Supermarkets

With the rainy weather and my new fairmount location I have begun to really wonder WHERE ARE THE SUPERMARKETS? Seriously folks, it’s a little crazy that my two choices are a small market and Whole Foods. If I want to really shop, then I gotta drive down to SuperFresh on Columbus, which is where I am going after work, or up to the north part of Fishtown to the Thriftway(which I refuse to go anymore). How can it be that either I pay 3 times as much for food at Whole foods, or drive 5 miles to a decently priced and large selection at SuperFresh?? All I ask is for some magic to allow for some space for a nice sized supermarket within city limits…. On Sundays I don’t mind as much, it’s just days like today when I was away over the weekend and I am out of food. Now I have to go home, grab the car, and drive in traffic to buy food…

9 Comments so far

  1. Marisa (unregistered) on October 25th, 2005 @ 4:52 pm

    They are going to break ground at 20th and Market in January for a big old building that will contain, among many other things, a very large Acme on the ground floor. Bad for me, because the new building will obliterate the view from my apartment, but good for everyone else, because it will mean a large grocery store in Center City.


  2. Rob (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

    It’s a shame, but since most people prefer to drive for their groceries, smaller-scale neighborhood grocery stores (the kind that don’t need three acres of parking) just can’t survive. Supermarkets work on such a small margin that they need an absurd ammount of volume to stay in business. Look at one of the only real urban-scale markets in the city – Food Rite on Locust. It has everything I need but it’s a dump and the prices are high. I guess there’s Superfresh on South too. As for me, I live in the low rent heaven that is Deep South Philly so I just go to Superfresh. But there’s also Pathmark at Broad & Lehigh for you yankees.


  3. suzanne (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 9:42 pm

    You need to move away from shopping at these huge stores, Ian. Start looking for neighborhood stores. You have a Trader Joe’s at 22nd and Market. You have Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut. But STOP!

    Look for local stores you can walk to. Or do some street corner parking with. That’s the best way to get your groceries or just start buying all your dry goods at a place like Target and start buying your other stuff at the Italian Market, Reading Terminal, farmers markets, and local stores.

    Sorry, but grocery shopping isn’t mindless anymore.


  4. Ian (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 10:42 pm

    Suzanne, I do agree, I used to shop at the Thriftway at 23rd and South and Rittenhouse market when I lived in Rittenhouse. Those are real neighborhood stores, the Fresh Grocer and Trader Joes in my opinion aren’t, personally if you are suggesting shopping at neighborhood stores I’d stay away from Target and all the big box stores, but that’s another post.

    But now without any store where I can walk by after work AND one that isn’t expensive AND one that has what I need, I am without many options in Fairmount, it’s a common complaint up here. There aren’t any local stores near me that can provide all I need, Whole foods is way to expensive, Fresh grocer at 40th and Walnut is about the same distance as Fresh Fields, but has subpar quality meats and produce. I don’t have much time or desire to shop around at multiple places in my car, but I wouldn’t mind stoping in on my walk home as I used to do. It used to be great in Rittenhouse, stop by the store every other day, get what I needed, no time at all, but now I moved up north where the land is barren of stores :) I do shop at Target when I go to Super Fresh on the weekends, and Loews for my home stuff.

    This is all my point, if there was something close by that had fresh deli meat, produce and decent prices I’d be all about it, but alas there isn’t that many choices near me. Philly seems to have less Supermarkets per area than most cities. It’s just a pain in the ass to drive to a grocery store, and if I am going to get in my car then I might as well drive to Super Fresh where I can get all I need for less including fresh meat and produce. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind driving down there when it’s the weekend, I just wish I had another option during the week besides Whole Foods, maybe I was spoiled in Rittenhouse with all the choices… I am looking forward to the Acme opening up, thanks for letting me know Marisa!!


  5. Marisa (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 11:16 pm

    My pleasure. It may be awhile before it opens, but eventually, it will be here.


  6. albert (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 10:47 am

    i live by 12/south and i have whole foods and super fresh at 10/south to go to. super fresh has just about everything i need and if i need something special, whole foods does the job. but i used to live closer to rittenhouse and i head back to the shops over there for produce – sue’s at 18/sansom is a favorite. they’ve got great produce there and claudio’s mozzarella fresh daily. can’t help you out with fairmout though.


  7. ian (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 10:59 am

    You are in a great area. I think I was just spoiled being able to walk home and go to countless stores to buy food. I also am lucky to be in Fairmount with a car, I can’t imagine shopping for food without it. I would be stuck with Whole Foods, and the other little place on 24th and Fairmount. I just wonder what people do that live to the north of me in Brewerytown that don’t have transport. Luckily the trolley’s are back on Girard, I hope they start building up the Girard corridor and that they include supermarkets.


  8. Brady (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 11:03 am

    I live outside the city but I walk to my Acme around the corner. Actually, my front window stares at Acme’s dumpster and Acme’s smoking employees. Does that make me lucky? I think so.


  9. Marisa (unregistered) on October 28th, 2005 @ 9:45 am

    Sue’s produce on 18th Street is one of my favorite little produce markets in the city. There’s also one on 20th, just north of Chestnut that is pretty good. Not as much organic or exotic stuff as Sue’s, but standard good stuff, and terrific prices on herbs.
    The lack of grocery stores in Philadelphia is an issue that the Urban Nutrition Initiative has been taking on in the past years, because in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, there is no place to buy good food, only fast food. Believe it or not, Fresh Grocer has been one of the few supermarkets willing to open up in more run down neighborhoods. I think it’s because they are still privately owned.



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