The store is too cold
I’m walking around the Co-op in two jackets because it’s so cold in the fresh fruit/veggies section. Why can’t these racks have covered glass/plexiglass lids on them like the frozen food aisles? It seems like such a waste, like living in my house with the refrigerator door always open.
Your question(s) are 1) Why is it so cold in the Hanover store, particularly in produce and 2) Why don’t we cover or enclose the produce to help with the cold air.
We have recently installed all new roof top units that will evaluate both temperature and humidity in the store. Both are very important elements to keeping items like produce and cheese as fresh as possible while maintaining customer comfort. We currently have set points for 64 to 68 for temperature and a relative humidity of 45% to 60% for the entire store. Individual departments will appear cooler or warmer depending on location and conditions. I.e. entering the building in very cold winter will appear warmer in produce but the same temperature when entering the department on a very hot humid day will seem refreshingly cool in the summer.
I apologize for the temperatures these past few weeks. We have had to “rebalance” the store several times due to the new changes and department locations. We have had temps as low as 62 in some departments (yes produce) which are unacceptable to our customers and us as an organization. We have worked with New England Air, our Heating/Air Conditioning vendor to assist us in generating acceptable levels. We hope that by the time you read this email we have solved our unbalance. Again our optimum range is 66 degrees temperature and 55% Relative humidity.
Regarding why we do not “enclose” produce. Produce does not lend itself to have “standard” sizes, shapes, etc. that fit conventional shelves. It is typically shown on open cases so that the customer can look and evaluate ALL the selection easier. We do have shades that are pulled at night, but we also select cases that have been designed for produce and the air flow and refrigeration is efficiently distributed over and around the product. Some of the cool air is a result of open cases, but the majority of the cold air you are experiencing is because we have not conditioned the air around the cases properly as I mentioned above.