Grocery Utopia

At one point in my life - not too long ago - I loathed going to the grocery store. Anyone who knew me then knew that I would rather eat out, go hungry or just whine and whine than go to the store. Why? Because it was a nightmare that I would rather not voluntarily live out over and over. Especially the HEB at Braker & Research!

This store appears as if it was assembled and "organized" by a blind, drunk, insane individual... There is no organization and at one point you and everyone else just wanted to abandon your groceries and scream to the top of your lungs. If more than 2 people were in the checkout lane that meant you, as number 3, were in the produce - in the way - in every part of that store you were in the way.

This is the issue with most grocery stores - they are crowded, they are poorly organized, there is too much stuff, yet you can't find anything you need - mother of 3 enter stage right and let's put the kids in a GIANT car that is supposed to serve as a cart of some kind with Dameon the sugar induced ADD child that is now running into everything in sight. The floors have some kind of blackish gray substance on them - we are going to restock the dairy section in the middle of the day - which by the way I think the dairy section must get stocked everyday. The harsh fluorescent lighting adds to that miserable ambiance we all love so much - and what is that piercing sound above that terrible Muzak and that annoying clerk that feels the need to announce everything - oh that is little Timmy that missed his nap but we are all so fortunate to have the privilege of experiencing his tirade!!

At this point I have made two laps around the store because I couldn't find half of what I needed the first time around. And because I couldn't access the other half of what I needed - thank you Martha Stewart that has chosen to use this time as the"let's stare at the shelves and ponder that next meal I'm going to whip up for dinner!"

Therefore - I LOATHED the grocery store - UNTIL - I moved to North Central Austin and it was far more convenient for me to shop at Central Market and Whole Foods - this is when I entered grocery heaven.

I had always popped in sporadically but kept the bulk of the grocery items to the standard HEB - but now oh now yesssss I will buy everything I need at one of these two locations. I don't care if it costs more people - and yes I can hear every one of you saying this as you read - hush - just read!

You walk in and are welcomed, not by screaming children and confused shoppers. But by happy people and beautiful fruits and vegetables. Each section is fully equipped with their very own department experts - no junior high kids that have been directed to wander the store and offer help despite their lack of knowledge on everything. Everyone here wants to work here - they love their jobs and it shows. No irate cashier that is mad because her boyfriend is sitting at home eating Doritos without her.

The floors are a lovely shade of clean, the shelves are fully stocked - not over stocked, nothing falling off the shelves. There is a soft sound of pleasant music playing in the background.... beautiful flowers adorn the huge variety of almonds, fruits and goodies you can purchase from the bins... This is grocery utopia. And in every corner of the store someone is cooking - just for me. They are all here to feed me, help me, educate me... love me... oh what wait where was I?

Yes it has it's time of being crowded, and yes I have made 3 laps around - but only because I don't want to leave, there are so many interesting things on the shelves, I must discover them all.

And so now I love grocery shopping - I grocery shop multiple times a week and always look forward to it. I eat at home more and that is always a plus. So is it more expensive - cheap groceries vs eating out all the time or higher end groceries and eating at home more.... and ultimately...happiness - I think the choice is obvious!


    You are so right about that HEB! I finally found the equivalent to Central Market up here - a lovely store called Metropolitan Market - such a great experience!

    On 4:18 PM Curt Henry said...

    I too agree with your appreciation of the Central Market. It's kind of like visiting a cool new place everytime I go, it definately makes grocery shopping enjoyable, not just doable.

    Also, I love how you keep up with your blogging and how I could catch up with the last few months of your life via this website. Bravo for doing justice to the world of blogging. The rest of us 2% bloggers should step out of the way and admit we were in it for the craze.