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May 3, 2007

I was making my weekly menu and grocery list and started thinking about my local natural foods store and decided I needed to gripe about them a bit. I love to support our local, downtown merchants, but sometimes this store really bothers me. The number one gripe I have is that they don’t have as high quality produce as they should for the prices they charge. If I pay $1.49 for an organic cucumber, it really ticks me off if it starts to mold within a couple days. I am forced to buy some non-organic produce, because sometimes their organic goes bad too quickly.*

My second peeve is that they only (officially) give you a discount if you use reusable bags with their logo, that you have purchased from them. I have a real problem with this premise. If your goal is to promote re-use and sustainability, why don’t you give a discount to anyone who comes in with reusable bags? Like my good friend Angelina, at Dustpan Alley, at her new do-it-yourself bath salt bar, if you bring your own container in, you get a 10% discount off your product, and she has cute little jars that you can buy, too, but you don’t have to bring the jar you bought from her in in order to get the discount. That’s they way it should be if you are truly being socially conscious and not just trying to make a buck off the bags.

Also, the produce guys coughs onto the produce sometimes, like really deep, hacking coughs and it grosses me out. The customer service isn’t great. Sometimes the people there seem to be moody, with the exception of one checker who is always super nice and for some reason gives me a 10% discount every time I do our regular grocery shopping there, but not when I pick up only a few things. I guess she just likes me, because I can’t figure out any other reason for the special discount. I’m not going to gripe though.

I realize that in some parts of the country, obtaining really good quality food is hard, so I do admit that we are kind of spoiled up here and in some places this would be an excellent store. They are a good store in many respects, don’t get me wrong.

*I can’t wait for farmers’ market to open in four weeks!! Yipee!

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