Being a Ukrop's customer for years, the entire episode of selling their stores to Martin's Food Market has been front-burner attention for me.
So when I read the BNN headlines and saw Tom White's post, I Went to Martin’s. I Shopped at Martin’s. Martin’s, You Are No Ukrops!, I immediately clicked on it.
I began to read ... and then I began to giggle ... and then I laughed out loud. SWAC Husband wanted to know what was so funny. I mumbled that I was reading something by Tom White (they know each other) and continued reading and giggling and he asked again what was so funny.
I finished reading, started to give him a synopsis, and then asked, "You want me to read it out loud to you?" Sitting across the room on the sofa reading the morning newspaper, he said yes, so I began to read just as I used to read to my children. With inflection in voice and using my best "Tom White" immitation along with a higher-pitched feminine "clerk" voice, I shared Tom's adventure in MartinLand and we both laughed at his remembrance of the shopping trip from ... well, let's just say it was unpleasant.
In full disclosure, I've lived away from Richmond for a number of years and so had to find a Ukrop's wanna-be a long time ago, and two of the best were Harris-Teeter and Lowe's Foods.
Several years ago Martin's came to Staunton, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg so it has been my local grocery store of choice for a while. My hope now is that the Richmond Martin's stores will ship some of that yummy Ukrop's food to Valley stores. (Ukrop's food division will continue to provide chicken salad and bakery products that were always a trademark of the Ukrop family.)
Service, cleanliness, and quality products were what made me a Ukrop's lover even though, like Tom, I cook quite a lot so didn't necessarily need their ready-made foods. I loved the freshness of their produce and meats, and stayed away from the prepared stuff because, like him, price counts with me. No need paying someone else to chop all those salad makings when I can do it myself.
But when you needed a quick meal or lunch, there was no place better ... and a ready-made London Broil panini on sunflower bread was always a favorite.
I'll continue to shop Martin's in Staunton. I'll probably continue to shop the Martin's-that-took-the-place-of-Ukrop's in Richmond. But somehow I'm not sure Martin's can maintain a hold on 24 Richmond area stores especially with episodes like the one relayed by Tom.
Ukrop's was a destination. When you become like any other grocery store, then any other grocery store will do.