In a word, pish. The advertising was so promising: farm fresh produce, all-natural meats, old fashioned bakery, etc. I was excited to be able to go on opening day, and hoped to be lucky enough to not only use my coupon for free eggs, but score a free reusable shopping bag.
The parking lot was full, but I found a spot without trouble. A gentleman stands at the front entrace with two shopping carts full of reusable bags. In fact, he gives me two! And then I walk into the store. What a madhouse! I know that it’s opening day, but are this many people unemployed that the grocery store can be PACKED at 9:30 in the morning? The checkout lines are so long that it is impossible to actually get to the end of any aisle. Okay, I don my mental armor, and plow in.
First section: The bakery. Oooh, a crusty, seeded mini baguette! Perhaps I’ll pick that up, and a can of soup, for lunch. I make it over to the basket, pick up the bread… and realize that it’s packed in non-breathable plastic, so it’s soft all the way through. No crusty goodness. I put it back. Next, a pie. I make pie. I want to see what they put in THEIR pie. I start reading the ingredients, and actually do a double-take. Artificial flavoring? Hrmm. I put it down, and move on to the deli. Okay, perhaps this deviled egg potato salad would be nice. Again, reading the ingredients… I stop at corn syrup. This does not bode well. I notice a cooler full of Fuze energy drinks, which I know contain the artificial sweetener sucralose. Sigh. Okay, I’ll look around some more. It’s probably better than Safeway, right?
I stroll slowly past the meat cases, looking for anything marked “natural” or “free range” or “sustainable.” There is one section of free-range poultry, but the rest is nothing special. Produce is in the back of the store, and the potatoes and onions look fabulous! Then I notice that they’re not marked as organic. I look for the organic versions, and can’t find them. In fact, I can’t find ANY organic produce. Okay, it must be me. Maybe they don’t call it out, because it’s ALL organic. After all, there’s a HUGE sign up above that says ORGANIC in two-foot letters. Just as I’m about to start taking a closer look at the PLU codes (organic codes all start with a 9), I finally find the organic stuff. All by itself, on a display. A rather small display, frankly. At this point, the crowds and the disappointment have gotten to me, so I leave my Free Eggs coupon on top of the egg display for another customer, and I vamoose. I don’t need to go back.