I was standing in line recently at my local grocery store, wondering why I shop there. It’s dirty, very small and it’s not the cheapest. So, what’s the deal with this place? I guess it’s the familiarity. It’s the neighborhood presence, the place where I feel like Norm from Cheers.
There is a cast of characters at this supermarket that amuses me greatly. I love the fishmonger guy with the funny haircut and the good recipes. It’s fun to watch the banter between the German lady at the fast food counter and the heavy set woman who does the BBQ chickens. I love the milkman who is endlessly restocking the dairy section. Then there is the religious Jewish guy at the Kosher counter who can’t figure me out . But the best is the cashiers. There is the happy guy who dropped a 100 pounds and is now a personal trainer on the side. The girl who keeps changing her hair color but never seems to wreck it. The big lady who never cracks a smile. I also love those car order guys because they are some of the politest young men I have ever encountered.
I really appreciate the fact that if I have a suggestion or a complaint the managers take me very seriously. They have really done wonders with the coffee section. No need to got to Starbuck’s anymore. The vegetarian section has some good stuff too.
At my store I know where almost everything is. I just want to get in and out as quickly as possible. The longer I linger the more I spend. Especially since I am of the dietitian persuasion, I feel it necessary to buy every new so called healthy product out there. My dad the accountant says that is considered a business expense. But who has time to separate the grocery bill into family and business?
Whenever I find myself at a fancier store I tend to over spend because I find every new food product invented. I’ve tried hitting the bargain supermarket in the name of frugality but it is just not the same. I miss the gang.
Addendum: The above article was published several months ago in a local newspaper. I got a call from a reader who thanked me for this article, stating that what he got from it, was how important it is to support local business. That wasn’t my conscious intention when I wrote the piece. However, the subtext is just that. I do support local business even if it costs a bit more.