General Discussion

TJ's vs. supermarkets

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TJ's vs. supermarkets

Ruth Lafler | Feb 24, 2006 01:23 PM

A lot of people diss TJ's (as is their right) for somehow not being all it's cracked up to be (or all that it used to be).

But since one opened a mile from my house a couple of years ago, it's been my primary "supermarket" (I do most of my food shopping at the small specialty markets in the market hall near my house). I've started to pride myself on *not* going to "regular" supermarkets, but worried that perhaps I was being too snobby: after all, large chain supermarkets are where the vast majority of Americans shop.

But last week I went to Safeway out of necessity (a sudden need for milk that got me to the shopping center literally two minutes after TJ's closed -- in retrospect I should have begged my way in!). So instead of TJ's I went to the fancy-dancy brand-new Safeway right next door. As I perused the milk offerings, I was reminded yet again why I don't shop there: as usual, I found that this huge supermarket, with thousands of items, had virtually nothing I wanted to buy. Now granted, it was Sunday night of a long weekend, but there was no organic milk, and no indication that any was ever stocked. In fact, they basically only had one brand of milk -- their house brand. To add insult to injury, the smallest container of whole milk they had left was a half-gallon, so I was stuck with twice as much inferior milk as I needed.

Meanwhile, my friend (who set this whole chain of events in motion by demanding hot chocolate), wanted a "goodie" to go with it. The bakery department may have fancy lighting and displays, but the actual offerings were depressingly mediocre -- certainly none of them looked worth the calories.

TJ's isn't perfect, and it may not have everything I want or need, but it does have dozens of items I do want and need, which is more than I can say for Safeway!

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