MY FAVORITE BUSINESSES- Shopping at the Grocery Outlet

When I first discovered the Grocery Outlet, they were in a slightly different location than they are now. The old place was in the same part of town, I just can’t remember where, so if anyone does, tell us please. The old one was a bit more adventurous for the shopper. The used to carry jams from Turkey and honey from places like Moldova. Every visit was an adventure. If you saw something you liked, you had to just grab it because it might disappear, never to return.

Since the move, it’s a different experience. Gone is the schadenfreude I used to feel from mixing with the hoipoloi.  These days I’m one of them, and glory in my identification with the 99%. GO is evolving, too.  Nowadays, like Safeway, they send you emails about their current offerings. I go about once a month (my food comes from Winco, COSTCO, Murphy’s and Safeway, in pretty much that order). I always go when there’s a food drive on.  Not only can you fill your bag cheaply, they stock the kinds of food you want for a food drive- canned soups and stews, peanut butter, tuna. I go to buy for the food drive,  then end up buying more stuff for myself than for Food for People. This last time GO was featuring Harris Ranch ground beef in 3 lb chubs for $10 and change. Considering the godawful rise in GB prices lately ($4.99/lb at Safeway) this is a no-brainer.  Made two meat loaves.

They still have the weird imports and the domestic non-starters too.  I bought tapenade from Peru and low-sugar marmalade from Smucker’s for $1.99.  (The NO-sugar version version goes for over $3 at Murphy’s.) They have Irish cheese and I picked up some Stilton, very cheap. They have a lot more fresh produce than they used to and their beer prices are excellent.  Definitely the first stop when I’m giving a party. 

So if you haven’t been  there, give GO a try.  Nice people,  good prices.  And on top of everything else, it’s just across the parking lot from Mike’s DriveUp,  of Garlic Fries fame.  I’ve never appreciated the Garlic Fries,  but Mike’s is the only place in Humboldt -as far as I know-  where you can get an LA Tommy’s-style cheeseburger, sloppy. drippy, gooey. With chili? Of course.

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18 thoughts on “MY FAVORITE BUSINESSES- Shopping at the Grocery Outlet

  1. Just saw a post on an LA forum referencing Tommy’s and their $6.50 combo.
    I think the “y” ending indicates it’s the one at Pico and Beverly or was it Alvarado? The Santa Monica Tommie’s was spelled like that although I’m going to have to hit Google to see if it’s still around.

  2. The wife loves Grocery Outlet. She shops there more than once a week sometimes. Me? Not so much. It’s ok for some good deals, but you can’t always count on them having the same thing more than once.

    The wife will find something one trip I’ll really enjoy. Next time she goes, they don’t have it, and might not have it ever again. Hate that. It’s Winco for me.

    I don’t get that circling and announcing “your savings” on the receipt, either. “You saved a total of $26.60 today”. Saved, compared to what?

  3. Grocery Outlet is in its original location, but is not in its original building.
    In about 2005 Grocery Outlet decided to expand by tearing down their old location an rebuilding on top of it. They temporarily moved into the Old Larry’s Grocery across from the post office during the renovation. After the renovation they returned to their Commercial st. location.

    • Well, I’m glad we got that settled! I wasn’t even aware that they moved twice. Glad other people have better memories than I do.

  4. Grocery Outlet has become what Trader Joe’s used to be with an eclectic selection of products. Trader Joe’s has really gone main stream since it was bought by a German company. I believe the old Grocery Outlet was the same building, just expanded on what was the former Blue Chip Stamps redemption store. Also, how come the Co-Op was not on your list? (Tommy Burgers–haven’t thought of them in a long time, but Al Cassell’s place is back. He ground his own beef and made his own condiments in a small place on West Sixth St.)

    • TJ’s (now owned by ALDI) tries to be what the GO is. I hate the way TJ tries to present a folksy persona to disguise its corporate roots. Don’t you love the way they carefully construct their aisleways to be crowded? Supposed to add to the experience, but actually sucks. The Co-Op not on my list? Well, this wasn’t meant to be a list of ALL my favorite businesses and Co-Op isn’t among my favorites anyway.

      • If you like the Eureka Grocery Outlet, you should check out the Outlets in both Crescent City and Harbor, Oregon the next time you travel north. The Harbor store is amazing.
        Also, why isn’t the Co-Op among your favorites? It is a North Coast institution.

        • I respect the Co-Op but don’t love it. I used to try to eat lunch there when they were at 5th &L and I worked downtown but their lunch menu was never accurate and I never got into the habit of going to the new place, the one that looks like it’s made of Lego pieces. Thank God, because my food bill would be 20% higher if I did. I don’t eat organic except as a crime of opportunity, in other words if it costs the same as conventional I’ll buy organic. Actually, of ENF, Co-Op and Wildberries I don’t know who I’d pick as a favorite.

  5. Grocery Outlet used to be across the street from the post office on Clark Street where the thrift store is now.

    I remember shopping there back then too.

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