Simple steps to special ordering

Did you know that if you can’t find a product on our store shelves, you can try to “special order” it? This service is available to all members and means you can likely do more of your shopping at Karma. Here are some details to help you get started.

What can I special order?

Karma has a vast array of products you can purchase through special orders. Ask a staff member about a specific item. The items most commonly ordered are beauty products, bulk items, and groceries ordered by the case, such as drinks.  Other categories include snacks, cleaning products, and health products.

You can also place a standing special order for highly perishable items that you might want regularly (usually weekly or bi-weekly), such as bread, milk, or meat. It is your responsibility to pick up the item every week. Staff give a courtesy call the first week an item is received from a standing special order.

How much does it cost?

There is no additional charge for special orders. As with all products in the store, the price of an item is the supplier charge (that is, the wholesale price) plus Karma’s store mark-up fee, which differs depending on the item and membership type. It’s best to check with staff about the actual price of the item before ordering it. If you order by the case or in bulk (e.g., 25 kgs), you will receive a 5% discount.

*Important note* Unless you specify “Price check” on your order form, placing an order in the special orders box is a commitment to buy the product.

Where do I place a special order?

Special order forms and the special order box are located on the shelving unit just outside the kitchen in the store. You will need to fill out one special order form per item being ordered.

When will I receive my order?

Ask staff approximately how long it will take to get your item from the supplier. When items arrive, you’re notified and items are placed on the special orders shelf for pick-up.

Cheese, please!

Karma also offers special orders on bulk cheese. This is great news for all your upcoming parties and events! Check with a staff member about the types of cheese and quantities that can be ordered, and remember to ask about pricing before you submit your form.

submitted by Kate Rusnak

revised by Mara Eksteins, with input from Talia McGuire

First published in The Chronicle (Spring 2015)

The Shelf Elf returns, to sample Monforte cheese

Some long-time Chronicle readers may recall a regular visitor to the pages of this publication named the Shelf Elf, a creation of his faithful human scribe, Suzanne Molina. He was a popular little fellow, and garnered a loyal following over the years that he highlighted new products in the store. It has been years since the Shelf Elf’s last visit, but we are happy to report that he is back!

We found the Shelf Elf recently in the dairy cooler where he was making the acquaintance of some of our cheeses, specifically Monforte’s Fontina, Cow Camembert, and Providence cheeses. It seems that the Shelf Elf had tracked down Daniel, a representative of this Stratford, Ontario dairy, and he learned some interesting tidbits.

The Fontina is made from water buffalo milk, sourced from a family of Amish farmers. It is a Tomme-style cheese, with fenugreek seeds giving it flavours of nut and caramel. Next the Shelf Elf asked about the Cow Camembert, which Daniel described as a surface-ripened cheese with a creamy, buttery consistency.

Finally, Daniel and the Shelf Elf discussed the Providence, a cow’s milk cheddar made in partnership with Bright Cheese & Butter. Located west of Kitchener, Bright Cheese & Butter has been operated by local farmers since 1874! Although this cheese is only two years old, it has the flavour of a four- or five-year-old cheddar.

The people of Monforte Dairy describe themselves online as “southwestern Ontario’s premier artisanal cheese company” and state that they use “only seasonal milk from responsible practise.” They add: “At Monforte, we’re convinced the small things do indeed make a difference, that agriculture is best practiced on a human scale, and that our cheeses, each in its own way, reflect something a little deeper than the technology behind mass manufactured food — a little of the poetry and passion of life itself.”

Well, the Shelf Elf thinks this statement very nicely echoes our Karma philosophy! Now he’s angling for a road trip, the little imp, likely in search of some more free samples.

by Sybille Parry
Read more articles from the spring 2017 issue of Karma’s printed newsletter, The Chronicle.