what the hills y’all: why you should go local

Grocery shopping is more than just getting the food you need for the week, it’s an experience.


When I lived in Dallas, my sister and I would go grocery shopping together and catch up on everything. There are different kinds of shoppers, you see, and my sister and I were the same.

HEB in Houston will always be my favorite grocery store. It’s clean, have both mass and specialty foods and was like a half grocer, half dinner pick-up. In San Francisco, it’s a different story. The city is packed with places to find fresh food in varieties of organic, vegan, gluten-free and any other version of food you’d like. While I’m not all about the vegan/gluten free (rich people problems), I can’t hide the fact that it’s just so accessible.

Here’s why you should forget about going to the mass grocery store and go local by visiting the neighborhood grocer, farmers market or even Trader Joe’s:

1. You know you’re getting the freshest produce. It’s coming from people who pride themselves in what they sell. Win/win for everyone right?

2. You’re supporting all things local. San Francisco is big in this, but I remember going to the Dallas farmers market and getting the same feeling.

3. You can make a day of it. The farmers market here in the city (and in Dallas) is awesome. You can get your fresh produce, go have lunch and get some ice cream for the way home. It’s a whole day adventure. Would make a great daytime date.

4. Customer service matters. The Safeway here in the city (for the most part, and I’ve been to 4 of them) is dirty, massively congested, and not friendly. I wouldn’t be writing this post if it was clean, full of interesting finds and a better experience. On the other hand, Trader Joe’s always greets me with a smile and willing to help you find items. They care about your experience, from start to finish.

So there you have it, 4 reasons to get away from the mass grocery stores (except HEB, that place rocks). In San Francisco, it’s almost not cool to not do your shopping street side.

The next time you need to go grocery shopping, venture out to see what else is out there (take a look at this farmers market finder for one near you). Chances are there is, and you’ll discover new items you never knew you could live without.