The Super Stop and Shop chain of supermarkets may be the single most shockingly off-radar mass market chowhound treasure. The buyer for this chain is great - s/he sneaks in all sorts of treasure; I've been closely scouring these stores for a couple years now and have yet to plumb their full depths.
They stock nearly as many English/Irish cookies/candies and other specialty products than your average really good English or Irish specialist deli (Malteasers in a huge mass-market supermarket chain????). Their produce is notches above (and you can get those great sugar snap or snow peas in the salad-like bags, much better than most loose peas). More varieties, and always surprises. Their muffins are delicious. Their milk is superior. Their International Foods aisle is eons hipper than the usual "Goya/La Choy/Manischewitz" ilk. They have Cape Cod Potato chips and unusual boxed crunchy pretzels. Black angus steak. Ice cream's never refrozen. Obscure Kashis.
I'm bad at building these listy examples; I'll never be able to describe stores like Ed Levine. The above is weak, I know. But trust me....Super Stop & Shop, while dotting all the "i"s and crossing all the "t"s of conventional groceries and keeping prices reasonable, has snuck up on the chowhound community in offering us surprisingly useful resources on a mass market scale.
They ain't Trader Joe's, which are more distilled, directed more specifically toward foodie clientele. But there are a helluva lot more Super Stop and Shops, and they stock a lot of essentials you'll not find at TJ's. Both have their place, but I really wish hounds would wake up and realize how hard SSS is trying for our business.
There, I said it.