First Steps into a Winning Store

In college, I had a roommate who went home every weekend to see her boyfriend. She would come back with her food for the week, raving about this store called WinCo. She raved about the chips, the frozen meals, and the low prices, encouraging me to check out the store sometime. At the time, I was just falling in love with Trader Joe’s, which was far closer to campus, so I had no desire to actually listen to her suggestion.

I didn’t give the store much of a thought again until this year when multiple friends mentioned how much they loved the store. There’s a store less than 10 miles from where I live now, and I decided that visiting a store would be my food adventure for the weekend. I looked up some comments online before I went and discovered two helpful pieces of information–1, you’re expected to bag your own groceries, and 2, someone had made a pretty interesting comparison by commenting “If Costco and Walmart had a baby, it would be WinCo.”

Suspecting that I was in for a different experience than my normal trips to Trader Joe’s and Safeway, I drove over to WinCo after church, picking up a few produce items before wandering over to the bulk items section that my friends told me about, I was blown away. There’s a machine that you can crank and it crushes peanuts into peanut butter right there for you. There are dried fruits, spices,baking mixes, grains, cooking and baking dry goods, granolas, beans, candy, and nuts. I love the fact that you can buy all of those in bulk for many reasons–you can get enough for what you need knowing what you can use before it goes stale, and it means that you aren’t limited to the portions and packaging of standard food companies. It’s less expensive, there’s a wide variety of goods available that are sometimes difficult to find in standard stores, and it’s inspiring for someone who’s looking for new culinary ideas.

Looks like Trader Joe’s has some competition.