……and I am really happy about it.
I’m not complaining because prior to this Mariano’s coming in- I still had 5 grocery stores near-ish my place to do my shopping.
Mariano’s is a grocery store that has all of the special features of a Whole Foods (hot bar, sushi etc), plenty of special diet items (gluten free, dairy free, vegan) along with “normal” grocery fare (Diet Coke, Campbell’s soup etc).
I have been anxiously awaiting for this store to open for several reasons:
1) It is officially the closest grocery store to my apartment
2) People RAVE about this store
3) I have heard the prices are better than WF
4) I had heard it was like a WF, combined with a “normal” grocery store
5) I had also heard they are a very “neighborhood” community focused store that places a high value on buying local
Here is what a know now.
1) I was not disappointed in any way
2) This is likely where I will now do 98% of my grocery shopping from now on (it would be 100% if they had PB2 – hint hint)
3) They do have all of the same “special” stuff as whole foods- with competitive prices (soup bar, sushi, pizza, & special diet items as well)
4) They had an insanely impressive produce section with an equally impressive selection of organics that were priced well
5) I liked their meat/seafood/poultry counters – I noted they had an excellent selection of grass fed beef, and were priced reasonably for me. They will also grill any of your meat selections for you there in the store
6) People have every right to rave about this place it’s frigging awesome
7) One gripe my main man has about places like TJ’s and WF is that you can go there and get specialty items BUT tough darts if you want a diet coke. I like that it felt like I was in a store similar to that of WF- a very nice aesthetic – huge selection of produce and special items. But if I wanted to I could get sargento cheese or diet coke.
8) Speaking of cheese let’s talk cheddar. As in money- and how Mariano’s prices are better than WF. I have two examples a) cheese slices- I got a thing of Colby cheese slices (from Wisconsin) for like 2-3.99 (I don’t remember) but what I do remember is at WF it’s like 5.99 cheese slices b) I bag of cacao nibs at WF is ~$10 the same bag at Mariano’s- ~$5-6z
9) I like that they highlight more local items – such as the cheese I bought- it was in its own special display but there were other cheeses to choose from
10) Mariano’s seems very focused on being a part of the south loop community, and it seems like a very genuine excitement. They are very active on twitter – they replied to me both times I tweeted at them (which I like). They had store guides available at their grand opening and an ample amount of employees circulating the aisles that could answer questions.
In closing I am super pumped this store is here… And heyyyyy Mariano’s if you’re ever in need of a store dietitian…. Call this girl.
**These opinions are my own regarding Mariano’s and other grocery stores I am in no way affiliated with any of the aforementioned stores.