Ask Dave: WHERE DO YOU SHOP?

Posted on February 3, 2014 by

3


An ode to the smaller things in Life.

Dear Dave,

 Can you get ‘that’ at Costco?

 Sincerely,

Most People

Dear Most People,

This is a question I get asked almost every week (including 20 minutes ago) and I need to come clean with you all:  I really don’t know because I avoid that place like the plague.  While this may feel like a righteous rant about to happen it is not. It is an ode to slow food, small food, and connection to food.

I used to work at a small, very small, organic grocery store in Silver City, New Mexico.  I knew most of my customers by name, by shopping habits, and what they wanted to see more or less of in the store.  In fact this is where I got to know my future wife; Sheri Lynn.

I developed a sense that I was accountable to my customers, as I was REPRESENTING their food.  I WAS RESPONSIBLE for researching ingredients, manufacturing processes, countries of origin, etc, etc.  I formed relationships with brokers and manufacturers, and got to know our ‘packaged food chain’ quite well.  This role that I served enabled my customers to rely on my expertise to be sure that they were purchasing products that served their needs.  In many ways I was a ‘personal shopper’ although my clients varied from minute to minute.

It is the lack of this sense of connection that keeps me from entering Costco.  I spend some time and money at large grocery stores but anytime I can find a product of the same quality at a small store I buy it there.  This may seem ludicrous from a financial perspective but there are unseen costs to buying cheap food.  I want my ‘food representative’ to be able to feed themselves well.  I want them to be intelligent and make educated choices when handling my food.  I want them to have a name so next time I see them I can say “Hey Brian, those apples were OK but the Cara Cara navels ROCKED!’

Want to experiment?  Go to the smallest store in your town and ask the cashier if they know the owner. Chances are if they are not themselves the owner staring you in the face they know them well.  Now try this at Costco…..

 Know thy Grocer!

Dave

 

Posted in: Ask Dave