hile the large big box grocery stores (Loblaws/No Frills, Price Chopper, Food for Less, Metro) duke it out with themselves, a large contingent ethnic Canadians continue to shop locally, shunning the local big boys. Why is this? There are many advantages to our local Chinese stores: Produce, of course, is specialized to Asian tastes, fruits and vegetables are so much fresher, grocers speak Chinese, checkout is usually extremely fast though a bit rough, and costs of goods is usually cheaper.
Disadvantages include signs only in Chinese, an intimidating variety of new fruits and vegetables, and often a sad lack of cleaning. No matter, you’re shopping there, not eating off the floor. Traffic in and out of your Chinese grocer can be harrowing at best and dangerous at worst. Many Chinese in my area can’t negotiate the parking lot safely, so stay alert and expect odd movements, such as driving on the left side of the road. Oops, I forgot we’re not in HK.
Very often I see non-Asian shoppers at our local stores, so if you have not tried your local Chinese green grocery, I encourage you to pop in. you might actually like it, eat better, and save money as well. If you don’t know where to go in your local area, make friends with your Asian neighbours and ask them where they shop. The locals know, and if the locals are dissatisfied, they’ll vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere.