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A Good Reason to Boycott New Seasons Market

A look at the intentions and plans of a deceptive corporation, from an insiders perspective.
I think that New Seasons Market is bad for Portland. This has nothing to do with Brian Rohter's views on homosexuality. New Seasons Market presents itself as a community oriented, locally focused food store. It claims to treat its workers very well, and it does in fact pay a fairly high wage. The store minimum is $9.00/hour. They carry high quality, often organic foods from around the world, and their prices are better than many of the other high end food stores in the area. And its also 'the friendliest store in town.' And all this because Brian Rohter really cares about our community and wants to foster a healthy local economy and bring delicious organic food to the people of Portland. I don't belive so. Brian Rohter helped sell Natures to the Wild Oats corporation, and personally fired most of the employees who helped to make him a fortune. Natures was a Ben and Jerrys scam, and so is New Seasons. The employees of New Seasons were promised profit sharing, and they were told that new seasons would never grow beyond three stores. Period. Then they built one more, then another two. The managers who protested were told that they had no part in decision making, a sharp deviation from the policy of open contribution and team work promised to employees. Managers were stripped of their ability buy produce and good from residents around the stores, all products must be purchased from distributors and all ordering is done from a central location. New store locations are constantly being scouted for and there is no plan to limit the number of stores. The money to open these new stores is taken directly out of what would be the profit shares for employees. As a result the amount given to employees is far below what New Seasons promises. While they hire minorities, you will rarely see a Hispanic person working while you are shopping. They work the night time janitorial shifts, while African Americans and Asian Americans are aggressively recruited as a demonstration of New Seasons forward thinking liberalism. They practice active discrimination against old, unhealthy looking or less than attractive people. Management positions are available only to those who represent the healthy lifestyle that many liberal shoppers aspire to. New Seasons markets will fire any employee for seriously discussing unions, and even casual conversation is heavily frowned apon. Union Busters. New Seasons market is stealing business from co-ops and other local buisnesses, and they will sell the entire franchise to the highest bidder when they have captured a significant market share. Or, they will continue to grow and spread and compete with other large grocery chains, proving themselves to be just another money hungry bane to localism and sustainability. I firmly belive that Brian Rohter has never had any other intention. The friendly facade that New Seasons works so hard to create is a thin veil over the greed of a few rich scum bags trying to milk our good intentions for all they are worth. Who am I to say these things? I am a former employee. I left New Seasons because I did not agree with the direction they were headed. The atmosphere of greed and arrogance that I observed made me second guess what I had been lead to belive, and as I got to know the employees and managers the situation I have outlined above became clear to me. I was not fired but left of my our will, I was a always given good reviews and was well liked by peers and superiors alike. I make these statements and claims not as a disgruntled employee but as a concerned member of our community. Let us think clearly about what we are supporting with our buying power. Thank you for your time. -anonymous

Please tell us more 11.Oct.2005 06:56

co-op friend

Can you please give us some examples of your allegations? Also, are there other employees or ex-employees who have similar insights? A lot individuals in the progressive community think that NS is great. It is sponsoring the Buy Local campaign and it gives $$ to various community endeavors. So you will be generating a lot of enemies by speaking out. Please tell us more so that we can build a case and expose and shame them.

good but... 11.Oct.2005 07:33

sakyadhita

...my guess is that the people who spend the most money at No Reasons (my nickname for them) don't read imc and may not care. I go there (21st & Division) once in a blue moon if I can't find something at a better place and while the bike racks are crowded the parking lot is full to overflowing with yer standard yuppiemobiles from (I'm guessing again) Ladd's neighborhood. This is as far down the road as they're going to go with us; that is, they may be buying local and organic but they don't much care about the employees as long as they're smiling.
I'm forever trying to figure out where to get the stuff I need (if it's not at the co-op) where my dollars will do the most good-big chains that are corporate but unionized? Local but non-union, non-living wage? I've decided on some items that I can make my own or do without but it's too much of a leap for some folks.

Peoples v. New Seasons 11.Oct.2005 08:27

Made Up Name

I think the Division New Seasons has too many employees, most of whom have too little to do. So Rohter is an enabler as well as a business man.

At the Coop you have the "interaction" where you stand there and talk about your life with the cashier as though they were some kind of shrink or long lost friend and obviously no one has to be anywhere, but there, Peeples in all its crunchy glory, and I am behind you in line wanting to scream.

I hate both places.

Safeway on the other hand, provides union jobs and while they carry nothing organic to mention, I go there for certain things because I love labor unions.

Trader Joes is bizarre but you can't beat the prices and the fresh frozen products are superior to anything, anywhere. It's all trucked in from Ca. with Arnold's blessing.

Wild Oats is a deserted oasis for shopping now that Rohter's Revenge has been built. Easy to shop at with plenty of bargains. You can talk to the Street Roots guy outside as long as you want. i won't mind.

If I were quitting a job for political reasons, willing to forego unemployment benefits, I would make a stink at work first about the "broken deal" and address the owner personally, not post anonymously on some chicken shit forum that a few peeples look at. I doubt the true motive of quitting the job or the circumstances in this case.

Opportunity 11.Oct.2005 08:37

Pravda or Consequences

Nature's/Wild Oats abandoned Beaverton and I think the building is still vacant.

Let me know if you want to start a worker-owned gig there.

should i shop at fred meyer? 11.Oct.2005 08:39

morel

there is always a need for critical reviews of so-called responsible community stores, however i don't know if simply taking your business elsewhere is really all that effective (or possible). for one, as sakyadhita mentions, it is difficult to find alternatives. it is not responsible to drive all over to pick and choose the products you need when you can get them at one place; and if you are bicycling, forget about it. the co-op near me is very expensive, and i have never seen any african americans shopping there. i see some good points in anon's post, and as a new seasons shopper, i will consider the perspective he/she offers. however, i have to say that new seasons helps bridge the gap between conscious activists and average folks who are just focused on working and living. you can call them yuppies if you like, but you must know that they make up the bulk of the consumers. also, i often see people in new seasons learning from employees about products and movements they may never have thought about. perhaps when people get comfortable with the new seasons of this region, they will be more willing to visit farmers markets and the like. if you visit other parts of the country, then you know that often you could not hope to find a store like new seasons. just my perspective.

New Seasons on Interstate 11.Oct.2005 08:59

grocery grlll

I realize that SE has other opportunities for organic co-op grocery shopping, but the Interstate New Seasons is pretty much all we have in N.PDX. I do have a membership to Alberta Food Co-op, but it is quite a ways away from the Kenton/St.Johns areas by TriMet, so I have to take my hated yuppie-mobil and consume petroleum and support a bloody oil war by proxy just to get there. DO NOT shop @Fred Meyers! It isn't even Fred Meyer's, it is Krogers (second largest retail store-after Walmart-, east coast, very anti-union). At least New Seasons is keeping money in Portland, I can find what I like to eat, and I can almost afford to shop there. By the way, anyone that works in retail can tell you that phoney happiness is part of the role of the cashier/retail worker. The folks at New Seasons might not be totally genuine in their outward bliss about their jobs, but neither is anyone else.

Co-ops deserve our support 11.Oct.2005 09:17

People

I shop at People's and Alberta Co-ops because the bulk and produce is cheaper there than at Corporate Oats, New Sleazebags or Freddie Krueger's. Sometimes I buy at Daily Grind, which usually has the best produce prices of all! Brian Rohpburn doesn't care about the environment or community; he only cares about money. This became obvious by the way he treated any and all critical, exploratory questions before opening on Division: it's my business and none of your bizness!

If you're buying lots of packaged foods because you don't care about the environment, then go shoppe at Traitor Joke's, which is another money/wealthy/Earth vacuum. Saying you won't shop at the co-ops because supposedly the checkers are slower because they're friendlier (they're definitely friendlier, but not any slower) or that no blacks shop there is garbage-making excuse. How many blacks shop at the Division New Sleazebags or Corporate Oats? Hardly any blacks live in SE! But blacks do shop at People's and are working members--folks I know personally. I see blacks shopping at Alberta all the time, too. Both are great places, do their best to provide living wages, let worker and member-owner democracy reign, and they deserve our support.

Safeway Union BS 11.Oct.2005 09:31

ex-sfwy boi

Fuck Safeway. The union is a rip off. Basically, you have to buy your crappy Safeway job from the union with cash, and the union does absolutely nothing for you. The Portland Police Dept has a union too, does that make them morally superior to New Seansons?

UFCW LOCAL 555 GROCERY ALTERNATIVE! 11.Oct.2005 10:03

Ben Douglass bendouglass@cheerful.com

First of all I would like to address the fact that "anonymous'" article would have been more effective if she/he used their real name. What's up with that? You no longer work for the company, what do you fear?????

A good alternative to Wild Oats/New Season's is a grocery that has a collective bargaining unit.

I am a Wine Steward at the Hollywood Fred Meyer and a very proud member of UFCW Local 555 and if a shopper really takes the opportunity to look deeply into Fred Meyer (Hollywood), they will see a significant employee base made up of gay people and people of color. Hell, one of our store directors is gay. Unfortunately it IS pretty "white" at the top, though. Our Senior store director is a woman but we all agree she's a jerk and corporate puppet (which goes with the territory of being a store director).

Things aren't rosy at FM but it is a good alternative to New Season's for all your non-organic needs. Food Front is my place for organics but I still occassionally shop at the 33rd Ave New Season's purely out of convenience, but I hope to stop that habit soon.

To the poster who complained about the "Safeway Union BS": That is the typical attitude of those who don't connect to or get heavily involved with THEIR union. Unions are only EFFECTIVE to the point where the membership gets involved and to what degree that involvemnet takes. PERIOD!

By the way, FM Hollywood has available organic produce (10%) and a damned good Nutrition section with all kinds of certifed organics.

People's employee's kick @ass 11.Oct.2005 12:20

phill dante1129@yahoo.com

I work a weekly shift as a hands on owner for People's food co-op. The staff who work there are very dedicated and hard working individuals. I like to get my groceries and get out. They go out of their way when you need help and leave you alone for the rest. Yes it's a very casual environment and sometimes people get chatty but things get done. Food gets stocked and the place is VERY clean. I've worked this shift for over a year and I still see the same faces.

That same sort of chatter happens in Safeway/fredmyers and any other retail place. It just happens in the designated breakroom, or out back with the smokers. At People's and I imagine other cooporatives, you are seeing it FIRST HAND. No facade here.

I've comparison shopped produce from peoples and New Seasons and with some exceptions, People's seasonal produce is generally cheaper, they have a much greater selection and they try to bring in local food as much as possible. (which tastes better and has more nutrients)

They take great care in learning about the products they carry and who they get them from and allow extensive member imput.

Safeway uses discount cards to track your purchases, they carry genetically modified products and the money we give these huge companies go to their corporate headquarters. (Safeway's in Arizona, Kroger - Ohio). Now wouldn't that money we spend on food be better placed here in Oregon and Cascadia?

Disgruntled? 11.Oct.2005 12:49

Yep.

I am a current New Seasons employee, and I am taking offense at the lies in this article. Where to start?

"Brian Rohter helped sell Natures to the Wild Oats corporation"

No. Rohter did sell Nature's to GNC, which kept Nature's much as it was until they decided to sell to Wild Oats, who screwed the pooch.

"The employees of New Seasons were promised profit sharing, and they were told that new seasons would never grow beyond three stores."

No again. Yes, NS staff were promised profit shares, and we get them, twice a year. It's never too much, maybe the equivalent of an extra paycheck, but it is profit sharing. Maybe if anonymous had paid attention to the voluminous amount of numbers information provided to staff at quarterly meetings, s/he would see that NS has done a great job of rewarding hard-working staff in a consistent manner. As for "three stores", the company started and has followed a ten-year plan to build 10 stores.

"Managers were stripped of their ability buy produce and good (sic) from residents around the stores"

Not true. While department merchandisers do have the final say on what can be brought in, there is still much left up to department managers, who may have direct contacts with suppliers and are thus advocates for those local producers.

"While they hire minorities, you will rarely see a Hispanic person working while you are shopping. They work the night time janitorial shifts, while African Americans and Asian Americans are aggressively recruited as a demonstration of New Seasons forward thinking liberalism."

Bull. Your comments are racist.

"They practice active discrimination against old, unhealthy looking or less than attractive people."
Also not true! Sure, we'd rather not employ scabby tweakers behind the counters, but there is definitely a healthy age range among staff. As for attractive/less attractive, that's all in your eyes.

"New Seasons markets will fire any employee for seriously discussing unions, and even casual conversation is heavily frowned apon (sic). Union Busters."

There is no evidence to back this up. On the contrary, I give the ownership of NS high marks for ensuring free speech, and I can count several coworkers at my store alone with whom I have discussed Union ideals.

"New Seasons market is stealing business from co-ops and other local buisnesses (sic)"
Last I heard, we were in a free-market capitalist system, a system which supposedly thrives on competition. Years ago, when Nature's on Division opened, Peoples' Co-Op fans shrieked about how Nature's was going to shut down the Co-Op. 20+ years later, and the Co-Op seems to be doing fine, even expanding. When a customer asks me for something that we do not carry, I regularly direct them to try the Co-Op or its farmer's market.

Yeah, Anon, you are disgruntled.

Choices 11.Oct.2005 12:52

Produce!

Living in North Portland, I have switched from Fred Meyers to New Seasons for certain purchases (mainly produce and last minute items). I mainly go to Food Fight (vegan, independently owned) on 41st and Division every few weeks for staples and also shop at People's when in that area. The last couple of times I was at People's some of the produce was old and tired looking, I hope that was an anomaly. When I volunteered there 12 years ago they prided themselves on good produce.

Now that the garden is slowing down and the Farmer's markets are closing for the season (excpet the new indoor market in Vancouver, which is an unknown quantity thus far)I'll have to decide where to buy produce. I won't shop at the Alberta co-op since I was treated rudely by staff there on multiple occasions during their first year when I was a member. They are just gentrifying hipsters as far as I am concerned. Maybe they've changed but I am done with them. Big City Produce is another option but their produce doesn't seem very fresh to me whenever I've tried them. I like Food Front's produce but its a bit out the way for me and I avoid NW if I can help it.

I want to support Portland's co-ops but they need to provide comfortable environments and high quality food if they want to get my business.

You should be so lucky to have so many choices 11.Oct.2005 14:16

ranger

I will take the original poster's points and the second New Season's employee's response in the back of my mind when evaluating the store. I don't know the inside politics, but I know many at the store and I couldn't ask for a better place to shop. Coop's? - sure, but generally they are way too expensive for my budget. Freddies and Safeway? - For some basic things, but their organic produce is 'bottom of the barrel' as far as taste and quality. NS is the most culturally diverse of the health food stores in Portland, well at least the Concordia location. They offer a wider range of foods than coops, and the staff are approachable and friendly. They are also human and have bad days and will tell you about it. I am truly sorry for the original poster's bad experiences.:( All I know is that health food stores in Portland are among the best in the country.

A couple points in New Season's favor 11.Oct.2005 15:13

jason

I have never worked at any grocery chain, but I do shop at New Seasons regularly.

The original article makes some decent points, but I think is pretty biased and not well thought out--frankly I question the writer's motivation.



Here are some good things about New Seasons:

1. They are locally owned--so profits stay in the community, rather than leaving the state--this causes increased economic activity and opportunity for our city.

2. They feature the widest selection of organics at the best prices in town, and make a huge effort to buy produce locally, they are also the only grocery chain that will stock locally made products such as Pirate's Choice Kombucha.

3. They treat their workers much better than any other grocery chain, and far better than co-op's which generally don't give benifits (or at least real benefits, Peoples gives "creative" benifits like free massages, and crystal healing, but what workers need is actual health care).

4. More than Yuppies shop there. The original article implies that nearly all NS customers are yuppies, but a survey conducted by the PSU sociology dept. found that over 90% of people in the vicinity of the 33rd/Killingsworth store shop there regularly--this is a neighborhood with average income BELOW the Portland average. This is possible because NS stocks regular products alongside organic/specialty stuff--in other words, they serve the actual needs of the actual community rather than the self selected group that can affoard to shop at Wild Oats, Natures, or Zupans.

5. They support other local businesses. I work in a coffee shop near the 33rd ave. store, and they repeatedly use us to cater their employee events, they also buy from several other neighborhood stores, and every saturday, they put out a sign sending folks to the Alberta St. Farmers Market, which is located at the Alberta St. Co-op, so they are in effect giving away business to support the neighborhood.



After all that, your article is left with some good criticisms of capitalist business in general, but if that is your focus, there are much better targets than NS--McDonalds, Exxon-Mobil, Nike, Monsanto....Protesting New Seasons on Capitalist grounds is kind of like protesting Canada for having too big of a military--it's true, but it kinda misses the real point.

co-ops first, New Seasons Second, corporate stores last 11.Oct.2005 22:23

buy local

This is my order of preference in shopping. I've learned to do without just about anything that that isn't carried by People's, Alberta Co-op, and Food Front. I prefer New Seasons over stores that are not locally run because I want to keep money in the local economy, because the employees at New Seasons seem much happier than at other stores (that are not co-ops), and because I notice a higher percentage of local products.

If you look hard enough for reasons not to shop at a store, there would be no store to shop at. As for me, I'll support the co-ops and buy at New Seasons when I get that occasional water filter or pen. The other stores are just too profit-oriented, too full of GMO food, too uninterested in stocking local goods, and not accountable to anyone who lives here.

view from beaverton 11.Oct.2005 23:19

spinner

I live just down the street from the building in Beaverton that used to house Nature's. It was a beautiful store next to a little runoff creek with wooded banks and grass with piknik tables. The max station is just a short distance away. I never could afford to shop there, although lots of Beaverton people obviously can...trader joes is nearby.

I'll bet if somebody could put together a viable business plan for an indoor farmers market on the order of that just opened in Vancouver, the city of Beaverton would go for it. The outdoor farmers market here is amazingly successful...of course, it's ideally situated near the library plaza with the walk through fountain to keep the kids amused.

In Beaverton, Winco is the place to shop for poor folks. Don't know the particulars, but you see signs that say it's worker owned. It's big, not fancy, but has notably lower prices. Employees seem happy. It has some organics but not a lot. The produce is good, but not exquisite like for example, Whole Foods on burnside (yesterday, WF had a magnificent selection of heirloom tomatoes ....see,it'd be nice if a place like winco carried a few items like that). Clean store. A lot of people from different ethnic groups work there.

The farmer's market goods tend to be pricey for poor people too...worth it, but sometimes you have to go for the budget stuff regardles. I like the idea of a store like Winco expanding it's selection to include a wider range of premium produce and other goods, or, if a worker owned indoor farmer's market can do this...fine, but it would be nice if someone made an effort to meet a wider range of people's needs in one locality.

to spinner 12.Oct.2005 00:39

oldbeabertonnature's

yeah, i worked at the beaverton store for several years.

it was there for 15 years as a natures. and then wild oats happened.

they took power away from local managers and the whole thing went down the tubes.

that spot would be hot for a new locally owned store. though, i hear new seasons is opening in cedarmill.

another great thing about the old beaverton store was it was only a ten minute walk from the beaverton farmers market. we used to get lots of people coming in from the market to buy staples they couldn't get there.

the best thing about that store was the produce. always lots of local.

produce is key to co-ops 12.Oct.2005 00:49

shopper-arounder

i'm a senior citizen and love the discounts i get at local stores.

but not at peoples, eventhough i live nearby.

i also can't afford to buy the produce there much it seems like the prices change way too often. new seasons prices stay pretty level and things always look fresh.

i do shop the farmer's market on wednesdays and use my food stamps. that's the best thing about peoples.

though, they don't buy much produce from the market folks. they use the big vendors for most of their produce like new seasons does. the discount bin sometimes has edible produce for 59cents, which used to be 39cents.

and lately the stuff has been looking pretty old.
it seems they are getting too big and are having a hard time managing the produce.
i also don't see many colored folk like myself working there. i see much more diversity at new seasons and even corporate chains.

just my observations.

Co-ops are NOT more expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12.Oct.2005 07:58

Not Co-opted

I can't understand why the misconception prevails that the co-ops are more expensive than Corporate Oats, New Sleazebags, or Traitor Jokes. If you have no qualms about waste and enjoy dealing with lots of packaged, sugar-filled, non-organic processed items, then the corporate/slave owner way is yours to go. If, however, you don't feel a constant craving for packaged, sugar-filled, non-organic processed items, then you will definitely save money by doing the bulk of your shopping at the co-ops. The prices at Corporate Oats and New Sleazebags are consistently higher for bulk items and produce. The vast majority of produce at Corporate Oats is non-organic, and the organics are usually twice the price per pound of those at the co-ops. If you become a member-owner, the price goes down even more.

PS: For great, cheap, locally-baked fresh organic bread, try Daily Grind. Can you beat $1.50 per loaf anywhere else for that?

blah 12.Oct.2005 11:25

me

as a produce volunteer at people's I can say that there has been a lot of absences lately in volunteer shifts and employees have been on vacation. Produce takes intensive, constant work.

At least there is a reduced section at people's. The produce at New Seasons might be more regularly priced, but people's prices accurately reflect what the shop paid for it; and if you like stable prices, you have to shop from the same bigger vendors, or else prices will be higher and all over the map.

New Seasons - Disapointing! 13.Oct.2005 13:57

S-man

I don't know, but I think New Seasons is a big disapointment. I shop at the Sellwood New Seasons and spend quite a bit of money there because it
s close to my home. The thing is that they don't seem to supprt organic, vegan and wheat free products there as they do in other stores. Frequently they are out of organic items and all you are left with is commercial gmo-laden foods. I have been there on numerous occasions where they were out of organic potato chips, organic corn tortillas, and wheat-free bread, etc.. But they sure do have a lot of commercial, non-organic chips (lays, etc.) and wheat bread (Orowheat). I can get that crap anywhere. I believe they are simply not focusing on organic food items as much as they should. I also beleive that they are not focusing on the growing demand for people with food sensitivities and vegan diets. I know it can be better than this, I have seen better stores elsewhere.

my two cents 15.Oct.2005 07:56

andrea pdx

so my two cents as an occasional New Seasons shopper at Orenco Station, Seven Corners, Raliegh Hills. I also am a co op member of Food Front and Alberta. I work at Food Front. My first introduction to food activism was in the San Francisco food conspiracies in the late 60's and early 70's. For ten years I was part of a worker owner collective that ran a natural food store in Salem, Oregon for 10 years. The store which was called Heliotrope lasted a little over 25 years and went out of business in the late 90's.

So I was curious about the initial posters comments about people of color at New Seasons and in particular Hispanics. So tonight I was at Orenco station around dinner time. I saw New Seasons staff who could have been Hispanic in the deli food prep area, behind the meat counter, on the floor as a grocery stocker, and as a cashier about perhaps 5 out of maybe 20 folks on the floor. (Of course 5 folks could have been Filipino or Samoan etc but I did hear several folks speak spanish).

So this is not to try to generally disprove the posters points but in general the comments about a bias against hispanics comes as a surprise since my general impression has been that I've seen more diversity at New Seasons than for example where I work.

At Food Front out of a full and part time staff of 35 people, at most 5 have ever been people of color and often times I've been the only person of color on the staff. Does that make Food Front "racist"? I think rather it refliects the fact that Portland and the Northwest neighborhood continues to be a white town and the fact that there havent been that many people of color that have wound up working in natural foods has a career.

My impression is that New Seasons has done a good job of trying to recruit a diverse staff.

I'd like to know more about the posters remark that the management or principal manager is homophobic. Again that comes as a surprise to me but then as a shopper I'm not going to go around and try to take a poll of peoples gender or sexual preference.

As to a queer friendly work place, I will say that Food Front has been consistently a place that someone who was gay, lesbian, or transgender could feel that they could work and not have to hide this aspect of themselves. I remember once being asked do you have to be gay to work at Food Front.

Oh by the way a little known fact is that Food Front is a union work place and is a UFCW 555 local. We have been a union work place since the mid 1990's. I will say that aside from the initial organizing effort, the role of the union has been a minor one at Food Front. Having a union however has insured that there has been a structured wage an benefits process.

But there is no passion in it. The UFCW is a mystery to us. For example we have no idea what this new change in the UFCW national union to break away from the AFL CIO is about.

New Seasons invector 27.Oct.2005 09:16

Bill Richards

Hey -- the original poster of this article made a wide variety of powerful claims agains New Seasons. As an ex-employee, non-disgruntled, who left of her own free will, this writer would have been the perfect person to stand up and be heard. I wonder why she didn't post her name. Maybe it has something to do with an unwillingness to actually substantiate her claims.

New Seasons - Disapointing? 29.Oct.2005 12:04

oh whatever

The reasons why new seasons doesnt run out of the conventinal goods is because they are easier to order and the vendors are more "on top" of getting their product in the store. With a good majority of natural foods, vegan, organic etc. the companies are smaller and they have a harder time keeping up with orders. WIth some of these companies, bless them, one batch of cookies burns and you're a month behind! We once had the roof cave in on a manufacture and didn't get to have them for six months, Frito Lay gets crashed on and it's being trucked from another state. It's very irritating to work for a natural foods company and hear about how you're always running out of stuff then get a letter saying mold got a crop of organic corn so no tortillas or some kind of blight killed all the strawberries! Which effects your frozen pies and organic jam!

His Name Is WIll - View His Profile at Portland Mercury's Lovelab 09.Apr.2006 17:01

Carl

I think if you're going to call for a boycott and make allegations of racism, sexism, and other evils you should at least tell us who you are. Hey - good luck with the lovelife and all. Based on this posting you seem really, um - reasonable and not disgruntled at all. I'm sure you'll have yourself a girlfriend real soon.

Current Employee 29.Apr.2006 01:15

Zorazen

I work at New Seasons. I am a pastry chef. I get paid well for what I do. I have a lot of creative control. I have health insurance, I have vision insurance, I have a hotline I can call if I need help with anything and I have pride for the company I work for.
We have 7 hispanic employees at my store location in the deli.
There are only three things that an employee can be fired for:
Doing drugs on the job
No Call/No Show/Too Many Absences
Stealing

I have never heard of ANYONE getting fired for talking about unions. You know why we don't have a union? We don't need one. We have benifts. We have a 401(K) plan. And a good one, I may add. We have a HR departement. We have a CEO who routinely gives out his phone number and e-mail and tells us to contact him if we need anything.

Also, my boyfriend wants to start a buisness. Brian met with the both of us on my request and gave us the advice that we needed. How many CEOs would do that?

New Seasons puts on a "cruelty free" front... they really don't care 25.Jan.2007 14:19

Brenna Sheridan brenna@bdcdistribution.com

they most definitely pretend to be something they are not. please see the following correspondance regarding POM brand juice and animal cruelty (read from bottom up)...

-----Original Message-----
From: Brenna Sheridan [mailto: brenna@bdcdistribution.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 9:07 AM
To: 'Daniel Garcia'
Cc: ' pego@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' stevek@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' elizabethn@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' deborahm@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' markf@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' michaelw@newseasonsmarket.com'; ' rogerg@newseasonsmarket.com'
Subject: RE: Regarding POM brand Pomegranate Juice

Daniel,
I am very disappointed in your response. Your customers trust YOU and look to YOU for peace of mind in their shopping. If you are going to go to the extent of carrying all Cruelty-free makeup products and Free-Range Meats, most customers are going to assume and trust that a product you sell as random as Pomegranate Juice is going to be safe to buy. Especially considering the type of people that would buy Pom in the first place are health conscience individuals who are MORE THAN LIKELY vegetarians or vegans. This is much different than hormones in milk or preservatives in Doritos (all of which are very exposed as you mentioned)... this is POMEGRANITE JUICE... a product most people would think crazy to question!
You have a responsibility to your customers. This is not an unreasonable request.
I believe your continued sale of POM brand Pomegranate Juice is seriously misleading to your customers, and shows a lack of respect for them. If YOU took the time to inform them of this issue, I am quite sure they would respect you and support your store even more for being pro-active and honest.
I urge you to please reconsider your stance on this issue.
Thanks,
Brenna

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Garcia [mailto: danielg@newseasonsmarket.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 11:12 AM
To:  brenna@bdcdistribution.com
Subject: RE: Regarding POM brand Pomegranite Juice

Hello Brenna,

I really appreciate you sending us the information about POM's funding
of medical studies that make use of animal testing. We are aware of
POM's practices, and do not agree with their methods. However, the
choice to buy a product is up to the consumer and the consumer alone.
Our job is to be a neighborhood grocery store, and to offer a wide
variety of products that reflect the needs of the communities we serve.
We offer products ranging from organic tofu to Doritos because the
neighborhoods we serve have varied needs and tastes. We do encourage our
customers to make informed buying decisions, which is where concerned
citizens, like you, enter the picture.

The ethical treatment of animals is a topic many people are passionate
about, and animal rights groups, such as PETA, are an important voice in
the current dialogue concerning animal testing. The goal of educating
consumers is important, and in the past has proven to be an effective
strategy that results in real change. The use of rBGH in the production
of milk is a perfect example of how consumer education evolved into
changes in buying behaviors that resulted in industry-wide change. For
many years groups, such as Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility,
pushed an agenda of educating consumers about the use of growth hormones
in milk production. Over time the information began to sink into the
public consciousness, and consumers began to look for alternatives to
milk produced with rBGH. The consumer demand began as a ripple and ended
in a wave of local dairy producers pulling rBGH from the milk production
process. Today Alpenrose and Sunshine Dairy have phased out the use of
rBGH, and larger companies, such as Ben & Jerry's and Starbucks, are
just now in the process of bucking the trend.

The events leading to changes in the milk industry is exactly what we
hope you accomplish in the debate over animal testing. Our decision to
carry POM is based on offering as much variety as possible without
passing judgment on our customers. We hope you continue to spread the
word about POM's practices, and perhaps one day a ripple will become a
wave of change. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other
comments or questions, and we appreciate you taking the time to write to
us about such an important topic.

Best wishes,
Daniel

Daniel Garcia
Community Relations Specialist
New Seasons Market
1954 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 517-9855
 danielg@newseasonsmarket.com
www.newseasonsmarket.com


-----Original Message-----
From:  brenna@bdcdistribution.com [mailto: brenna@bdcdistribution.com]
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 9:23 PM
To: Talk To Us
Subject: Regarding POM brand Pomegranite Juice

As a loyal customer of the North Portland New Seasons, I ask that you
PLEASE discontinue sales and relationship with POM brand pomegranite
juice. I recently discovered through PETA and other animal rights
organizations that POM funds deadly tests on animals, and refuses to
stop.

Here is a quick excerpt from PETA's website:

"When PETA learned that POM was funding deadly experiments on animals,
we
immediately asked the company to meet with us to discuss accurate
non-animal test methods such as human clinical trials. POM refused to
abandon animal testing, instead preferring to continue conducting
useless
experiments that require researchers to torment and kill animals in
laboratories."

I encourage you to please read more about this issue, and to pull this
product from your shelves. Not acting upon this is not only endorsing
POM,
but allowing them to continue this unacceptable and disgusting behavior.

 http://peta.com/feat-pom.asp

Please feel free to contact me back at any time.

Addendum to my post... 25.Jan.2007 16:08

Brenna Sheridan

The following was released today from PETA. Through the help of REAL natural foods stores and activists (no help from New Seasons), POM has signed a promise statement to discontinue any animal testing.
 http://peta.org/feat-pom-victory.asp