Ample demand for better grocery stores downtown

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMay 9, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

I bought 15 items at Whole Foods today, at 3:00 PM, which is the only time I venture out, in order to avoid crowds. Son of a gun, every single cashier line was backed up ten-deep.

Does anyone know why? What is going on?

We need more and better grocery stores Downtown ASAP.

Post your comments.

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12 Responses to Ample demand for better grocery stores downtown

  1. Rhonda J. Waggoner says:

    Boo hoo. Are you absolutely sure you want a Gristedes? The local one up here stocks exotic stuff perhaps bought at auction that seems you can never find there again. Although they do refund easily after you get home with over-priced garbage or you’ve caught their constant bait and switch – “I need the key” at the cashier. What I would give for a Whole Foods near west 86th Street, sadly nothing but banks as far as the eye can see. Realistically, who wants to hoof it 10-15 blocks for dependable, affordable groceries. I’ve started shopping at Food Emporium and Associated more, two ends of the cost spectrum but both seem sanitary. Gristedes always smells like dead vermin and toxic air fresheners.

  2. EddieD says:

    Gougestedes, that’s a good name! We always call it Grosstedes.

  3. MSThomas says:

    We would have more options if everyone had not flocked to Whole Foods when it opened. I was shocked that the neighborhood let several great smaller stores go out of business when they took all their business to this awful store. We are SOOOO looking forward to having the option of Fairway. And don’t forget Food Emporium where there are now a lot of organic options which seem to be less and less at Whole Foods, and where it is seldom crowded and there are no people blocking the aisles while they talk on their cell phones and socialize. Even the people who work at WF block the aisles while talking on their phones and socializing too.
    I dread shopping at WF but there are a few things I can only get there since they ran Bell Bates out of business. More and more, however, they have discontinued high quality items and replaced them with their substandard products. I hope Fairway will give them a run for their money. They are not known by many as Whole Paycheck for no reason.

  4. Ellen Silverman says:

    Bill Bates’ prices were out of control until WF opened. They had certain items that were very good but at astronomical prices.

    This week WF has wild salmon for $10.98 a lb.

    Can someone name another store that will refund your money no questions asked if one buys any kind of food whether in take out or in groceries if one is not satisfied. Fairway doesn’t have that policy.

    WF will shop the store for you and deliver. That’s a nice option to have if you’re sick.

    If everyone flocked to WF could you please tell me why they did if the food wasn’t good.

    I certainly never got good service from Bill Bates.

    As far as Food Emporium is concerned, not interested.

  5. Karen says:

    I am shocked to read complaints about Whole Food which seems like a grocery palace after 20+ years in southern Battery Park City shopping at Red Apple and Gristedes. What idiot thought two Gristedes/no competition surely doesn’t reside in the neighborhood. For so called wealthy professionals to live her, you would never believe it unless infinite dry cleaners are your measuring stick to luxury. Or, survival.

  6. john says:

    Let me see if I understand…Dr. Greer, you complain about the ten deep lines. From @ 11am – 3pm you still have local workers shopping for their lunch, and items to take home for dinner.

    The BIG CROWD comes from BMCC and Stuyvesant students. And for what ever the reason, studying for exams perhaps, or just doing whatever they do, on certain days the Café is packed with them.

    In the same way traffic backs up for no reason on occasion, so to do registers at stores of all kinds. Yes, sometimes they don’t have enough registers open, but do you prefer breezing through Gristedes: of course we, and you, avoid that store like the plague. How many of those who criticize WF buy their meat, fish, and produce at Gristedes.

    My guess is not too many, if any. And for the other comments: WF quality is impeccable, and in spite of reputation, they are generally less expensive than Gristedes and Food Emporium. The quality of their produce, meats, and fish is the best in the area. They have a service staff that goes out of their way to be helpful, and their weekly sales can not be beat.

    And yes, they offer refunds for quality problems without question. Folks, you can have it both ways: you want the non-lines of Gristedes, but the quality of WF, at prices that don’t exist in Manhattan.

  7. Editor says:

    To John

    Did you get poor grades on your reading comprehension for the SATs? What made you think I like Gristedes? I have tried to get them closed down. My story is about the huge need for a new Fairway or Trader Joe’s.

  8. Sparky in NYC says:

    We find Fresh Direct perfect for our needs. The quality of the produce and meats beats any of gristedes or any smaller stores.

    Of course, they are also great for dry goods etc. No need to stand in line, or waste time walking to the store either.

    We find their prices better than Gristedes and much less than WF.

    It is delivered to our door at the day and time we want. We have a regular delivery of things we use frequently. Their site remembers our past orders so reordering is fast and easy. If you haven’t tried it, you must!

  9. BPCResident says:

    To sort of echo what Sparky said, Fresh Direct is something I’ve used in the past. They’re quite good but a bit expensive.

    These days, I get a delivery from Peapod at least once a week. Better prices than Fresh Direct, and much better customer service/delivery scheduling. Whole Foods I like, because I always remember the days before Whole Foods when the only choices for BPC residents was Gristedes or Sloan’s.

    For that reason alone, I’m willing to wait in line at Whole Foods on days when I need stuff before my peapod delivery.

  10. Lindsey says:

    I love, love, love the convenience and quality of Fresh Direct… I have been ordering once a week for years but I can hear the loud trucks in my apt which is annoying and also can’t help but feel guilty about my carbon footprint… it’s always something 🙁

  11. Madam ImAdam says:

    Last year, we switched to Peapod after many years with Fresh Direct. I like Peapod and their prices are better, but they often do not fully complete the order, leaving out some out of stock items. Also the number of plastic bags they always use is excessive.

  12. Ed says:


    Somehow I have fallen off your email distribution list. I tried signing up again but still don’t receive the emails. They aren’t in my Spam folder. Can you add my email to the distribution list? Thanks.


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