To Whom It Concerns:
Perhaps you remember my open letter of 14 November 2007, in which I presented problems with the 08904 Stop & Shop including smelly, rotten fruit, an eye-opening lack of products from recycled paper and a peculiar lack of significant baking ingredients for National Pie Day. It’s true that National Pie Day is usually celebrated in January and fruit is supposed to be one kind of smelly but those things aren’t important right now. No, what’s important is that your feedback form and I have established a relationship, deepened by a phone call from a nice lady in corporate, and I wrote down almost everything she said because I have a memory that is for poop, a zany coincidence since she promised an improved selection of recycled products and last Thursday night, I found zero recycled paper products in that same store. But I get ahead of myself.
Scenic 08904 is a tiny town of people from all over the world, though I happen to be a local. This all means that people walk to the grocery store, possibly because they don’t drive, and when they get there hope to be able to pick up staples. It’s a grocery store. You find pantry staples there. So. In November, I mentioned the selection of products from recycled paper was puzzling in 2007, when most people were aware that we were having some trouble with packed landfills; imagine my surprise when last week, which was undoubtedly 2008, I found no recycled paper products on the shelves what. so. ever. Not even one. Trembling with rage, I marched to the courtesy counter, where a manager and an employee pressed themselves against pregnancy tests and pouch tobacco, hoping I would go away quietly.
It’s true, I threw a hissyfit. I expressed my G Rated outrage at this improbable turn of events. You’ll be pleased to hear they were very nice The manager, brow furrowed, turned to go see for himself. I walked a whole step to the Express Lane, where I counted myself lucky to be third in line. Fortunately, that line didn’t move, so when the manager came back from the paper products line, brow more deeply furrowed, he offered to order recycled paper products for me. This is awfully nice but it misses the point. Just today, I took aside the kid putting out the vegetables to tell him his arrangement of lettuces was truly beautiful, but that’s beside the point, too.
Across the street, the health food store sells products from recycled paper, along with organic and natural products. That health food store does a brisk business. Tiny 08904 has set its sights on becoming a green town. In good weather, I myself walk to and from work in the city on the other side of the river because it’s healthier for me and the planet. In 2008, people are more conscious of what they’re doing and what they’re ingesting, and yet your very expensive, very poorly stocked store is sitting right in the heart of town, a giant, stodgy blob of festering 1965. What gives?
Rumor has it I am not the only little old lady delivering this message. I hear that people rant this same rant all day every day, which means others think the same thoughts but don’t bother mouthing off. If that’s true, why is Stop & Shop resisting what customers want? That’s kind of like saying, “Your mouth says ‘No’ but your eyes say ‘Can I get extra styrofoam in my dioxin gazpacho?'”
I would like you to observe that Princeton, a scant few miles straight down Route 27, supports a coop, an Olive May and a Wild Oats. A McCafferty’s is not far and several pretty good large grocery stores do fine. Even Costco now offers organic vegetables, healthy items and Marcal recycled paper products, which I’ve reminded you before are made in New Jersey. So what are you waiting for?