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Our Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can join the co-op?
How do I join the co-op?
Is there anything I need to do before placing my first order?
When can I place an order?
I might not make it to pick-up my order, can you store it for me, deliver or ship it to me?
How do I place an order?
Does everything get delivered on the same day?
Where do we pick-up the orders?
What other order and pick-up options are available to co-op members?
How big are the cases? Do you sell by the pound?
Can I buy half a case or split a case?
Are there any particular items that require more work to split?
What about volunteering?
Are these wholesale prices or is there a mark-up?
Why is there a shipping charge added to my order?
Do I have to pay taxes on my orders?
What else should I know?
Where can I learn more about feeding a raw or natural diet?
Fremont is too far a drive for me, where can I find a co-op like this closer to me?


Who can join the co-op?
Anyone who is looking for a supplier of high-quality, human-grade raw foods for their pets, has access to e-mail/computer and is willing to pick-up their orders in Menlo Park, Fremont, Livermore, or the Central Valley, CA can join the co-op. There are no minimum order requirements. The
membership fee is $145 a year.

How do I join the co-op?
To join the co-op, simply visit our
Join page and follow the instructions there to become a member of the Yahoo! group.

Is there anything I need to do before placing my first order?
After you join the
Yahoo! group, and have entered your information into the Contacts database, you are ready to place an order.

To make ordering as easy as can be, we highly recommend that you register with PayPal about 7 days before placing your first order. We use PayPal's shopping cart and collect payments for orders using PayPal's military-grade, safe and secure payment system.

When can I place an order?
Orders are placed and picked-up monthly. You'll want to pay close attention to our
Calendar, as well as pay attention to e-mails about changes in ordering dates and pick-up schedules on our e-mail list. Orders can be placed only during our specified order periods, and must be picked-up on our specified pick-up dates.

I might not make it to pick-up my order, can you store it for me, deliver or ship it to me?
We do not store, ship or deliver orders. If you cannot make it to a pick-up date, please do not place an order. However, if something comes up and you cannot make it to pick-up your order after you've already placed it -
contact Sharon immediately. Sharon will try her best to cancel the order and credit you back. You may also contact the list to make arrangements with other members to pick-up your order and hold it for you. Otherwise, you should try to sell your order to other members via the list before the pick-up date, if it is too late to cancel for a credit. If you forget to pick up your order and the meat spoils, you will have to pay for it.

How do I place an order?
Ordering is easy! Simply visit our
Order pages, and use the shopping cart buttons to place and pay for your order. If you absolutely cannot/will not place an order using the shopping cart or PayPal, you can e-mail your order to Sharon directly to pay via check, cash or money order.

Since some items are not available when others are, you may not see shopping cart buttons for all the items every time you go to place an order. Only items with a shopping cart button are available when you go to place an order. If you have any questions about an items availability, just ask Sharon about it.

Does everything get delivered on the same day?
Sharon explains, "Currently, this is what happens in the East Bay Only. The Deistel Turkey and Allied Orders are delivered to Amanda's house in Livermore on Weds afternoon for Allied, and Thursday Morning for Deistel.

Amanda or a volunteer meets me in Fremont on Thursday Morning where I still meet the Petaluma Truck and the Duck guy. Amanda takes back these orders for folks picking up in Livermore.

On Friday Morning I deliver to Amanda the Beef, Tripe, and any other orders that were delivered to Menlo Park for folks who pick up in Livermore, and then I head home.

This means that if someone did not order Beef, Tripe, or any other items delivered to Menlo Park, and they are picking up in Livermore, they can pick up their Allied, Deistel, and Chicken orders on Thursday. If they did order Beef, Tripe, or any other items not delivered to Livermore for Thursday pick up, they can either, make a trip on Thursday to pick up Thursday products, and a Trip on Friday for Friday products, or they can pick up all products on Friday. So they should contact both myself to let me know they want their order brought to Livermore, and Amanda to let her know they will pick up at her house and set up a time to do so."

Where do we pick-up the orders?
There are multiple pick-up locations. Please see the
Calendar page for more infromation, directions and maps.

What other order and pick-up options are available to co-op members?
Although Sharon cannot store orders, you are always welcome to arrange to leave your own cooler for her to put your food in, if you need to pick-up late or the next day.

Members oftentimes help others in the same area with pick-ups, and sometimes there is even a chain -- for example, one person picks up orders for several people and takes them to Pleasanton, then another person picks them up and takes them to Walnut Creek, where people further North and East can pick up, etc. The only catch with is, you need to work out this type of arrangement yourself with the people involved as Sharon cannot facilitate these sorts of arrangements. The Contacts database includes the city where people live, making it easy to contact others to to help facilitate this kind of cooperation ahead of time.

How big are the cases? Do you sell by the pound?
Unless otherwise noted, we only sell by the case or piece. Most of the items we order come in 40-pound cases, though some things come in 20 to 35 lb boxes. Items from PL Bar start at 5 lb. bags and go up from there. Again, there is no minimum order and you can order as much or as little as you need, by the case or piece.

Can I buy half a case or split a case?
Cases are sold by the each so you cannot directly buy a partial case, but all members are welcome to split cases with other members.

In order to accommodate people with small freezers and/or few animals to feed we prefer allowing the sharing of orders, though it has caused problems, such as slow processing on pick-up days and invoice errors. We have come up with a process we hope will speed things up and still allow splitting.

To split most cases, one member e-mails the list to ask if others want to split a case with them. If they get a response, they then make arrangements with the other member(s) privately on how they will split the case, who will pick it up, where they will do the actual splitting of the case, who will do the splitting and who will purchase the whole case. Then one person buys the whole case as part of their order though the website or e-mail. The actual splitting of the case can take place on the pick-up day, or after one member picks-up the case to split elsewhere (at home, for example - if those splitting a case are neighbors). The actual splitting the case is the full responsibility of the members who arranged the split.

Some suggestions on making the splits go smoothly are:

On order day, the first person to arrive who is involved in splitting a particular box will be responsible for dividing up that box into all the orders in the split.

For example, 4 people are splitting a 40 lb box of chicken backs. A and B want 10 lbs each, C wants 15 lbs, and D wants 5 lbs. B arrives first. She will divide the box into bags of approximately 10, 10, 15, and 5 lbs, being as fair as possible.

This is tricker than you might think, since most people don't consider the liquid left in the box. In the past, this has resulted in the last person to pick up being shorted and Sharon not being reimbursed the amount she paid for the box. B will pay for and take her 10 lbs and leave the other three orders labeled with who they belong to.

An alternate way of splitting that works well for items such as turkey necks or chicken backs is the old ONE FOR YOU, ONE FOR ME. Many others in the group have been doing this for a long time with success.

NOTE: The person doing the split must bring bags or other containers for all orders to be made out of the box.

Are there any particular items that require more work to split?
Currently the only product we get that does not arrive in pre-measured cases is lamb breast, so lamb breast must be weighed. Lamb arrives Wednesday, usually by 3:00 or 4:00. If the weighing can be done Wednesday, this would allow Sharon to finish the invoices in advance and make things go more smoothly on Thursday. It would also free up the meat scale for people measuring splits.

To split these cases, someone needs to help weigh and divide up the lamb breast orders on Wednesday evening, or late afternoon. It doesn't have to be the same person each month and it shouldn't take more than an hour.

Sharon will make up invoices for splits in advance, based on how the orders are recorded, not based on weighing. This may result in some minor overcharges or undercharges, but that is the price for being part of a split.

All other suggestions and rules of splitting (see above question) apply.

What about volunteering?
Volunteering is central to the co-ops existence. We need volunteers every month to help on pickup day. We need people who can manage to lift 50 pounds to help move cases and help people load up their cars. If you can't lift 50 pounds - we also need non-lifting people to double check the invoices and items as they go out, in order to avoid errors. This is not because of a lack of trust, it is simply a good practice when we are dealing with large amounts. Mistakes can be made and people (usually Sharon) end up being stuck with paying for them. Having someone double check will protect everyone.

Are these wholesale prices or is there a mark-up?
There is a very small mark-up on most items to cover the cost of Sharon's hard work, time, dedication and to help pay for things like this website.

Why is there a shipping charge added to my order?
There is a 4% handling fee placed on all orders purchased through the website. The shopping cart does not allow for us to add this as a separate handling fee, so we used the shipping/handling field. This enables us to process your payments securely using PayPal. PayPal is the most affordable and secure merchant account available.

Do I have to pay taxes on my orders?
Most products are human-grade and tax-free. Products that are produced as pet food (such as Green Tripe) have tax included in the price.

What else should I know?
Note that anything not marked as organic is not organic. If you do not see something you want or need on the order pages,
ask Sharon and she'll do her best to source whatever you need for you. If you ever have any questions about anything related to the co-op, contact Sharon directly.

Where can I learn more about feeding a raw or natural diet?
We can recommend several excellent sources for information about feeding raw:

Click here for a list of books
Click here for a list of websites
Click here for a list of e-mail discussion lists

Fremont is too far, where can I find a co-op like this closer to where I live?
Our membership includes residents from all over the bay area - many live in Fremont, and cities in the South Bay and East Bay but we also have members from the Sacramento area and the Peninsula, as well. You may want to see if other members would be willing to work with you on driving to pick-up orders, so you don't have to drive a distance each month. However, co-ops are forming up all over California and the US, so you can usually find one closer to home if you look in the right places.

Just across the bay, there is a co-op in San Francisco, called the SF Raw Feeders Co-op. This co-op includes members mostly from the city of San Francisco, but includes members from as far north as Mendocino and south along the coast to Santa Cruz. The SF Raw Feeders co-op is our "sister" co-op - we work together, so you are welcome to join both groups.

There is a large co-op for residents of Southern and Central California called the SoCal BARF Coop. They have recently started to service the Stockton/Sacramento area, and are hugely successful throughout most of Southern California.

Nationwide, you may be able to locate a co-op via one of the e-mail discussion lists (see above link in previous question), on the Carnivore-FeedSupplier list or by simply searching the Yahoo! Groups site for "BARF + coop" or "raw + coop" to find a co-op near you. There are currently co-ops in Arizona, Texas, South Florida, New Jersey, Kentucky, and Oregon. Or consider starting one - it's a lot of work, but it's worth it!