Menomonie Market Staff Share Their Favorite Smells of the Co-op

When you work in the grocery industry, over time you find yourself starting to associate specific food smells with work. In wonderfully weird co-op fashion, we asked staff what their favorites are, and here’s what they had to say.

It’s no surprise that the yummy aromas coming out of our Deli in Menomonie are top of the list for many staff. Karen, our Administrative Services Manager, mentioned liking the way the store smells when the Deli brews the first pots of coffee in the morning. Crystal, our General Manager, loves the smell of the freshly roasted rotisserie chickens that come out of the oven around 2:30pm every day. Even more specifically, Layne, our Menomonie location’s Fresh Manager, enjoys the way the Deli smells when bacon for our signature sandwiches and coffee cake are cooking at the same time in the mornings. And similarly, our Administrative Services Coordinator Hannah loves the aroma of croissants baking. “It smells like my great-grandma’s house,” she says.

A few other team members mentioned being fond of Deli aromas on days certain hot bar meals are made. Our Deli Cook Troy enjoys the way the vegetable medley smells as it’s being sautéed on Greek day. Jack, our Menomonie store’s Merchandising Manager, loves the smell of curry being cooked on Tikka Masala day. And our Marketing Manager Kendall likes the smell of the store on the morning of Taco Tuesday. “The first time I visited the Menomonie location was for my job interview several years ago, and it must’ve been taco day because, any time I smell those aromas coming out of the Deli, it triggers that core memory. That’s the ‘co-op smell’ to me,” she explains.

Other team members identified the smells of certain departments as memorable. The bar soap section in the Wellness Department is our Baker Tracey’s favorite. And the Deli as a whole mentioned specifically enjoying the smell of citrus essential oil. They shared that staff or customers accidentally break bottles fairly often and the aroma wafts down the hallway to where they’re working when that happens. Over in our Bulk Department, our Grocery & Wellness Manager Rebecca and Center Store Team Member Megan said the smell of coffee beans while they’re stocking those bins is the best. Becca, our Outreach & Education Coordinator, loves the scent given off when opening a new bag of dried mangos before they’re repacked. Jordan, our Eau Claire location’s Merchandising Manager, said the “co-op smell” to him is the bulk herbs and spices section. And in our Produce Department, Cindy, Eau Claire Merchandising Coordinator, said the smell of fresh basil being stocked was her favorite.

A few other staff members like smells often in proximity to their workspaces. Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena All Purpose Cleaner is our Customer Services Manager Jay’s favorite because it’s used to clean parts of the store. And Laura, Customer Service Team Member, really likes the smell of coffee being ground at the front of our Eau Claire store.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.

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