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PLU codes at Shattuck Berkeley Bowl

hyperbowler Nov 18, 2011 03:53 PM

The Berkeley Bowl is phasing out it's old bulk foods system. By January, you'll have to write down the 4 digit code corresponding to the item number. Very sad--- their ability to recognize bulk items purely by sight never ceased to amaze me.

I didn't have time to catch details, but they're also reorganizing the layout of the produce and bulk sections.

Berkeley Bowl
2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

  1. m
    ML8000 Feb 19, 2012 01:12 PM

    I was at BB East yesterday and they're undergoing a minor renovation and new space plan. Bread section is near the eggs, bulk section is undergoing the changes mentioned, new refrigs for produce and different isle spacing. It looks good...the only downer is things have moved so I have to re-learn everything for those fast by memory run-throughs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000
      Joel Feb 19, 2012 06:04 PM

      They've eliminated the space where the employees put together the "sale" produce, and made the juice. I don't know where the elves are now located.
      As you mentioned, it is a CHANGE, and I can not handle CHANGE.
      SO please, everyone, stay away from BB East.
      Although I did pick up 8 avocados in a bag for 99 cents.
      Very good organic red peppers for $2 a pound (prepacked in plastic bags).

      1. re: Joel
        Robert Lauriston Feb 19, 2012 06:08 PM

        That's the way most bulk places work.

    2. wolfe Dec 3, 2011 08:12 AM

      I just discovered what this new system eliminates. As I pulled out my little baggie of 9324 I realized that there is no longer a little label that tells me what it is and when I bought it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfe
        Mola Dec 3, 2011 05:53 PM

        But the upside is that the little baggie no longer has a big ol' sticker on it, making it hard to reuse. The good news is that the BB tags are big enough that you can scrawl the name of the product on one side, and the number on the other.

      2. c
        chocolatetartguy Nov 18, 2011 05:52 PM

        That coding system works fine at Monterey Mkt and Andronico's. It is likely less prone to error, at least on their end. By doing so, they are passing the responsibility onto the consumer. Of course a dishonest person could just write the wrong code on the tie. It takes a devious mind to think of that strategy :)

        4 Replies
        1. re: chocolatetartguy
          oakjoan Nov 22, 2011 11:43 PM


          The people behind the bulk counter (usually 2 women and a guy) are fantastic at what they do. I don't think I've ever had one of them make a mistake. They've been there forever, as have I.

          I hope they don't lose their jobs

          1. re: oakjoan
            chocolatetartguy Nov 23, 2011 04:10 PM


            I don't buy in bulk at Berkeley Bowl, so I wouldn't know who was doing the identification. I was referring to "systems' like they used to have at Andronico's where the checker had to figure out what was what. PLU is superior to that.

            I'll be just as sorry if someone there loses their job as I am that the best checkers at Andronico's University Ave, Sean and maybe Hastings, lost their's when they closed. Losing a job has a lot more to do with whether your supervisor likes you than a change like BB plans.

            Berkeley Bowl
            2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            1. re: chocolatetartguy
              chocolatetartguy Nov 28, 2011 01:53 PM

              Hastings from Andronico's University Ave, was not laid off. He was transferred to the Telegraph store, which is now having its own closing sale.

            2. re: oakjoan
              heidipie Nov 28, 2011 01:00 PM

              They always look pretty busy behind that counter anyway, filling pre-priced bags with bulk items and so on. My impression was that this change would merely enable them to work more efficiently.

          2. m
            ML8000 Nov 18, 2011 04:33 PM

            I was at BB West and the number system is already in place. Are you talking about BB East and the check through station?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ML8000
              hyperbowler Nov 18, 2011 05:00 PM

              Yes, I'm referring to the Berkeley Bowl East. They also have the number system in place right now. The complete overhaul of their system won't be for a few more weeks, by which time the current bulk counter will be in the northeast corner. If anyone has more details about the change, I'd be interested to know--- someone was behind me, and I didn't want to slow down the line after I asked!

              Berkeley Bowl
              2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            2. Ruth Lafler Nov 18, 2011 04:30 PM

              Their ability to tell various kinds of, say, oranges apart by sight (or little dots of magic market) has always amazed me. But having to go have your bulk items priced at the counter -- often having to wait for a clerk to be available -- was kind of a pain.

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