Friday, April 25, 2008

Better times to shop, Expansion-asana, and food news!

Hello friends,

Scroll down for:
Expansion update!
Better times to shop during this project phase.
Wheatsville Expansion Project opening ceremony this Tuesday!
Food news!
Board meeting in new temporary meeting space.

Expansion Update!
Our demolition has gone pretty smoothly so far with a seriously huge piece of equipment doing a lot of the work up to this point. They are currently excavating the dirt behind the retaining wall in order to expose it for demolition. It's pretty fun to watch! Early next week should see the demolition of the brick building that we affectionately refer to as the Red Door building as well as the beginning of work on the former InStep space. 

Having a huge piece of power equipment in our parking lot has made parking  a little trickier than we're used to and we've had some traffic jams at certain times of the day. We appreciate your patience in this process. I do have some suggestions, though for better times to shop. 
If you can adjust your shopping, you might find that the auto parking is easier during the the following times: 
Early mornings from open until about 11 or 11:30am. 
Mid-afternoon from 2:30-4
Evenings after 8pm.

After 5pm and on weekends, there is potentially parking to the north side of Wheatsville that you could also try.

All staff are parking off premises or finding alternative transport to get to work to free up as much space as possible for you to shop, but it will still be a squeeze during the busiest times. Once again, I thank you for your patience during our project.

Maybe you would like to join your co-op board at a small ceremony to celebrate the beginning of our long-awaited project? We'll be having a short informal ceremony in the parking lot at 5:30 on Tuesday April 29th. We'll have light refreshments and probably a minimum of speechifyin'. (You might consider parking off premise if possible ; )

Check out our expansion updates with pictures on-line at

Food news!

This is your last weekend to come in for April Co-op Advantage Specials. (We'll have more different specials in May, though!)

In the deli!
The Wheatsville Deli's been celebrating the warm weather with some tasty treats: barbecued all-natural chicken pieces, grilled garlic-butter ahi tuna steaks and curry lime chicken salad! Our bakers have been cooking
up a storm as well: creamy slices of kiwi fruit-topped vegan cheesecake have been appearing in the self-serve case. And another hot weather cooler, cucumber-dill cream cheese, has made its seasonal return to the
cheese case. Try some on a bagel, or spread on a celery stick!

Here's the latest from Mike Crissey, our Perishables Buyer:
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. This week it's frozen:
Amy's Frozen Meals: Although most of these meals are popular (they helped me get started on a vegetarian and organic diet), we have a few items that just aren't as popular.
Amy's Cheese Lasagna, Amy's Tofu Scramble, Amy's Tofu Ranchero, Amy's Country Meal, Amy's Thai Stir-fry Bowl and Amy's Santa Fe Enchilada Bowls will be on sale for $3.99 ($.50 off) down from their regular prices of $4.49. Also, the Amy's Shepherd's Pie which is on sale for $1.99 this month.
Meanwhile, we're discontinuing one of the Amy's pockets -- the Tofu Scramble, which are also on sale for $1.89.
Hytop Vegetables: These are by far the least expensive frozen vegetables in the co-op but it seems like we support Woodstock Farms and Cascadian Farms although they're more expensive. We sell three times as much Cascadian Farms and about twice as many Woodstock Farms frozen vegetables as Hytop in an average month. Until we sell out, Hytop vegetables will be 60 to 80 cents off (reg. $1.59 to $1.79, now $.99).
Food-For-Life Raisin Pecan Bread: This product is among our slowest moving frozen breads.We sold about two cases of it last month compared to five or six cases for the other Food-For-Life breads and 15 to 20 cases for Ezekiel breads. The FFL Raisin Pecan bread will be on sale for $4.29 (70 cents off) until we run out.
French Meadow Sunflower-Flax bread: This is another of our slower moving frozen breads. We sold about two cases last month. It will be on sale for $3.99, down from its regular price of $3.99.
Your board at work
Our next board meeting is this coming Tuesday APRIL 29TH, following the ceremony at 6pm in our new temporary meeting space at 406 West 30th. It's on the northeast corner of 30th & Fruth (two short blocks east of Guadalupe), directly across the street from Trudy's and just down the street from Spiderhouse. The meeting is from 6-9 and you are invited to attend.

Have you or someone you know wondered what more you could do for our cooperative? Then the Nominations Committee of the Wheatsville Board of Directors wants to talk to you. We have four general seats open in the upcoming September election. If you have a gold card (investment ownership) you are eligible to run for the board. Typically, directors spend an an average of one to three hours per week between board meetings and committees they may serve on. If you'd like more information, please contact the Nominations Committee or contact board member Bob Kinney ( or Mike Crissey (

Sports news!
I had a lead-off triple and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as Bookpeople beat The Chronicle 13-9 Monday night. The Filthy Animals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead but The Chronicle tied it at 5 all in the fifth inning and jumped out to a 9-6 lead in the sixth. Bookpeople whittled away the lead, tying the game at 9 in the top of the ninth innning. I hit a line drive down the third base line for a triple and was driven in with a single to right field to put Bookpeople ahead for good in the extra frame. The next three Filthy Animals all scored, driven in by an in-the-park homer by Bookpeople's second baseman.
I have temporarily joined Bookpeople as they play other independent Austin businesses in softball, but I'd really like to get a Wheatsville team together. In past years, we found enough employees to make a squad, but this year we haven't been so lucky. Anyone who'd like to play softball -- even if you've never played -- should send me an e-mail at We typically practice Wednesdays or Thursdays and Sundays. We have to have the most healthy and fit folks in town. Let's play ball.
I hope that you have a great week!
Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Breaking news! Project starting and Earth Day Wine Tasting Tuesday!

Hi Wheatsville friends!

Two quick things!

One, we now officially have huge equipment in our parking lot and we will see them begin to use it on Tuesday!!! Wow! This equipment does take up some of our parking, so be prepared during busy times to find some traffic issues. If you drive through the regular entrance and don't see a spot, you can head toward the back parking lot and you may find some there. Walkers, Bikers and bussers shouldn't have any issues at this stage. 

Earth Day Wine Tasting
Tuesday is Earth Day and we had a short notice opportunity to do a wine tasting at the co-op in honor of it. We'll be featuring the wines of Parducci, America's Greenest WInery! They are the first carbon neutral winery. They buy grapes from family farms. They use solar power. They farm some of their land organically and bio-dynamically, too. On Tuesday, we'll have tastings of the Parducci Pinot Noir, the Parducci Pinot Grigio, and the Parducci Petit Sirah.

Save the date! 
The board and I will be having an informal commencement ceremony for the project at 5:30pm next Tuesday April 29th. You are welcome to attend. We'll have our April board meeting from 6-9pm afterward at our temporarily rented house on 30th and Fruth. Agenda and directions will be posted on the web-site soon!

Have a great week! (I think that I will have one extra e-mail to you on Friday this week and then we'll resume with our regular weekly e-mail after that!)

Dan Gillotte
Wheatsville GM  and e-mail guy