(See the cheese in the pic? It’s Pheta, a play-off on Feta, of course…..Just one example of Asheville wit and local bounty on display at Earth Fare…)
In Rhode Island, we go to Whole Foods…But that all changes, when we’re in Asheville, North Carolina.
For lunch, we used to go to Greenlife (it’s really Whole Foods), but once it got taken over by that naturalist giant, we noted real changes. No more special discounts for Seniors…Never one for Military…Sandwiches looked smaller and our bill went up.
Husband and I used to split a sandwich (their hot panninis were huge) which we paired with a cup of soup for each. If we drank water (not the bottled type), we kept our bill down.
But just like the Fickle Public Everywhere, we changed and went with another.
Earth Fare’s the store we love, for how it loves its customers. We can eat better and cheaper, with each of us getting half a sandwich and cup of soup, then using our Military discount of 15% to pare down our bill. We can cut it further if we use our Tomato Bank money whereby we’ve bought specials at the store that give us points toward cash value.
Greenlife offers no such discounts.
Then, too, Earth Fare alerts me to special deals. They ping me on my I-Phone (I gave them my e-mail and phone number,) and I gotta say: I like their instant messages better than those from family. Why? Unlike family, Earth Fare’s giving me something, with their notices.
Last January, they honored a coupon I got last Sept. for lobster tails at half price (I’d gone on the day offered; they’d run out; they gave me a rain check.) Because husband and I live away from Asheville, for 7 months, there was no way I could redeem that coupon sooner. When I brazenly walked in, in January, and presented my “no expiration date coupon,” they gave me two free tails, with my purchased two.
Earth Fare never hassles….
Today, I got pinged they’re offering a bake-at-home pizza for half price…I’ll take them up on that, too.
At Easter time, in an odd nod to adult “children,” they gifted customers with a real deal on chocolates….
Similarity to Wholefoods? The food samples throughout the store, whereby they offer the bite-sized snackables Wholefoods does. That means we graze as we shop.
But aesthetic charms are not what gets us in the door. As with “All Things Business,” it’s the practical savings Earth Fare offers. If all things are equal in the natural food emporiums (and they allegedly are,) we’re swayed by Senior and Military discounts and that Tomato Bank program.
In the Grocery Store Wars, our allegiance is with Earth Fare…
But, remember: We the public (especially Seniors) are ever fickle. If we note another competitor on the horizon who begins to offer more, we’ll ditch ’em in a heartbeat.
In the meantime, Earth Fare…”Ping me again. I love your instant messages.”
***No matter which grocery store you go to, this is what you’ll often find outside–a minstrel group, strumming it up. Asheville’s a musical place with a lot of street artisans. This one (at Greenlife) sort of has the charm of Country Bear Jamboree in Disneyworld (except one guy’s holding a saw???)
…Meanwhile, I want an Earth Fare in Rhode Island (currently none there)…
Short of that: I want Whole Foods to give the same shopper deals (Senior and Military discounts, Ping-me-deals, Tomato Bank–they can call it whatever).
In other words, I want Whole Foods to love their customers…the way Earth Fare does.
But I ask: Which one has your business or do you have another? As I said, we Seniors are ever fickle: We’ll change loyalties in a heartbeat if a better deal comes along….