is it weird to love your grocery store?

January 8, 2009

I’ve told you about my Harmons. I LOVE my Harmons. But recently, what they call a Smith’s “Marketplace” opened on the OTHER side of the mountain.

Well, let me diagram my living arrangement for you. I live at Suncrest, in Draper, at the very south end of the Salt Lake Valley, on the ridge that separates the Salt Lake Valley from Utah Valley. In fact, I live on the southeast facing side of the ridge, which technically puts me in UTAH county, while living in Draper city. This causes no end of confusion to the tax people, the post office, even the police dispatch (which, yes, we’ve had occasion to call).

Clear? Here, I’ll show you:

sketch of house location

And here is the same, but with my two competing grocery stores:

sketch of stores

I don’t know why I did that twice. You’d think I could have just put the grocery stores on the first diagram. Whatever.

I’ve already told you how much I love my Harmons. I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.

But to be fair, I visited the abomination that is the new Smith’s Marketplace on the South side of the hill, since my friend Sam told me it was awesome.

Apparently Sam is a dumb ass. (Hi Sam!)

No. The new Smiths is NOT awesome. In fact, it sucks.

First, I don’t want my grocery store selling underwear or sweaters near my produce or sushi. Check it out:

 smiths sushi

Yes, I know, Walmarts and Super Targets have been doing this for years. Really? That’s our standard now? I do NOT want underwear and pajamas sold in my grocery store. No sweater fiber near the sushi bar.

Speaking of which, that’s the sushi bar and the “hot chocolate” bar there. Let’s take a closer look at the hot chocolate bar:

smiths hot chocolate bar

Okay, that’s not a good picture. But here’s the point: I want a BARRISTA making my hot chocolate. I want to tell them what I want, I want them to smile at me, and then go make it.

And to make it THAT much worse–they SAY they have gelato, but their “gelato” tastes like Western Family ice cream. In short, it’s poop.

smiths jewelry 

Okay, they have some nice salsa. And what else do they have back there? A JEWELRY store. De-merit. “Honey, I’m going to pick up a gallon of milk, some avocados, oh, and a watch and a nice bracelet for you for Valentine’s Day.” Uh huh.

smiths directory

And finally, a store directory. Seriously? Look at that thing! It’s like the Mall of America! When I took this picture, Kim was embarrassed so she was standing a little off to the side, and some woman had just come in to the store, and she went to Kim and whispered “Did you see that man just take a picture of the store directory?”

Kim smiled and said, “yeah, that’s my husband. He hates this store, and loves Harmons. He’s gathering evidence.”

The woman looked shocked for a second, then said “Ohh. I LOVE Harmons.”

Amen sister. Amen.

24 Responses to “is it weird to love your grocery store?”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    I’ve been tempted to check out the new Smiths – thanks for saving me the time/trouble. Plus Harmons is closer to my work so it’s a no-brainer.

    But to be fair, you tried the gelato and it’s bad. How about the sushi? Does the Smiths have a good cheese selection? Any other standout foods / features?

  2. Simón Says:

    I’ve been to the new Smith’s and got a couple of bottles of gas line antifreeze. And some soda for a birthday party. And they have those mini shopping carts little kids can push. So it’s not all bad, but I haven’t been back since.

  3. chtrich Says:

    The sales they had when the store first opened were great. Now it’s just another super center store. But it’s much closer than Harmons for me and has a lot more variety than tiny Kohlers in Highland.
    But I digress, soon Cedar Hills will have its own Wal-Mart……maybe the world could end before it opens. PLEASE!

  4. MOCougFan Says:

    I was in Utah at Christmas time for a couple weeks. I went with my family and my dad up to Sandy and had some Gellato. Can’t remember the name of the place. It was a gellato only place. Man it was good. I was singing your praises for suggesting it. Course I’d be a fat walrus if I had it close to me.

    As for Smith’s…. looks 10times better than what I have in my town. I’m jealous.

  5. bikemike Says:

    now i have another reason to hate you “cool” people from Utah. not only do you have wonderful places to ride/ski/ride/hike/ride but you have better grocery stores. we have publix. publix sucks.

    oh, and also please have Utah shut Tim Tebow up.

  6. Jeff Says:

    I think this supercenter thing has gone a bit too far. I don’t like thinking that the guy who is rotating my tires also made the donuts that I snack on while waiting for him to finish. There is something to be said about specificity.

  7. Rob Says:

    I live at the “e” of your “my house” label. This means that Smiths is our new grocery store. I didn’t used to like Kohlers (local grocery store) before…after going to the new Smiths, I love Kohlers.

    Besides, can get Western Family ice cream there that tastes just like gelato.

    (Dug, after seeing that Smiths had cookie dough gelato – wasn’t this a sign?)

  8. mark Says:

    Has anyone had the buttercream maple bars at Harmons? They are fantastic. I am thinking about giving up on cycling season in 2009 and dedicating it to eating buttercream maple bars instead.

  9. VH1 Says:

    dug=asshole. I retracted my love of Smith’s after my nasty salmon and cream cheese roll!

  10. dug Says:

    rob, i didn’t need a sign. i hated the smiths from the moment i walked in. but speaking of signs,

    sam, dude, someone has to play the villain. cmon man. where ere thou art, act well thy part.

  11. Eber Says:

    i had to make an emergency orange juice stop at Smith’s on Wednesday morning. i showed up just as they were opening for the day and was the only one in the store besides the guy putting in new fluorescent bulbs and the mean ass lady at the checkout. she was a bad mix of goth and rivet and the look she gave me as i innocently walked up with my gallon of oj darn near made me tinkle down my leg. as she scanned my oj i felt like she had me in the titty twister version of the darth vader choke hold.

    i am out on smith’s. harmon’s is like the forest moon of endor.

  12. Tp Says:

    Dug, I started grabing California Rolls for lunch from Harmons because of your recomendation. Sushi from a grocery store? I’m a sushi snob but it’s delicious! Besides, on the way out they usually have some sort of sweet cookie sample that I help myself to as well. I still haven’t made my way to the mysterious loft upstairs to eat.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  13. Bebe Says:

    Dug, I love Harmon’s too! And last time I “had” to stop by Smith’s on my way up the hill, I noticed that there were baby clothes hung adjacent to the meat counter. I don’t think it’s a smart move to dress a baby in meaty smelling clothing–at least not if you own a big dog!

  14. tonks Says:

    Smith’s is good for someone, who may or may not be me, who waited until 2:30 Christmas Eve to:

    1. buy the majority of the 10 presents her family got for Christmas (which included Dora underwear, Dockers, Play-Do and other various and sundry items, ALL of which were found at Smith’s)
    2. get her ring cleaned (present to her hubby who commented the day before about how grody it looked)
    3. purchase the right size machine screws to attach the drawer pulls to daughter’s new dresser
    4. buy food for Christmas meals

    It was my one-stop-Christmas-miracle-shop and I was home by 4:30. But other than that I prefer Harmon’s.

  15. Olivia Says:

    I’m SO with you on this one. Harmon’s is like violins; Smith’s is like honking car horns. Harmon’s invites you in with flowers and beautiful produce and smiling, sample hostesses. Smith’s interrogates you with bright lights, loud clattery floors, and a confusing mix of jello and building supplies. That Smith’s reminds me of why I dislike American commercialism so much. But I think I love Harmon’s almost as much as you do.

  16. steveA Says:

    Ya’ll are just weird. Get over it. It’s just a store. With good, overpriced Gelato. I want the fastest, cheapest way to buy 2 gallons of milk, 2 new PJ’s for the gargantuan baby who keeps outweighing and outgrowing kids twice her age, Resolve for the 3 year old who was doing GREAT with the potty training and then decided to have not 1, not 2 but 3 “accidents” the same day, a six pack, (you decide) and the earrings my wife has her eye on. Now that’s a shopping trip.

    Tonks-great shopping!! Didn’t you feel accomplished after all that effective shopping without having to go to 4 stores? It’s not commercialism, it’s efficiency!

    And Harmon’s is just waaaaay too far to go shopping.

  17. dug Says:

    tonks, i’m gonna go ahead and call your experience an “outlier.” not relevant.

    steve. dude. i’m not asking YOU to shop at harmons, just to recognize. c’mon man, give it up. oh, and “overpriced gelato”?! excuse me? where are YOU getting your gelato where it’s so cheap? mr assembly line grocery store. i have a store recommendation for you: Reams. i think you’ll love it.

  18. forgingahead Says:

    self-serve hot chocolate AND bad gelato? unforgiveable.

  19. Andrew Says:

    Oh man—I love the drawings—classic.

    This article reminds me of Eric Snider’s article about how he loves Food-4-Less. You know, the old warehouse style “shopping experience?

    Here’s a couple of classic lines:

    “I would like to shamelessly endorse a particular business that I enjoy: Food-4-Less.

    You already think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. I actually shop at Food-4-Less exclusively, and I love the place. Now, it’s not because of its product quality or store odor, because Food-4-Less actually falls short in these areas. What I like about Food-4-Less is that they don’t even PRETEND to have customer service. They don’t even pretend to LIKE you. And I find that refreshing.”

    and another classic line:

    “At Food-4-Less, the policy on customers is: “You’re in our way.” There are forklifts and tractors driving around the store all the time, carrying huge boxes that could easily crush a human being to death. And they just want you to move over. There’s no “Excuse me, Sir,” or “Pardon us, Ma’am.” It’s just BEEP BEEP! Stand aside or be smashed by 10,000 boxes of Trix.”

    Read the full article at http://www.ericdsnider.com/snide/good-4-nothing/

  20. gtb Says:

    Anyone who scrutinizes grocery stores like you is a true brother of mine. I feel the same. What you aren’t talking about here is the bloody shame of a store that many of us have had to begrudgingly support for years due to a monopoly. Oh yes, I’m talking about Kohlers. That place was singlehandedly trying to preserve the look, feel and smell of small-town life in Lehi, Utah, circa 1981.

    I do drive the extra few miles to Smiths now, even just for a loaf of bread, just to protest Kohlers. But Harmons. It’s all that and a bag of chips.

  21. hoyacougar Says:

    no wegmans in utah yet? you want mega store with utah costco friendly (costco employees aren’t as nice in virginia), shop wegmans.

    actually, i don’t cook (i’m told i ‘bake’); but everyone i know that cooks shops at wegmans.

    i stop at whichever store has whatever is on my list on sale; one store each day on the way home. i can conveniently get to all my usual suspects (safeway, giant, harris teeter, target, cvs and rite-aid) within a block of my usual commute route.

    actually, never go to target on a weekday afternoon around here. they are all in 1 exit parking lots and you will spend longer trying to get out of the parking lot than you did getting in and out of the store.

  22. Goodpoint Says:

    I have not visited the new Smith’s Marketplace, but I will have you know I am one of those smiling Barista’s at Harmon’s, and I agree the “Hot Chocolate” Bar is a joke.

  23. Ann Says:

    I live in Orlando, FL okay not in but near. There are many, many, many, supermarkets. But only one sells freash produce. Produce grows here but they ship it away. Now that’s frustrating!

  24. Kirby Cook Says:

    I like Wal-Mart. I like Smith’s. I like Harmon’s. I have a happy life! I was just looking for butter on sale when I happened in here. This was a fun blog entry. Thanks!


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