Our Commitment to the Highest Quality

We’ve recently completed the official product standards for our new consolidated co-op. Here’s a peek at our process of bringing you the best.

For over four decades, Linden Hills and the Wedge Community Co-op have been connecting people to local growers, suppliers, farmers and those who produce with health, sustainability, ethics and community in mind. We provide the highest quality products available while upholding the values and needs of our diverse community. Our experienced staff thoroughly reviews each and every product we put on our shelves to make healthy shopping easy. We are on top of current industry information and objective research to make the best decisions to enhance the lives of our customers, employees, and environment. We apply these standards to everything from a new local hot sauce or chocolate bar to the grass-fed beef we sell in our Meat & Seafood department.

We prioritize these qualities:

+ Organic

+ Locally grown or produced

+ Produced using practices that support sustainable agriculture

+ Humanely raised animal products that are sustainably sourced and free of growth hormones and antibiotics

+ Free of artificial preservatives, flavorings, coloring, hydrogenated oils and trans fats

+ Non-GMO products

+ Produced or distributed by cooperatively owned vendors

+ Produced by manufacturers that do not test on animals

+ Products requested by our owners to meet unique needs in the community

How we define ‘local’

Our Co-op defines local as the 5 state region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. We take pride in our partnerships with hundreds of local businesses within these states, that allow us to maintain our high organic and natural product standards and best serve our owners and shoppers.

Support for Non-GMO

Our co-op is committed to providing our owners and community with high quality foods, sourced with integrity and committed to sustainability. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prevalent in our nation’s food supply, and it is difficult for stores to completely remove these products for a number of reasons, including cost and affordability for shoppers at different income levels, and limited alternative options in certain product categories. While we are not GMO-free stores, we are committed to GMO education and transparency, actively supporting GMO labeling legislation, sourcing GMO-free products when possible and implementing these principles throughout all of our businesses.

Each and Every Department

Produce

We provide the highest-quality, certified-organic produce (when available) and emphasize direct buying relationships with local family farms and vendors. We source much of our produce through our own certified-organic distribution warehouse, Co-op Partner’s Warehouse, who sources from local farmers and producers. Our Produce departments strive to maintain a bountiful seasonal selection and bring our customers the freshest and healthiest options. Our product selections are based on the following criteria:

Support local sustainable growers;

Utilize local certified-organic or certified-organic products whenever possible;

Stock fair-trade products when available;

Provide conventional produce when an organic version is not available, is prohibitively expensive or the quality does not meet our criteria;

Stock products that reflect the season, are highest-quality, are based on customer requests and reflect fair market pricing;

Strive to avoid carrying products that are genetically modified, waxed, or produced with methods relying on synthetic chemicals or petroleum-based pesticides; and

Providing floral options that are the least chemically treated and preferably locally grown.

Prepared Foods

We are committed to providing convenient options without sacrificing freshness, flavor or nutrition. Our kitchens prepare everything from fresh soups and sandwiches to grain bowls and rotisserie chicken each day. Everything is made from scratch in house or our production kitchen with the same quality and sourcing standards we apply to everything else. We use the highest quality, locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible and take the following steps to ensure we meet these standards:

Source from our own certified organic distribution warehouse, Co-op Partners Warehouse, as a first option for produce;

Source the highest-quality produce and dry goods with a preference for local and organic;

Source meat locally when possible and always antibiotic free and raised without hormones— our seafood is always sustainably sourced;

Avoid artificial colors and preservatives, aspartame, BGH, antibiotics, benzoates, carrageenan, HFCS, hydrogenated oil, modified food starch and MSG; and

Package with post-consumer recycled and recyclable plastics or compostable fiber for reheatables, catering, or take out.

Meat

We support small farmers who are dedicated to animal husbandry practices that prioritize the health of the animals and a respect for the environment. The meats we sell are sustainably raised and free of added growth hormones and antibiotics. We offer a full line of fresh and unique meat products including beef, pork, lamb, bison, chicken, turkey, game and other specialty products sourced with emphasis on the following principles:

Natural products free of additives, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones;

Minimizing environmental impact through use of sustainable practices;

Ethical treatment of animals;

Support of local family farms;

Continued commitment to education, departmental growth and development; and

Value to the customer.

Seafood

Our co-op recognizes long-term sustainability when selecting our fresh and frozen seafood products. We are committed to stocking our seafood case with a balance of the highest-quality and most sustainable wild-caught and farmed fish varieties available.

We follow the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. This program rates seafood choices according to environmental criteria. The categories are:

Green — best choice

Yellow — a good alternative

Red — fish to avoid

As we source seafood, our goal is for most of our seafood to be green, with a limited amount yellow. We will never source seafood from the red list

Grocery

We have long been a cornerstone of the community, providing the best organic and natural options for your home and family. We offer experienced and knowledgeable customer service, a wide array of products that fit your dietary needs and a positive shopping experience.

Our grocery department sources sustainable food and household items made by socially conscious producers from around the globe, as well as from your neighbors right in your backyard. We’re proud to stock everything your family needs. Rest assured that your purchases are casting a vote for the community and planet.

Health & Body Care

Our Health & Body Care departments partner with companies that use the highest quality ingredients to nurture you and your family. We are committed to providing supplements from vendors that pass our rigorous standards and have been thoroughly evaluated for potency, safety and efficacy. We provide natural body care products in a variety of options to meet the needs of everyone in our community. We prioritize these qualities:

Certified organic ingredients;

Locally produced products;

Certified fair-trade products;

Products from small, family owned or fellow cooperative businesses;

Compliant with FDA regulations and quality standards via third party certification; and

No products that have been tested on animals.

Our knowledgeable Health & Body Care staff is available to answer any questions you may have about our products and producers. It’s our goal to provide the best customer service possible to ensure our customers get the answers they are looking for.

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