I like shopping at my local grocery store as much as possible instead of shopping at Walmart and Kroger.
Food Giant is “employee owned” (whatever that means) and relatively local. It is on this end of town. The furthest parking spot from the Food Giant door is closer than the closest spot you’re likely to get at either Walmart or Kroger. Since the store is much smaller, it’s less of an expedition to get the shopping done. The cashiers are more or less friendly. They have carry-out boys to carry out your groceries to the car for you–which they do as a matter of course, without being asked. It is a lovely anachronism.
The downside is that they are a small store, and their customers, demographically, appear to run to the older, more rural end of the population–they don’t have a large selection, and in particular their produce department is limited. But they do try. And if you’re in the mood for fried chicken–they are all over it. They have a hot food section in the corner of the store that cranks out delicious fried chicken — and cheap? $2.99 for 8 pieces, dark meat.
6 months ago I asked the produce manager if he could get cilantro and he said he’d like to but the supplier only makes it available in lots of 24, which is too many for little Food Giant to expect to sell. Then a couple of weeks ago, lo and behold, the nicest, fattest little bundles of cilantro you could wish for were sitting there on the produce shelf. I wasn’t planning a meal that called for it, but some bought some anyways, and went back and gathered up fixings for taco salad, for which cilantro makes a dandy garnish.
Then last week my son had put in his request that I make Thai Green Curry one of these days. Keeping that in mind, I looked for coconut milk on the asian food shelf, and of course they didn’t have it.
When the new cashier asked me, “did you find everything you needed today?” I replied that actually I was looking for coconut milk and hadn’t found any. She bustled right on over to the store manager who was checking out groceries two checkstands over, and asked him about it, and he shouted over to me, was I looking for cream of coconut or coconut milk? I said, I want it for Thai cooking. He said, “oh, then you want coconut milk. No, we don’t have that, but I will try to get it for you.”
This week there was coconut milk on the Asian shelf. So I bought three cans.