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Sunday, March 28, 2010

"The Wonder of Woodman's"

Earlier this afternoon, Scott (roommate) and I decided to get out of the apartment and take a trip to the local Woodman's Food Market. Neither of us had been to one before, and we'd both heard fascinating stories, so we decided to go explore.

Woodman's, for those of you who aren't familiar, is an employee-owned supermarket chain here in Wisconsin and upper Illinois. It operates on an warehouse model, and has stores roughly five times the size of your standard large supermarket. In other words... Woodman's are HUGE! For comparison sake, they're larger than a standard Super Wal-Mart, only with nothing but food. In fact, at a Woodman's, you can find just about anything in the realm of food. This includes foreign and ethnic brands rarely found elsewhere in the states, and lesser-known local brands that don't make it to the large chain grocery store shelves.

To be honest, the store is a bit of an attraction.

Scott and I were curious, so we went to the Oak Creek Woodman's. Initially, we just went to explore and take in the experience, but in the end, we both ended up with bags of groceries to take home. We were planning on having tacos for dinner, so I picked up an unfamiliar Mexican salsa. I found a brand and flavor of potato chips that I usually have a hard time finding at the my usual grocery store. And we marveled for a bit at the local Wisconsin cheeses, the specialty candy, the long row of BBQ sauce brands from all over the country, the store sized section of bread and produce, and the vast varieties of just about everything else.

It was quite an experience. I've been to large grocery stores before, but nothing quite as large as this. And prices were good too -- at least in comparison to what I'm used to elsewhere. All that variety. In fact, I even overheard a young woman as she walked past us, talking on her cellphone. Her comment made me laugh: "I just want to get in, find my [item], and get out without buying anything else." And you know, it's the truth. In a store like that, it's far too easy to buy more than you go in looking for. But it's worth it!

If you get the chance, and there's a Woodman's Food Market near you, go explore. Enjoy the experience, and see if you too aren't sold on the concept. If you do go, just be warned... your pocketbook will probably make an appearance!


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