FAQ's

Deli FAQs

Q: Why do I have to pay for my deli food at the deli register, it is sometimes very long?
A: You don't! You can pay for your deli purchases at any register in the store.

Q: I hate having to pay for my juice bar items before I receive them. They sit on the counter while I am in line and lose their nutritional benefits. Can't you come up with a better system?
A: We require all juice bar items to be paid for before receiving your item to prevent customers from drinking their juice or coffee and not paying for it. Before we put this system into place we were finding our price stickers stuffed into little crannies all over the store, which alerted us to the possibility of these items not being run through the register. You can always request that our staff wait until you return with your receipt before starting your drink so that it doesn't sit on the counter waiting for you. Just ask! Also, we sell prepaid wheatgrass cards at the front info desk. These will save you time in line if you are a frequent wheatgrass customer.

Grocery FAQs

Q: Do you carry raw milk?
A: The state of Oregon forbids the sale of raw milk products.

Q: Where are the sesame seeds located?
A: They are located in a scoop bin close to the bulk liquids in the bulk department.

Q: Will you bring in my favorite new product?
A: 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.

Meat/Seafood FAQs

Q: What is the difference between the regular Smart Chicken and the Organic Smart Chicken?
A: The organic chickens receive Certified Organic feed.

Q: Why is it okay to have farmed fish?
A: Some species are only available farmed. We do a lot of research before we ever decide to carry a farmed fish. 

Q: Is your beef grass fed and grass finished?
A: Yes. Our beef is raised exclusively for the Co-op in Riddle, OR by Emerald Hills, a co-op of family ranchers. Our cows live on lush pastures next to Cow Creek, where they have almost year round access to green grass. they are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. They are grass finished and never spend any time in a feedlot.

Q: What does "All Natural" mean?
A: While the term "all natural" is not regulated, we take it to mean no hormones/no antibiotics.

Q: What's the mildest fish you carry?
A: Tilapia or snapper.

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 grower and have visited their operation. Our Meat Manager, Terry Boaz has visited the Smart Chicken facilities as well. If you have further questions, please contact Terry.

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: GROW Bananas are a product of Organics Unlimited . GROW refers to The GROW Foundation , 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.

Ownership FAQs

Q: What makes the Co-op different?
A: WE 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, not to generate a profit.

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. However, you must be at least 16 years old to join.

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.

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. 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 ten easy payments of $10.

Q: Do I need to bring my membership card?
A: Yes. Present your card to the cashier. 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 membership?
A: 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 form available at The Co-op Information Desk.
Q: How do I give you a change of address?
A: If you move, please remember to notify us of your change of address so you will continue to receive our newsletter and other member mailings. Ask at the Information Desk for a change of address form, or Contact Us

Specialties FAQs

Q: What are sulfites?
A: Most wines contain sulfur, whether naturally occurring, or used as an additive to preserve freshness, and to inhibit actions of microbes, or yeast in the bottle. 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 sulfites, UNLESS, it states clearly on the label “no detectable sulfites”.

Q: Why does the cheese I am used to buying taste different?
A: Most 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.

Wellness FAQs

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 too.

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. Dr. Hauschka sunscreens are excellent.

Q: What’s the difference between the different types of Vitamin D?
A: Vitamin D 3 is the preferred form. However it’s not suitable for vegetarians. Vegetarians should take D 2.

Q: Where are the herbs?
A: On Aisle 4 across from the body care.

Q: Who makes the Co-op brand supplements?
A: A family owned business in California which has been manufacturing vitamins and minerals for 75 years. We have visited their plant and determined that they have the highest possible standards and practices. We are very proud of our private label supplements.

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.