Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
I’ve blogged several times about my favorite grocery store EVER, Sendik’s in Franklin. There are so many reasons to love Sendik’s and their incredible proximity to our home certainly helps. But that’s actually just a bonus in my book. The quality of fresh products, the shelves that are always stocked full and neatly, the fabulous card & gift/floral department, the unusual items I just can’t find anywhere else. THOSE are the reasons I shop there.
And above all that? It’s a shopping experience like the famous-though-fictional bar experience at Cheers. Truly, everybody does know our names. Or, at least Kyla’s. She has friends, and I do mean friends, in every department. A five-minute run for milk is never, ever just five minutes. It begins the moment we walk through the door.
“Can we see if Cindy is working?” And off we go to the Cheese Department. If we are there on a Wednesday or Thursday you can bet Cindy will indeed chat with her. They like to talk about Disney especially, but often Kyla will step to the side on the parquet flooring and show off her latest dance moves. Then, it’s on to the Meat Department in hopes of seeing our friend Lisa. (We wish her the best as she recovers from an extended illness. We truly hope she is on her feet soon and able to return to her position. We really miss her and her bubbly personality!) Kyla ponders, “I wonder if Rich or Katie will be working?” That can only be answered when we head to Bakery to get whatever we need for dinner and, of course, a cookie. We don’t even reach the counter and her friends already have the cookie container in hand, and want to know what flavor she wants.
She barely has time to tell Rich and/or Katie how much fun she had at school that day and Nick from Deli is coming to deliver a smile and a fresh-cut flower. He sweetly refers to her as “Sendik’s Princess.” Our chat with Nick quickly morphs into a chat with Nick and his coworkers Janice and Perri. “Hi, Kyla!” they beam from behind the counter. Perri is quick to tell me about any good specials that Kyla might like, and Janice is always happy to drop whatever she is doing to slice ham just the way my daughter likes it. And it doesn’t stop there. “Mommy can we go see what fruit samples there are?” Of course we can – that’s how we discovered one of her favorite treats, apple-pears. After munching her way through produce samples the next idea comes: “Can we browse through the gift section?”
And so we spend some time sniffing candles, doing our very best not to touch fragile items, and scouring the area for stuffed animals that might be for sale. There’s not much that will get her out of this lovely department filled with shiny and sparkly things. But one thing always works: “Kyla, it’s time to check out. We have to go see if Judy is working.” (If Judy isn’t there we can, of course, check out with Mary. She’s equally delighted in seeing us and chatting with Kyla. And Kyla is just as happy to see her!)
She runs to the checkout lanes in search of Judy. When she is found, we will stand in her line even if the person in front of us has a cart full of items to purchase and we have a half-gallon of milk. Kyla is already yelling out, “Hi Judy!” before we even get in line, and is excitedly chattering about what she can tell her today. Whether it’s something about school or a play date with a friend, Judy has the patience of a saint when it comes to Kyla’s stories.
In fact, Judy and Kyla have become such good friends that this summer when Kyla performed at Irish Fest, Judy came to see her. It touched my heart more than I can tell you to have her sitting with us and cheering Kyla on as if she was her own daughter. It meant the world to Kyla too. She was beaming and ran to hug Judy as quickly as she did the rest of her “adoring fans.”
When I tell people that I rarely shop anywhere but Sendik’s, I do get comments like “How can you shop there? The prices are SO HIGH!” or “Their produce isn’t any better than Pick ‘N Save.” To me those comments are equal to the people who ask why we stay on-property at Walt Disney World: “Why would you pay so much for a room? You’re hardly in it!” OK but when I am in the room I would like certain amenities, a certain amount of square footage and I enjoy hopping on a “Mickey Bus” and being inside the park in 15 minutes after I leave my room. And I like quality when I shop. Granted a roll of Viva isn’t any different at Sendik’s, Pick, or Wally World. So, sure I’ll get my paper products or canned goods anywhere. I’m budget-conscious on items that “don’t matter.”
When I want ground beef that doesn’t require an unusual amount of chewing; when I want an apple that looks like it has just been picked from the tree; when I want my deli meats cut fresh to MY order and not from a pile that had been created eight hours ago I go to Sendik’s.
You know the saying… you get what you pay for. We’ll explore the other side to this in Part II.