Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sipping wine at the Grocery Store.

photo from the web, source unknown
For the last several days the St. Louis news programs have been full of stories about a new grocery store that just opened in one of the historic city neighborhoods. Newsworthy partly because it is the only grocery in that once blighted but up and coming area.  And, partly because it's a one of a kind concept store designed, financed and built by locals. They have even said this store will draw crowds of suburbanites back into the city to shop there. 

I think the most newsworthy fact about this store is their plan to use local farmers and vendors first and foremost. However, the news media keep emphasizing the 15 seat wine bar, the shopping carts with wine glass holders and the personal shoppers.  A customer can take a glass of wine along as they push their cart up and down the aisles or they can sit in the wine bar and have a glass of Chardonnay or a pilsner while a personal shopper fills their shopping list.  

I think the news programs have distorted the image of this innovative store by not emphasizing the locally grown fresh produce and other local products this store is seeking out.  That is what would draw me into the city. I believe in shopping locally when possible. If their prices are at least moderately competitive I would when near the city go out of my way to get fresh local items.  Instead, we get the idea that wine and beer drinkers can go relax and drink while a clerk collects their items.  

I would hate to think about a mom getting her groceries there and then driving to a school to pick up her kids after consuming two or three glasses of wine. If that mom had gone to a nice cafe or a pub with friends she would be more aware of the need to watch her drinking or have a driver.  With the environment of a grocery store and the time of day, that same mom could overdo without realizing it. How long will it be before these same news stations are reporting on the increase in the number of DUI's collected by patrons of this new grocery  store?


  1. That is a little disturbing, isn't it? One would hope common sense will kick in, but you know how that goes!

  2. I try to shop local as much as possible and the store sounds lovely. I've shopped where they offer wine tastings (like the way they give samples of foods a lot of times) but the wine bar is a new concept. I can't imagine people would overdo it really -- if they want to get drunk they wouldn't be going to a grocery store to do it.

  3. You've a good argument, Rita. Reminds me of a wine-opening/promo we happened onto one Saturday morning. Tom's not a big drinker ... and I don't know if it was sampling 3-4 different varieties or not having anything in his stomach ... but when we got to the public library a little while later he confessed to "feeling sloshed" at 11AM!