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FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

Went to the market area to pick up a few items. Sign at register said charge for a paper bag was 30 cents. This really irritated me as I do nearly all grocery shopping in the Santa Monica or Brentwood area. I asked clerk why they were charging 3 times the price of Vicente foods. He said :"management told him to explain that they used high quality paper bags." Really ?! I have an arsenal of reusable bags from Vicente foods and use them all of the time. This move has pissed off more than a few people.

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  1. "I have an arsenal of reusable bags "

    Soooo...Use your own bags.
    Problem
    Solved

    Next

    25 Replies
    1. re: pedalfaster

      That isn't the issue. The issue is that they are charging triple what every other market charges.

      1. re: maudies5

        Perhaps civil disobedience is in order... which would entail bringing your own bags.

          1. re: maudies5

            So, you're just angry for the sake of being angry then. Whatever floats your boat.

            1. re: JeMange

              Fine. Think what you wish. I think that their justification for charging 3x what every other market in the area charges is ridiculous. Their paper bags are nothing special.

              1. re: maudies5

                "Their paper bags are nothing special."

                That's a joke, right?

                1. re: maudies5

                  Show us the bag! I'm now curious to see what a 0.30 bag looks like.

                  1. re: david t.

                    There are $2 bottles of wine and $2000 bottles of wine. There are $10,000 cars and $10,000,000 cars. There are $5 meals and $500 meals. No one is forcing anyone to buy one over the other, or to buy either one of them when it comes to that. That a high end store in a high end area of L.A. would charge more for a completely discretionary bag doesn't come as much of surprise to me.

                  2. re: maudies5

                    To paraphrase Apu from the Simpsons, on why he loves America so much:

                    "I have the freedom to say, think and charge whatever I want."

                    For what it's worth, I don't have a problem with the $0.30 charge. Since we should all be bringing our own bags anyway, I'm all for anything that discourages the practice.

                    Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        Kind of the same principle as hiking the taxes on cigarettes till they become too expensive to buy, right?

                        1. re: thymeoz

                          >> hiking the taxes on cigarettes

                          On the surface it may appear to be, but cigarettes are an addictive product that affects human behavior in a way that really isn't comparable to changing one's shopping bag habit.

                          Mr Taster

                2. re: JeMange

                  I'm not going to drive around with old market bags in my car because maybe I'll end up at Farmshop. They shouldn't be gouging their customers. I have been shopping at Vicente Foods until they stop their price gouging and start treating their customers right.

                  1. re: bringiton

                    "Driving around with old market bags in my car" is a problem? Not into doing right by the environment, huh? Too much trouble, too awful to have reuseable (sp?) bags in the car???

                    1. re: thymeoz

                      Now when I do minor shopping (instead of major, "fill up the rolling cart" shopping) where I would once have carried one of those plastic baskets around the store I now just carry one of the plastic bags out of my trunk and throw my groceries in the bag and then roll them out onto the conveyor belt at the scanner stand station when I'm ready to check out.

                      Works for me.

                      1. re: thymeoz

                        Even better for the environment; how about WALKING around with bags?

                        JK. I couldn't resist.

                        Seriously I put the bags in my car, and my husband takes them out. Where I live the bag charge is not yet mandatory, but most stores will credit your grocery bill if you bring your own.

                        You start with an incentive, and if that doesn't work, you try punishment, then you raise it until it hurts!

                        It occurs to me, that different markets (as in gourmet vs budget vs high end) will have customers with different thresholds for changing behavior. For me, I don't care about the money, but feel pretty awful about bringing yet another bag home, which I feel too terrible to throw out. So my punishment is having to deal with so many bags, I have to use one of the the seats at the table for the overflow.

                        1. re: thymeoz

                          Paper market bags are fully recycleable and biodegradeable. In addition, they can be reused, for example as trash bags. Using paper bags is doing RIGHT by the environment. Charging .10 for paper bags was a bribe by the City to supermarkets to get them not to oppose the ordinance to ban paper bags. It resulted in a big inconvenience to shoppers and a serious health risk to those resusing their cloth bags.

                    2. re: maudies5

                      Sometimes I shop at WF and sometimes I go to WinCo (a discount warehouse type store). Either can charge whatever they wish. So don't go there if it bothers you that much.

                      1. re: maudies5

                        The LA City ordinance is very specific about the 10-cent charge and how the monies accumulated shall be used by the store.

                        B. Beginning January 1,2014, for all Stores defined in Subsections K(1) and (2) of Section 195.01, and beginning July 1, 2014, for all Stores defined in Subsection K(3) of Section 195.01, Stores may provide to their Customers Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags for the purpose of carrying away goods or other materials from the point of sale, subject to the following requirements:
                        (1) Customers shall be charged ten cents ($0.10) for each Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bag provided; and
                        (2) Every Customer receipt must specify the number of Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags provided to that Customer and the total amount charged to the Customer for those bags.
                        C. All monies collected by a Store pursuant to Subsection C of this Section will be retained by the Store and may only be used for any of the following purposes:
                        (1) costs associated with complying with the requirements of this Article;
                        (2) actual costs of providing Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags and;
                        (3) costs associated with a Store's educational materials or education
                        campaign encouraging the use of Reusable Bags.
                        D. All Stores must report to the Department of Public Works, on a quarterly basis, the total number of Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags provided, the total amount of monies collected for providing Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags, if applicable, and a summary of any efforts the Store has undertaken to promote the use of Reusable Bags by Customers in the prior quarter. Such reporting must be done on a form prescribed by the Department of Public Works, and must be signed by a
                        responsible agent or officer of the Store confirming that the information provided on the form is accurate and complete. Quarterly reports must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days following the end of the quarter for which the report is made.

                        Here's the actual ordinance in pdf:

                        http://www.cawrecycles.org/files/11-1...

                        I'm not a lawyer - legal hounds can dissect this if they wish.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          Here's Santa Monica's ordinance:

                          http://www.smgov.net/uploadedFiles/De...

                          The wording in regards to the amount charged is critically different from LA's in that retailers are required to charge "at least" ten cents per paper bag.

                          Grocery stores, convenience stores, mini-marts, liquor stores and pharmacies are permitted to provide customers with paper bags made from at least 40% post-consumer recycled content. These types of retailers are required to charge customers at least ten cents per paper bag.

                          So while most retailers seem to fall in line with the 10-cent charge, Farmshop "can" charge more than 10 cents for their bags. The reason for the upcharge given by Farmshop to maudie5 seems awkward (assuming the paper bag is of similar quality to other paper bags). The Santa Monica ordinance doesn't seem as specific as to what can be done with the monies from the bag charge as the LA ordinance, so...

                            1. re: maudies5

                              Sorry - I was going by their stated address. Assuming they are in LA, they don't seem to be complying.

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                If I'm understanding the City of Santa Monica GIS maps correctly, it looks like Farmshop's structure is within city of Los Angeles.

                                26th Street marks one of the city borders; the street itself and the land to the west of it are city of Santa Monica; but it appears that the Brentwood Country Mart property is city of L.A, since it lies on the eastern side of 26th.

                                I'm not 100% sure of that -- just basing it on a quick look-see at the online maps. I'm wondering if the street address and zip code are for USPS purposes, while for all other purposes, it falls under City of Los Angeles.

                                 
                                1. re: spoonlicker

                                  That is likely. I was under the impression it was LA as well.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    Brentwood Country Mart is in L.A. Walk across the street and you will be in Santa Monica.

                    3. You should bring in paper (or even plastic) bags bearing the name of a competitor.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        I bought a few from Smart & Final (plastic ones) because they said they will replace them with new ones when they tear, and the old ones get recycled back into new ones again.

                      2. Maybe Ludo is consulting? Is the store limited to selling 200 bags per day?

                        1. Awesome! More places should do this. Think how many people will be less likely to forget their bags?

                          Honestly? When I forget my bags I don't bag them. Leave them in cart, put in the back seat, drive home. In your case you could suck it up and pay the thirty cents as "punishment" for forgetting your bags.

                          37 Replies
                          1. re: foodieX2

                            You just made a GREAT point. And I've done the exact same thing when I didn't bring my bags when visiting our daughter in Seattle where they charge. Take the cart out to the car and unload. It's a good reminder for next time. I talked to a checker at WF and she said when she makes her shopping list the first thing on it is "bags."

                            1. re: c oliver

                              All the shoppers at the Chinese markets in Rowland Heights go Costco style. They don't believe in paying for bags or using reusable ones.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Sometimes I really wonder if anyone ever gets past the topic line. I have made it clear several times that I do use my own bags when I shop. What I find offensive is that they are charging more than than other market in the area for their paper bags (which I never use).

                                1. re: maudies5

                                  I completely agree with you, maudies5...its the principle...how the hell do they decide to do that...better quality bags...well, in Brentwood they can get away with that kind of bullshit!

                                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                                    Thank you so much for getting my point. It is, indeed, the principle.
                                    Appreciate your post, lapizzamaven.

                                    1. re: maudies5

                                      maudie5, don't mind the haters.

                                      They enjoy a good kvetch-session just like the rest of us. After all, if they didn't, they'd just ignore the thread and move on.

                                      And it's well within the CH tradition to analyze minutiae down to a gnat's eyelash -- no issue is too minor for us to debate!

                                      You have me intrigued with the mention of the $80 shopping bag. I just have a messy heap of Bob's Market cloth bags that I keep in my car. If I forget to bring them, I just buy more (they make good storage totes). Those things are multiplying like tribbles.

                                      1. re: spoonlicker

                                        Cute bag. So not worth the money. Although, a couple of my friends in Italy loved that hemp shopping bag with "FarmShop California" printed. Truly is a great gift . I think I recently saw a similar bag at Trader Joes (didn't say Farmshop) and was smaller. Swear it's the same bag.
                                        Thanks for the kind post Spoonlicker.

                                  2. re: maudies5

                                    Perhaps it's not the real reason, it's certainly not the reason the clerk gave you, but foodieX2's point (a point I was going to make too) was that the higher bag price may actually help the overall goal of more reuseable bag use by increasing the disincentive for people forgetting to bring their own bags. WF does the same, but in the opposite direction by giving you 10 cents off if you bring your own bags. How dare they? ;-)

                                    Frankly, while I always strive to bring a reusable bag, at 10 cents a bag it doesn't feel like a big deal if I forget. I'd definitely remember more if each bag were a quarter or 30 cents as in Farmshop's case.

                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                      I have a Saturday run. SM Farmers Mkt on Arizona, SM Seafood, Huckleberry to pick up granola. Huckleberry gives 10cent discount when customer brings own bags. Mgr. at Huckleberry told me that their bags cost them 12 cents. My issue with Farmshop is that they are trying to make a profit on the law which states 10 cents a bag in City of L.A. I really don't believe that altruism comes into play. One only has to go to Vicente Foods and see that most of the customers are bringing their own bags (amused to see so many Lululemon bags:))

                                      1. re: maudies5

                                        I'm not claiming altruism on their behalf, I'm just saying the overall effect may be that it increases reuseable bag use at Farmshop.

                                        But perhaps not. Farmshop sells pretty high end stuff, maybe the average FS customers don't care about 30 cents like I "don't care" about 10 cents. (I put it in quotes because I do care, and I do reuse those paper bags I paid a dime for...)

                                        1. re: TheOffalo

                                          Good point, Offalo. The overall effect at Vicente foods when they started charging 10 cents was an influx of customers carrying their own bags. To your point "Farmshop sells pretty high end stuff.". So does Vicente Foods. Vicente has has a very loyal customer base. I am at Vicente about 3x week. Nearly every shopper is carrying a personal, re-useable bag. My initial point, is about squeezing the customer out of another few cents, not about some higher motive. Actually, if I were really cynical, I would attribute Farm Shop's motives to their wish to sell more of those Farm Shop $80 shopping bags so prominently displayed at the cashier counter. They are lovely. Made in Bangledash. In fact, they make great gifts to friends who live in Europe. Made of hemp. Very sturdy and good looking and some $$ go to worthy cause.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              If they are made of hemp and cost $80 I wonder if the material is "medical hemp" that one can smoke if in a desperate situation.

                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                My bad. They are made of jute not hemp and the cost is $68

                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                  my bad ??????????

                                                  you're starting to sound like me. :)

                                        2. re: maudies5

                                          I make my runs like you, accept in another area of town. I'm in SM at least once a week and always stop at Farmshop to purchase various things I can't seem to find anywhere else…plus I love the overall vibe.
                                          There are those who seem to be able to carry their reusable everywhere they go…I'm not one of them. I forget and am willing to shell out the 10 cents per bag I'm charged…no big deal to me. Most of the places I'm a regular they don't charge me so I guess it all evens out.
                                          However, when it dawned on me that I'd been charged the 30 cents per bag I felt like a fool. It's the principle and I'm pretty sure Farmshop isn't doing it to encourage people to bring their own…it's profit, they're able to get away with it and so until there's some sort of outcry they'll, most likely, continue.
                                          I completely agree with your OP and I'm glad you made an issue of it.

                                        3. re: TheOffalo

                                          Slightly off topic here ... TheOffalo, I don't shop at WF often, but when I do and bring my own bag, they always ask if I want to donate the bag credit. The first time I had no idea what they were talking about and asked for more information. I don't know about others here, but when I make any charitable donations, I want to write it off myself.

                                          If I buy a couple of items and carry them out, there's no bag credit or request to donate.

                                          1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                            I'm sure you know this, but there are very definite rules about charitable deductions. No anything or anyone qualifies. But if donating through WF or anyone else, with proper record keeping, it shouldn't be a problem. PS: I'm not a tax adviser :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              No, you need a receipt directly from a charitable organization to have a deductible contribution.

                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                You're right. I just checked. But, again, the ability to donate has very stringent requirements. We never try to deduct anything. We just give.

                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                  so if i buy one of those $5 bags for hunger at Von's it won't be deductible since I'm making the donation as part of my bill to Von's ????????

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    I should point out there's a deminimis exception for small contributions on the receipt requirement, but you'll notice that charities will nevertheless issue you an acknowledgement anyway for smaller amounts. The Von's bag is iffy, though I don't think anybody is going to contest you over $5. But if a merchant tells you all or a portion of its proceeds are donated to charity, you certainly don't get the deduction.

                                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                                      thanks, just was curious, and it's been a few yrs since federal income taxation course.

                                                      i'm not actually going to deduct the $5 von's charity bag, i'm too lazy, etc in keeping the receipts, copying them, itemizing them, and logging them.

                                                      thanks again man.

                                                  2. re: Chandavkl

                                                    I thought that is only above a certain dollar limit; I think $500.00

                                                    ETA...looks like I am days behind in this discussion...

                                            2. re: maudies5

                                              I get your point completely. I just disagree entirely.

                                              If you're familiar with my many Chowhound musings you know that I can be very sensitive to price gouging (see my many Chowhound rants on hipster economics skewing and outsizing prices for everyone). I do not see this as price gouging at all (though I do have a problem with the disingenuous "high quality bag" argument.) Hell, let 'em charge $5.00 a bag if they want. I don't care one whit, as long as it helps to retrain the populace to do the right thing, then it has served its purpose.

                                              I think it's relevant to note that Whole Foods has been giving 10 cent per bag refunds for years now, yet it seems that people haven't really made an effort to change their habits en masse until an actual penalty was put in place across the board. It goes to show you the power of the economic disincentive.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                Yes, I read your post and I still credit the store for doing the right thing. I honestly don't care if they are making profit and they only make a profit if someone BUYS them. No one buys? No profit.

                                                There is a direct correlation between charging for bags and customers bringing their own. Hopefully other stores will take note and raise their prices too. That will hit it home.

                                                You are clearly not paying the thirty cents so I don't know why you are so upset. It's NOT the principle of thing. Do you rage over Farmshop charging more for brands you can find in other grocers or on line for less? That Gap charges less than BR for their t-shirts even though they are made in the same factory? When Nordstroms charges more for Uggs than Zappos. It's about what the market will bear. Clearly people continue to buy those thirty cent bags other wise they would have lowered the price.

                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                  Maudie,
                                                  Farmshop charges more than any other place for EVERYTHING.
                                                  I refer you to a past comment of mine re Farmshop:
                                                  "Never have I been to a place that had SO MANY THINGS that I did not want"
                                                  That aside, considering their obnoxious price points for all things, chicken brunch, etc., etc., why continue to patronize a place that gouges their customers?
                                                  Went once and will never go back. Like the earlier Ludo.
                                                  No respect.

                                                  1. re: VenusCafe

                                                    <why continue to patronize a place that gouges their customers?>

                                                    Farmshop, and the shops surrounding it, fulfills a need for a specific demography, population.
                                                    I have no problem with the prices I pay. Their products are specialty items, high quality, and along with that the people who shop there aren't complaining about prices. They expect it and that old saying, 'if you have to look at the price then perhaps you shouldn't be shopping there' applies.
                                                    Not speaking for maudie (I've never heard her complain about prices either) but I do have an issue with the 30 cent bag, although I pay it, because the bag is no different than the shop down the street that charges a dime.

                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                      LatinDancer,
                                                      I have previously enjoyed some of your comments on CH, but must disagree with the position you take on this issue.
                                                      Please do not distort my complaint with snark such as 'if you have to look at the price then perhaps you shouldn't be shopping there'. Looking at price is merely smart buying, not a point for discredit. Farmshop price points are extreme; the issue is business ethics.
                                                      Same as your Farmshop peers, this luxury loving Taurus has also paid big bucks for hard to find high-end items, but for me, there is something disgusting about a shop being too willing to gouge their customers, and customers who are only too willing to be gouged.
                                                      Farmshop prices definitely qualify for this gouge category.
                                                      I can 'afford' their prices b/c I support good value(s) elsewhere.
                                                      I refuse to collude with a business ethic that depends solely on indifference to cost, and will not throw money at them like most of my high-end neighbors.
                                                      I would not give my bucks to someone who was spitting in my face, and I treat those who are spending good money for my services with respect.

                                                      1. re: VenusCafe

                                                        <Please do not distort my complaint with snark>

                                                        With all due respect, VenusCafe, there was no 'snark' intended and it certainly wasn't directed at you, not knowing anything about you.
                                                        There are certain areas that are catering to a certain population who want high quality, specialty, high end and don't think about price. Does it make the behavior 'disgusting'? I don't think so….
                                                        I'm reminded of an area, I'm very well aware of and love, that was designed and successfully launched to allow for the spending of the fortune of a well-known man and his company.
                                                        He's brilliant. He has money to burn, literally.
                                                        I stand by my comment and, again, there's absolutely nothing snarky about it.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          Please permit me to reconsider the term
                                                          snark and downsize it to Marie Antoinette.

                                                        2. re: VenusCafe

                                                          I think you need to understand what gouging really means...here is a wiki link:

                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_go...

                                                          1. re: manku

                                                            your link confirmed my concept of gouging.

                                                            1. re: VenusCafe

                                                              It's not gouging, VenusCafe.
                                                              Farmshop's prices are expected. It's located in an affluent area. People expect the prices of gas, food, water, clothing etc. to be higher.
                                                              There's a big difference between prices in areas in places like this and an aftermath of a hurricane where retailers are raising their prices because people need food and water and they can get away with doing so.
                                                              It's not the same.

                                                      2. re: VenusCafe

                                                        lol, not everything. Still cheaper to go to farmshop for la mill coffee than luxxe (in the same center)for coffee. I think their pre-made sandwiches, while expensive are very good. love the croissant with ham, Gruyere and kale. You can get ranch gordo beans, well curated cheese selection.
                                                        Now I wouldn't by any produce their for sure and you aren't going for a bargain. Just stay away from the 6$ eggs and 68$ grocery bags and you'll be okay.

                                                2. Note that the grocers lobbied in Los Angeles and Sacramento against the first proposals for plastic bag bans and charging for paper bags. Then the legislation was changed so that the grocers could pocket the ten-cent charge, and voila, they supported it.

                                                  I'll admit it here: In the waning days before the disposable plastic bag ban, I swiped a thick portion of the unseparated plastic bags at a local supermarket so that i could double-bag my stash of paper bags to dispose of damp garbage and the ever-mounting kitty litter.

                                                  20 Replies
                                                  1. re: nosh

                                                    It's great when CHs teach others how to cheat while hurting the planet. YAY.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Cheat? Maybe I'll cop to that, though they were going to have to discard the bags in a few days anyway. (I asked -- there was no efficient process in place that would make returning the unused bags less costly than simply pitching them.)

                                                      Hurting the planet? No way. Representatives of the bag industry who were interviewed on talk-radio before the ban claim that their thin plastic disposable bags are biodegradable. More important, when the thin, disposable bags run out I'll have to buy plastic trash or garbage-size bags which are thicker, as well as much more expensive.

                                                      As a grad student in social psychology at UC Santa Cruz, I was doing research to maximize recycling behavior in 1980.

                                                      1. re: nosh

                                                        I'm glad you brought up cat litter. "Single use" plastic grocery bags are definitely better for that than paper bags. Also, I can't think of a single person that I know that didn't reuse the "single use" plastic grocery bags at least once. Yeah, that's not *that* reusable but we weren't pitching them as soon as we got home and put the groceries away.

                                                        1. re: TheOffalo

                                                          While we reuse when we can, the bags far outweigh their use.

                                                        2. re: nosh

                                                          Having had any number of cats over the decades, I never thought that a store should support that.

                                                          But, hey, if the store said "you bet, take all the bags you want" then I apologize for suggesting that you were stealing. My apologies.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            The complete story is that the checkout person said she wasn't permitted to just let me take a whole handful of the plastic bags. But she left me with the information that they were destined to be tossed and the clear impression she (and the store) didn't care if i took them. So I just left without them on that trip, and then grabbed a healthy handful when exiting the next time.

                                                            Thank goodness I know from my decades as a criminal defense attorney that a confession without a corpus can't be prosecuted....

                                                            1. re: nosh

                                                              Sorry, in no way was I talking about a legal issue.

                                                              1. re: nosh

                                                                a confession without a corpus can't be prosecuted??????

                                                                What does that mean in plain ol' fashioned English Nosher ????

                                                                Thanks.

                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                  It isn't quite accurate. While it is harder to convict of murder when they lack the body (evidence)oooh that parensagains! A few convictions have been obtained when there was no body.
                                                                  I do not know how a confession might alter this.

                                                                  1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                    A corpus is not the same as a corpse.

                                                                    A corpus is evidence that a crime has occurred. For example, if someone confesses to the police that they possessed drugs last week, but there is no independent evidence that the drugs actually existed and that he possessed them, the confession is insufficient to bring charges or convict.

                                                            2. re: nosh

                                                              I believe typical plastic grocery bags take enormous amounts of time to break down. Oxidation in landfills is minimal. The bags do photodegrade but most aren't exposed to sunlight for very long.

                                                              Plastic bags are overrunning the world. Penang banned plastic bags years ago because of the litter issue but more so because the bags were clogging the drainage and sewer systems. This has no longer been an issue post-ban, saving the municipal govt the repeated huge and nasty expense of unclogging their waste systems.

                                                              I think the spirit of many posts is being lost on this issue because of some snarky remarks. maudies5 has always been a straight-up hound with so many valuable contributions. Her OP on this issue leads into a far more vast issue that has potential consequences beyond first world problems. I'd hope more respect to her would be in order.

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                Agreed. But what's wrong with paper grocery bags???

                                                                1. re: bringiton

                                                                  I don't believe I stated there was anything wrong with paper bags. I use paper bags that I've collected from grocery stores that have literally lasted for 2 years and longer. When they are of no more use as grocery bags, their final use is to hold my newspapers that go in the recycle can.

                                                                2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  i agree wholeheartedly.

                                                                  maudies is great in reporting on joints especially in the brentwood/santa monica area, which i think is her usual stomping grounds if i'm not mistaken.

                                                            3. re: nosh

                                                              Since I'm not sure what this thread has to do w/ food (sorry, maudie), I'll add my support about how annoying it is to not have plastic grocery bags for kitty litter!!! The standard plastic bag is the perfect size for a multi-cat household. Sad to say, but one of the reasons I like going to the Farmer's Market now (aside from, you know, the produce, is that I can still get plastic bags there!!!). The other alternative is to use small trash bags, which are still way too big (and, IMHO, more of a drag on the environment than the plastic grocery bag).

                                                              1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                Since you mention the concern for the environment, you can purchase these... at around 20 cents each, they are even cheaper than the Vincente food bags... LOL!!

                                                                https://www.doggiefood.com/index.php/...

                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                    I think you may have given a wrong link.

                                                                  2. re: Dommy

                                                                    Hmmm.... Those might work size-wise. But $0.20 each.... ::sigh:: ;)

                                                                    1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                      Our pups are worth it! Plus, they also smell nice! ;)

                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                              2. FARMSHOP APOLIS MARKET TOTE
                                                                $68
                                                                Farmshopca.com

                                                                18 Replies
                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                  Here is a photograph of the $68 jute tote.

                                                                   
                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                    $68 bucks for a bag ??????

                                                                    that's even worse than their 30 cent bags.

                                                                    but i digress. and sorry guys really didn't not want to extend this discussion into potential WWIII territory.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      It's a beautiful bag…
                                                                      Often contemplated purchasing one for myself but then I'd just leave it in the car like I do the other ones and continue to purchase their paper bags.

                                                                  2. re: maudies5

                                                                    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the owning of $68+ grocery bag - for the groceries at Farmshop no less! - and whinging about $.30 bags.

                                                                    I really don't see what all the fuss is about; if it rankles you that much, simply avoid going.

                                                                    But then, I'm a principled grudge holder of the highest order.

                                                                    1. re: a213b

                                                                      Farmshop is very upscale. The beautiful bag reflects the image of Farmshop…nothing really too hard to understand.
                                                                      I've seen comparable bags at specialty shops in NY or San Francisco or Seattle…it's very common.
                                                                      A 30 cent bag is in the same category….they think they can get away with it, they do obviously, but it's the same bag another place is charging 10 cents for. For those who accidentally forget to bring in their own recyclable it's annoying, an obvious gouge which is pretentious and obnoxious.

                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                        Yes, I've been to Farmshop. Lovely place, nice products.

                                                                        And I "get" the bag. Heck, it even seems nice enough - though the site's description is so precious it deserves to be framed and placed front and center in Wes Anderson's next jewel box.

                                                                        What I don't understand is how maudies5 owns it, shops there, and then is aghast about the $.30 paper bags.

                                                                        1. re: a213b

                                                                          I buy that bag as a gift for my European friends. (when we travel). Amazing ,how well-loved that shopping bag is in France and Italy by my friends who shop at the local markets. Means a lot to them. Also, it has a little pocket inside for a cellphone.
                                                                          I do have one of the bags, the one I photographed. I never use it for shopping. I find it useful for storage. Easy to find and not as ugly as a file cabinet.

                                                                          1. re: a213b

                                                                            Carting around reusable bags to bag my groceries isn't a big priority of mine…that's just me and I don't feel 'less than' for feeling the way I do.
                                                                            I like that when I forget or don't feel like bringing them in to the market, there's an option…I'll pay whatever I have to pay for the paper bags. Maybe I've paid more than the 10 cents and not really noticed…I have no idea because I don't look at the receipt.
                                                                            I'm with maudie on this one. The $68 bag isn't the same as the 30 cent bag. I'd not toss the $68 bag (I'm thinking of purchasing one to take to a friend now that maudie's described what she does with it) but I sure would the 30 cent bag, and do.

                                                                        2. re: a213b

                                                                          I'm a longtime user of reuseable bags and often buy additional bags as "punishment" when I forget mine at home. I too, was having a hard time wraping my head around a $68 jute bag until …

                                                                          FARMSHOP first partnered with Apolis Global Citizen in 2012 bringing this tote to market in support of their Bangladesh Project. The jute bags are crafted by a women’s cooperative in Bangladesh that teaches skills of the craft while paying fair wages, offering health care, and building savings for the women to strike out with businesses of their own (having now spawned hundreds of successful independent craftswomen) or setting up college funds for their children. Know that when you purchase a FARMSHOP market tote, you help us to support these causes …

                                                                          http://farmshopca.com/shop/farmshop-a...

                                                                          If my funds were unlimited I would buy one of these bags for everyone I know. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

                                                                          I like Dommy's "doggie bags" link -- these would be good for lining cloth bags when buying meat or for bathroom waste cans.

                                                                          1. re: yinyangdi

                                                                            Hmm, that makes me wonder if Farmshop might be doing something charitable with that extra .20 cents it's collecting for the bags under discussion in this thread?

                                                                            1. re: yinyangdi

                                                                              Thanks for mentioning the Bangladesh Project. One of the reasons I give these bags as gifts to my friends in Italy and France and elsewhere, is that in addition to their appreciating the quality of the bag, which they use as a tote bag, they also appreciate that it has a fine legacy. This is not a usual shopping bag. It is well crafted, sturdy, has a leather handle and even a pocket inside for a phone or wallet. So, it is well designed. My Venetian friends really appreciate them as they walk everywhere. It is also a great Xmas gift and Farmshop usually sells them out weeks before Xmas.

                                                                              1. re: yinyangdi

                                                                                I'm sure if this was mentioned at the get go, many of us would not have been so quick to find it ridiculous. Speaking for myself, of course.

                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                  That does seem like a rather vital piece of information to "skip over" in terms of this discussion. Speaking for myself, of course.

                                                                                    1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                      I don't see a link in the OP.... Anyhow, I don't *always* click on every link put up.

                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                        I hear ya. I often skip links, too, but I was so curious about the bag, I had to take a look (the link was in a follow-up post by maudies5, so it was easy to miss).

                                                                                        No biggie, just wanted to point it out in case anyone wanted to see the details on the bag in question.

                                                                            2. I wish they'd charge $2 instead and give truly reusable bags.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                I wish they would let me take whatever I wanted for free.

                                                                              2. This whole chaging for bags thing has got to stop. You do realize that when you use a bag food some food particles/liquid inevitably spill into the bag (expecially if you bring home meat, poultry, fish, juice or milk) and that this forms an ideal breading ground for bacteria (especially in the warm confines of your car)? If you use reusable bags, this bacteria builds up over time and is a health hazard. I understand and support the removal of plastic bags, but paper bags are biodegradable and recyclable. The markets get to pocket the mandatory .10 charge for the bags so they support the law. Why do we?

                                                                                69 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bringiton

                                                                                  Every store I shop at has the smaller plastic by fruits/vegs/meats.

                                                                                  I've had some cloth bags for years and no issues yet.

                                                                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                                    But why should our City government mandate that stores must charge .10 for a paper bag? Why the nanny state? Don't you resent being led around and told what kind of bags to use like you are a child?

                                                                                    1. re: bringiton

                                                                                      Yes, thank you. Finally a voice of sanity in this ridiculous topic.

                                                                                      Maudies5, you have every reason to think it's ridiculous. So don't buy the bags or shop there. That's how you voice your opinion in a free market, which thankfully we still have. For now. But you have to admit, it sounds just as ridiculous for you to be saying in the next breath, that you're okay with paying $68 for a reusable bag from the same place. As well as pay the ridiculous markup on just about everything else in that shop.

                                                                                      So no, I don't believe we don't "get" the point that your OP is trying to make. It's just that we don't get you and your actions, no disrespect intended. I still believe this is a free country and you are entitled to feel how you do, speak what you feel, and buy what you wish with your own money.

                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                        What's best for the individual is not necessarily best for the group.

                                                                                        e.g. one person stands in a movie theater, and he can see over everyone's heads. Great for him! But, the person him behind cannot see, so she stands. Eventually everyone stands, and everyone's uncomfortably watching the movie standing up instead of seated comfortably. Everyone loses.

                                                                                        My point is, you kind of have to set rules for everyone to follow. It's not a nanny state-- it's how a civilized society has to work, or else everyone ends up standing.

                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                          i kind of like the analogy, but i'm not quite sure it's applicable to the scenario that we have here.

                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                            I do believe we've had a very similar conversation in the past, and concluded that we agree to disagree. You believe in a common good in a socialistic vein and I believe in a free market where choice reigns and people will do what is best for them and if no one wants to pay the .30 for a bag, the store will perhaps decide it's not the way to go. Or not but it is a freedom of choice. We have that option in this country for 238 years, and somehow, we've managed not to descend into anarchy yet.

                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                              >> we've managed not to descend into anarchy yet.

                                                                                              We're making a damned good effort at it, though!

                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                Oh please do tell.....I'm fascinated by this.

                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                  hopeful the mods won't chime in just yet, so i can enjoy the discussion. :)

                                                                                              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                Unfortunately for accuracy, you've confused
                                                                                                'the common good' with some politicized jargon.

                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                  Just saw a documentary on the old Pacific Electric red car.

                                                                                                  Keeping it chowish, there used to be a restaurant in the PE building at 6th and Main, to which "Harry Cole's" was the much less formal alternative. In those days, restaurants were upscale affairs, and the less expensive places were the cafeterias like Clifton's (and Cole's- remember the PE Buffet portion of the name?)

                                                                                                  Anyway, it turns out that Chinatown and Roger Rabbit were wrong. The red cars died for several reasons. But the greatest failure was that they were always privately held. The free market chose cars over rail, and the red cars stopped being profitable.

                                                                                                  Essentially, everyone exerted individual freedom of choice. Everyone stood up in the movie theater at the same time.

                                                                                                  Now look at what we're left with-- the worst traffic jams in the country, and a bill of billions of dollars to try and rebuild a FRACTION of the rail that we never should have gotten rid of to begin with.

                                                                                                  Individual choice (the automobile) over "socialism" (the red cars). Who wins here, exactly?

                                                                                                  http://www.pacificelectric.org/wp-con...

                                                                                                  At least the free market has kept Cole's alive and kicking.

                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                    Not exactly. I miss the old grungy gritty grimy fill in the blank Cole's PE Buffet which a friend always thought was a curious name to have PE in the
                                                                                                    Middle they tongue in cheek mentioned it referred to Physical Education.

                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                      I visited the grungy old Cole's just once before they closed for renovation. It was a grim place-- shady characters hunched over the bar, dark corners with cobwebs, and a totally unremarkable beef dip. It was kind of fascinating in a haunted history way. I wandered into the area (which is now closed off) to the right of the bar, and there was a large, empty room with chairs stacked up. Quiet as a library, which none of the bustling vibe that is now has (or, likely, had in the heyday of the red car). In any case, whether Cole's survives for another 100+ years is really a matter of what people choose to buy. Free market capitalism in action-- I'm fine with that.

                                                                                                      I feel much more comfortable applying the "free market" argument to a restaurant than I do to something like the red cars, which should have been owned and operated by the government. When the red cars stopped being profitable, private industry dumped it (as they should have). That's exactly the time government should have stepped in to save it, to operate it at a loss using tax dollars, until people came to their senses and realized a combination of rail, bus and personal autos was the solution everyone needs. But we were short sighted, and we let it go. Crushing commuter traffic on the 101/405/5/110 is the modern day result.

                                                                                                      And consider the free market impact on the loss of a public transport artery. Brand Blvd in Glendale was once a thriving business district during the heyday of the red car. When the red cars left, business went away, and Brand Blvd rents plummeted. If people can't easily and quickly get to Brand Blvd, how are they supposed to support local businesses there? Subsidized public transit empowers the free market system.

                                                                                                      That's an important role of government-- to help people move around easily (using tax dollars) so that citizens can spend money to support local business, restaurants, theaters.

                                                                                                      And consider Watts and Compton residents who, without the red car, could no longer practically commute to downtown (commutes on buses were 3-4 times longer than the red car) leading to job loss and economic downtown on a huge scale, the effects of which we've never fully recovered from.

                                                                                                      It's a fascinating cautionary tale, and very interesting that Cole's has witnessed it all, throughout its many iterations.

                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                        <That's an important role of government-to help people move around easily (using tax dollars)…>

                                                                                                        Infrastructure is an important role of government. We see, in action, how the government in our great state of California, has mismanaged tax dollars and they now don't have the budget or resources to keep basic potholes to a minimum.
                                                                                                        I'm all for government managing our everyday lives if it's efficient, productive and financially feasible…

                                                                                                        However when, really, does government do the job it's elected to do?
                                                                                                        I'll use USPS as an example... Complete fiasco…employee wise and efficiency wise.
                                                                                                        Getting back to the OP…
                                                                                                        I have no problem with the prices at Farmshop. I love the place and they're fulfilling the need of the population that wants it. It's free enterprise at its finest. If there wasn't the need it wouldn't survive. For those who don't like the prices then, I guess, stay away and there'll be no need to complain.

                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                          "For those who don't like the prices then, I guess, stay away and there'll be no need to complain."

                                                                                                          This is, basically, what many above have said to the OP (whom, I want to be clear, I really like, based on her other posts).

                                                                                                          1. re: a213b

                                                                                                            <what many above have said to the OP>

                                                                                                            Maudie's not complaining about Farmshop prices…from where I sit she's never talked about prices other than the 30 cent bags which are no different than the bags at surrounding markets.

                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                              Soooo, $0.30 is NOT the price of the bag?

                                                                                                              Color me confused, and I'll just leave it at that.

                                                                                                              1. re: a213b

                                                                                                                My issue is that Farmshop is charging 30 cents for a paper bag , whereas every other market in the area is charging 10 cents, That is the essence of my complaint...pure and simple. No further comment necessary.

                                                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                  And they consistently charge more for items you can buy cheaper elsewhere. As do thousands of other grocers and other retailers, where's the rage about that?

                                                                                                                  As I said earlier I applaud them for charging more for the bags and sincerely hope others in the area take their lead. If more folks felt ripped off then maybe more people would bring/remember the reusable bags

                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                    No rage at all. People can afford it, don't look at prices, and they want places like Farmshop.
                                                                                                                    Seems the only rage, for places like this, is from those who find it 'disgusting' because of their own personal reasons….quoting another poster.
                                                                                                                    Once again…because it seems the same people don't get the reason for the OP…
                                                                                                                    A 30 cent bag.

                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                      It reminds me of that 76 station that sits on the SE corner of 26th and San Vicente Blvd. They sell all grades of gas at a considerably higher price than many, many other stations outside of the Brentwood/Santa Monica nexus. If you live or shop in that area then .30 cent paper bags or .20 cent more a gallon gasoline just comes with the territory.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        Yes it does and it's expected. Go over the hill into the valley and the gas prices are much cheaper. It's a perfect example.
                                                                                                                        I was asked if I wanted to purchase bags from Farmshop, when I responded 'yes' they then told me they were 30 cents.
                                                                                                                        I purchased 3 because of the amount of items I had and then thought about what I'd just done.
                                                                                                                        Had they not told me I, most likely, would have never noticed because I do expect to pay more in places like that.
                                                                                                                        Just like the gasoline.

                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                          Hee Hee. Anyone getting three bags of groceries from farm shop can afford $.30 bags.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                            Yes I can, actually.
                                                                                                                            Like Maudie, I was a little irritated when I was alerted by the clerk. I would have never noticed otherwise, had I not been told.
                                                                                                                            It has nothing to do with the price.

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              but what about all the other products that have jacked up prices? that doesn't irritate you as much right? I guess it took a while for me to tune into a thread about bag prices but now that I did I'm sorry maudies pissed and there's an obvious solution...move to Compton.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                Doesn't irritate me in the slightest. I expect to pay higher prices in an affluent area. If I couldn't afford it I'd be shopping somewhere where I COULD afford it.
                                                                                                                                What's so unexpected about the prices in Brentwood? Why on earth would anyone be irritated?
                                                                                                                                To me, that's just ridiculous.
                                                                                                                                I now know Farmshop charges 30 cents for their bags. I'll act accordingly next time…will it stop me from shopping there?
                                                                                                                                No.

                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                  I guess I'm not seeing why the high bag prices are different than the high fruit prices or high gas prices. They charge a price the market (except for Maudie who's right) doesn't blink at. And a lot of affluent areas have shops that charge the normal rate too, including for bags, as noted by Maudie. For me Farmshop would be pretty mediocre in many parts of town but a good spot to hit in Brentwood. What's something to consider is the abundance of better restaurants in non-affluent areas--why do you think that is?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                    I don't blink at the price I pay for gas in my area either or food or anything else.
                                                                                                                                    It goes with the territory.
                                                                                                                                    My market, BF on Beverly, still charges 10 cents a bag (they could easily charge higher and nobody'd blink) but they don't. As a matter of fact they don't charge me at all.
                                                                                                                                    I could care less about the price of the items, for the 100th time, but the price of the bag stumped me. Perhaps it's because I'm not sure why they did it.
                                                                                                                                    Just one of life's little mysteries.
                                                                                                                                    As far as 'better restaurants'? Good question.
                                                                                                                                    I gladly drive the distance to Inglewood to eat the best fresh fish in LA…why isn't it around where I live?
                                                                                                                                    Another little mystery I've never been able to figure out.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                      " Perhaps it's because I'm not sure why they did it."

                                                                                                                                      Because they can?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                        so why do you "blink" at a 30 cent bag??

                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                          When the first Starbucks opened in my old home town I 'blinked' at the price of a cup of coffee Howard Schultz was charging. Now I don't even think about it when I order my coffee.
                                                                                                                                          It doesn't take me long, after that first 'blink', to adapt.
                                                                                                                                          I believe all retailers, at some point, are going to take the plunge and that 10 cent bag will become obsolete.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                      (You did say upthread "However, when it dawned on me that I'd been charged the 30 cents per bag I felt like a fool.")

                                                                                                                                      You keep saying that people are conflating the price of the 30 cent bag with the price of the food, and how people should expect to pay more for the food but that has nothing to do with the price of the bag.

                                                                                                                                      I think most people don't have a problem with the concept that the prices are higher in Brentwood. If Farmshop and 99 Ranch both carried a particular item (doubtful, I know), then I would fully expect it to cost more at Farmshop.

                                                                                                                                      It's that expectation that's driving the incredulity of the $0.30 vs $0.10 bag kerfuffle. Yes, other Brentwood grocery stores happens to charge the standard $0.10, and Whole Foods in Brentwood (and elsewhere) give a $0.10 credit when you bring your own bag. But just because there hasn't been much variability in bag pricing, doesn't mean there couldn't or shouldn't be.

                                                                                                                                      I'm curious... If all Brentwood grocery stores charged $0.30 for bags, then would you think that maudies5's OP would be "ridiculous" since that would just be complaining about Brentwood being more expensive in general? What if Farmshop is just the first in a trend of variable grocery bag pricing?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                        <then would you think that maudie5's Op would be "ridiculous">

                                                                                                                                        I don't think maudie's OP was ridiculous…if fact I've had her back throughout this entire thread.
                                                                                                                                        She and I, presumably, think alike about Farmshop.
                                                                                                                                        In answer to your question…
                                                                                                                                        I'm assuming people will adapt to the pricing of bags. 10 cents seemed to be the going price and now Farmshop may or may not have started an upward trend in pricing.
                                                                                                                                        Who knows and frankly I don't really care. It was surprising but I'll certainly adapt and play or not play the game.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                        Differential packaging and pricing isn't common in the US but very common among high end retailers in Europe. If you wanted the fancier bags and boxes you paid for them. And actually it was sort if the reverse, you got the expensive box as a tourist but locally also said no box.

                                                                                                                                        A lot of people would rather tote around a farm shop bag than a Von's bag.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                More like 50 cents more and you're right

                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                  or olmpic and fairfax, the gas there is astronomical in pricin compared to other places/areas.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                    I think the one on the corner of Wilshire and 26th even has that one beat.... And it's usually empty.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                    No rage? I see a lot of rage over a 30cent bag. I applaud them for charging it and again hope that other stores raise their price on bags too.

                                                                                                                                    If one doesn't like the price, then they need not buy it. It's called voting with your wallet.

                                                                                                                                    I routinely shop at places similar to Farmshop and it would never occur to me complain that they charge too much for some things and not others. My speciality high end cheese shop charges considerably more than WF for the same local goat cheese that I love. But the service is wonderful and they carry number of unique items I can't find at WF. I just can't fathom coming on here and complaining that they charge $25 for goat cheese that every other store charges $20 for! The nerve! SMH

                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                      The price of items is being confused with the price of the 30 cent bag. Once again, nobody's complaining about the price of the items in the store.
                                                                                                                                      I thought about what I'd paid, was a little irritated they'd charge more than their neighboring retailers, and then was happy to know about it next time.
                                                                                                                                      It goes with the neighborhood. They get away with it because very few people are watching prices.
                                                                                                                                      It's the same mentality of people who're shopping Rodeo Drive that live in the area.
                                                                                                                                      Expect to pay more….alot more for everything.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                        i don't see it as them "getting away" with anything.
                                                                                                                                        they really are not in the business of trying to sell paper bags.
                                                                                                                                        the "price" of the paper bags is really assessed as a way to DISCOURAGE people from using/buying said bags.

                                                                                                                                        the "price" is just supposed to be irritating enough to cause their customers NOT to use the bags.
                                                                                                                                        completely different concept.
                                                                                                                                        Farmshop decided that a price of 10 cents is not irritating enough to their clientele.

                                                                                                                                        the very fact that maudies5 started this thread, demonstrates that a 30 cent charge IS, in fact, enough of an irritation for people to notice.

                                                                                                                                        good work Farmshop.
                                                                                                                                        keep it up.

                                                                                                                                        what vicente foods does or doesn't do, is irrelevant, imho.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                          That is a great point WSG. I initially didn't attribute any sort of altruism to the higher price and thought the additional disincentive of not bringing ones own grocery bags was a side effect, but you're probably right. Even if everyone forgot to bring grocery bags and Farmshop got to make an extra $0.20 per transaction compared to other shops, I highly doubt that's where their profit center is. I'm sure their other items generate much higher margins.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                              Not saying that exactly, just that it's unlikely they raised the bag prices to make any significant amount of money.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                I think that's exactly why they did it. just like all the other prices. they can get away with it. the market (except for maudie) doesn't blink. it's an ez extra dollar on a lot of sales which adds up.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                LOL…

                                                                                                                                                Perhaps they're saying…"we're going to teach you a lesson but we're also going to make a little money on these higher quality bags".

                                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                  1) let's say you're right.
                                                                                                                                                  if a customer, in order to avoid paying 30 cents per bag, is all of a sudden willing to pay $68, more power to Farmshop for figuring this out

                                                                                                                                                  2) the $68 bag is, imho, a completely different type of item.
                                                                                                                                                  it is: a luxury good (that conspicuously LOOKS LIKE a luxury good) that also has a charitable component to it.

                                                                                                                                                  not really that similar to the paper bag except in terms of function.
                                                                                                                                                  in my experience, luxury goods are in their own world with their own appeal, and functionality is just a small part of their allure.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                    For nearly every day use I use a very lightweight burlap bag which I bought at The Larder. It doubles as a purse when I am going to the store for a few items. Wallet, keys and cell in that bag. Great when shopping at Farmers market and have my shopping cart. Keeps my berries from getting squashed.

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                      still burlap bags for 32 bucks ??????

                                                                                                                                                      not for me.

                                                                                                                                                      i'd just much rather put those dollars to good use to fee my tummy. :)

                                                                                                                                                      btw, this whole thread is moot for me, since i don't like the goods at FarmShop from the retail to the restaurant side, i realize i'm in the minsicule minority on this one.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                        $22.95. Look at the photo more carefully. Also, it doubles as a purse $22.95 is mighty cheap for purse/shopping bag

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                          my bad, my eyes are going to hell and a hand basket, i guess.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                            There are 2 or 3 wines they stock that I have a hard time finding anywhere else…
                                                                                                                                                            They stock a couple of my favorite jams and jellies from little local companies I'd otherwise have to mail order from.
                                                                                                                                                            I'm not a huge fan of their bakery but I do like some of their sandwiches and side dishes to take away.
                                                                                                                                                            They stock crackers that I have a difficult time finding…they're always in stock and I know they're there when I need them.
                                                                                                                                                            There're just some unique items that keep me coming back for more.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                              Ok. Yeah. Like a speciality market.

                                                                                                                                                              But then again for me personally I don't really shop for jams, crackers, etc.

                                                                                                                                                              Though I am
                                                                                                                                                              Interested in those couple of wines you go for.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                            I have to admit I have a thing for using market bags as totes and always buy them for myself and as gifts when I travel. My favorites/most used are from La Grande Epicerie in Paris and Agata and Valentina in New York.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: whatsfordinner

                                                                                                                                                              Have to add that I've been bringing my own bags to the grocery store for years now - it's become a habit. I'm with Mr Taster and the other posters above who don't mind a charge for paper bags to discourage their use.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                    <the 'price' of the paper bags is really assessed as a way to DISCOURAGE people from using/buying said bags>

                                                                                                                                                    It's possible but certainly speculative. They're making a profit on the bags they sell like everything in else in their space.
                                                                                                                                                    Good for them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                      I've been thinking that the entire time I've been reading this thread. I'm glad you made the point.

                                                                                                                                                      Ten cents a bag isn't much to folks who can afford to shop at an upscale store selling luxury food items. And the whole point of the law is not for stores to be in the bag business, it's to discourage people from using paper and plastic bags. Maybe at 30 cents a bag, folks will have more of an incentive to bring their own shopping bags.

                                                                                                                                                      I agree with you, good post.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    Quaint story, but the transportation areas where our government uses tax dollars are basically all failures. The Northeast corridor of Amtrak is a prime example, even though it traverses through some of the most prime eating areas in the country - Boston to New York, with great restaurants to be found at almost every stop along the way. Being that I went to school there, I rode it rather frequently. I recently looked up prices for a recent trip, and found them to be astronomical. And they have been bleeding millions for years. And it's never been improved. And we still spent tax dollars on repairing and widening and retrofitting I-95, and it's still crowded. Throwing tax dollars at transportation projects has not eased our freeways or population growth in the slightest. At best it's usually a band aid approach for a hemorrhage and/or a pay off to a well connected contractor or construction firm.

                                                                                                                                    The bullet train to nowhere is another brilliant example of government idiocy and waste at it's finest. The reason no private firms will take on such a debacle is simply because the project will never break even. Meaning you and I get to continue to be taxed at higher and higher rates to build, staff and maintain it. While a handful of people will use it. And I will bet there will no CHOW type of destination restaurants along the way, either.

                                                                                                                                    And hate to break it to you, but shoddy public transportation to downtown is not the sole reason for the higher unemployment rates to the south of LA. We've got bigger socioeconomic problems at work there. And, I have someone who works for me and manages the commute from Watts to the Westside. And has for ten years. If your job is important to you, you handle the commute as best you can. What about the metro trains that exist now? Every time I see one go by, it's less than 1/8th full. Build them and they will be used does not seem to apply to this sprawled out city that loves it's autos.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                      and i thought the "bullet train" was supposed to get from SF to LA in about two hours, which might be worthwhile, but once they mentioned if i'm not mistaken that it will go from somewhere in the SFV to Bakersfield as the end of the line it didn't quite seem worthwhile to put it lightly especially since additionally it would take double the time.

                                                                                                                                      hence, most would go back to riding on the plan, and that small sliver of the population would probably just rather take the train which already somewhat has the infrastructure and bureaucracy already in place.

                                                                                                                                      oh, well, my bad… don't want to start a conflagration here.

                                                                                                                                      but to keep it chowish, i thought the cold fried chicken at Farmshop to be absolutely, and positively, putrid. and i don't usually say that about grub.

                                                                                                                                      though i remember their prixe fixe non-fried chicken dinners to be somewath good if already overpriced.

                                                                                                                                      sorry for the typos, turns of phrase, etc.

                                                                                                                      2. re: bringiton

                                                                                                                        solution: buy case of paper bags, leave in trunk of car.

                                                                                                                        1. re: bringiton

                                                                                                                          I frequently wash my cloth bags in hot water in washing machine.

                                                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                            My car gets so hot (I park it outside half the day) that I see no need to wash unless there's something gross and sticky inside. No microbe is surviving my car. =) and =(

                                                                                                                              1. re: bringiton

                                                                                                                                Yes, and I wash my bags every couple of weeks. Transitioning to reusable bags is a habit that takes time. Seven years ago, I never would have brought a bag with me to the store. But I married someone who set a good example, and I remember my bags about 80% of the time. Not perfect, but trying. I am also willing to hand-carry 4-5 items if I forgot my bag.

                                                                                                                                1. re: running pig

                                                                                                                                  >> Transitioning to reusable bags is a habit that takes time.

                                                                                                                                  It is. I still sometimes forget to bring my bags, and I have every good intention of doing so.

                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    Same here. Unlike Mr Bringiton, I now put them in the front passenger seat where they are visually accessible.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                  i heard "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                                                                    And you can tell that James Brown feels really great about it.

                                                                                                                                2. We realize this thread may be too far gone for this, but can we ask that people please try to talk about bags and prices, rather than about their fellow hounds? Please don't make the conversation personal. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                      For what it's worth, you are A-OK by me, maudies5. I have a lot of respect for anyone who keeps a cool head when others are getting hot under the collar (methinks their collars are too tight).

                                                                                                                                      If you are ever in the Main St. part of Santa Monica, and would like to join me for an iced tea and something sweet to wash the sour taste of this thread out of your (and my) mouth, drop me an email (see my profile). My treat, my pleasure.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                        Me tooo. Me tooo. :)

                                                                                                                                        And did someone mention sweet tea ????

                                                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                          yeah, maudies i like you too. :)

                                                                                                                                      2. So don't have them out your stuff in a bag, there you don't even have to bring your own.

                                                                                                                                        1. Breaking news in BagGate:

                                                                                                                                          Last week, I initiated an email conversation with a Farmshop representative about this issue (curiosity and tenacity being twin vices of mine), and in a thorough, polite and thoughtful response from them, am told that they are now lowering their bag charge to 10 cents. The representative also noted that they will continue to work to educate staff and customers on the benefits of bringing reusable bags.

                                                                                                                                          I always appreciate when a company takes the time to respond in nicely written detail, and when a company is flexible and responsive to customer feedback, so I think they just made a new customer out of me.

                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                            I'm curious if you mentioned the City Ordinance posted above in your e-mail to them?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                              Without mentioning any specific City Ordinance(s), I did ask if there is any upper limit imposed by the law. Per the representative, there is no upper limit on bag charge, "so long as it's justified in the reporting to the county."

                                                                                                                                              The reporting requirements were explained as follows:

                                                                                                                                              "The monies received from the charge are tracked and reported quarterly to the county, and the revenue is retained in full and untaxed by the retailers. On the reporting form, retailers are required to list those things the revenue are going towards: cost of bags, any sort of signage or promotion of reusable shopping bags, education, outreach, etc."

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                Confirmed. Farmshop now charging 10 cents a bag. Cashiers are overjoyed.
                                                                                                                                                Kudos to spoonlicker for being proactive.

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                    I neglected to mention earlier that in my email to Farmshop, I referenced this thread. So, my sense is that the discussion here was more influential than anything I may have said in my email, so all credit goes to all the good 'hounds who weighed in on various sides of the issue, and gave well-rounded input for the Farmshop folks to evaluate (along with the in-store feedback from customers).

                                                                                                                                                    Personally, I always have to laugh at how penny-wise / pound-foolish I am when it comes to this type of thing. At my billable rate, multiplied by the time I spent in this thread, I probably could have bought all the ladies in this thread one of those lovely $68 bags. (Guys can buy their own damn man-sacks...just kidding, I love our fellow guy-hounds, too. Just not $68 worth of love. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                        Ha, I should be so cool.

                                                                                                                                                        I'm a techie (don't hate) in a non-baller niche (where's my Tesla?! I was promised a Tesla!).

                                                                                                                                                        It says more about the amount of time I spend in CH than about my rate of pay that I'd be able to pass out bags like Halloween candy around here.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                                          imagine if one spent less time on ch and was more productive…..

                                                                                                                                                          oh, forget it….

                                                                                                                                                          who would want a significantly less delicious world ???????

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                            well, to quote spoonlicker, "man-sacks"

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                  No; the trick was buying it a year ago at 137! (rubs hands together).