Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Roosevelt Island's New Organic Grocer Wholesome Factory May Not Be So Wholesome Anymore, Residents Report Mold On Sandwich And Food Past Best Sell Date On Shelves - Hope This Is Not Return Of The Roosevelt Island Rule

Image of Roosevelt Island Wholesome Factory Main Street Storefront At Night

Roosevelt Island resident Stuart commenting on the What's On Your Roosevelt Island Mind post reported:
CONSUMER ALERT! As much as we enjoy the presence of Wholesome Factory on RI, be warned that many of the products they sell are past the "best by" date. Check all diary products you purchase.
which drew this response in agreement from Heather, a disappointed resident and ex-customer
My husband bought a sandwich (one of the ones pre-wrapped in cellophane) from Wholsome Factory and it had fungus on it! Disappointing-- we were excited to have a new deli/grocery store, but we definitely aren't buying there anymore. I'm attaching pics.

a reply from Stuart:
Thanks for your post. A day after I saw the outdated dairy products (I did alert the cashier, who thanked me and said she'd have them removed) I went in to check and they were still there! I then spot checked some of the cans and jars on the shelves and several of them were also outdated. I want to support them (even if they're a bit expensive) but will check everything carefully. And I will not purchase anything from the deli counter after seeing your photo. Thanks.
and a suggestion from Cheshire Kitty to:
Definitely call 311 and report the unsafe food purchase. Get a tracking number for your complaint and follow up - demand to have a food inspector visit the premises. They will shut them down if necessary. It may take a few minutes to file the complaint, but it is worth it as a service to fellow consumers. Just have all the information available - which you can get from the receipt, address & phone number of the store, time and day of purchase of the sandwich. Probably the photos can be relayed to the Board of Health/whatever regulatory agency will handle your complaint as well.

Thanks for alerting us to the unsafe conditions at Wholesome Factory.
Westviewer adds yesterday:
I was happy to see D'Artagnan chicken at Wholesome Factory and bought a pack of chicken thighs yesterday, with a use by date of March 5. One bite and we had to throw out the rest. Somehow it's not surprising; the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Roosevelt Island rule still applies: chances are that whatever we have here is the worst of its kind.

On a positive note, Gristede's was selling Plugra butter for $2.99 a half pound, similar in price to other stores. On the other hand, even though in honor of St. Patrick's Day Kerrygold butter was $3.99 (Trader Joe sells it for $3.19) it was still on the shelf next to cheese, where it will pick up cheesy flavors, and not with the other butters.

I can't understand why Gristede's management doesn't understand that if their prices were better (i.e., comparable to other stores) they would SELL more and MAKE MORE MONEY from their R.I. location, especially considering the sweetheart rent.
I was surprised to hear these reports about Wholesome Factory. I don't shop there often but have had their pizza and counter sandwiches which I found to be very good.

What do you think?

UPDATE 3/18 - Stuart reports:
Update on the Wholesome Factory: I checked out the store the other day and observed that they had removed almost 50% of the meats and cheeses from the front display, and the dairy products were now in date. I can't report on the sandwiches (mold-wise) as I didn't have any. However, it is encouraging to see they read this blog! :)


APS said...

Yep, me too, found mold on packaged bread.

Random said...

Much needed.

Random said...

Close call. I've seen a few turkeys.

rilander said...

Worse is how their delivery trucks treat the residents who need access to the buildings on Main Street. They block entrances and today 2 delivery trucks surrounded a car with a handicap parking tag so the car's driver could not even open his door. I was waiting for my granddaughter and asked the truck driver to move so that man could get out of his car, but the truck driver played deaf and dumb.

Bill Blass said...

Lol you hipsters wanted this you got it. Now when is the thai restaurant coming.

Westviewer said...

Oh, you are so right. It was so much better here without even a pizzeria -- when everyone was "poor."

YetAnotherRIer said...

I am quite disappointed with Wholesome Factory. The staff at the registers is a bit rough (aka rude at times), the deli is a bit frightening, and the take-out food is extremely expensive (especially the pizza.)

That said, the people here complaining about moldy food, did they go back and talk to a manager there or did they just send-off pictures to the blog?

YetAnotherRIer said...

Did you call PSD?

Westviewer said...

I spoke to one of the cashiers the next day about the chicken that I had to throw out and she said that she would report my complaint to the manager. Yeah, right.

Bill Blass said...

Oh my this is so upsetting.I feel for the hipsters who shop there I think the rira should form a committee with only hipsters on it as they will be the food police

Judith Berdy said...

The problem is too much merchandise for such a business. There is a limit to the amount of fresh food WF can sell. They should stick to items that sell well and fast. Having meat and fish is a bad plan. I was there tonight and the area around the sushi counter was messy. It is time for the staff to clean more and check expiration dates. Many small businesses fail because of overstocking and ambitious plans. Time to step back and get rid of slow selling items.

Claudio Palumbo said...

Something I would never leave me please. With food there is nothing to be trifled with. When I buy food, I look at this product at exactly, especially the expiration date. I will recommend you to support other grocery stores. I think it's good if such features is provided in the public. I hope that the whole Roosevelt Island know that this grocery store works unhygienic. If this store lose customers, the staff will quickly realize and implement the hygiene.

CheshireKitty said...

Unfortunately, this hit a snag - the NYC Dept of Health didn't want several AQ monitors (scarce resource) placed by CBNS on RI because other communities, such as those near airports, wanted them in their communities. One or two might be considered but even this isn't certain. An alternative would be for an AQ system to be built, installed, and operated (i.e. data collected/reported) by CBNS for RI, which would be compatible with NYCCAS. However, the price tag for this proposal is $300,000. Money is a problem, plus RIOC says it needs more info on the system (which could be provided by CBNS).

Another option would be to start an organization, or find an existing organization on RI, that would take ownership of an AQ monitoring system, if and when funding were found to pay for it, in case RIOC does not wish to buy into it (i.e. buy it). The idea is that a larger/permanent/established organization, such as an environmental watchdog group, might be more suitable to take responsibility for RI AQ monitoring on a long-term, on-going basis.

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