Wednesday, June 02, 2010

COSTCO FINDS OF THE WEEK

Big box stores cause a lot of controversy. Everything from killing Mom & Pop stores ( who's owners then go out and buy an overpriced franchise. WHY? It makes them part of an exploiting big box concept) to massive carbon foot print, or abusing labor laws in third world countries. I agree that there is a certain validity to some claims, and because we, the consumers raise a lot of stink, things are starting to change now.

From experience I would like to tell you that prices in China have gone up over the past decade. Dramatically so. Partially of course due to government wanting to better their society, but partly as well due to North American companies listening to their clients and activists who demand fair trade.
If you take STARBUCKS for example, which may seem like a small box when you enter one, but overall they are a bigger force in their industry than Wal Mart is in it's field. And all they sell you is fair trade coffee. Because you want them to. And because you are prepared to pay for it. Kudos. Well done. Everybody wins.

Many other corporations are equally active when it comes to human rights, fair business tactics and treating their suppliers as partners more so than slaves. Except they do not post it on their front door. Or bragg about it. You would have to look ontheir corporate website, or read their discolsures to the shareholders.
Too many of us don't do that. We watch 60 Minutes, listen to the scandal of the week and follow blindly what journalists tell us and keep repeating it to everybody we know.

Anyway. My favorite big box store is COSTCO. If I were to be a company guy, that's the one I would choose and try to climb the ladder (Not going to happen). Here are some pics of today's visit.



SKY LIGHTS - PLENTY OF NATURAL LIGHT- SAVE ENERGY

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS

ORGANIC PASTA SAUCE

NOT ORGANIC, BUT EXCELLENT

GREAT, ONE OF MY FAVORITE SANDWICH MEATS

GLUTEN FREE BBQ SAUCE, CALGARY MADE

GF RICE CRACKERS. TASTY

ORGANIC CARROT JUICE

GLUTEN FREE SAUSAGES

SMOOTHIES, JUST ADD ICE AND BLEND.

ORGANIC CRANBERRIES

MAKE YOUR OWN TIRAMISU

I LOVE THESE BEETS

GLUTEN FREE CREME BRULEE

WAITING PATIENTLY WITH A BOOK AND JUNK FOOD

11 comments:

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

How fun, I just love their GF Premio Brats! Thanks for sharing.

H.Peter said...

You are welcome Lisa

A Canadian Foodie said...

They carry those tomatoes? I am heading over to stock up tomorrow. Fantastic! That is a new find and the only ones I use. Usually 5 to 6 a can. I see we have other favourites in common. I have found that a bottle of cattle boys with a jar of horse radish and one (or even just 1/2) of a chipotle pepper in adobe sauce makes a mean sauce for ribs very close to a complex recipe I sometimes make.
:)
valerie

H.Peter said...

Good morning Valerie,

yes, Costco is amazing.
Unfortunately not all Cattle Boyz sauces are GF....

If you like Beets, try these ones in the picture.

Christa said...

mmm, the sausages look yummy. The smoothies too. It's been a while since we've been to Costco, but we don't have a big enough freezer anymore to buy anything big! Hard to buy in bulk with just two of us.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

All your serious talk and I am most impressed with ready-to-go gluten-free creme brulee, those tomatoes, and Isabella entertaining herself (a good book makes just about any place "background"). Always fun to see what products you highlight, and, honestly, I do appreciate your perspective! :-)

Shirley

H.Peter said...

Christa. Off Facebook. For real???
I am impressed.

H.Peter said...

hello Shirley,

Yes, I enjoy Costco very much.
What is your perspective on big box business?

gfe--gluten free easily said...

H.Peter--I guess I have a conflicted view of big box businesses. I've frequented some of them, although I'll admit I've never been in a Costco (we do have one in "town") and I've only been in a similar warehouse club once. I'm a bit of an anomaly, I think. Not considering the fact that some big box businesses can do harm to the little guys of the neighorhood (the statistics are there for how many more individual businesses are put out of business vs the jobs brought in), big box stores pretty much overwhelm me with options--just too much stuff to look at and consider. Before I got married, I lived across from a country store one year and I was perfectly happy to walk across the road and get my groceries for the month. They had fresh meat with a butcher on staff and even allowed me to run a tab and pay once a month (which was how I was paid as a teacher). Of course, that was in my gluten-eating days and there was a fair amount of processed stuff in my buying. We have a Super Wal-mart coming near my office and I'm not the least bit excited about it frankly. Yes, I do sometimes shop in Wal-mart, but I guess I'm part of the NIMBY crowd when it comes to these businesses. I may have only one type of basic grocery store where I live, but our county has also retained its rural character quite a bit and I see that changing A LOT with the arrival of a Super Wal-Mart.

Shirley

H.Peter said...

You are not off base with your opinion and comments Shirley.

In general though, unfortunately it's the people who support big box business. It's not the other way around.

Mom & Pop quit, because let's face it, customer service is not on top of our list anymore...it's convenience and price. It used to be important, now not so much. So really, it is our fault to begin with.

What irks me about the whole bashing of Wal Mart, Home Depot et al, is two fold.
First, 95% of the population shop for price, not for quality. It's a fact. Study after study, same answer, give me a deal! Small biz can only go so far with price. No purchasing power.

But second, what really gets to me is when those small biz people who cry because Wal Mart pushed them out of the market place, buy into some franchise concept, be food, or convenience ( UPS Store), they just became part of a big box concept. It's just sliced into smaller pieces.

To a degree I could have been a victim in my business as well, Home Decor wholesale is not what it used to be, because big box stores ( A divison of Ross, Dress for less) blanketed Canada with their cheap imports and sold wholesale to the public.

I am not crying, I found a solution. I consign to auctions. New stuff, close outs and such. Cut my margins and beat them at their game.
Albeit on a much much smaller scale.

happier for it!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

H.Peter--I don't disagree at all with what you've said. I'm very happy that your business evolved into something you like even better! You're right. Most of us don't do our homework. We look to be spoonfed by expose shows like 60 Minutes or articles in the NYT. And, one of my big pet peeves is folks who whine about the lack of Made in America products, but do exactly as you said and seek out the cheapest product regardless of quality ... and--surprise!--it's NOT made in America. Plus, often the Made in America thing is rooted in prejudice and bigotry anyway, and frankly, that disgusts me.

Shirley