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Mar 2, 2011 08:51 AM

Ocean State Job Lot yea/nay

For the uninitiated, this is a Rhode Island based chain that is now in every New England state and upstate NY. They buy overstock, discontinued products and inventory from places that have gone out of business, and resell at deep discount. A few years ago, they greatly expanded their food section.
They carry non-perishable canned & packaged foods from all over the world, as well as many familiar American brands. Since their inventory is constantly changing, it's a real trip to browse the shelves on a regular basis. Last summer, they opened a store in an old Stop & Shop about 1 mile from my house. I try to go there about once a week.

Some recent yea's: Casa Diva organic extra virgin olive oil from Turkey, Beigel sesame pretzel rings and sticks from Israel, Sophia caponata from Bulgaria (Sophia is a Brooklyn importer of international foods-Joblot has many of their branded products, and most of them are excellent).

Nay's: a line of olives packed in plastic pint containers from Morocco. (I had one taste of the Kalamata's and threw the whole thing away--mushy and flavorless).

Anyone else a Job Lot lover? Care to share your yea's & nay's?

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  1. There's a Job Lot near me which used to be an old Stop and Shop too! (are we neighbors, OP?) I don't buy very much there -- one thing I've noticed is that their prices are sometimes more expensive than Stop & Shop's competitor across the way. I find that rather interesting.

    A few things about which I can sing praise:

    Bob's Red Mill products. Seriously, they have the best prices by far in the area. If you're gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or just want to eat more whole grains, you're bound to find something there. I won't say OSJL carries the complete line, but they carry a lot of it.

    Olive oils. Many different brands, more extra-virgin than regular, many imported. I've never been disappointed by any of them.

    Dried mushrooms. They don't carry them all the time, but $2 for a goodf-sized package of dried porcini?!? Tree ears?!? There was no way I could turn that down.

    Imported crackers/cookies/snacks. These change on a whim, so it's very possible you'll find one particular item one time and never see it again. We just picked up a package of coconut-pineapple biscuits which are glazed with chocolate. Never saw them before. Haven't opened the box because I could spend hours gazing at it.

    OSJT's also good for spices -- $.99 for a good-sized bottle. I just wish they came in smaller amounts, especially with those I don't use every day.

    1. Was there this afternoon, agree with the previous callers. You gotta check the Sell By dates, though, as I've found quite a few things near/at/past the sell bys.

      Great deals on chips and other snack foods, and I'm kicking myself for forgetting to hit the pasta aisle today, as they get some very interesting Italian imported pastas for very little $$

      1. The one thing I never leave there without is the pistachios. Cheapest around by far, even cheaper than Trader Joes's.

        1. Didn't Trader Joe's start this way? Overstock, discontinued, etc.

          1. Have shopped them for about 15 years, starting on Cape Cod and now near home in CT.

            yeas>Olive Oil, Pickled Vegetables, cookies, crackers. Lots of Israeli products. Soda, nuts

            Nays..boxed cereals, spices, sauces, canned soups, dried fruit

            BUT--You have to check expiration dates carefully, and make sure boxed items have not been slit open by the carton knife when being unpacked.