It is important to support our local farming industry. (Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)
It is important to support our local farming industry. (Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)

Big store, big price

by - Story: 42050

We just came back from a visit to the new Wal-Mart. Wow this is one big store with a parking lot that is way too small. I cannot say that I am very proud of our new addition as someone who lives on the Westside.

I am a big supporter of small boutiques and small local stores, but like most people if I could save a few hundred dollars at the end of the year I am not going to say no. Well, let me clarify this for you item by item.

I buy my bread at two or three local bakeries and after seeing the poor quality of bread from Wal-Mart, I am not about to change that anytime soon. Just because you put the word “Gourmet or Artisan” on a loaf of bread does not make it better.

I buy 99% of my meat at a butcher and yes I probably pay a few bucks more, but I get service from a person who knows what they are doing and the quality is always awesome. Wal-Mart meat is probably fine, but I don’t usually settle for fine when it comes to meat.

I will never buy fish or seafood at any other place than a fish store. 21-25 size prawns at my fish store are sold at $29.99 for a 2lb bag, at Costco the 2lb bag of 21-25 prawns is sold at $19.99 and at Wal-Mart the 2lb bag of 21-25 prawns is $13.99. Now this is a big difference at the end of the year if you eat a lot of prawns. And if you do eat lots of prawns you probably know that the quality of those 3 bags is totally different. When you cook prawns they are not supposed to shrink in half because they are full of water. Poor quality prawns are fished, then right away placed in a water tank with some chemicals which force the prawns to retain water. Once you start cooking those prawns they then release all that extra water in your pan. That is why they can sell it to you at such a cheap price, as they are actually selling you water for the price of prawns.

I cannot in good conscience start buying fruits and vegetables at a Wal-Mart when I am surrounded with fruit stands, small vegetable stores and farmers scratching to make a living. At Save on Food the cheapest you get a pineapple would be $3.99, at Costco you can get it for the same price. This new Wal-Mart had pineapple at $1.99. At this price, you tell me that no farmers or employees are getting screwed with prices like this. Maybe Wal-Mart has a cheap secret way to grow pineapple that no one else has figured out!

Look I am saying this with passion obviously, but think before you start buying your groceries at a store that already makes 397.38 billion dollars in sales. If you choose Wal-Mart for your fruits and vegetables you are slowly killing our Canadian farming industry and you then void the right to start bitching and complaining when the small local shop closes its doors in a few months. You know it’s nice to have a nearby place where you are able to pick up a carton of milk and a few apples, but once it is close you will have to go negotiate that way to small stupid parking lot at Wal-Mart every time you need food.

To the 300 plus employees at Wal-Mart I respect your financial choice since we all need to work. I just hope you don’t buy your fruits and vegetables there!

I may look like I am bashing this new Wal-Mart, but really I am only saying to you, think about what you need to buy before you leave your house. People that visit the Okanagan rave about the fact that we have farming land in between all the massive housing developments it is the very charm of our area. If our farmers no longer make enough money selling veggies they won’t need the land and it will eventually all become housing just like the big cities.

Is it really cheaper to buy at Wal-Mart once you factor in the cost of losing our farming industry forever? I will keep buying my toilet paper and vitamins at Wal-Mart and leave the rest to small stores. What will you do?


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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