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Cost U Less - produce dept. change NOT good

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Suzette
(@Suzette)
Advanced Member

I received the following letter from a friend, and wanted to share here so that even more of us can call/complain to get the produce section back to the way it should be.

Dear friends,
If you have been shopping at Cost U Less this week, you were probably surprised by the changes in the produce department. Now you are no longer able to purchase items individually and choose your own. Fruits and vegetables (apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, etc.) are all packaged in bulk. One of the attractions of shopping at Cost U Less was being able to choose my produce in the variety and amount we could consume before it spoiled. Now I must shop elsewhere for many items. I spoke to both the gentlemen who stock the produce and the people at the front desk who all said that customers are complaining and urged me to share my disatisfaction with the management. They even gave me the manager's business card. I spoke to him on his cell, and he said he would call me back but he did not. Then I wrote a letter and dropped it off at the store. I am hoping that if enough people complain, they will discontinue this new practice. So I am urging you to contact the store manger using the information below. Maybe we can effect a change.
Allison Heskey, general manager (a man)
Cost U Less
4400 Weymouth Rhymer Highway
St. Thomas, VI 00802

aheskey@northwest.ca
340-777-3570/3588 (store)
340-513-1987 cell
340-777-3545 fax

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Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2010 5:24 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Suzette: I went to the customer service desk and they had a complaint form all ready to fill out. They said the response from customers has been overwhelming. BOO to the person who thought this was a good idea- probably the person who buys the prepackaged stuff for the Food Center.(td)

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Posted : September 25, 2010 7:09 pm
Suzette
(@Suzette)
Advanced Member

Yup, big BOO to that person ! (td)
I sent an email to the address in that letter... cuzz that's how I communicate 🙂

Your note in the other thread reminded me to write - thanks.

Hopefully we will see a change - the sooner the better ! It's difficult enough shopping on this island without one more bit of nonsense.

Cathy will be very unhappy when she gets back if she can't buy ONE avocado ! (I know you are out there lurking Cathy) 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2010 7:24 pm
cathy
(@cathy)
Advanced Member

When life gives you bulk avocados, make guacamole!

Seriously I'm sure it will go back to how it was. When produce is already seeing it's expiration date in the near future, the last thing consumers want is alot of it. Thanks to all for their consumer activism!

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Posted : September 25, 2010 7:42 pm
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

We just returned from shopping at Cost U Less on STX. The produce section is TERRIBLE! Not only was it messy with all the bulk boxes sideweays and stacked sky high, but the produce choices that were in bulk packaging looked awful! I too am upset that you cannot buy individual items anymore. Everything is packaged in bulk. I could NEVER use 6 red bell peppers, 25 jalepanos, 10 avacodos or what looked like 25 garlic bulbs before they rotted! Unless this changes, I'll go back to doing all my shopping at Plaza (even tho they're more expensive on alot of stuff). I too will email management about this change for the worse. BTW, the store wasn't busy at all for it being a Saturday. Maybe 'cause it's getting towards the end of the month.

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Posted : September 25, 2010 7:59 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

cathy!!!! Hurry home!;)

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Posted : September 25, 2010 8:31 pm
Suzette
(@Suzette)
Advanced Member

If we all write / call / fill out complaint forms, this will change.

Consumer Activism as Cathy calls it 🙂 Yeah !!!

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Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2010 9:34 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

When life gives you bulk avocados, make guacamole!

Seriously I'm sure it will go back to how it was. When produce is already seeing it's expiration date in the near future, the last thing consumers want is alot of it. Thanks to all for their consumer activism!

I love guac, but I sure hope you're right about it going back to the way it was. I have to wonder, though...who made this decision? If it was someone on island, they should have known better....if it was someone off island, the local managers should have vetoed it, if possible. And if not possible, they may not be able to overturn it. I will certainly fill out one of the forms and voice my objections. One of the reasons (just one) that I don't shop for fresh food at Plaza is the pre-packaged produce. Too often I find bad spots on the botton when I open it. I do miss fresh produce. When does Art Farm re-open?????

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Posted : September 25, 2010 11:02 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Most of the charter chefs are off island or at least off charter right now. Can guarantee that they will revolt over this! The yacht I manage spent over $18,000 last season at CUL. Multiply that by the number of yachts around and this contingent carries some weight. I will see if we can spread the word among them this week.

I've not been to CUL in the last couple of weeks as the last time I was there they did not have half of what was on my list. Thanks for the heads up!

Pamela

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Posted : September 25, 2010 11:09 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

LOL, whevever I go on Facebook, there is always an ad for the "7-day belly busting diet", featuring avocados...maybe CUL is just trying to help us out. :@)

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Posted : September 25, 2010 11:27 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Also write to: Tkallio@northwest.ca This is Tom Kallio the CUL GM and very responsive - and has the power to change .

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Posted : September 26, 2010 12:11 am
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

When life gives you bulk avocados, make guacamole!

Seriously I'm sure it will go back to how it was. When produce is already seeing it's expiration date in the near future, the last thing consumers want is alot of it. Thanks to all for their consumer activism!

I love guac, but I sure hope you're right about it going back to the way it was. I have to wonder, though...who made this decision? If it was someone on island, they should have known better....if it was someone off island, the local managers should have vetoed it, if possible. And if not possible, they may not be able to overturn it. I will certainly fill out one of the forms and voice my objections. One of the reasons (just one) that I don't shop for fresh food at Plaza is the pre-packaged produce. Too often I find bad spots on the botton when I open it. I do miss fresh produce. When does Art Farm re-open?????

Right Juanita!
Yes, the um Arabs do a really good job at hiding the bruises/spots/soft spots/rot in prepackaged fruits/veggies!
If you trust them, buy it, but for me, I don't trust them one bit!

CUL does not engage in scrapping or wiping off the expiration dates or repackaging like the Arab stores do here.
Though, I think it would be soon that the workers are told to put the best face forward(if they don't do so already).
Yes Pam, the term charter boats(even though they are in a rush) will have a BIG problem with this new system(they serve high level 5 star meals, they can't/won't use crap!

FYI you can still purchase individual fruits/veggies from fruit bowl or the other store that steals from WAPA.

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Posted : September 26, 2010 1:40 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

I am coming back to the islands after being away for a month. If CUL has implemented the packaged goods I will tell the manager that I will not shop for any fruit or vegatables there. That has been one of the positives about CUL. Now we are down to Plaza Extra on the east end.

Billd

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Posted : September 26, 2010 1:13 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Pamela, come see me on StX at Quality Food. We have the best produce on island HANDS DOWN.
Best kept secret that all the restaurants/hotels already know.

Noah

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Posted : September 26, 2010 2:28 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

You guys are a hoot! You don't want the store that specializes in selling bulk items to sell in bulk. Next you will want them to sell beer by the 6 pack, soda each, or bread by the slice! It's a bulk store.

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Posted : September 26, 2010 2:41 pm
Suzette
(@Suzette)
Advanced Member

You don't have any problem with the change in produce to bulk ? If you want bulk produce, there's always price smart. I look at CUL as more of a Market Basket kind of store, PS is like a BJ's, Cosco, Sams Club, etc.

Bread by the slice is a great idea ! For when you just want to make ONE sandwich 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : September 26, 2010 3:23 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

I buy my produce in bulk. I don't buy avocados or other perishables like that in bulk. Just fruits. Other items I buy elsewhere. It does pain me that I have to shop at least three maybe four stores just to complete shopping. That's more of a bother to me.
Now if I was using CUL for one stop shopping, it would be different. How many people do that?

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Posted : September 26, 2010 3:33 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

"Now if I was using CUL for one stop shopping, it would be different. How many people do that?"

Um...well...:$) I try to, and yes, this increases the degree of difficulty. I refuse to buy produce from the Food Center, except bananas. So now I will be visiting Fruit Bowl more often. You got a problem with complainin' , mister??:X

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Posted : September 26, 2010 3:43 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

I agree. I try to use CUL for one stop shopping. Some weeks it works when I am buying the bulk items, cleaning stuff, etc. I love picking up enough veggies for the week.

Has anyone told the Grocery Goddesses? Now they have some buying power! I'll email them today.

Pamela

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Posted : September 26, 2010 3:47 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Yes, I do. Just aother day in paradise!

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Posted : September 26, 2010 3:55 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

See you at the Step street tour this afternoon?;)

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Posted : September 26, 2010 4:46 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

I do all my grocery shopping at Pueblo and Plaza Extra.

The produce departments at these two stores are excellent.

Letters of complaint may work. Changing our shopping dollars may be more effective.

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Posted : September 26, 2010 4:56 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

This might be a bit O/T so I aplogize but it is CUL related. The big thing that shifted us away from CUL as our one stop shop is their milk prices. They don't sell whole gallons and their price on half gallons is $4.99! Plaza sells a whole gallon for $5.99 and we go through a lot of milk now with the little ones. We communicated this to the manager of the store who listened and made note but so far still no gallon's of milk (odd with them being a bulk store) or competitive pricing.

Sean

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Posted : September 26, 2010 7:22 pm
goalusvi
(@goalusvi)
Advanced Member

Noah - Where is Quality Food? What are the hours? Do we have to order ahead of time or just stop in and see what you have?

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Posted : September 26, 2010 8:39 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"Now if I was using CUL for one stop shopping, it would be different. How many people do that?"

Um...well...:$) I try to, and yes, this increases the degree of difficulty. I refuse to buy produce from the Food Center, except bananas. So now I will be visiting Fruit Bowl more often. You got a problem with complainin' , mister??:X

I buy everything at CUL; if they don't have it, I do without. Unlike the states bulk fresh produce is unreasonable here, because it has used up half its life in transit.

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Posted : September 26, 2010 11:47 pm
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