500 South Main Street
Willits, CA 95490
8 AM to 7 PM
9 AM to 6 PM
9 AM to 5 PM
8 AM to 5 PM
9 AM to 4 PM
Saturday & Sunday
OUR MISSION STATEMENT REVISITED
BY Mary Anne Trevey
Lately, we have been having some complaints in our suggestion box about various recommendations that some of our customers feel we should address. We take these suggestions seriously, and if at all possible, we try to make our customers happy. These must be balanced with the budget of the store, and the practicality of the recommendations. Often folks ask us to carry specialized products for which we have no distributor. If we have to go direct to the source, this means we have to pay much higher prices plus shipping, which, of course, makes our retail prices too high. We already have a fair amount of complaints about the prices that we charge. This is a huge frustration for us, as we are a small business in a small town. Since we moved from our store at 600 South Main to this store we have raised our price margins once, by 5%. But, the cost of doing business has grown enormously since 2009. And, there has been a significant increase in our wholesale prices as well. For example, unbleached flour which used to sell for .69₵ per pound is now $1.49 per pound. This is because our wholesale costs have escalated so much. We realize that our customers are in an economic pinch as well, which makes them more anxious about the cost of food. Of course, being a small community means that less spending power makes our business less profitable, and that makes us anxious too. We are all in this together. Itís not just the bypass, but also the cannabis business which used to sustain this town when it was illegal and prices for marijuana were much higher. If you look around, you see many storefronts which are empty. These are the businesses which could not operate under the current economic pressures. We really do not want that to happen to Mariposa Market. This store has been mothered by me for almost 40 years and I certainly donít want to see my lifeís work go down. We have spent the past year and a half giving all our energy to staying afloat. And we do need your help to keep us functioning.
A reminder to all of you is that we seriously follow our mission statement. Our main purpose is to sustain and nourish the community. We sincerely believe in the importance of clean, fresh, living food, which has the potential to foster the health and well-being of our customers. Not every item we sell here is necessarily pristinely free of such things as sugar and salt, or contains perfect oils. Not everything we sell here is organic. We are a store for the community, and Willits and the surrounding area are made up of many types of people with many food preferences. We have paleos, vegans, diabetics, vegetarians, folks who are gluten-intolerant, strict organic consumers, and those who just want high quality food. It would be impossible for us to strictly accommodate only one type of person. We want to provide something for everyone who cares about their diet. And, we look at every new product we bring in to ascertain if it meets our requirement for healthy eating. Almost 100% of our bulk products are organic. Buying in bulk and cooking at home are excellent ways to save money.
Some of you feel that we should serve only organic food at our deli. Although this is our preference too, it would make the cost of some items prohibitive, especially sandwiches. And some things like organic meats are only sporadically available and exceptionally expensive. Some customers want us to use organic eggs in our egg salad. This would increase the average price from around $3.00 to almost $7.00 per small 8 oz. container. So, we choose to use Rock Island eggs which at least are free to range and fed a vegetarian diet. Almost all of our pre-made salads and entrees are organic, or created with sustainably or pasture raised meat. Our soups are usually all organic, with the exception of the meat. We try really hard to balance quality with practicality.
Other parts of our mission statement include supporting local agriculture and local products which are appropriate to our business, as well as promoting the care of the earth and its inhabitants. We also provide our employees with satisfying jobs, with opportunities for advancement, and benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, paid time out, and employee discounts. And, an exceptionally important goal is to provide excellent customer service, which is one of our main offerings.