These are reviews of Davis Food Co-op from 2007. For more current reviews, visit the entry.

2007-02-11 11:00:56   I absolutely, love this store, so much natural, yummy stuff! Try the bakery cookies, they're all natural and delicious! I sware, I am so addicted! —NicoleWells

2007-02-15 1:00:26   "Uncooperative: After four years, a Davis man soon will get his day in court over being arrested for trespassing at the local co-op." ...A trial date is about to be set for spring or early summer. The 59-year-old Rice has been waiting more than four years to ask a Yolo County Superior Court jury to consider his legal claims against the cooperative: violations of his civil rights, false imprisonment, battery, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, premises liability and general negligence.... Full Article:

2007-02-20 19:47:56   I am a coop member and I read that article too. I think he really got shafted and I am disappointed in the coop. —NickSchmalenberger

2007-03-05 20:24:10   As far as the article indicates, it seems the co-op goofed on the legalities (and basic communication of their decision), although they have no obligation to do business with anyone. That being said, this guy sounds like a total jerk - who can't seem to accept, as I do, that when you show up half an hour before closing, the meat counter and deli will be closed! Something tells me he thinks he owns the co-op. —KarlMogel

  • Well, if he is a shareholder he is an owner of the coop. PT

2007-03-21 13:29:38   I went there this morning and I wish I had another reason for not shopping regularly at the Co-Op, but here it is: When i went there this morning I stood at the deli almost 5 minutes without anyone helping me, saying hello or even asking what I needed.This was not an issue of the Co-op being understaffed- the Deli/Coffee area was crawling with staff who had there energies focused elsewhere. After waiting awhile a woman who was kind of nice looked at someone else and said thay would help me so that I could pay for my items and she walked off. As of today I have stopped wondering if some employees are having a bad day because this has been my experience the last 3 times I have been there.It's ironic that in the Deli above one of the Sinks there is a Big sign that says: "Customer Service". To me it feels as if the Co-Op Deli is proclaiming they have none. However, This type of thing has not been my experince in other parts of the store. —MyaBrn

  • I have had similar experinces many times - the deli is seething with employees and they all ignore me. I never buy anything from the deli. PT

~ What many customers, and even myself before I became an employee, don't know is that while it may appear that there are several workers "ignoring" you while you wait, those other employees behind the deli counter are not deli counter help. They are the prep-cooks, chefs and bakers who are busy making the food you are waiting to buy. We can't always help you at the counter, some of us aren't even trained to work behind the counter using the slicer and such, because we have to get the food ready for you to buy. Now just because we're smiling and having a good time while we work doesn't make us a click, and we're not ignoring you, we're putting love in the food you eat. If we can't help you, we're finding someone who can.

2007-03-27 19:00:11   I love the co-op, but WHAT is the deal with their sandwiches? They always are completely not what I ordered, which is strange considering they have the most straightforward ordering system (the little form that you fill out) possible. I'm truly baffled. Even the Nugget - where you generally have to shout your order to someone who is doing ten other things at the same time - can get a simple sandwich right. It really just doesn't make sense. —RubyRoo

Understand it's like a clique in high school staffing the deli, and you'll begin to understand the patterns of behavior behind the counter. — BK

2007-03-27 19:13:30   Also, if anyone is looking for other co-op's in San Francisco, I highly recommend Rainbow Grocery on 14th and Folsom. I used to shop there all the time when I lived in the city - it's like a larger, more comprehensive (and crowded) version of the DFC. —RubyRoo

2007-03-29 18:41:17   After getting kicked out of my share of places for not wearing shoes, I really appreciate the fact that Co-op has no such policy. —EfremRensi

2007-03-31 20:27:18   That's nice, Efrem. But watch your step; The Co-op isn't the beach; there're many sharp objects upon which to stub your toe in there... BrianKenyon

2007-04-03 22:35:13   I love the coop. the food selection is wonderful, the people are great, the shoppers are mostly great, and it is such a great place to learn. great place to work, too. i worked in the front end, grocery and haba/gm. mark and chad, the grocery managers are awesome, as well as pretty much everyoe else who works there. great student job. its important to support places that provide us with such healthy food, support our community, AND treat their employees so fairly and nicely. very supportive place! love it! —Lisa

2007-04-27 13:23:13   The Co-op has the best beer selection and variety in all of Davis. Other than the occasional unshowered shopper and the guy out front every Saturday petitioning to "Separate Church and State", I have no complaints with the Co-Op. —CaseyBarc

2007-05-24 22:03:02   I must say this place is awesome for buying feta cheese and bulk items. One of the bulk items I purchase is the high-gluten, unbleached flour which is quite nice for bread. There is also this forbidden rice, but I am not sure what makes it forbidden if it is being sold. Prices are a bit high, but I say they are a lot more fair than Safeway. —DavidTran

"Forbidden Rice" is a short-grain rice whose hull is inky purple/black, similar to "brown" rice. Deeper color=more nutrients, which is helpful for vegan/vegetarian diets. I thought it had a stronger flavor than brown rice, but I overcooked mine (came out mushy). Your mileage may vary. It's called "Forbidden" for historical reasons. Recipe ideas hereJudithTruman

2007-06-13 13:38:17   I just saw the article in the Enterprise about the possible 2nd Co-op on Lake Blvd. Is this really a possibility? I though that if davis got a Trader joes that would be a great place to have it...farther away from the Co-Op on G. —MyaBrn The Co-op's board has been entertaining this idea off and on for a while. I don't really know that latest, other than that it would likely cost a bundle to fix up the Lake Blvd. site. —rocksanddirt

2007-06-24 18:52:53   wow, i would not know what to do with myself without this place. for $5, i can get a decent meal of a pre-wrapped "falafel" sandwich, whatever soy yogurt is on sale, and about two handfuls of granola to go with the yogurt. YUM. marry me, COOP. —CandiceWang

2007-06-26 20:52:57   i like the inari. and the guy from bhutan that works there is really nice! manglaba! —JessicaRockwell

2007-07-23 14:02:01   I am sure it is a great place (food co-op) but is not for me seems it is for hippies and trail riders —dickjones

  • Oh, so not true. When I worked there I saw a range of people. Suits coming in for their lunch break, soccer moms with little kids, the hippies, the college students, the elderly who lived in the neighborhood. It's for everyone! —Michelle

2007-08-01 14:59:13   Just so everyone knows the DFC's markup on most items is 200%. This means that member discounts really don't save you very much. Obviously some are willing to pay more for quality, but don't buy regular items like ketchup or coca-cola, it just isn't cost-effective.

The vitamin department has the items with the least value and biggest markup overall. Virtually all their items are bought in bulk from internet retailers then subject to a markup due to massive customer and employee theft. The head of the vitamin department, 'Rose' treats her employees like shit and talks about customers behind their back. 'Christy' her #2 is cut from the same cloth. If you've dealt with either one recently, chances are really good they talked smack about you as soon as you walked away. Vitamin management is completely subservient to vitamin company reps, and members of the vitamin department will simply parrot the company line. DO NOT under any circumstances apply for a job in the HABA/Vitamin/GM department. Talk to any experienced DFC employee - it is the WORST department to work for. They have a turnover of approx one person every 2-3 months, and thus can only hire people who're desperate to begin with. TRUST someone who's worked there: you'll have a way better time in the dairy department or as a cashier.

Also, the stinkiness factor of some HABA customers is unreal... —jimboJones123

  • 2007-08-04 23:00:21   I cannot and will not comment on personnel issues. But the statement that "the DFC's markup on most items is 200%" is bogus. Look at a few sites that define business terms (like this or this) and you'll see the annonymous commentator is saying that an item that costs the Co-op $1 is sold for $3. Members can come to the administrative office and look at financial statements; they show that the markup on most items is quite lower (although we express it in terms of margin rather than markup). —DougWalter

2007-08-07 05:50:05   Be careful with the bulk foods. I find mold on the dry beans every once in a while. I showed it to a manager once but she said it was impossible for them to check for mold. It seems weird that they carry unhealthy questionably produced foods from major corporations. Such items can be found at any other grocery store in town (such as safeway). Why doesn't the co-op focus on healthy organic goods? Otherwise the food selection is great and the employees are cool. —SolomonBothwell

  • It may not be a question about "questionably produced" bulk foods, but rather, "questionably stored." On more than one occasion I have found weavils living in the barley and other grains that I purchased, took home, and sealed in a clean container (Or left in the bag). I took it back and was able to get a replacement, but Solomon is right in that you should be careful with the co-op's bulk section. It seems to happen too often for the manager to just shrug their shoulders about. I wonder how often they wash the bulk dispensers? - KarlMogel
    • I was talking about more than one issue. One issue is the questionably stored bulk foods. Another issue is questionably produced corporate foods in other areas of the co-op. -SolomonBothwell
      • I would also like to note that organic does not mean healthy. A study published this year by UC Davis's own Carl Winter surveyed research on organic vs conventional, and found that not only are there few differences between the two if any, but the same processes that might increase a few healthy compounds in organic produce also increase the levels of toxic compounds. Bottom line - eat more fruits and veggies (especially fresh) because there's not enough evidence to say that organic is healthier than conventional. There are a lot of food myths out there. (Also see Ariela's comment about health-oriented candy above) -KJM

2007-08-26 16:40:13   I love the Co-Op.. I buy everything I can here, all my food, beauty products, holiday gifts, diapers, you name it. Some people say the prices are high, I say, you get what you pay for. As for slow check-out lines, I've found that if I look like I'm in a hurry (on a lunch break, kid has pooped her diaper, etc...), someone will open a register for me, or some kind shopper will let me ahead of them in the line. —ElisaWeller

2007-10-03 21:52:50   On a hot sunny day I entered the Co-op in search of juice. I bought OJ here and the seal was already broken. I should have checked though. Anyways, I felt the atmosphere was very inviting and community is awesome. —GregWebb

2007-10-10 19:33:50   Re: Remodel: as the architectural improvements take place the prices of food seem to go up. Money spent on cosmetic architecture could've been used to lower prices on food? WilyFerret

  • Key word: "seem" — the price structure (margins and markup) is exactly the same as it was before renovation. There are new products, and old products may not cost the same as they did last month or last year. But the cause and effect you wonder about is not taking place directly. —DougWalter

2007-10-25 18:21:44   I really like the Co-op. It has a nice variety of pre-prepared vegan foods, and other specialty items that can't be found in other stores around Davis. I like that you can volunteer there for four hours a week and get 16% off your groceries (I haven't tried that yet.) —HeatherBeck

2007-11-11 16:31:16   I really dislike the new shelving for the food supplement & cosmetic section - I would not put that garish stuff in my garage, let alone a grocery store. There's no room to get greens out of the new produce cases, either.

Two of the staff also told me that they hadn't been consulted about any of the changes being made. I have written to the general manager about that as I am dismayed that a "co-operative" grocery store didn't consult the workers involved before making sweeping changes. Seems that was a big mistake.

I feel that the co-op is trying too hard to be something it is not, and that having strayed so far from its roots, will collapse from the financial burden of the (thirty year?) loan repayments and a disgruntled customer and staff base. —JaneyLamont

2007-11-17 15:45:55   I used to purchase rootbeer flavored milk here back in 1995-1998 but can no longer find it. I could not find any employees that knew anything about it. Does anyone know where to find this stuff!? —King0liver

  • I have seen a rootbeer/milk product in the dairy case at Whole Foods in Napa. —JudithTruman

2007-11-17 17:05:00   I have been a member for years, I also lived like a block from the Coop and you can't beat their bulk foods and coffee/tea section. That being said however, produce is cheaper at the farmers market. The deli has its problems. Maybe the Coop should let the ASUCD take over the deli and run it. They do an awesome job with the Coffee House on campus. I have been in exile from Davis since August so I have not seen the remodel. Nobody likes change, people complained about the last remodel in what 1997?

Over all the staff members are really nice and they do get overwhelmed up front at peak hours. It is great that you can volunteer for extra discount. Davis would have an awful hole in it without the Coop.

As far as the second store idea goes, I hope Davis Coop members take a close look at the Sacramento Food Coop and their disastrous second store in Elk Grove. Their board seemed to move ahead unilaterally with the project. They failed to do a feasibility study or any other economic analysis. They totally misjudged the market, the expense and revenues. In short,they put themselves in perilous debt, squandered and diverted income from the main store, cut employees benefits and in the end shut the Elk Grove store down at a major loss.

So, when a handful of influential Village Homes types lobby the board for a 2nd store, research the economics carefully. Three grocers have gone belly up in that location. Wasn't it Farmtown Market, then Ray's, then whatever that last incarnation was. A business plan, a feasibility study and solid financial analysis are essential. This sort of thing can't be an "I want" situation by the political clout of some old time influential members. Sure, in utopia it would be nice to have a second store. If I were in West Davis, I would probably shop there. But if it turns out to be a money pit like Sacramento Coop's 2nd store, you will damage the financial health of the original store on a whim, for years to come.

Ask yourselves why three other grocers failed in the same spot. —LouisM