Berkeley's Grocery Outlet

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Leila A., Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Leila A.

    Leila A. Guest

    Read my MIL's copy of the latest Monthly, an East Bay
    tabloid size magazine that comes out - you guessed it -
    every month. In the issue was a rather long article on the
    Grocery Outlet. Seems that the place, while selling dented
    canned goods etc., also sells pretty good wine in cheapo
    labels, closeouts from upscale food places, and "test runs"
    of new gourmet products. The article mentioned a low-sugar
    fruit preserve that sounded interesting.

    I'd had no interest in exploring this place until I read the
    article. Now it sounds like a kind of bargain bin Trader
    Joe's, where you might possibly find gold if you show up
    regularly. Such hunting is not my style - inefficient use of
    my time these days - but it seems worth a try at least once.
    The writer claims to have spotted Narsai David in the 4th
    Street (Berkeley) store, buying wine.

    The Grocery Outlet is a nationwide chain that began in
    the Bay Area. It originally sold dented and almost out-of-
    date cans from local food processors (where have all the
    peach factories gone? Sun Microsystems, Xylinx, Auto Row,
    I suppose)

    In another food and equipment note, The Monthly also
    interviews the founding chef of the new Fourth Street
    restaurant in the old Ginger Island location, Christopher
    Somebody. Restaurant will be called Eccolo. He's a Chez
    Panisse alum. When asked about kitchen equipment, our chef
    said he has little use for food processors or other fancy
    stuff at home. No George Foreman Grill? the interviewer
    asked. "No", the man answered. His favorite piece of
    equipment is his cast iron pan. It costs 15 dollars, will
    last forever, and does everything. "I will be buried with my
    cast iron pans," he says.

    I'm collecting these accolades for cast iron. Just a pet
    obsession right now.
     
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  2. Kalanamak

    Kalanamak Guest

    "Leila A." wrote:
    >
    > Read my MIL's copy of the latest Monthly, an East Bay
    > tabloid size magazine that comes out - you guessed it -
    > every month. In the issue was a rather long article on the
    > Grocery Outlet.
    <snip most of post>

    Is this the "Grocery Outlet" with a rainbow in the logo? If
    so we have them here, but the offerings are mostly boxed
    shortcuts (hamb. helper), which, if same company, just
    reflects the tastes of the shoppers. blacksalt note deletion
    of crosspost for my reply
     
  3. Tim May

    Tim May Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Leila A.
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > The Grocery Outlet is a nationwide chain that began in the
    > Bay Area. It originally sold dented and almost out-of-date
    > cans from local food processors (where have all the peach
    > factories gone? Sun Microsystems, Xylinx, Auto Row, I
    > suppose)

    The food processing plants, pretty much the last of them
    (*), left long after most of the orchards had been
    subdivided into housing and suchlike. (Even before Sun,
    Intel, etc., most of the Santa Clara Valley canneries
    processed stuff brought in from outlying areas.)

    I lived in Santa Clara/Sunnyvale/Mountain View during most
    of the 70s and 80s and can tell you that almost all (*) of
    the land south of Central Expressway was already
    subdivisions by about 1975. Much of the land north of Central--
    the agreed-upon industrial belt when the zoning tsars split
    the county into residential and industrial--was a patchwork
    of orchards, farms, and corporations, and still is.

    (* There may be some small canneries still left, doing
    specialty work. And there are certainly isolated pockets of
    orchards, even corn fields, that have not yet been sold. But
    an almost insignificant percentage compared to, say, the
    1960s and earlier.)

    --Tim May
     
  4. Leila A. wrote:

    > In another food and equipment note, The Monthly also
    > interviews the founding chef of the new Fourth Street
    > restaurant in the old Ginger Island location, Christopher
    > Somebody. Restaurant will be called Eccolo. He's a Chez
    > Panisse alum. ...

    Christopher Lee, and he's a very recent alum--he quit at the
    end of last year, when he bought Ginger Island.
     
  5. Steve Pope

    Steve Pope Guest

    I'm surprised the Monthly would write up Grocery Outlet; it
    was about a decade ago that that the Monthly (then called
    the Berkeley Monthly) decided the neighborhoods of central
    and west Berkeley were too downscale to bother distributing
    to. Nicer neighborhoods get the Monthly plopped on their
    doorstep each month.

    Grocery Outlet was initially called Canned Foods and was
    located in the former movie theatre where the Long's now is
    at San Pablo and University. I remember then a Safeway
    executive saying they were "watching very carefully" both
    Canned Foods and Trader Joes. AFAIK they're still watching.

    Steve
     
  6. Leila A.

    Leila A. Guest

    kalanamak <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Leila A." wrote:
    > >
    > > Read my MIL's copy of the latest Monthly, an East Bay
    > > tabloid size magazine that comes out - you guessed it -
    > > every month. In the issue was a rather long article on
    > > the Grocery Outlet.
    > <snip most of post>
    >
    > Is this the "Grocery Outlet" with a rainbow in the logo?
    > If so we have them here, but the offerings are mostly
    > boxed shortcuts (hamb. helper), which, if same company,
    > just reflects the tastes of the shoppers.

    It is the very selfsame. However many stores are
    independently operated in an arrangement whose details I
    didn't really follow - not a franchise. And yes, the article
    made it clear that they sell things in the Berkeley outlet
    that wouldn't fly in other locations. Again, makes me
    consider looking in one day. Had I one less toddler to haul
    around, I might head over this week.

    Leila

    > blacksalt note deletion of crosspost for my reply
     
  7. On 4 Apr 2004 20:47:51 -0700, [email protected] (Leila A.) wrote:

    >It is the very selfsame. However many stores are
    >independently operated in an arrangement whose details I
    >didn't really follow - not a franchise. And yes, the
    >article made it clear that they sell things in the Berkeley
    >outlet that wouldn't fly in other locations. Again, makes
    >me consider looking in one day. Had I one less toddler to
    >haul around, I might head over this week.
    >
    >Leila

    These stores are throughout many of the western states.
    Along with the Berkelely outlet, I like the Oakland
    one. They seem to have even more good stuff than the
    Berkeley outlet.

    I have been able to find some really good bargains there
    from time to time. Like the Alvarado Street breads. And
    various other things. One time I went there and found Niman
    Ranch hams there, for an incredibly good price. I got two.
    And organic cream, at a rediculously low price. It was all
    within the sell dates. Sometimes a really good cheese. I can
    often find Cabot cheddars there...

    Yes there is junk there, but there are treasures there as
    well. Sometimes the wine selection can be just very
    ordinary, and other times it seems like there are bargains
    everywhere on really good wines. And not just the wine.

    Yes, it is a crap shoot, for the most part. But I find when
    I was going regularly, I was sure to find at least 1-2
    incredible bargains on really good stuff per week.

    Christine
     
  8. Alpinekid

    Alpinekid Guest

    Christine Dabney wrote:
    > On 4 Apr 2004 20:47:51 -0700, [email protected] (Leila
    > A.) wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>It is the very selfsame. However many stores are
    >>independently operated in an arrangement whose details I
    >>didn't really follow - not a franchise. And yes, the
    >>article made it clear that they sell things in the
    >>Berkeley outlet that wouldn't fly in other locations.
    >>Again, makes me consider looking in one day. Had I one
    >>less toddler to haul around, I might head over this week.
    >>
    >>Leila
    >
    >
    > These stores are throughout many of the western states.
    > Along with the Berkelely outlet, I like the Oakland
    > one. They seem to have even more good stuff than the
    > Berkeley outlet.
    >
    > I have been able to find some really good bargains there
    > from time to time. Like the Alvarado Street breads. And
    > various other things. One time I went there and found
    > Niman Ranch hams there, for an incredibly good price. I
    > got two. And organic cream, at a rediculously low price.
    > It was all within the sell dates. Sometimes a really good
    > cheese. I can often find Cabot cheddars there...
    >
    >
    >
    > Yes there is junk there, but there are treasures there as
    > well. Sometimes the wine selection can be just very
    > ordinary, and other times it seems like there are bargains
    > everywhere on really good wines. And not just the wine.
    >
    > Yes, it is a crap shoot, for the most part. But I find
    > when I was going regularly, I was sure to find at least
    > 1-2 incredible bargains on really good stuff per week.
    >
    > Christine

    I live around the corner from the one in San Jose. When I go
    foraging for food I stop there first. If they have what I
    want it is the best price on town.

    Different stores seem to have different thing on a regular
    basis. The one off winchester has nuts and baking stuff
    more often.

    Al
     
  9. I found out about Grocery Outlets last year, when a fellow
    beer judge brought in a bunch of Belgian beers he's picked
    up there $3 a six pack.

    It seems they were picking up the over-flow of the Michael
    Jackson's Belgian-beer-of-the-month club.

    They haven't had anything that good since then, but about
    once a month I drop into the Redwood City GO, to see what
    they have, and I do find a few "finds" now and then.

    Last week I noticed some Wensleydale cheese, so I bought a
    little, just to see if it was any good. Turns out it was
    better than any Wensleydale I bought at Sainsbury's when I
    was in London last year.

    [email protected] (Leila A.) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Read my MIL's copy of the latest Monthly, an East Bay
    > tabloid size magazine that comes out - you guessed it -
    > every month. In the issue was a rather long article on the
    > Grocery Outlet. Seems that the place, while selling dented
    > canned goods etc., also sells pretty good wine in cheapo
    > labels, closeouts from upscale food places, and "test
    > runs" of new gourmet products. The article mentioned a low-
    > sugar fruit preserve that sounded interesting
     
  10. Sf

    Sf Guest

    On 6 Apr 2004 22:31:54 -0700, [email protected] (John S.
    Watson) wrote:

    > I found out about Grocery Outlets last year, when a
    > fellow beer judge brought in a bunch of Belgian beers
    > he's picked up there $3 a six pack.
    >
    We used to have one in San Francisco. Don't know if it
    relocated, but it's not where it was. Ours was pretty good
    because they were independent from the others, so their
    merchandise was a bit different... however, I'd never say
    they were top knoch, just interesting.

    Sometimes their booze was interesting, but mostly not. You
    can get the same "wow" factor at Trader Joes.

    They were good for me (back "in the day") because I used to
    buy gigantic (industrial sized) cans of whatever it was I
    was using a lot of at the time.

    Practice safe eating - always use condiments
     
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