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December 9, 2005

'The largest virtual on–line grocery store in the world'

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Guess what?

It's not Webvan or Peapod or any of the imploded shells of the dot–com bust.

No, it's a most unlikely company: Gristedes, a New York institution that's been around since forever in bricks and mortar.

I stumbled upon their online store over the weekend when I decided I'd had enough of wasting time and energy and gasoline on finding a store in Charlottesville that sells my current favorite cereal on the whole planet: Post Selects Maple Pecan Crunch.

Kroger and Giant always seem to have the other cereals in the Post Selects line, (Blueberry Morning, Cranberry Almond Crunch, Great Grains — with and without pecans and almonds — and Banana Nut Crunch) but they never have the one I really want.

Now, don't get me wrong: the other Post Selects varieties are very good and I do buy them and enjoy a bowl quite often — but Maple Pecan sets the bar.

So I had my crack research team see what they could come up with.

And they came up with Gristedes.

But wait — it gets better.

Turns out that Gristedes partners with Amazon so you can order whatever you like via Amazon's nonpareil one–click feature.

So I did: eight boxes of Maple Pecan Crunch.

Hey, it's not just me who likes this cereal: even Mr. Breakfast found it a morning delight.

But I digress.

Yesterday a big box from Gristedes was on my front doorstep.

But wait — it gets better.

Not only was my order inside, but it was nestled within as much compressed air packaging as you'd expect to find over, under and around a new iMac G5 computer.

Impressive.

And the cereal inside was pristine, just if if I'd pulled it off my local Kroger's shelf.

Not mashed up into bits or powder but, rather, crunchy and delicious.

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I'll be visiting the virtual Gristedes again, and for more than cereal.

I've noted previously the far better experience to be had purchasing non–perishables such as paper goods and detergent etc. online vs. in person at a store; it would appear virtual groceries have now become a contender, if not yet the undisputed champion.

December 9, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

Great article about an obscure cereal that I've personally never had the pleasure of enjoying. I have, however, had the opportunity in the past to enjoy bowl after bowl of Kashi Apple Pie Pillows, which has since been my favourite cereal. Since moving to Manhattan I have had immense trouble finding it anywhere. This cereal is so rare it seems, not even Kashi displays it on their own web site. Any clue as to where I could even begin to find my long-lost cereal?

Posted by: Keiyu K | Dec 9, 2005 11:15:24 PM

i'm not sure how gristedes managed to survive all this time in NYC. their stores are one notch above c-town and keyfood, IMHO. translation: not exactly the cleanest and most appealing of places to shop. i'd rather go to the well-stocked corner deli for my shopping. food emporium and associated are much better bets, although sometimes you're just stuck with gristedes.

as you can see in chris kula's walking tour, they have bizarre, annoying displays (talking cows and corn) and mismatched signage. i think the owner's family must do the display and decorations. they would really benefit from a re-branding and nicer floors that didn't look so dirty all the time.

i can't ever remember having a pleasant shopping experience. their staff is not very helpful, either. my wife had a problem with something and the manager was indifferent about helping her.

i guess on amazon, no one knows your brick and mortar store is disgusting and pathetic.

Posted by: justin b | Dec 9, 2005 4:11:15 PM

My local Kroger used to carry Ghiradelli's sweet ground cocoa - my preference for a quick cup of cocoa at home. Then they stopped carrying it, unexplainably, as they are aught to do here anyway. One day while I was shopping, I heard an announcement about an online service they offer. If you can't find the product you want in the store, they can special-order it for you online through www.kroger.com at their discount rate. (You have to order larger quantities though - like 10 cans of cocoa at a time.) Anyways, I tried it with the Ghiradelli cocoa. They found it for me, sold it to me at their lower rate and shipped me 10 cans. That was last year, and I'm still not halfway through with my stash, but I feel much more confident going into winter with my extra cans waiting for me in the pantry.

Posted by: Shawn Lea | Dec 9, 2005 2:43:02 PM

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