Grocery List: October 27, 2013

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Ahh…Sunday morning.

The coffee has been consumed. Laundry is piled near the basement door. The Kid, still in her pajamas, has consumed four episodes of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from the DVR and is now concerned with the excretory practices of her dollhouse people (this might be my fault as 20 minutes ago I told her that the daddy had diarrhea and needed to sit on the toilet for some alone time). We’re anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes away from packing it in for an afternoon at my in-laws house.

I say that like we go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. In reality, we drive four minutes (depending on how long it takes to make a left on West Genesee Street without the benefit of a traffic light). The allure of family nearby has been a reason to stay in this area. Everyone seems to be getting older and in need of more attention. First it was the grandparents and their varying degrees of dementia and age-related diseases. Now, it’s our parents and that generation. From my driveway, I can be to the houses of her parents, as well as two of our aunts, in less than 10 minutes. For as much complaining (contrived and real) as I do about our families, the fact that they are there overrides that. If nothing else, hey, free childcare.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. My stream of consciousness apparently had less behind it than I thought. I guess my summarizing thought is this: family…not as bad as I make them out to be.

***

I went to Tops yesterday. Two of them, actually. We had dinner with friends last night and The Wife wanted Harvest Moon Cidery. Brilbeck’s Corner Market was out of stock, but the cidermaker has a distribution deal with Tops. I figured quick in-and-out. I figured wrong.

I should have known better than to hit the dumpy Tops in Westvale Plaza. In addition to consistently smelling like the meat cooler bonked, the store carries necessities and more store-brand items. Check that. It’s built for its neighborhood, a lower middle class to impoverished area. It serves a role within that community, but there’s not a lot of high-end product there.

About 4 or 5 miles up the road in Camillus is the “nice” Tops. This one smells like seafood, namely because they have fresh seafood there. They have a rather impressive organic subsection to the store, featuring more gluten-free products than I was expecting. And, yes, there was plenty of Harvest Moon Cider including Four Screw, The Wife’s preferred label.

I’ve known for a longtime that Tops (and P&C before it locally) paled in comparison to the inventory and aesthetic of Wegmans. I spent four years shopping at Tops in college. The Olean store was long considered one of the nicer stores. I never really thought about the haves and havenots within the same chain of stores before yesterday. You have to hand it to ownership for understanding its demographic and serving them on an individual store-to-store basis. They understand the economic realities of that community and cater to them with value.

It’s nice to see a company do that, even if they’re from Buffalo.

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