Monday, December 7, 2015

Market32 and The Nosh Show Episode 68

Nowadays, I spend way too much time in grocery stores which is a bit ironic because as a kid growing up in the suburbs, I always went to the same store. In town, we had two choices, the chain store and the one-off store. People tended to be fairly loyal to their choice for whatever reason and that's just how things were. Nowadays, well, I've been to dozens of grocery stores ranging in all sizes (and prices). If you are interested, after the break we are going to cover Market32 which is Price Chopper's attempt to snag some business from Wegman's style of doing things. But first, it's time for....

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So, Episode 68 starts off with the worst impersonations ever, but then it's all uphill after that. Lots of good banter as we catch up from my missed episode and a brief hiatus. I think the best part might be when we accidentally convince Ryan to spend $51 on the new Star Wars ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery.

(feel free to jump to the end now)

Ok, so back to the grocery store. Market32 is the latest grocery store to pop up in central mass. It's actually the first Price Chopper built with their new name (more info here). It's been a long time coming and was actually suppose to be a Stop & Shop when it was first planned out many moons ago. I'm glad it's not a S&S as they tend to be pricey, but price chopper isn't exactly my favorite store. It's not bad mind you, it's just never won me over like my beloved Market Basket. [Yeah, I've bored most of you already, haven't I?]

So, Sunday afternoon, I'm talking to my son. "You want to go to Wegman's to grab your oat milk?" "Nah". "You want to go to Market Basket for some of your other stuff?" "Nah". "Ok, you want to check out the new grocery store?" "YAY!" and he's then ready to go in about 60 seconds. That's right, despite being allergic to way too many things, my boy is always up for a new grocery store. (Remember, this is the same awesome little boy who went with me to ACME four or five times when we were down in Jersey). So off we went!

So, what's so special about this store? Well, for one, it looks huge, but in reality, it doesn't feel that big once you get in side. When you first enter there is a Starbucks if that's your thing, but also a selection of freshly bakes good. Nothing like the smell of a fresh cinnamon roll to get things going. There's a lot of wood and dark colors that kind of reminds me of Roche Bros as well (or maybe even Donelan's). It's a little weird because they've taken it a step further with dark/black accents (compared to the super bright white and mauve market basket for example).

So the central mass Wegman's has this huge section of buffets and pizza and chicken and sandwiches and fresh breads and everything else. Market32 does have a bit of prepared food, but nothing as impressive. It's going more for this clean, minimalist approach. Everything is nice and open, the bread is on open shelves, and everything just seems easy to grab. Thing is, there's not like a crazy big selection to grab. Many grocery stores have a giant aisle of bread products, but there doesnt seem to be like a million brands here. Just a handful of brands and not a ton of each one variety. I can't help but think that they constantly have to restock these shelves because of how small they are.

Still with me? I'm not even sure I'm with me, but everything is very organized there. I should have taken more pictures but everything is in section and very precise and coordinated. Ahhh, the hour is waning and I'm losing my powers of description. Hold on, need a quick ice cream break.

Sorry, I'm just rambling and I'm really thinking no one cares here. We did find a few unique snacks like the enjoy life bars I made the Nosh Show guys try awhile back. Prices aren't as low as market basket, but fairly comparable.

(ok, start reading again)

So how's the ice cream selection at Market32? Kind of immensely boring actually. There's a Price Chopper to the East and they have Blue Bunny and Fat Boy. Price Chopper also use to carry Graeters. Did I find any of these? Nope. Or anything else really? Nope, nothing that I haven't seen a million times before. Sure all the usual suspects are here, but I can get these at dozens of other stores. Oh well.

Will I be shopping at Market32? Only on occasion. It lacks the crazy prices of Walmart, the selection of market basket and the panache of Wegmans. It's a nice try but while I believe they were going for intimate and personal, if comes off as a bit too limited. I'm sure some of the locals will appreciate the new store, but I expected more.

I apologize for this completely useless post.

Update/Clarification: In case the above story makes no sense, I have a nice example of what I'm trying to say. I ran in to the store with my daughter for a few things + ice cream. I grab cookie dough for my wife, some all natural turkey hill for me, and she requests her favorite: cookie & cream. There were just two options for C&C!. Store brand (central market classics) and Turkey Hill Stuff'd, and that isn't even ice cream, it's frozen dairy dessert. That was it. Sure, technically there was Hood's mocha C&C, but that doesn't work for us. I'm still baffled at how small the selections are in a store that looks giant from the outside.


Deb said...

Since this post mentions price chopper...have you tried any of their flavors? I forget the name of their brand but a few looked good. The premium vanilla with chocolate chips and chocolate fudge and then I think a similar one but with a chocolate base. I'm curious to know what you think.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Deb: It's called "Central Market Classics" and we have reviewed a few of them.
Since it's an entry level brand, we've had limited succes, but at this price point I would just satisfy your curiosity and pick up a container that looks promising