POLL: Which Local Grocery Store Do You Prefer?

Let us know what you think.

We have a story coming this week about local grocery stores. You'll see what it is when we publish it, but, ahead of that, we thought we'd ask you which store you prefer.

Cast your vote below.

Emily M November 01, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I go to each store for different reasons. boxed/canned/packaged goods = Market Basket Deli counter = Stop and Shop Produce = neither - the prices and quality are terrible. For that I go to Calareso's. yes this means I have to make multiple trips to get my shopping done but after enduring rotten produce at the supermarkets I consider it a necessity. Also, I can't abide going to Market Basket on a weekend. Just save your sanity and don't do it. You have to go on really off hours or you end up crushed to death with the masses.
M November 02, 2011 at 12:49 AM
If I go to a Market Basket, it's worth the trip to me to go to the one on rt 38 in Wilmington - feels like the aisles are a foot wider & entire store much larger. It feels like any time I'm in the Reading store, regardless of time of day or day of week, at all aisles except frozen goods has at least one, if not two, employees set of with a large pallet restocking. While that's a testament to how fast the store sells stuff, I think it greatly slows down & adds to stress of every shopping trip. As for the deli, S&S is nice, but the prices are easily $3 a lb more for most items as compared to MB. Of course, you try to go to the MB deli on a Sunday morning...you may as well do your entire shopping trip while you wait because it's going to be at least 30-40 minutes...I've gone there and been more than 70 numbers behind the present number! I wish I was kidding. At that point, I'll just get prepackaged. Calareso's is good quality but I hate getting in & out of it. Very difficult battling the Gas Station/dunkin traffic next door. I'm trying to see how new locale will be an improvement, unless they can get a dedicated entrance off new South St/Jacob way reconfig, you'll just be caught in the traffic at the light, much as you are when exiting McDonalds at that intersection.
John November 02, 2011 at 01:16 PM
For cold cuts, Luccis in Wilmington is the only place to go.
AnonLikeU November 02, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I prefer Stop & Shop though not because the prices are better, although sometimes they are. I don't eat deli, so I don't have to concern myself with that. If there is something on sale, I buy in bulk. And, they have the gas points. My last two fill ups I got .10 and .20 off/gallon respectively and the Shell prices are cheaper than almost all the other stations to start with. For produce though, I also shop at Calareso's when I have time, the quality is better.
Jonathan Pickering November 02, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Has anyone noticed that the crowds at more value-saving grocery stores are getting a little out-of-hand. I sometimes shop over at the Market Basket in Somerville and the crowds are insane every time I go?
David Branga November 02, 2011 at 05:07 PM
I like S & S for the gas points, but where is the sweet spot of savings? Not sure. Is it just cheaper to go to MB versus saving $6 or so a month (.40 off, 15 gallons). My kids swear by MB split top wheat bread. Anything else won't get eaten. So no matter what, I have to go to MB. I seem to find the prices a lot cheaper, but it is ALWAYS more crowded than S & S. I think the deli is better at S & S and is easier to get in and out of, but the prices are higher.
CR November 02, 2011 at 05:28 PM
I would avoid the Somerville MB at all costs, head over to the Chelsea MB - it is huge, newer and my favorite place to shop.
VS November 02, 2011 at 05:44 PM
I loved going to The Atlantic and miss it dearly. Who knew the town could support the Atlantic, Stop and Shop AND Market Basket. Oh wait...
Karl Weld November 02, 2011 at 06:34 PM
VS, it's my understanding that the owner of the Atlantic wanted to retire and none of the children wanted to take it over. So, while residents may have continued to support the Atlantic, it doesn't appear that the family who owned it was willing to. Such is the fate of some family-run businesses. Miss the convenience of it though.
M November 02, 2011 at 06:58 PM
David, you're spot on about whether the gas supplement per gallon really makes up for the overall price differential. A typical grocery grocery bill for my family of 4 is about $130 at MB or $160 at S&S, for essentially identical basket of items, we shop avg 3x a month. So that's about $90 a month more to shop @S&S -- and adds up to maybe 40 cents a gallon off one fill-up (less than $6).
VS November 02, 2011 at 07:16 PM
@ Karl. I know. I still miss the Atlantic and feel two mega grocery stores next to each other is a little over-the-top (whether the Town knew what was going in there or not).
SMS November 02, 2011 at 07:40 PM
I do find a $20 difference in shopping orders when going to S&S and MB. But $20 is worth every ounce of my sanity, I leave MB aggravated. Btw the small aisles (which makes the oblivious person in the center of the aisle, impossible to move around) or the deli that has 6 workers behind the counter but the line still moves at a snails pace.
SMS November 02, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Oh and a suggestion. . . peruse the shopping aisles as if you are driving. Stay in the appropriate side of the lane unless passing. As soon as someone is one the wrong side they screw up the flow of shoppers. Lol
Cheryl Buono November 02, 2011 at 08:24 PM
MB for overall much lower prices and no need to carry another shopping card. I can shop off-hours to avoid the crowds. S&S has some good loss-leaders to get you in the store, so if you cherry pick you can get some good buys. Some S&S items are pennies less than MB - not enough to offset the difference vs. MB (dollars sometimes for the same brand item). Organic selection is better at S&S. If you want to save on gasoline use GasBuddy, not the S&S "discount". http://www.bostongasprices.com/GasPriceSearch.aspx
Emily M November 03, 2011 at 01:13 PM
oh yeah, and one more thing. My personal grocery store motto is "carts are a sign of weakness". Do not, I repeat, do not enter MB with a cart because you will end up wanting to kill someone. Everyone loses their collective mind when in MB, it's like you check your logic at the door. Everyone's carts akimbo, kids running around screaming, people thoughtlessly stopping and parking their carts sideways in aisles - attitudes and nastiness everywhere. Most of the time the cost savings isn't worth the hassle. If I can't get in and out of MB with just a hand-carried basket (or two if I've been keeping up date on my weightlifting), I don't go. Oh and I loved atlantic. RIP
Mr White November 03, 2011 at 01:22 PM
While I agree that Stop & Shop is a bit more expensive than MB I find the selection and overall shopping experience to be much more to my liking at Stop & Shop. I also find that Stop & Shop is a much better neighbor to the community than MB. Stop & Shop supports many of our local organizations through donations such as allowing the Girl Scouts to sell cookies or the Cub Scouts to sell popcorn on their premises. This is all managed at the local store level and is very easy to deal with. MB requires submission of all requests be faxed to their corporate HQ in Tewksbury and you hope to hear back from them. That is if your request is before Nov 1st or after Jan 31st, they do not allow any fund-raising on site during the holidays, which of course is the best time to fund-raise. I feel as a community, we need to support those businesses that try and give back and be part of the community. To me, Stop & Shop does that and MB does not, Stop & Shop gets my $$. Oh, btw, the discount on gas doesn't hurt either:)
Vicki Fortin November 03, 2011 at 02:03 PM
what do we consider local? distance or town borders, don't we have several other grocery choices in reading? albiet smaller and more specified. if it is distance why wouldn't you include the mb in woburn, s&s in n reading or stoneham, lucci's in woburn, I could go on but won't. BTW agree totally with alot of the above, from the choices listed, S&S for ease of shopping and selection, MB for price. I tend to do the bulk shopping (that isn't purchased at BJ's) at MB and the "special" or last min. items at S&S
Dave Ikon November 03, 2011 at 07:04 PM
and you all thought the atlantic was expensive... stop and shop has the old atlantic beat by a mile... why pay less?
Dave Miskinis November 04, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Market Basket kicks butt on prices. I estimate my savings to be between 25 and 30% verses S&S. Not only that, you never have a problem finding an employee and many many times, one of them has walked me to the product I was looking for. You can't find an available employee at S&S.
Eileen M. November 04, 2011 at 04:06 PM
I actually avoid Stop and Shop because of their willingness to allow soliciation on premesis. I really don't appreciate the "opportunity" to donate to every organization who have a booth set up every time I grocery shop. It makes you feel guilty if you dont' happen to have any cash on you, especially if you just had to charge your groceries for the week. We support most of the organizations that solicit at Stop and Shop, but I don't want to do it twice. For example, I always buy a couple of boxes of GS cookies from each kid in the neighborhood, but I don't want to buy them again at S&S. Most of the mothers attending the booth are gracious, but there are a few pushy ones that make you feel uncomfortable. Thats just one example, but its pretty much the same story with all the different charities.
Cheryl Buono November 04, 2011 at 11:37 PM
S&S has red seedless grapes for 88 cents/lb next week. I'm going to pick some up on the way to MB.
John Carpenter November 06, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Like VS and Karl, I miss Atlantic. There's no going back now, though. For the two big stores, I prefer Market Basket for variety and price. MB's crowded parking lot tells me that I'm not alone in that preference. As for all those people at MB that were mentioned in other posts, I always find a few friends and say hi. In that way it's similar to Atlantic. The butcher shop on Haven St. is best for quality meat, and Twin Seafood on the corner of Haven and Main has the freshest fish and good choices. I agree that Calereso's does have both beat when it comes to produce, though - and the new one is going to have a lot of variety and specialties. I'm looking forward to it. I hope the upcoming article examines what the smaller food stores in town have to offer, and not just the two bigs! jc
Fred November 06, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Miss Atlantic....anyone remember Cerratani's?
Donna Packer November 07, 2011 at 03:38 AM
I hate the crowds at MB so I go to stop&shop. also love the gas points. meats are alot better deli is better. I just like stop&shop so much better


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