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My Local Loblaws ...aka...Dupont & Christie

pearlD Feb 20, 2008 01:47 PM

After seeing all the posts about the rankings etc . of Supermarkets I got to wondering about all the 'rumours' on this board (re problems with the chain as we 'know it'.. and in particular 'my local' where there were SERIOUS talks about closing/changing/renaming/rebranding this store....I'll be home in April but can't wait to find out for myself. What's Up????..

  1. s
    SxCx Feb 21, 2008 05:20 PM

    I don't get it. From my experiences, Loblaws is the best chain supermarket in the GTA. Their produce department typically embarrasses places like Dominion and Sobeys. Aesthetically, I think their stores are the most pleasing to shop in, especially Queens Quay and Forest Hill. I'd be bummed if they disappeared.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SxCx
      embee Feb 21, 2008 06:18 PM

      What I and some others are saying is that ALL of our major chain supermarkets provide a very different shopping experience from one store to another. The Queen's Quay and Forest Hill stores are among Loblaw's best. Some other stores are very different. Their entire distribution system is acknowledged to be broken and, as high end stores, they have become bizarrely unresponsive to customer needs.

      What's sad is that, for perhaps 20 years, many considered Loblaws to be the best supermarket operator in North America.

      As to produce, Lakeshore & Leslie frequently has large amounts of spoiled produce for sale, and I don't mean on the clearance rack. Some Dominions have produce displays that rival those at Whole Foods, while other Dominions sell stuff that makes their "fresh obsession" ads seem a tasteless joke.

      1. re: embee
        SxCx Feb 21, 2008 06:28 PM

        It's funny, I guess my selective experiences have just come out in Loblaws' favour. Dominion makes me think of bad lighting and empty shelves, mostly because of my experiences in the Annex and Little Italy. Sobeys makes me think of laughably high prices, mostly from when I lived in the suburbs. Call it luck, but Loblaws has always been the most refreshing choice wherever I happen to be.

        That said, I haven't been to the Leslie location in a while, and don't doubt any of your claims.

        Dominion opened up a decent store in Clarkson a few years back that helped reform my opinion. Same with Liberty Village.

        1. re: SxCx
          embee Feb 21, 2008 06:51 PM

          The Dominions in the Annex, Little Italy, College Park, Mutual St, Yonge & Eg, and Yonge & Lawrence are all terrible stores.

    2. estufarian Feb 21, 2008 06:16 AM

      I have difficulties with that location. It seems huge - yet I can rarely find what I'm looking for there.
      So I end up at the much smaller Fiesta Farms just south of there - and they usually (not always) seem to have it.

      11 Replies
      1. re: estufarian
        pearlD Feb 21, 2008 06:36 AM

        I have shopped there from the beginning and yes, sometimes 'stuff' was not there when I was needing it so I trotted down the street to Sobey's (way better than 'Price Chopper)'...I always felt the Bathurst & St. Clair was too big and rarely went up there even in an emergency. After reading the many posts about 'Fiesta Farms' (and my neighbour swears by it) I'll probably give it fair consideration on my return to TO.

        1. re: pearlD
          l_izzie Feb 21, 2008 07:37 AM

          There was an article just yesterday about Fiesta Farms in the Toronto Star. You may be able to pick it up online, PearlD. I find I am going more often to Fiesta Farms these days, though I'm not keen on the meat dept. I go elsewhere for fresh meat.
          Just came back from JA on Tuesday - had a wonderful time. I'm jealous. Have some ackee and saltfish for me.

          1. re: l_izzie
            estragon Feb 21, 2008 10:23 AM

            Indeed, Fiesta Farms is not great for meat (though it does carry no-nasty-stuff meats from Kerr Farms and some frozen organic poultry) and even worse for fish. But aside from that, it's a fantastic supermarket. Lots of organics, a decent amount of Asian and Latin American products, and very responsive management. A few years ago, it was just another family-owned Italian supermarket squeezed by Loblaws and heading downhill. Since then, it's reinvented itself by focusing on the yuppie organics market, and it's going gangbusters. Prices and service are way better than Sobey's and Loblaws.

            1. re: estragon
              estufarian Feb 21, 2008 10:28 AM

              And the best selection of butter anywhere in Toronto. They ALWAYS seem to have the "salted cultured" as well as occasionally some other rarities (e.g. 'aged' from Lactantia and the Caramel Cream Cheese from Lactantia).

              1. re: estufarian
                pearlD Feb 21, 2008 11:02 AM

                'estufarian'......what is 'caramel cream cheese'?

                1. re: pearlD
                  estufarian Feb 21, 2008 02:22 PM

                  That's exactly what it says on the label. Cream cheese is sometimes (often?) used in making cheesecakes.
                  So the caramel version gives you a head start by infusing the caramel flavour. It seems to be a 'standard' (but unusual) product line of Lactantia. Or perhaps it's seasonal - certainly wasn't there a week ago when I picked up some Cultured, Salted Lactantia Butter.

                  1. re: estufarian
                    pearlD Feb 21, 2008 05:05 PM

                    It had me thinking of ' dulce de leche' flavoured cream cheese so I wasn't that far off the mark...pretty strange 'tho....perhaps you're right and it is some sort of 'head start' to cheesecake..
                    Speaking of strange I made butterscotch pudding from scratch last week....not great on its own but we ate it with bananas and it filled the sweet craving!

                2. re: estufarian
                  julesrules Feb 21, 2008 11:36 AM

                  I see something called "antique" butter on the Lactancia website, is that what you mean? Is it good?

                  1. re: julesrules
                    estufarian Feb 21, 2008 02:18 PM

                    Yes - that's the one - maybe it affects the memory!
                    It's - let me say - an acquired taste. If you've ever had 'whey butter' then that's the closest flavour. Sort of a cross between butter and a stinky cheese.

                3. re: estragon
                  Davedigger Feb 21, 2008 12:21 PM

                  I was at Fiesta Farms for the first time today, and while I do agree that they have great organic stuff, I think their prices are the same as or higher than Sobey's or Loblaws. Except the stuff on sale. Those are some pretty good prices. i.e. 4 Celestial Seasonings Tea Boxes for $10. I was even allowed to buy 1 at the discounted price ($2.50/box).

                  1. re: Davedigger
                    Ender Feb 21, 2008 01:30 PM

                    The bread and cold cuts alone would make fiesta light years better then Loblaws but add to it the organic produce and local nature of the store and I rarely shop in another grocery store, except to pick up the loss leaders at loblaws.

          2. p
            PlayWithYourFood Feb 20, 2008 07:23 PM

            I was talking to a friend that's in the biz, he says Loblaws is having a really hard time. It's even come down to their vendors being hesitant to work with them. I guess that might explain all the empty shelves people have been complaining about. And the MLG opening seems to be going nowhere either.

            1. Kagemusha Feb 20, 2008 03:58 PM

              No clues but several Loblaws, especially older, smaller stores, have morphed into NoFrills around Mississauga, where the grocery biz is cutthroat competitive. Hereabouts, NG is shitting itself over the arrival of a Walmart superstore Deathstar in early summer in the north end of Mississauga. Suspect similar downdrafts are buffeting your "local."

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