Here’s how pathetic my life is: the Kroger Marketplace that replaced our old tiny Kroger finally had its grand opening, and I was there, not once, but twice in one day! It was so overwhelmingly massive that I had to make several passes around the vast perimeter before I could take it all in. It’s a cross between Whole Foods and Target, which for po’ folks like us is a major event.
There were armies of suited managers from all over Ohio to inaugurate the store, orient customers, and give out lots of freebies. I talked with old and new employee friends.
OMG. It has a craft beer bar open 7 days, with local brews on tap like Yellow Springs, beer flights, growlers and howlers, and wine-tastings. I visited it twice in the same day! You can take your glass and go shopping! The wine and beer aisles alone go on for miles! They have live musicians at the beer bar during the week and weekends. I got to know the blues/R&B guitarist, a local who was quite good.
Here are my friendly barista, my blues musician Gil, my beer-and-wine girl from the old store, and just a sampling of the vast beer and wine aisles (you can tell I was impressed):
There’s a huge Whole Foods-style food court, with custom oven-fired pizza (supposed to be better than WFM’s), sushi, pan-Asian, Mexican, etc. The delis and cheeses are mind-boggling. You could pretty much find anything to eat and drink, and just camp out. The seafood dept. has expanded impressively, as has the organic produce and locally-grown section. There is even a whole wall of bulk bins of legumes, grains, flours, nuts, fruits, etc.
Here is the friendly cheese guy, dwarfed by the array of cheeses, and the motherlode of olives:
Then there are the miles of culinary appliances and equipment, housewares, clothing, kids’ stuff, and an actual 7-day health clinic for all routine medical needs. My jaw was permanently dropped.
Eventually I did complete my shopping, and then got E to come back with me and check it out. I gave her the grand tour, and then we got some Asian food, a beer flight, and a table near the music. I introduced her to some Kroger folks, and we hung out. We could have lunched on free samples alone! She was even more overwhelmed than I was. This is a new experience for her.
All told, I spent most of the day there! I know right, pretty pathetic! Biggest thing to hit our drab locality in a while. I’m hoping that, along with the City’s latest commercial redevelopment project, hopefully attracting new entrepreneurs and businesses to this blighted area, this new Kroger will help improve the local economy and culture. I was glad to hear a favorite local craft brewery is planning to bring a new brewpub/tasting room to downtown, in an empty historical firehouse. Even though we’re leaving, it’s nice to think there’s some hope for these old depressed industrial towns.
Ok, I think I’m done about Kroger for now, and back to reality. Erev cheers.