Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reading the signs at Fairway and Whole Foods

Who knew we are supposed to rinse olives, which are cured with a lot of salt, according to this sign at Fairway Market in Paramus, and then dress them? I guess Fairway saved money by using a sign that says "New Yorkers" instead of "New Jerseyans."
Is there any need for a sign like this? Were customers throwing up all over the floor? It's in the bathroom of the Blimpie next door to Fairway Market. Fairway coffee is served there and there is a door between them, making Blimpie an annex of the supermarket

Signs are one of the things that shape the food-shopping experience in North Jersey.

At Corrado's Family Affair in Clifton and the cavernous Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, you won't find any signs telling you what is in the aisles, making shopping at the two stores a treasure hunt.

At Fairway Market in Paramus, you're constantly lectured about how good the food is and how great the prices are -- and both are an exaggeration.

In the years since the New York chain opened its Paramus store at the out-of-the-way Fashion Center, I have simply been unable to warm up to it.

I'm from Brooklyn, but I'm sick of Fairway's New York attitude.

Good coffee beans

I go there every couple of months to buy whole-bean coffee, but on Tuesday, I was suckered by a coupon for $10 off of a $75 purchase that I got in the mail.

We once bought 1-pound packages of salted cod from Fairway for $8.99, but then switched to Corrado's, which charged $6.99 and now charges $7.99 a package.

On Tuesday, I found out Fairway has raised the price for a 1-pound package of salted cod to $9.99. 

So, I bought 7 packages (the cod freezes beautifully), a pound of custom-ground coffee beans for $6.99 and sweet potatoes for 69 cents a pound. 

With $10 off, I paid $68.66. 

Does the cod smell?

I loved the young, female cashier, who picked up each sealed plastic package of cod by a corner to scan them and place  them in my reusable bag as if they were so many dead rats. 

She said she didn't want to get the smell of the salted fish on her hands, but when I sniffed a package and my hand, I couldn't smell anything.

Whole Foods Market in Paramus charges $3 for a Balthazar Bakery baguette that costs $2 at the bakery's retail shop in Englewood.

Breaking bread

Later on Tuesday, I stopped at Whole Foods Market in Paramus for a container of orzo and vegetable soup, and medium-roast coffee, which I drank black to enjoy its complex flavor.

Walking around the store, the familiar bag for the baguette from Balthazar Bakery in Englewood caught my eye.

The sign said "LOCAL" and "From New York," but on the back of the bag were the words "Englewood, N.J.," where Balthazar's wholesale bakery and small retail shop have been operating since late 2002.

So, I guess Whole Foods doesn't know this terrific baguette is even more local than it thinks.

But what really surprised me is that Whole Foods charges $3 for a baguette that costs $2 at the source.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please try to stay on topic.