Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wow. What an Improvement

Holy crap. The new Star Market in Chestnut Hill (which opened yesterday) is awesome. Finally, we have a supermarket worthy of the zip code — one that's a huge improvement over the old one. I went to check out this glorious place after work last night, after weeks of waiting for it to open (months, actually, considering how long the place was under construction). Suffice it to say, the wait was worth it. I mean, I know I get a little excited sometimes about silly stuff. But man, this was an impressive place. I walked up and down the aisles a couple times, and just kept saying "Wow."

Any brand-new store is going to be spick-and-span clean when it first opens, but this Star Market glows. It's a beautiful and bright store inside and out, with fun design touches and a vastly improved and increased inventory. For example, the rows aren't numbered. Instead, they're named after local streets (Pond St., Walnut St., Boylston St., and so on). There are so many yogurts in the yogurt section (see above), that I could probably try a different one every day for three months. Prepared food options include fresh pizza, sushi, sandwiches, and a noodle bar. Buy too much? Don't worry: A conveyor will bring your entire shopping cart down while you take an escalator. And, no surprise given that it was opening day, customer service people are everywhere waiting to guide you to where the food item you need is or to make the checkout lines go quicker. And speaking of which ...

If I had anything to complain about, it's that there weren't enough self-service checkout stations (only four). Standing there in line holding my wicked-hot custom-made stir-fry, I had to wait till some super-slow folks finished acclimating themselves to the technology. But no matter; my food was still steaming hot (and tasty) when I got it home, and my hands cooled off quickly enough. And I know the conventional wisdom is that there will always be stupid people in front of me who hold up the works at the self-service checkout stations. That's never going to change.

In short, the new Star Market is wicked cool, and I just hope that it stays that way. Soon, I'm sure, the place will be overrun by the same folks who don't know how to park in one spot, and who mess everything up, and it'll be just like any other supermarket. But for now ... holy crap, is it great. Can't wait to go back on Sunday to do my actual weekly shopping run.

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2 Comments:

Blogger drphilxr said...

Yeah Martin it is a cool grocery store, but the lines in all lanes were too long despite the cheery aisle monitors trying to manage traffic. Probably opening day crowds that we hopefully won't see every day. The parking lot wasn't a mess either, which was remarkable, and it looked well laid out. It was still hard for my daughter and I to find the packaged meat (its not on the street list), forcing us to ask a worker "where's the beef!" I wish the store luck, but will likely not completely give up the goodies at the walnut st. whole foods for now either ! (I was pretty disappointed in their bland juice section, not of the 'fancy juice blends' Ive gotten used to are there).

November 02, 2009 9:01 PM  
Blogger mintjulp said...

For a brand-new store, I feel like there are a lot of details they overlooked:

- Places to return the carts (either in the parking lot or in the store)
- Cart escalator is a cool feature, but it will be incredibly annoying when trying to get out of the store fast
- New carts roll better than the broken down old ones, but they're much smaller and don't have an underneath area for bulky items like paper towels or bottles of juice
- They layout of the fruits and veg section is nearly impossible to get thru (I prefer the layout of the Shaws in Dedham which I went to when the CH store was closed).
- The bulk of the store is dedicated to prepared foods to the detriment of those of us who like to (or need to) cook our own food.
- The kosher bakery is a nice touch, but the other kosher foods, for me, were lacking.

Of course, I'll still shop there regularly, since driving to Needham and Dedham has been a pain.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Julie

November 03, 2009 4:55 PM  

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