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Nov 4, 2011 12:02 PM

Supermarket woes

For the last few years I've lived in Bridlewood, where the neighborhood supermarket is a Sobey's.

When I first started going there I was really impressed - it has a fun-er than average selection, and you could find some unusual items - duck breasts, quail, horseradish roots, and other quirky things that most small stores don't carry. Over time they've expanded their selection - you could find jars of Better Than Bouillon, lots of gluten free items, and sometimes something really out of left field, like aloe vera leaves in the veggie section. Shopping had an element of fun to it, you never know what you'd find.

Summer has been more farmers market oriented, and when I went to Sobey's after a mere few weeks of absence, playland was over. No more duck breasts, no more quail, no more cornish hens, no more Better Than Bouillon, no unusual squashes. It was a generic nightmare. Expanded frozen crap selection, really lacking meat selection, and just sad all around. Sigh.

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  1. I completely understand tatiana131. Country Hills Sobeys used to have better than average produce (not to say it rated alongside Farmers Markets), but no longer. This has been going on for longer than a few weeks though. Produce quality has been declining for the better part of a year. I watched one of the stock boys filter through the sweet peppers weeding out the old and wrinkled, only to realize he had left only two peppers remaining. So he deposited half back again, and IMO he wasn't wrong in the first place. Product selection has also declined to the point that some basics like Free Run eggs aren't stocked nor more than two flavours of Liberte Greek Yogurt. This may seem picky, but are merely an example of likely another frustrating shopping trip. A bland nightmare indeed.

    1. I don't have a Sobey's near, so I never shop there. I have read in the news recently though, that they have signed a deal with Walmart to be their local "fresh food/produce" provider in our market, not sure if that is Calgary or Alberta, or Western Canada. Not sure what that means. Maybe short-term bigger business for Sobey's, but more manufactured-type foods in their stores?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Albertagirl

        No, Target.

        And Sobey's has a gigantic distribution network already. That's why Target partnered with them.

        1. re: Shazam

          Thanks Shazam...I am often better at remembering general concepts than actual details!

          1. re: Albertagirl

            I take some of it back - duck breasts are back, as are cornish hens. No sign of Better Than Boullion, but I'll take any variety on a weekday I can get. They also happen to have whole ducks in right now, something that can be hard to find. I'm stocking up. Maybe I just visited on a day when they were rearranging the meat case?

            1. re: tatiana131

              Looking for a great price on Better Than Bullion? Look no further than Costco. As is the Costco way, the container sizes are larger too.

      2. Try the Superstore at Shaunessey. Except for duck breast and aloe vera leaves I've seen all the products you've mentioned, though the squash are seasonal to a degree. They carry more organic products as time goes on as well. Having shopped at both ( I live in Evergreen) they both have their merits and areas where one outperforms the other.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scary Bill

          I do like Superstore, but their business drives me bananas. And they're not open as late as Sobeys, and often are empty shelved due to stocking issues. But yes, the veggie selection can't be beat, and they're good for bulk grains and such. I'll also hit up Coop when needed, but what I really yearn for is Whole Foods... :)

          1. re: tatiana131

            Superstore is much better than it was when I moved here 3 years ago. They recently extended their hours (can't remember exactly what they are) and the empty shelf issue is much better, though it still can happen. The store is about twice as busy now compared to three years ago as well. They are also bringing in more "organic" produce as well as time goes on.
            Though they are not Whole Foods (which is great but often overpriced), try Planet Organic at Elbow and Southland, which I hit about once a month for a few things, and Community Natural Foods across from the Chinook LRT station. They will both diminish your yearning for WF, and at better prices.