Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bulk bins.

About two weeks ago, I came across a recommendation for Weigh 2 Go, a bulk food sales store in Vancouver, British Columbia.  We live in North Vancouver, but very close to Second Narrows Bridge, which connects us very easily to both Burnaby and East Vancouver, so we have quite a few options for grocery shopping that are reasonably close.  We actually have a Safeway, Superstore and an Extra Foods within five minutes of us.  Nevertheless, I can't buy everything I would like from any one of them, so I'm always trying to find a place that has my favourite three things: bulk dry foods in bins, really good produce and reasonable prices.  Lately my strategy has been to go to Marketplace IGA for my produce and to Superstore for the dry bulk bin items.  Then I heard about Weigh 2 Go.  We tried to go there last weekend but got side-tracked looking for Tim's meat products.  So this weekend we put all of our plastic Ziplock containers in our reusable shopping bags and headed out.

My first mistake was to think that the store was anywhere near where we live.  It is actually in Dunbar-Southlands, which is very difficult to access from where we were.  It took us so long to get there that by the time we arrived I was fairly disheartened, because I knew that there was no way we would ever do this trip again.  The store itself is located in a nice little shopping area that has lots of little shops and a huge Marketplace IGA right across the street.  There was also a Stong's not too far away, so if you live in Kerrisdale or near UBC, this store might be a reasonable option for you for your dried goods.

The first impression both Tim and I had was that the store was very small.  There is a reasonable sized area in the back where I assume they store all the bulk containers, then there are smaller plastic containers in the main part of the store.  Many of them.  And there are really a lot of items.  Their slogan is "Everything from soup to nuts", and they didn't disappoint.  Or they wouldn't have.  But I had such high expectations.  My problem with the store was that things were already packaged, which I completely was not expecting.  Some of it wasn't of course, which you can see from the pictures.  But the things that I was looking for, such as organic cane sugar and organic unbleached flour, had already been packaged into little plastic bags and tied up.  I was looking for a lot of flour, because I planned to do a lot of baking today, so I would have had to buy three or more bags of the flour, which was exactly what I was looking to avoid by going to such a store and bringing my own containers.  The prices were also not that great.  You would think that by buying in bulk you would avoid the portion of the price that is needlessly inflated due to the packaging and marketing, but at this store, it doesn't seem to work that way.

On the way home, since most of the city was between Dunbar and North Vancouver, we made a stop at Drive Organics because we still needed to get a number of items.  I have heard and read many good things about Drive Organics, and a few bad.  We had never been there before, but I was suitably pleased with the experience.  There was not a huge variety of produce, which I had for some reason been expecting, but there was a surprising amount of foods available from bulk bins, which was excellent given the fact I was still in the market for some organic unbleached flour.  They carried my favourite milk, at a lower price than Marketplace IGA, where I normally get it, and they had lots of more difficult to find vegetarian and natural products, which I don't usually buy because I normally make most of my own food, but it was good to see that it was available.  I was very happy with the experience and do think that I will be frequenting the store.  As it is near the organic chicken store that we visited last weekend that Tim has given the thumbs up to, and it is reasonably close to where we live, it is a great option.

No comments:

Post a Comment