Really? You are asking yourself if you want to read on, aren’t you? Go ahead. Have some fun!
Every Monday morning, armed with my re-usable bags, my loonie for the cart, and my list, I go to No Frills and load up on the necessities for the week: bread, onions, kleenex, milk, chicken legs and chocolate bars. It takes me only half an hour to navigate the aisles and check out because I know the route by heart. This store definitely has no frills; no fancy displays, no free dessert samples, nothing to distract me from my routine task.
But on Fridays, (or thereabouts), I go to the Other grocery store, the one With the frills – our nearby Sobey’s. Sobey’s has always been a fun place to visit; offering all the little extras that I might need when guests come for a meal or Peter and I want to up our Saturday night cooking game. Recently the store went through a renovation and now it’s… well let’s just say that I am thinking of moving in.
I have to admit that the renovation was no fun, not for staff or shoppers. It was a weekly hide-and-seek game for consumers. Where is the coffee hiding this week? What secret spot did the carrots find now? It must have been a nightmare for the staff but they seemed to manage. One time a clerk even joked with me. “Those pesky eggs, always sneaking off on us!”
But now? Now the store is glorious. I asked the manager to join me on a tour, but he was busy, so you can join me instead…
Walk in through the front door and choose from a variety of carriers: regular shopping carts with drink holders, smaller versions for a single shopper, baskets for a few items only. Or choose a “Smart Cart” if you dare. Then follow the delicious coffee smells to the Starbuck’s and order a latte grande. You are on you way to shopping joy.
First attack the produce section; grown in Canada and freshly-picked. Ready-made salads wait beside the hot table. Go ahead and buy dinner. You deserve it. At the bakery, choose a 1/2 pie – perfect for people who feel some guilt about their sugar intake. Check out the meat section, complete with a dry-aged beef refrigerator. Next door the fish market sells all kinds of freshwater and sea creatures. Pick up something you don’t recognize and surprise your grandchildren next time they visit.
Then scout out the boutiques. A wine boutique features Canadian wines from west coast to east. The only thing missing here is the table with the free samples. Drop in at the wellness centre where a wellness expert, Rachel, will help you choose a new hair colour. Visit the celebration area, selling greeting cards, balloons, and floral options, or seeds if you want to try growing your own. Finally feast your eyes on the candy display: tempting shelves of Hershey’s chocolates, licorice sticks, S’Mores kits, marshmallows and Sour Patch candies; the perfect way to get a sugar rush at the end of your shopping spree.
Then head for the cashiers who are always cheerful and ready to help pack the bags. Unless…you have bravely opted for a Smart Cart. I usually avoid these at the entrance, but last week I approached a woman boldly navigating one through the canned goods aisle. She said the carts were “super easy to use” as she demonstrated: use the device attached to your cart to scan the item, and pay with your credit card as you leave the store. If you ah…forget to pay, the cart lights up in fluorescent orange and the manager comes running.
Next week I’m going to try a Smart Cart. It might be fun. Maybe I could even meet the manager!
One thought on “Having Fun At the Grocery Store”
Now you are talking my language! I love, adore, grocery shopping as much as I do cooking (naturally, the two go hand-in-hand). That Sobey’s store looks very well stocked. Dry aged beef…if only I were brave enough to spend that much. Exploring groceries is definitely a happy place and, like you, a place to chat with new friends. I often ask a discerning shopper (someone picking through steaks, or fussing over a melon), “How do they look?” Thank you for another heart-warming article. The Bro will be back in a couple of weeks and then we’ll be cooking up a storm every night. Bon apetit!