Five Reasons to Shop at Stop and Shop
Stop and Shop seems to be the place to hate, these days. After the facebook page Nantucketers For Fair Grocery Pricing began a petition demanding that our local Nantucket branch of the store honor the same discounts offered in the Cape Cod flyer, and that demand was fulfilled and a few months afterwards ignored again, the corporate entity that services the majority of islanders for there grocieries and household goods has been the target of community outrage. Out of Nantucketers for Fair Grocery pricing arose a new group comprised of people attempting to boycott Stop and Shop at least for the month of February, if not longer.
This group proposed that by joining Amazon Prime and buying all of one's dry goods in bulk, then purchasing as much of his fresh groceries from off-island companies like Omaha Steaks and Hillside Foods as possible, as well as from local sources like Bartlett's Farm and Annye's and the Green Grocer on Amelia Drive, one could avoid patronizing the much maligned supermarket and still put food on one's family's table on our island 30 miles out to sea.
This has also led to another initiative, the Nantucket Cooperative Supermarket Initiative, which has its own facebook page, and seems to be indeed a worthy cause.
However, as we muse about our choices, and work toward gaining further opportunities, our local branch of Stop and Shop continues to be the best choice for many island families.
Last week, after a pleasant shopping experience, I was moved to write the following post on my facebook page:
I couldn't give up shopping at Stop and Shop-- not just because I can't afford to- but because it is a hub of our community where I always bump into friends and neighbors and share a hug or a chat. I wouldn't want to miss out on our weekly visits with Adam, the deli manager, who is one of the most consistently warm and friendly people on the island, and who always goes out of his way to make my son feel loved. I would miss seeing Sue, another sweet, sweet person who has lived in the community for years. I would miss seeing people like Larry, the deli manager, who also has the nicest hello, and John, the produce guy, who stopped to buy a lemonade from my son while he was jogging last summer, and Kerry, who loves to rib me, and Mary, who is also so sweet to C, and another manager whose name I can't remember at the moment. And Geri, can't forget Geri, who is also lovely. Really, so many employees there who are long-standing employees and long-standing members of our community. They always make me feel at home. And when I go over my budget and have to take things off the total (which happens more frequently than I like to admit), not once has an employee rolled their eyes at me or treated me with anything less than patience and compassion. So, I just wanted to say thank you, guys!
Number One: Shop at Stop and Shop because it employs locals, many of whom are friendly people who make you feel at home. Online merchandisers like Amazon and Target are every bit as Corporate Ugly as Stop and Shop, but they don't give jobs to local people.
Number Two: Shop at Stop and Shop because it offers and range and variety of fresh whole and organic foods, which is essential for a nutritious diet, and it offers them at prices and discounts that local families can afford. Last week about 75% of my produce was offered at tremendous discounts, and it was all very fresh and delicious. I avoid shopping from the inner aisles of the store, where the dry, canned and frozen foods are kept, because these processed foods contain additives like sodium, soy and whey, grains and gluten that are hazardous to my health. So Amazon's dry goods aren't an alternative anyway. Anything that's not fresh is not good.
Number Three: Stop and Shop sells some local produce when it's in season, as well as local Something Natural bread, and local Nantucket Coffee Roasters Coffee. And before you drive out of the parking lot, you can stop at Nantucket Wines and Spirits, a local, small business, and pick up a nice bottle of something from Mary or her daughter Alana.
Number Four: Stop and Shop is community minded. They are a big sponsor for the Annual Boston Pops concert on Jetties Beach, which is the Nantucket Cottage Hospital's biggest fundraiser. They have drop off boxes for the Food Pantry, for example. And I believe that they also donate products for the Culinary Arts program at Nantucket High School. These are just a few examples of their community minded generosity. I'm sure there are many others of which I'm unaware. In an attempt to respond to people's needs, they started carrying organic, free range chickens in addition to the hormone and antibiotic free ones they've been carrying. So they are catering to conscientious eaters at different price points. I was quite happy with the quality of the free range organic chicken.
Number Five: Stop and Shop plays an impotant role in our local food chain of food stores. Because they offer products at competitive prices, they help to keep in check the prices at the smaller markets. For the same reason that many people feel, and I agree, that an alternative second supermarket would be good for the island, because it offers healthy competition, Stop and Shop, too, is good for the island.
We like little businesses, not big business, on our little island. But sometimes we need big business too. And remember some of our forefathers who started out small and went big? Starbuck, Folger, and Macy.