a yearly fee, it’s a one-time fee. Your benefits take effect with your first $10 payment. Your equity is refundable if you cancel your membership, as soon as replacement equity is available.
Q: Are there payment options?
A: Yes! There are payment options for all budgets. You can purchase equity all at once, or individuals/families can buy equity in quarterly payments of $10.
Q: Do I need to bring my owner card?
A: Yes. Please present your actual card to the cashier. This helps speed the flow at the registers and it also ensures that you get your coupons and dividends and that your purchases are credited to your account. We'll need to swipe your card at the register every time you shop to accurately track your patronage refund and discounts.
Q: Can I use my friend's owner account?
A: This is not allowed. The account is for one household. Every member in that household, that is to say at the same household address, is on the same account. Persons of the same household can have separate owner/membership if they wish, however. If you are not yet an owner/member, please don't use someone else's membership card. It's easy to join - just ask for a form at the Information Desk. You'll save money on your groceries and be part of something special.
Q: How do I make a suggestion or request?
A: Simply complete a suggestion or product request available via link HERE. We also have paper suggestion/comment forms at the Information Desk.
Q: How do I give you a change of address?
A: This can be done at the Information Desk or HERE on our website.