My town could possibly be considered a tween. Not in years (it’s been around since 1850), but in development. When we moved in about seven and a half years ago you could say our home was toward the outskirts of town. That’s not the case anymore.
Back then we were a five minute walk from horse fields and farms and a view unencumbered by buildings other than the occasional gray, wood, weathered barn. A few of those fields are still there, but most of them have been replaced by housing developments. New, cookie-cutter, stucco and brick and vinyl boxes with two car garages. With this development has come more conveniences like big box stores, chain restaurants, two movie theaters, and tons of new shops and services. Being a city girl, I do appreciate these symbols of progress. But a part of me misses the country feel this small-town-turned-big-town will eventually lose.
For now though, there are still a few remnants of my small-town-America home. One of these is the local grocery store located on Main Street, of course. It’s a fraction of the size of a big city grocery store, more the size of a small Old Navy or perhaps three stores at the mall squeezed together. I heard once that up until a few years ago it still had a hitch out front in case you came to buy a loaf of bread on your horse, and since you still see the random horse walking down the back roads I can see how that might be true. In fact I can see how that could really come in handy. How many times have I wanted to say to Buddy, “Go take Daisy to the store and buy me a dozen eggs and a pound of butter.” Unfortunately we don’t have a horse named Daisy and butter might not be the best thing to buy on a hot summer day. Entrusting a ten year old with a dozen eggs on the back of a horse might not be the best idea either.
My beloved main street grocery doesn’t always have everything I want; no mizithra during a mizithra craving for example, but what it lacks in inventory it 100% makes up for through customer service. The friendly checkers and baggers are often the teenage kids in the neighborhood working part time to earn money. The bakery has the most amazing fresh made donuts and bread. The ice cream is centrally located in a bin freezer you can see the moment you walk in the doors.
But the best part of all though is the loading service. The baggers push the cart out to your car and help you load the groceries while you buckle in the two year old twins who are screaming because you wouldn’t let them buy all the candy in the candy bins. Hypothetically that is. But really they load your groceries and happily tell you to have a good day as they take the cart back inside. No tip necessary or expected. Just happy teenage customer service. It’s the most glorious thing. Now I just need to figure out how to get them to unload it all for me as well.Happy Grocery Shopping