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When to depend on people, and when to watch out for #1

 
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cosmicray



Posts: 6650

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:48 pm    Post subject: When to depend on people, and when to watch out for #1 Reply with quote

(this is a vent, but not quite a rant)

I was rather disappointed today with a local merchant. The merchant is a vegetable/fruit stand operator, who has a small outdoor stand. The hours/days of operation are mostly standard, but every once in a while they fiddle with them. It is the last stop on my way home from the nearest large (3,000 is large ?) town.

So I have to make a choice. Do I buy produce from the large stores that keep regular hours, or do I support the little guy (who has better produce usually). Today I skipped buying tomatoes at 4 larger stores, because I knew they would be there Tuesday-Saturday. When I got there, there was a sign "new days Wed-Sat)". Evil or Very Mad

Which left me with the choice of going back tomorrow, or backtracking another 12 miles to get tomatoes today. I'll go back tomorrow (~7 miles RT). But I learned a lesson, if I don't absolutely know they are there, don't depend on them (and get skunked). This kind of thing has happened in the past, and they seem to be very averse to using something like Twitter to spread the word on changes in hours.

I have been there (it is a small local flea market) when they unexpectedly decided to not open on a normal day, and watched a parade of cars pulling up, looking at the empty stand, then leaving to go 7 miles down the road to where the larger stores are. I really want to support them, but they seem to have a belief that open/close whenever they want to, and people will always understand (and forgive). Cheap ripe tomatoes only beg so much forgiveness.

(vent off)
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tigercreekgifts



Posts: 6293

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few mom & pop shops in my area like that. I can never seem to catch them while open because even though their sign says Open in big bold flashing letters & their hours of op. sign says Mon-Fri from 10 to 6, I go there every other day & the doors are locked. It's usually the little thrift stores that have the best deals for flippers that do that.
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AtMemoryLane



Posts: 510

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cosmic, Please do not give up on them. The smaller you are, the more difficult it is to keep to a rigid schedule.

My post office has 29 posted hours per week. When I first moved here, I would get very upset if they were not actually opened those hours. It did not take me long to realize that sometimes Jim (the post master) has to run to Penning Gap (one hour away) or Big Stone Gap (1.5 hours away), or someone called in sick, or sometimes there is a death in the family - basically life just got in the way.

I think it is well worth the inconvenience that the smaller shops offer. As for fresh veggies, I might let them know that I was a little preturbed - but I would try to do it in a nice way. Sometimes, you just don't know - maybe life got in the way for them also.

I go to a small Menonite shop that sells home churned butter, fresh herbs, home pounded whole wheat flour, and yummy fresh baked goodies - not a big establishment...but well worth the trip. And sometimes they are closed when I least expect it. I no longer get upset about that either. But I, no longer, make a special trip to go there either. - only when I am on my way, do I stop, I do tend to "stock up" when I go by. But I sent my message my spending less, because I do not frequently go in that direction.

As for my egg lady...heck I don't know what happened...I can't wait for her to open, so I have resorted to the crappy store bought ones. You have to do that seasonally anyway.

Thank goodness, the honey guy, the nut lady, and the molasses family - you just knock at their doors as you go by. I like that just fine.

I guess, I am saying that as Americans we have learned to live in this McDonalds society...but, at a very BIG cost. I am sure the quality and freshness of those cardboard grocery store tomatoes do not even compare to the tomatoes that you buy at that stand. Aren't you and your loved ones worth the "good stuff"? I will take Bacardi over generic any day of the week.

Sorry, about the soap box...but you know what I mean.. Just let them know that the rescheduling threw a hiccup in YOUR schedule and maybe they will tell you why they changed it. You never know.
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cosmicray



Posts: 6650

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AtMemoryLane wrote:
Thank goodness, the honey guy, the nut lady, and the molasses family - you just knock at their doors as you go by. I like that just fine.

I guess, I am saying that as Americans we have learned to live in this McDonalds society...but, at a very BIG cost. I am sure the quality and freshness of those cardboard grocery store tomatoes do not even compare to the tomatoes that you buy at that stand. Aren't you and your loved ones worth the "good stuff"? I will take Bacardi over generic any day of the week.

Sorry, about the soap box...but you know what I mean.. Just let them know that the rescheduling threw a hiccup in YOUR schedule and maybe they will tell you why they changed it. You never know.

There used to be people, not all that close, but I know where they are, that operated on the honor system. They would have a big wooden box, with a door on it, and a jar inside for payment/change. The two I remember, one sold eggs, and the other sold honey. The product was in there 24/7, all you had to do was put the money in the jar and take the products home.

I'm not giving up on these people (for a variety of reasons), but I am going to not let myself get left in the lurch (again, after so many times prior to today). Part of what you need to understand is that cheap ripe tomatoes (specifically) are like legal crack. If you can get them on a reasonably set schedule, you will go back again and again and again. They really are better than what teh grocery store sells, and at half the price (usually). Plus he carries a decent variety of other produce and fruit. I was in there last week, bought 3 tomatoes and 2 potatoes, for about $1.50. One of the few places left where you can get good food at fair prices. The flip side, is the erratic schedule. Since he hired the new woman to run the stand (about 2 years ago), it has been more stable. Because he gets his supplies from back channels, the supply line for some stuff is highly variable. It's not unusual for avocados to only be there one day a week.

He has a loyal following, people that put up with it, mostly because they are on fixed incomes, and where else can you get ripe tomatoes for $0.69-$0.99/lb ? The other side is that much of what he gets is RIPE (as in use it or lose it). If you want to buy a pint of strawberries, that's one thing. If you wanted a flat (12 pints I think) for $8.00, you had better be ready to freeze them or make them into jam/jelly TODAY. Otherwise you will be throwing some of it out.

Stuff like onions and carrots last a bit longer. The tomatoes are usually good for 2-4 days (if you pick carefully). I've seen times when he was selling 30-lb boxes for $12. Those were for people who wanted to make sauce or to can them.

Part of his customers are snowbirds. As the weather warms up, they will begin to return to the north. That may be part of the reason for cutting back the schedule. Since it's an outdoor stand, it is harder too keep stuff fresh when the weather turns hot.

I'd rather vent here, than go yell at them about it. Smile
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tigercreekgifts



Posts: 6293

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh we go to the Amish Menonite shops every summer to stock up on herbs, baking goods etc. My mom's pantry is so large, if anyone in our family gets in a bind financially on occasion they can literally go shopping in her pantry. It's nothing as massive as those people you see on extreme couponers, nothing like hoarding or greedy stock piling, but she has a dry foods section, canned foods (home made & store bought), a freezer full of beef (courtesy of our black angus, RIP Cocoa Crispies, my neice named him that), a freezer full of chicken plus fresh eggs (thanks to the neighbors my dad has worked out a trading deal with) and we have a garden for veggies & fruit trees. That's hard to do if you live in a city which I usually do. I'm only living here right now while saving up for a place I own.

But my parents do not hoard all that stuff for themselves, they have helped out multiple impoverished families in the area by fixing boxes of home grown produce, home canned foods, etc. and taking them to those families. My dad also helps local families by allowing the men of those families to work on his farm in exchange for free food & $9.00 an hour (that's great pay for our area for those without degrees by the way). So having a farm helps many people in our local community.
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school-yearbooks



Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

Don't totally give up on the little seller, especially without knowing the circumstances of his day changes. Their source may have moved their schedule or something. At least keep the little seller as an option.



Veggie Burger ad?

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cosmicray



Posts: 6650

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest episode to this saga is that I went back today. They had tomatoes, but no carrots or avocados. "come back tomorrow" Mad

But tomorrow really depends on what he brings back from his overnight run to the big farmers markets in the Tampa area. If carrots cost more than he feels like paying, he won't buy them on this trip. Same with most everything else (other than possibly tomatoes).

So I thanked them, paid for my purchase, then drove down to the larger store to get my carrots and avocados. I will continue to support him, but he needs to support us more by having a better variety on hand.

My running joke about the place is it should be named "Yesterday and Tomorrow", because "we had that yesterday, but we sold out" and "come back tomorrow, we should have that then". Rolling Eyes
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school-yearbooks



Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

Those types of 'fruit stands' should always be only for supplemental shopping sources. A supermarket can not afford to not have variety and basic items.



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