The woman in the motorized shopping cart was relentless, pressing the ever-so-patient shift manager with query after query in a non-stop cascade. I stood patiently behind her, hoping to ask just one question.
"Do you have Blue Bunny Ice Cream."
"Yes, we do."
"Where is it?"
"It's in the freezer with all the other ice cream."
"I hope your freezer aisle isn't too cold. I get chilly. Do you have all four kinds of Dole Low Sugar Fruit?"
"I think we have three, we can look into getting the fourth."
"I like all four, please write that down. What time do you close?"
"We are open 24 hours a day. The next time we are closed will be Thanksgiving Day."
"I want this to be my one-stop grocery store. Did you say you have Blue Bunny Ice Cream? All the flavors?"
"Yes, we stock it. I hope we have the flavors you like."
"And Canfield's Soda, I like that too, but not the lemon-lime."
"We carry Canfield's."
"What credit cards do you take?"
"Well, we take cash and Discover Card. No other credit cards."
"I don't have that, we'll have to put all these groceries back, I can't shop here. I need one-stop shopping"
"We do accept checks."
"What deli meats do..."
At this point, I could wait no longer. I felt compelled to cut in. I excused myself and asked the beleaguered manager if they carried flashlights. He looked at me with relief in his eyes, though his response was a disappointing "I don't think so." I backed away and left him to his ongoing inquisition.
The site of this interrogation? Aisle 14 of the new, massive, grocery store that has been causing tongues to wag throughout Buffalo Grove and the surrounding 'burbs. Woodman's Market, a Wisconsin supermarket chain, has planted a grocery store big enough to house a fleet of 747's and leave room for Passport and Customs Control.
We have made two trips to our new neighborhood supermarket in the past week. While big enough to be a warehouse store, it differs from shopping at Costco in that you don't have to buy in bulk. Products are in packaging that is convenient for us empty-nesters as well as for the larger families shopping alongside us.
Because of the size of the store, an astonishing variety of groceries are available along the super-wide aisles. Have a favorite brand of tomato sauce? It will be on the shelves. Need to buy Dole Low Sugar Fruit? They have that too (well at least three out of four varieties, so far.) My 40-year quest for Unfrosted Blueberry Pop-Tarts? Thanks to Woodman's, I had one for breakfast Saturday morning. Too bad that sometime in the last 40 years Kellogg's stopped using real Smucker's jam.
Prices are great. On our most recent visit, we loaded a cart with what felt like $200 in groceries only to have the final bill half of that. The "No Visa or MasterCard" policy wasn't a hassle either. It took less than a week (the time between our two visits) to apply for and receive my first ever Discover Card--Double Cash Back for New Users!
We haven't checked out the produce or meat yet. For the time being, we will leave that to our usual supermarkets, Sunset Foods and Whole Paycheck. But for every day stock-up, we have a new favorite store. Sometimes something good can come from Wisconsin. And oh, if you see that poor shift manager, don't ask him about Blue Bunny Ice Cream. I'm afraid he might strangle the next person that asks him!
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