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Suggestions for Austin Central Market

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Suggestions for Austin Central Market

Greg Spence | Oct 26, 2003 07:51 PM

I thought I'd offer some suggestions for service at the Austin CM that have served me well there and at food markets in general.

First, in produce, if you believe they've quit carrying an item you're after, ask about it. Often they have a small quantity in back because the demand for it is low and they can't afford the shelf space but they'll happily share. Sometimes, the provider can no longer offer a quality product so they drop it. Sometimes they'll order you a small (or large) quantity. Be nice and polite; develop a relationship and see what happens.

At the meat counter (where I go mainly for specialty products), the manager is a man named Maurice who used to own a specialty butcher shop and grocery in Austin aptly named The Grocery. If you have a complaint, you should ask for him. He would want to know and he will see that you are satisfied. He is always happy to order specialty items for me (or perhaps to pinch a bit from a restaurant's large order on hand, that won't be missed) and he is an excellent butcher with exellent suggestions. Of course, I am always polite, deferential to his skill and grateful for his favors.

On to the fish counter. It has been a bit problematic in recent months. Not to monger, but I did hear a rumor that they did have a near complete turnover in staff there. Nevertheless, when I have remarked to the counterman that the place is a bit smelly (which isn't often; I shop early), cleanup operations begin immediately and the advice is received gratefully. I find the folks there to be extremely patient with my pickiness, I love the new live tank selections and like the rest of us, they respond well to polite commentary, genuine questions and quiet quieries about what might be in the back with wonderful rewards.

I picked up a lot of these food shopping habits when I lived in Brooklyn and shopped at individual stores and I find they serve me extremely well at Central Market. For me, I still get exactly what I need. I'm not saying I deserve or recieve treatment anyone else can't get, I'm just saying I go out of my way to be polite, develop relationships, avoid interrupting conversations between employees and to be very grateful when someone goes out of their way for me.

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