Thursday, June 15, 2006

Simple places that grow on you

When we moved to Wilmington more than a year ago, like most new residents we looked around for grocery stores close by. Well the closest one was one of those many chains stores that dot the US of A, and help make shopping a convenient but at times a numbing and anonymous experience. The store (according to picky me) was not well lighted and sort of a put off to go to. So while driving around, we came across this place below close to our old place. Tired of having to drive all the way to a grocery chain store we decided to check it out. It is run by a family and depending on when we go there we encounter either the grandparents or the grandkids.

Over the year we continued to shop there mostly for veggies, fruits and the occasional pie. And the place grew on us it just has this completely homely, simple unpretentious feel to it. The folks running it are sweet, friendly and helpful and they remember things about you. *A* particularly likes it. It is now sort of out of our way but still close to the park we go jogging at, so every weekend we manage to go there. They also have locally grown produce so rather than buy the refrigerated strawberries, blueberries that come from across the country it’s much better to buy the local produce, which imho tastes better too as it has more freshness to it.

It’s a fun place to go to and the store looks different at different times of the year.There is not a whole lot of color around in the winter but come spring and summer the place bursts with color, if you look at some of the photos we took of the place. Some days the colors and the sight of it refreshes you and makes everything seem a lot better. Fall brings it own unique colors and reminders of the extra crispness in the air, changing colors of the fall, of pumpkins and pies.

The concept of the neighborhood store for us while growing up in Indiameant more of a closer relationship that was somewhat different than the traditional merchant customer stuff. These were people you knew growing up as a kid and you could pretty much track each other life stories including the mundane, joyous and/or the tragic. I remember our tailor, barber, the grocer and the vendor selling veggies. I remember the trust, the friendly service and the ease of returning things that you did not like or were sub-par. I also remember as a kid getting the occasional freebie.

Chain stores do serve their purpose but there is something special about small stores like Bob’s. It’s the feel of shopping somewhere that is not like a cookie cutter where one store melts in to another no matter which part of the country you are in. Yes it is familiar but there is nothing personal or unique about it and that’s all I have to say about this. Nothing earth shaking, just something about some of the simpler things of like that bring you joy.


Keshi said...

Small stores r always warm and friendly.

beautiful pics Jay.

**I remember the trust, the friendly service and the ease of returning things that you did not like or were sub-par

customers always rem wut benefits them and the ease and quality of service (pre n post)..just like u did. And thats what we often find in small stores.


Aditi said...

Well the small stores in india are also at risk of being eradicated by supermarkets now.
I guess its a vicious cycle of growth

Shitrint said...

yeah i know of the homely feel certain places have...
nice post!

Dadoji said...

This took me back to the European Farm Market opposite Safeway in Mountain View, CA. Saint used to buy peaches from there like crazy during her first pregnancy while I used to try out different types of cheese (they had more than 300).

opinionatedinjerzee said...

nice pics.. looks like you are putting the camera to good use!! i completely understand about the small stores.. its more of a personal experience.. at the supermarket i always manage to get some person at the checkout working for minimum wage and in a bad mood!!

Sadaf Trimarchi said...

It looks like a great store. I agree with you about the local produce, especially. I love the farmer's markets in our area, in the summer and fall - the supermarket stuff just doesn't compare.

Teri said...

I love the SMELL of stores like that one. You can smell how fresh and good the food is.

Our local organic coop is like that.