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Providence's Shaw closing and other terrible supermarkets

Let me make no bones about it, I hate the supermarkets in Rhode Island. Can I even say in all of New England? What happened to all of the mom-and-pop grocery stores? Did they get swallowed up by the Corporate America black hole called Stop and Shop/Shaw's? I miss true variety, meat that actually looks like meat and reasonable prices. As supermarkets are getting bigger and bigger, I am finding less and less that I want to buy.

Perhaps you have heard that the Shaw's in Eagle Square is closing at the end of August. The store manager said that "It is rumored that another supermarket chain that is not in New England yet, may move into the location.". PLEASE, let that be true! If anyone has ever been to a Wegman's, you would also cross your fingers that a miracle could happen and we would get a good supermarket in this food town. (I willl even make due with a Price Chopper these days!)

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  1. Though I'm in CT, I can empathize with supermarket angst. I grew up going to Stop & Shop (after "Top Notch" closed) and now as an adult I find increased intolerance for long lines and bruised apples. It doesn't help that I'm a frequent shopper - I don't buy in bulk so my repeated trips add to the frustration.

    For meat, you might want to try to find a local meat producer that's open to the public. There's a place here (Bogner's) that actually sells meat to grocery stores. But the stuff they sell in their for-public store is excellent, and very inexpensive. I now find grocery store meat to be... humorous.

    I am rather addicted to Whole Foods. In some cases it's the same price as a grocery store. In some cases it's more, and in a few it's cheaper. But the overall quality, speedy lines, and Piave cheese have me hooked.

    BTW, Connecticut has Price Choppers, so I do indeed wonder what would be new to New England. Good luck in your quest for alternatives!

    1. I got some problems with eastside market and I used to go to shaws somewhat regularly. Isnt eastside market the type of thing your looking for????

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sambossanova

        Yes, Eastside is a little bit better. But I can't imagne buying 1 week worth of groceries from there because meat and other items are pretty expensive. I have found memories of IGA or Shurfine family owned grocery stores. No hype involved.

        1. re: Sambossanova

          Would love to hear about your issues w/Eastside. I'm not crazy about it, but the produce has been much better lately.

          LOVELOVE Dave's, and Shore's rocks too. THE original Dave's was Dave's Fruitland, and it was an open-air (but w/roof) huge produce market, on Sandy Lane(??), right near Thayer Arena/Warwick Vets area of Warwick. Heh, near where the Star Market used to be. My grandparents lived near Rocky Point, and she did all of her shopping at Star Mkt and all produce at Dave's. I have great memories of just wandering around in there, the place smelling like corn in the summertime.

          Many years later, my OTHER grandmother (an Italian who shopped on the hill and from my grandfather's importing business and-----Ruggieri's Market in Cranston, you should try that place)----got a veal roast from Dave's for a Christmas dinner. It was fantastic. It made a semi-prepared food person out of her. Ruggieri's, though, is very good for deli and meat and whatever.

        2. Check out Shore's in North Providence. Family owned, reasonable prices, weekly specials and a real honest to goodness butcher counter.

          1. wow - you really really need to get down to a dave's marketplace. the big one on division st in warwick/east greenwich is fantastic!. (opp movie theaters in the plaza with the outback steakhouse)

            there are a buncha locations statewide - maybe 6 or 7 - but this one's the flagship.

            great meats, great fresh & local produce, plus stuff you can't even get in east side marketplace or whole foods (condiments, many many typres of sugars, etc..)

            let us know how you make out-

            1. I used to work for Almac's for 10 years. They were a great store to work for as they took pretty good care of their employees up until the end. They were bought out by some California conglomerate who shredded the company to pieces. It was a shame.
              In NH here, we are spoiled as we are very close to the Trader Joe's in Tyngsboro Ma and there are several Hannaford/Market Basket stores which are not bad.

              1. My condolences.

                I'm not surprised Stop and Shop sucks now that it's owned by Royal Ahold. When i was growing up in RI, my mother considered Stop and Shop to be a pretty classy market (she did most of her shopping at Almac's and Big G). Then when I moved to the Mid-Atlantic region, the locally owned Giant chain immediately became my supermarket of choice.

                Now both Stop and Shop and Giant are owned Royal Ahold. Giant now sucks too. I have switched my allegiance from Giant to Harris-Teeter (out of NC).

                You don't need Mom and Pop's -- you need a good chain like Harris-Teeter!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob W

                  I lived in NC for one year, a while back. Winston-Salem. I loved Harris-Teeter.

                2. Sounds like you need a trip to South County to check out Belmont Market (2 locations - Wakefield and Narragansett) and the Charlestown Mini Super in Charlestown. All 3 are great.

                  Jerry Saywell

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Jerry Saywell

                    Oh, now that's a sin, my completely forgetting Belmont Mkt, when I love and worship them and tell everyone new in town to get down there ASAP. There simply is no market I like more than Belmont.

                    Not convenient if you're in Providence, but here's hoping, right? They say they'll never open in Providence, sadly.

                    1. re: Moonpie1

                      Did they say why they'd never open in Providence?

                      - Garris

                      1. re: Garris

                        Actually, I don't know how serious a comment it was...it was kind of a throwaway comment, kind of like the "No Way, Sweetie" I get when I ask the owner of LaSalle Bakery when, for the love of God, they'll open on the east side. So don't take that as any sort of gospel.

                        Don't know if they're still affiliated, but Siravo's produce and Belmont=same family (at least when I was a kid). Would be interesting to see Siravo's start carrying some products other than produce. Some good cheese, some frozen Venda pasta, some sauce...

                        1. re: Moonpie1

                          The Belmont Markets in Wakefield and Narragansett are the expanded Belmont Fruit you remember - still owned and managed by the Siravo Family - really nice folks. They now carry alll you mention plus a whole lot more. If you haven't been, you need to go.

                          Jerry Saywell

                          1. re: Jerry Saywell

                            A T Siravo & Belmont fruit are two different families and companies...both sharing just the last name in common. However they both proudly cater to the local restaurant industry...Jerry is right Belmont Market carries Venda and many different cheeses, and as much local & native produce that comes available to them.

                  2. I've been told that the Shaw's is going to become a Save-A-Lot. Not exactly what you're talking about - but I also don't know how reliable my source is!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: LMWW

                      I had read elsewhere the rumor that Price Right was going to move from Olneyville to that spot...

                      Who knows what's going to happen? All the folks planning condos for Valley and Federal Hill must be pulling out their hair... "Your unit will be blocks from a supermar... Oh, no!!!"

                      - Garris

                      1. re: Garris

                        I absolutely agree. The West side is up and coming and we can appericate Federal Hill, both neighborhoods deserve a good supermarket. I drive by Eagle Square every day--- so I will keep you posted.

                    2. Market Basket is the only Supermarket in New England that I want to deal with anymore for 2 reasons: the prices are great there, and they are one of the few places that don't require you to exchange your personal information to get a savers card in order to get the sales prices. There are no Market Baskets in RI so I make the tripto Bellingham, MA.

                      1. We can only dream about Wegman's opening stores in New England. Doesn't seem like they want to come this direction, but are concentrating on moving south of NYS instead.

                        1. Belmont's is absolutely my favorite market ever. EVER. The new location by the pier is adorable too. My family has been shopping with Belmont's since it was the fruit stand.

                          My mom *raves* about Dave's, and she has mentioned the Charlestown Mini Super too. I'm going to check it out this week.

                          I would like to see a Trader Joe's! But it's just so hard for me to exercise any kind of restraint when I walk through the doors..... :) Maybe it's better that I have to drive to MA for a TJ's fix!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: foxy fairy

                            A neighbor of ours contacted Trader Joe's and asked about opening around here (Providence---don't know if he discussed other places). Specifically, he was told that it would NOT be in the space currently occupied by the Waterman St. Whole Foods, because (eh?) that spot doesn't get enough traffic, and they analyze new opening possibilities using some very corporate process re: how much drive-by traffic a place gets.

                            I have such TJ's envy for friends in other parts of the country.

                            1. re: Moonpie1

                              Yes, Trader Joe's has some kind of formula that a space has to have X parking spaces and be Y distance away from a highway with Z levels of traffic. Their not having interest in a space like the Waterman Whole Foods space (which, BTW, as far as I know, is not in any jeopardy of WF leaving like was rumored about 2 years ago) shows they just don't understand how things work in RI...

                              - Garris

                              PS: If the TJ's in Danbury, CT off of I-84 is any indication, following that formula has TJ's in danger of just becoming a bland, commoditized, strip plaza store like any other...

                              1. re: Moonpie1

                                Not sure where your starting point is but I regularly make drives to the Framingham store. There is one in Westborough on the other side of Rt 9 but that one has no booze. If I do any other shopping in that area, I save TJs for last.

                            2. I hope that you get a Wegman's. Then maybe eventually one will come to NH. I am addicted to Wegman's. We go back to NJ often and always visit when we are there.