Markets & Stores

Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Frustration with grocery chains in Montreal

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Frustration with grocery chains in Montreal

tonbo0422 | Oct 9, 2010 12:18 AM

I don't know what they're thinking at head office at most grocery chains in Montreal, but they're still easily 10 years behind, say, a Safeway in San Francisco.

In Montreal, you practically have to go to specialty stores for everything: habanero peppers (ANY peppers), corn tortillas, chipotles in adobo sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, pastas other than Barilla, Catelli or Del Verde, soups other than Campbell's, or (gods forbid!) frozen pearl onions.

They're so slow to come around. My Metro in Cote des Neiges only last year introduced cilantro by the bunch instead of those tiny, expensive pots. There's no deli, no butcher, their meat selection sucks, you can only buy three kinds of tomatoes, their garlic is old, they have a lousy "ready-to-eat" section (old, soft, tasteless ham submarines et al), a horrible, tiny cheese selection . . . need I go on? This is a major grocery store in a major city in Canada?

In Oakland, California, where I visit occasionally, the local grocery store has eight different kinds of chilies, every fresh herb known to man, twelve kinds of tomatoes, tomatilloes, potatoes, lemons, oranges, sixty different cuts of beef plus a butcher onsite, a seafood counter, a full delicatessen, 160 different wines and beers and ciders, 100 different kinds of freshly made ready-to-eat meals, a bakery with 150 kinds of fresh breads and pastries . . .

I know what you're going to say: Go to Super C or Loblaw's, but that means I have to get on the metro and expend carbon emissions.

I mean, don't mistake me, I love going to Kim Phat for galangal or fresh lemongrass, but what is it that Metro doesn't understand? Cote des Neiges has one of the largest immigrant populations in Montreal and the only fresh pasta you can get is Oivieri in a plastic pack.

Sorry for the rant, but it does get frustrating.

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