Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Whoah! Construction stuff! Earthday and more!

Hi friends,

Expansion-asana, week 1!
Well, it's really happening. The contractors have brought out their construction fencing and set it up in back along with a construction office and a storage crate. Beginning on Monday, automobile parking along the east fence of Wheatsville will be unavailable as construction fence goes up and work begins on our retaining wall. Demolition and excavation  will come first followed by construction of the new wall and repaving.  This part could take several weeks, so be prepared for that. We'll still have all of our main parking out front. Staff are parking cars away from the store in order to keep as many spaces open for customers and owners. If you can't find parking in the mail lot, you may find some more parking behind Wheatsville near the InStep building, in particular after 5pm and on weekends. People who bus, bike or walk to Wheatsville should have no impediments during this time.

We have consolidated a lot of our backstock storage in preparing for the renovation, so it's possible that we might have some out of stock issues as we move through the project. We'll endeavor to keep it to a minimum, but for the most part, we'll be ordering for the shelf and not having any in back for a while. We appreciate in advance your understanding of the potential challenges we might face during renovation.

We had a great All-Staff Meeting last week to talk about the project and let people know what they could expect. We were also able to take a big staff photo. We look pretty good considering that it was taken at 7:30 AM!

The Austin Chronicle Annual Restaurant Poll is happening NOW! Please consider helping Wheatsville bring home the gold on a category or two over there.
We would most especially love to win the Best Grocery Store category and we wouldn't mind snagging any of the following: Best Takeout, Best vegetarian, Best patio, or maybe Popcorn Tofu for Best Vegetarian Dish? You can vote here"  or Thanks for the assist!

Environmental Film Series sponsored (in part) by Wheatsville!

The Citizens League For Environmental Action Now (CLEAN) & Texas Clean Water Action presents a film screening of 
Kilowatt Ours
Thursday , April 17th, 6-8 pm at Ruta Maya Coffee House, 3601 S. Congress.

Kilowatt Ours reveals the consequences of our coal powered economy.The film opens with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy policy speech in which Cheney makes the claim that America needs nearly 1900 new power plants in the next 20 years to meet projected electricity demands. From here, filmmaker Jeff Barrie takes viewers on a journey from the coal mines of West Virginia to the solar panel fields of Florida, as he discovers solutions to America's energy related problems.

Following the film, a panel of special guests with answer questions from the audience related to the film. For more information about the film visit Donations will be accepted at the door

Austin's eARThDay event is April 19th!
Wheatsville is a major sponsor of Austin Green Art's Earth Day event in Republic Square Park.
Austin Green Art, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to raising awareness of sustainability issues through art, announces its 3rd annual eARTh Day event. AGA will produce this free, community-wide event and the Austin Farmer's Market will host it.  This all-day event includes the Earth Day Expo, local vendors will sell green products and educate people about environmental efforts; Green Art, outdoor exhibits of conscious art installations; Green Art Kids, all-day entertainment and activities throughout the day to engage children of all ages; Green Scene Scavenger Hunt and the Solar Jam, a solar-powered musical event. The talented musical line-up includes Belaharr, Djembabes, SaxManRand, and Big Chief Kevin & the Flaming Mardi Gras Indians.

WHEN:  Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  For more information, go to

WHERE:  Republic Square Park (Fourth and Guadalupe Street)

Some Co-op Youtube vegetable cooking videos!

Sometimes the best way to go green is to eat your greens!
This first Youtube video from me isn't going to win any awards, but it does show a good trick for perfectly preparing Asparagus!
Asparagus Cookin'
And, our friends at Outpost Natural Foods Co-op in Milwaukee made up a good video on how to cook kale 

News from the deii
Our famous Vegetarian Frito pie is even more famous as it is featured on the Dish List….this is a list created by Austin foodies…..
… is a website devoted to sharing the love of food, dish by dish…..we have pocket brochures at the deli of the new dish list '08….there are limited supplies so If you miss out, check out their site at!!!!!
We also have a great article in Eat & Drink Austin, featuring a great article on the deli's sandwiches….check it out, there are some very enticing pictures of some of out specialty sandwiches….

Refrigerated and Frozen news!
Now the latest from Mike Crissey, Perishables Buyer for the co-op:
I am continuing to cull slower movers out of the dairy cooler and freezer as renovation continues. We don't have a clear picture of what may happen in the store yet. Products and departments may be moved to other places and we may have to consolidate all of the refrigerated product in a cooler or two when we get new equipment. I've been working with Dan and Niki to fine-tune our product mix so we can be prepared if we find ourselves short on cooler space. This doesn't mean these products won't come back after renovation is complete.
Here's the latest list of items I'm working to discontinue:
Alta Dena Butter: We have carried this butter for awhile, but I feel like it is extraneous when we have just found a less expensive and cooperatively-brand of conventional butter -- Tillamook ($3.99) Alta Dena Butter will be on sale for $1 off ($3.99) until it's gone. Unfortunately, the case size on this product doesn't make it easy to special order.
Chino Valley Omega-3 eggs: These are another item we've had in the cooler for a long time. But they're one of the most expensive and slowest-moving egg brands we carry. The Organic Valley Omega-3 eggs ($4.49) I feel are equal nutritionally (Chino Valley has 225gm of Omega-3's while Organic Valley has 270 mg) and they are both cage-free and organic.  The Chino Valley Omega-3 eggs will be on sale for $3.99 until we sell out. If you would still like to buy these eggs, I could special order a case of six dozen for you for about $25.
Earth Balance Buttery Sticks: These have been the slowest sellers of our vegetarian margarines. The tubs of Earth Balance ($3.59) sell three times as fast and the tubs of organic Earth Balance ($3.79) sell twice as fast. The Buttery Sticks cost about the same as a tub, but they'll be on sale for $2.99 (60 cents off) until they're gone. The case size of the buttery sticks (18) makes it a poor special order.
Yves Veggie Wieners: We started selling the Yves Veggie Wieners last summer but they failed to gain ground on the Lightlife vegetarian dogs or the Tofurky veggie dogs we also sell. Yves Veggie Wieners will be on sale for $2.99 (50 cents off) until they're gone. This item will still be available for special orders. A case of 12 will cost about $40.
Zensoy Banana Soy Pudding: This flavor of the 4-packs of soy pudding have consistently been the slowest moving in the line and also for the entire dairy cooler. We sell three times as much of the vanilla soy pudding and five times as much of the chocolate. This item is now gone. Unfortunately, ordering a case of banana pudding four-packs is a little unwieldy; they come in cases of 18.

I hope that you all have a great week!

Wheatsville Food Co-op GM and e-mail guy