I posted a series of helpful hints to make grocery stores more user-friendly and logical on Twitter. Some people felt I was ranting, and as a friend pointed out, the rapid-fire tweets and occasional all-caps may have lead to that characterization. Ahem.
However, I think every point I made was valid. Below you’ll find what I hope all Richmond grocery stores (and I’m not picking on anyone in particular, I promise) will see as a little gentle, constructive criticism.
1. Why are canned tomatoes often grouped together with jarred tomato sauce and pasta instead of with the canned vegetables? Tomatoes are considered vegetables — and they come in cans.
2. Why isn’t feta cheese next to the plain old cheddar, swiss or Monterey Jack? Why is it considered so special that you find it next to the brie? It’s not that special.
3. Let’s end discrimination. Packaged organic food should go on the shelves with its nonorganic counterpart. Stop with the special section.
4. Where is the bread? Why can’t I find it? Put the bread aisle near the bakery.
5. What’s the difference between tortillas in the refrigerated section and the ones on the shelf?
6. What’s the deal with international food? Why can’t all that stuff be categorized with the appropriate American version? (For instance, soy sauce belongs with the ketchup — they’re both condiments).
7. Let’s all agree to just go ahead and put pet food, grilling paraphernalia, light bulbs and office supplies on the same aisle. You never can find charcoal or index cards when you need them. Might as well pick up a box of dog biscuits and a light bulb at the same time.
8. How’s that entire aisle of greeting cards working out?
9. Here’s what’s wrong with the South today: You can no longer buy rhubarb in the frozen food section.
10. Raisins can be very hard to find. Are they a snack food or a baking ingredient? We all need to make a decision and stick to it.
11. Is working behind the deli counter hell on earth? Those folks never seem happy. Please pay them more so that when I ask for thin-cut, mesquite-smoked turkey, they don’t sigh heavily and reduce the meat to crumbles.
12. The exception to every rule: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish should be everywhere.
13. Things that are not juice don’t belong on the juice shelves.
14. Wine. Stock it in the front. I forget to buy it when it’s in the back. This makes me very unhappy.
15. If your store is so large that I lose the will to live when I pick up the butter in the dairy section and remember I forgot to get garlic in the produce section, please provide me with a Segway.
16. Where are the olives?
And here are a few of your suggestions from the comment section when we posted the list online:
A huge flashing sign over wherever they decide to stick the capers would be nice. — Barry Fitzgerald
Put a map of the store, with what is on each aisle, on the cart itself. — Mike
Put the mayo with the condiments, not the salad dressing. — LS
Please, please stop spraying water on the produce every five minutes — with or without the accompanying soundtrack of a thunderstorm. — csm22
Peanut butter. Where is the peanut butter?! — Morgan