Dear Loblaws,

Congratulations on your recent success with the production of Top Chef Canada. It’s a solid effort. Sure there are a few weak spots, like over-acting among the resident judge and some shoddy camerawork – but mostly it’s all stuff you can tweak in preparation for season two.

Still, the chefs this season don’t seem to be producing food quite on par with the cheftestants from the American edition of the show. And that might be down to you.

For eight years, my partner and I have been green with envy as the US chefs shopped for their ingredients at Whole Foods. We’ve never shopped at Whole Foods – we’re not lucky enough to have one in Ottawa yet – but damn it if that store doesn’t seem to have everything you could ever want on consistently well-stocked shelves. As a result, it’s never a problem for the chefs to put together any dish that might pop into their heads.

Because you make the Canadian chefs shop at Loblaws, you’ve essentially handicapped them from the get go – forcing them to work with wilted produce and countless out-of-inventory cards lining the shelves; assuming my local branches are any indication.

It’s gotten so bad that Junkii and I have all but abandoned Loblaws. We now do as much of our shopping* as possible at Costco and Farm Boy – where the produce is actually fresh and abundant.

For the rest of our essentials, Loblaws had been holding its own against Metro (our only other real supermarket choice), but you’re not giving us a lot of option. We already plan to leave you If Sobey’s ever get their act together and opens a store closer to downtown Ottawa, but after last night’s fiasco, we might not be able to wait that long.

Click to enlarge and see the grossness that is the Loblaws produce section.

Look at just how barren the produce shelves are! And not just barren, but stocked with wilted, left-behind, picked over crap.

And what’s with closing the butcher shop more than an hour before closing?! And I mean 100% closed. Lights out and not an employee in sight. I can see having the butcher start to clean up before closing, but wow! You really have no respect for your customers.

Nothing says contempt like blocking the aisles with crates of unopened food so your shoppers can’t even navigate the aisles. It’s as if you’re saying “We know our shelves are empty, but look at all these goodies. Want some food? Can’t have any.”

Guess you’re screwed if you want lamb.

After last night, our grocery list still has half a dozen items on it that we couldn’t cross off because they were out of stock. That’s not excusable on a Tuesday evening, and if you expect food-lovers to continue patronizing your stores, you’re gonna need to step up your service.

Until then, may we suggest you let the Top Chefs shop at Whole Foods so they can actually realize their full potential? Might make for better TV.

* Whenever possible, we buy local food from local markets and by subscribing to a Community Supported Agriculture program that gets us fresh produce direct from a local farmer.

Guess you’re screwed if you want lamb.


4 responses »

  1. Krista says:

    Ugh, it made me angry at Loblaws just reading this post! I dislike them immensely. I actually feel myself getting tense when I’m in their stores. We’ve stopped going to them as much as possible as well, but still find we can’t cut them out completely because as you said, you just can’t get everything at Farm Boy. I’d gladly ditch them in a heartbeat if there were an alternative.

    • RoC(k)r says:

      I think this sentiment is pretty strongly held among Ontario shoppers – or at least among Ottawa shoppers. Not that anyone likes Metro any better, but there’s got to be a solution! Why don’t we have Longos or Whole Foods in the Nation’s Capital yet? Why is Sobey’s stuck way out in Kanata?

  2. bv says:

    Where is this hahaah

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