Friday, August 22, 2008


Have I complained about the grocery stores around St. Louis in a while? Well, then it's high time I did.

Our grocery situation here sucks. Maybe it's just where I live. Its funny, I have never noticed a lack of population around where I live (in Maryland Heights), just a dearth of places to shop.

Within a reasonable driving distance, I can shop at either of 2 Schnucks, a Shop N Save, and a whole lot of Quick Trips & Convenient Food Marts. I have to drive quite a bit longer to find an Aldi, and even more for a Dierbergs. And I don't really like any of them.

Sure, they each have their strong suit. Schnucks, well, they're just a grocery store and they're everywhere. Shop N Save is cheap. Not just their prices, but their selection. Aldi is cheaper. Dierbergs would be really nice for buying pre-made foods, except that in the time it takes to drive there and back, I can usually whip up something at home. Trader Joes is just as far away as Dierbergs, and Whole Foods? Forget about it. Lovely food (expensive food), but I'm not fighting traffic to Clayton or Chesterfield to shop at one.

Funny, but even at the age of 17 when I arrived in town as a freshman at Wash U, I was apalled at the grocery store options. Not that I was shopping for much back then--mainly sodas (so I could save quarters for the laundromat) and convenience stuff. But everything here was so expensive. Where I grew up in the Indianapolis suburbs, they would build a Kroger next door to a Marsh, with Meijer, a Super Walmart, and Super Target all right down the street. Grocery mecca. There was food--good food--to be had, and the prices were excellent, even at the fancier stores (they have to be, with that kind of competition).

I've heard rumors that the old Northwest Plaza may be getting a Super Walmart, and I'm thrilled. It's just as close as one of my local Schnucks's, you know. And I know that even if they won't have fancier food, at least the prices will be better. It's a start. And if I held my breath waiting for a Dierbergs or Whole Foods to acknowledge the vast land north of Olive, then I would look more like Smurfette than I'm comfortable with.

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