playgroupolitics


Fresh and Easy ain’t so easy
August 13, 2008, 8:05 pm
Filed under: food, mommyblog, Uncategorized, west valley phoenix

I was so excited to have Fresh and Easy open near me.  Convenient, healthy, pre-made meals, that I could just stop and grab on my way home.  Because it was owned by Tesco, a British company, I was hoping for some international flair.  Well they do have samosas and frozen Indian entrees.  But what a disappointment! 

The store is communist era spartan, with a warehouse feel, in a small store space.  The pre-made food isn’t that healthy (white rice instead of brown, for instance) and not very kid friendly either.   Despite touting themselves as environmentalists, they give you more plastic bags than you could shake a stick at for your groceries.  And, they plastic wrap fruit (four apples plastic wrapped together–Why?)  And, there’s not really a good enough selection of everyday stuff to do your regular grocery shopping.  So, Fresh and Easy is definitely an extra trip.

On the bright side, is that they have good sauces (like Thai peanut sauce), the frozen Indian entrees mentioned above are tasty, and whole wheat pizza dough which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere  is admittedly awesome.  Did I mention cheap wine?  That is a plus.  Also, their economic woes are my gain, as they give out a $5 off a $20 puchase coupon every week and, discount aging items 50%.  Do I care if my watermelon is past its sell by date?  No I don’t.  However, I predict that Fresh and Easy won’t be long for this neck of the woods (Phoenix West Valley).  You’ve got to be junk foody and mass appeal or go whole hog organic earthy crunchy international.  Can’t please everyone you know. 

What prompted this post is a nightmarish trip I took there yesterday with Q (almost 2) and T (almost 4).  It’s self serve check out.  Fine and dandy, but if you’re buying liquor or you’re using a coupon (and I was doing both) you need a salesperson to come and enter things for you.  This may be an effecient use of me by Tesco, because they don’t have to pay me to check out my groceries or to wait for their salesperson to view my license and enter my birthdate, but it’s not an efficent use of Tesco for me.  Also, forced to self-scan my coupon, I heard a reassuring beep and assumed all was well.  It wasn’t, so since I wanted my bleeping  $5 off, I had to get a void.  Meanwhile my children are losing it, screaming and running away and refusing to sit in the cart.  Did I mention how hard it is to scan and bag your own groceries with two small cranky children to keep track of?  Admittedly this is my fault, as I made this stop post daycare, and I should have known better.  By the time we got out of there we were no longer fresh or easy, but rather cranky and pissed.

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2 Comments so far
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I must say I had a similar experience (although my wife would probably cast me as a cranky child) here in California. We went to the opening of the new store in our neighborhood (well, Trader Joe’s is “in” our walking neighborhood — 3.5mi to F&E) and our questions about the type of packaging, bags, origin of meat & veggies – basically unanswerable by the staff (who fair to say had their hands full with opening day). Wondering why their 100% juice drinks are more pricey than WHole(paycheck) Foods (big surprise for me)…but many other things were cheaper (my wife wonders if this is only for the opening event).
The self check out was also a nightmare for us…by the time it was straightened out our friends in line at the cashier checkout were long gone.
Probabley give it one more shot…otherwise wondering why I should shop at another globalized giant retailer.

Comment by Sreudianflip

Another element of the self-checkout that’s troubling is safety. It seems fairly obvious that a teenager – or someone already drunk – could get through those checkouts with alcohol fairly easily if they wanted. This is bad for neighborhoods, bad for kids (teen drinking is a huge problem in this state)…and strikes me as irresponsible.

Comment by ggood




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