The Top Ten Reasons Not to Cross the Picket Line at Vons

10. The locked-out workers lingering near the doors say nothing as you pass; they simply stare
9. There are only six other shoppers in the store, four over the age of 75, one of whom leans on his walker staring at the gourds, another who talks to herself near the polenta
8. There are no pyramids of produce
7. There are no snow peas
6. The refrigerated meat and poultry area features packages one-deep so it looks as though there are many to choose from; there are not
5. The fish department is empty and dark
4. There are bags of Doritos where the bagels and English muffins are suppose to be
3. The cashier cannot figure out how to get the scanner to weigh
2. The bagging boy looks like the kid on the porch in ìDeliveranceî
1. The groceries cost more than theyíve been costing at fancy-schmancy Gelsonís

11 thoughts on “The Top Ten Reasons Not to Cross the Picket Line at Vons”

  1. My wife and I have actually had fun exploring new markets in our area. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to Pavilions being our everytime supermarket.

    We had forgotten that variety is the spice of life.

  2. Michael just brought up a really good point that I don’t think anyone considered before hand. The stores that are striking are the lower level stores, the ones the everyman go to ( I know, I’m one of them) who would never go to Gelsons or any other place because it’s too expensive. But, those of us that have been going have found out it’s not REALLY that much more expensive but the quality of the food, cleanliness of the stores, and attitudes of the people are SO much better. I’m glad to spend an extra $2 to go see a movie at Arclight because it’s a better overall experience and I walk away happy. After the strike is over, I don’t think I’ll be going back to Ralphs. This other stuff is too nice. I think alot of other people feel the same.

    Ralphs et al thought people would leave for the strikes then come back, but I think a lot of people found out how much greener the other side of the fence is and decided to move.

  3. Word. Gelson’s is fantastic. The difference in price is really minor and the quality of food is amazing. I also have been going to Big Saver, which is definitely not high quality, but is very, very cheap, and great especially for canned/dry goods and toothpaste and stuff. Avoid Food for Less at all costs, though, that place is hell. Truly. I picked up a bag of potatoes and they leaked on me. I actually considered crying, right there in the produce section.

    Oh, and whole foods? Lord. It’s just Trader Joes, but four times more expensive. I was really dissapointed.

  4. As the strike goes on beyond ad nauseam, what amazes me most (though it shouldn’t) is that “cool” LA blogosphere people seem to just be discovering the quality and value that’s been there all along at Trader Joe’s, Gelson’s, ethnic corner markets, farmers’ markets . . . . even Whole Foods (and Bristol Farms in a different way).

    It’s about time (central) Angelenos learned how to shop like actual discerning, sophisticated city people, not tasteless herd mentality suburbanites. This city still has a stereotyped, bad national rap for such “clueless” reasons.

    If you’ve been doing all your shopping at supermarket chains, you might as well be shopping at WalMart.

    If all goes well and as “planned,” a major enlarging shift in perspective just might turn out to be permanent — affecting other areas of LA life.


    On the other hand, it’s okay by me if the crowds go back where they belong when the strike is settled.

  5. I think that what you said in your post is a pretty LARGE assumption to think that just because people are going to shop more at other places means that prior to that they’ve been mindless sheep shopping at the big stores. I’m vegan, I’ve been going to Whole Foods since the first store opened in Chicago…I loved shopping at my small local health food store when I lived in West Hollywood. But, that being said, after working ten hours at my own business, the last thing I want to do is go find a new grocery store shopping experience. So, I would run into Ralph’s, pick up a movie at the independent movie rental place (gasp, not BlockBuster) and go home. Now, because I won’t cross the line, I’ve discovered Gelsens which I love. Trader Joes is another story…it’s hard to park there but whatever they have 60 cent pasta.

    Anyway, my point is that your comment was a bit rude and a bit uniformed. Just because you read someone’s blog doesn’t mean you know enough to comment about them personally.

  6. hmmm. I don’t even know where to begin with that one. I’ve lived in several major cities, Chicago, Dallas, Tampa, Washington DC, and not only have I never once heard “oh you know those LA types, they shop at big chain grocery stores! HA!” but everyone in those cities shops in them too. Whatever sterotypes you think there are about “LA People” there’s even bigger ones about the upper crust grocery stores. In LA, and everywhere else. I doubt anyone didn’t know about those places, they’ve just heard the same thing about them I had, that they were over priced and not worth it. I’m vegan, so I’ve been shopping at Whole Foods for a long time and all the crap people say about that place is true. They carry some things I can’t get else where, but the stuff they have that places like Ralphs also carries is sometimes twice as expensive. Since I’m not made of money I have to consider that kind of thing and I really don’t see how compairative shopping makes me “clueless”.

  7. A sense of humor . . . . would help. Lighten up, I didn’t mean to be offensive or for anyone to take supermarket chains personally.

    In reading Los Angeles bloggers, it’s likely that only exclusively Ralph’s/Von’s/Pavillion’s/Safeway shoppers are lost without supermarket chains and are complaining about having to eat out all the time during the strike (etc.).

    That was a generic “you” not directed at Nancy or any specific blogger, I wrote “if you’re doing ALL your shopping at supermarket chains,” and comparative shopping with unpredictable results for best deals (including chains) on quality and value is pretty much the whole idea. I have to admit to having the grocery shopping styles of New York and San Francisco in mind more than any other big cities.

    Lighten up, Sean. You (and Caryn) are reading the wrong things into my comment. I’m sure you both make your own decisions about where you shop not just based on what “everyone’s heard.”

    Everything in moderation, including moderation . . . . and convenience.

    Touchy subject, huh? :-)

  8. RorI: We’re all just talking and no ones really resorted to name calling or anything so I don’t think it’s time for the calls to lighten up just yet.

    Please go read your inital post and tell me how:

    “what amazes me most… is that “cool” LA blogosphere people seem to just be discovering the quality and value that’s been there all along… This city still has a stereotyped, bad national rap for such “clueless” reasons.”

    isn’t meant to be offensive, because I certainly took it that way, and I got a few e-mails from people asking “Whoah! What the hell is that guys problem?” so I think some other people did to. I just reread your post again myself and don’t see any indication of a sense of humor either, you seem to just be talking smack through the whole thing.

  9. I’ve always shopped at Trader Joes along with other sources. Whole Foods is great for fish and meat for instance. Then again I’m not a cool LA blogger…

    But as most people would attest, you can’t get everything you need at TJ’s or Whole Foods.

    There are things that are cheaper at the big chains, like cat litter (whole foods sells wheat your cats can shit on, as if that wheat couldn’t serve a better purpose elsewhere).

    I need *real* laundry soap, not the unscented mother earth variety. Hell, I could take my drawers down to the LA river and get better cleaning.

    Though you can now go to Ralph’s, I’ve only rarely done so. Instead I picked up the slack over at my corner store and at Costco for those sorts of things.

  10. although it’s a hassle sometimes in my area to have to drive to 4 stores to get what I want, I do find that I’m not really missing Von’s et al any more. Although I did like the bread at Von’s, the bakery by my house is cheaper and better.

    The Big Three are lumbering dinosaurs who would rather stick it to the workers as a quick fix for their woes instead of say, adapting to a new marketplace and economy and evolving. Funny how business in america is so anti capitalist at its core.

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