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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: NE PA
166 posts, read 586,836 times
Reputation: 71

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I've read a few threads in the past about supermarkets in the tri-cities but am unfamiliar with the names. Whenever one was compared to another chain, it was generally a southern chain, which again I'm not familiar with. The nicest chain in the NE is Wegmans (NY, PA, NJ, etc) and I'm wondering if the tri-cities has any supermarkets there comparable to them. Wegmans has a play area for kids, and an employed will watch the kids while you shop. They have a restaurant (actually, several) so you can eat before or after shopping. Occasionally they hold beer and food tasting events, where you can try small samples of cooked food and appetizers (this weekend they has Asian boneless ribs, shrimp, etc) with different beers. They have a wide variety of product lines in general, and a terrific produce area with some veggies and fruits you don't see at often at most supermarkets.
Among the many supermarkets in the tricities, are any of them comparable to Wegmans?
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:54 PM
 
166 posts, read 469,128 times
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There may be something like that here, but I have never heard of it. I've always wanted to have something like Stew Leonard's here!

Off the top of my head, in JC there is Ingles, Food Lion, Food City, Kroger, White's, Earth Fare, Sam's Club... and of course Walmart. I don't know any other places in Bristol or Kingsport that are different. I usually shop at Walmart, but if I don't want to deal with the crowd and need something quick, Food Lion is close to my apartment. They are more expensive.

Wegman's sounds like a great store. Hopefully somebody is in the know better than me about this!

What about cost? I'd love to hear opinions on what the best overall experience for quality/cost is.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:00 PM
 
357 posts, read 874,258 times
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Being from Upstate NY, I am very familiar with Wegmans. Hate saying this, but no, your not going to find anything close to Wegmans. Most of the stores here are your basic meat and potato kind of stores. If you want anything unique or special then you have to go to either Kroger or the new Earth Fare (a knock off of Whole Foods). But still even then, neither of those grocery stores comes close to Wegmans.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:15 PM
 
4,758 posts, read 6,829,803 times
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Cougargm,
There is nothing in the tri-city area that comes close to Wegmans. I am trying to think of a comparison and stores like Giant, Clemens, Guanardi's and even Redners are much better and the local stores here. Even the local W-marts are disappointing. There is an Earthfare in JC but I found it be lacking when I compare it to a Whole Foods Market.

Don
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:29 PM
 
745 posts, read 2,019,106 times
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As others have said, there's really nothing like Wegmans in the Tri-Cities. They only come as far South as Northern Virginia.

As for the best selection and quality of deli/bakery/seafood and other specialty items I would go with Food City, but I've never been to Earthfare. Food City is based locally in Abingdon and they tend to support local farmers when produce is in season so their produce, meats, and even Kern's bread are all local as opposed to being trucked in from a distribution center.

For lower prices and a much more limited selection, give Food Lion a try. When you factor in all the MVP deals and stock up on the good sales, you should be able to easily shop there for less than Wal-Mart, and you don't have to deal with Wal-Mart's produce and meats, which always seem to be of much lower quality than any grocery chain IMO, with bad parking lots and long lines.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 24,604,260 times
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I was going to say, that Wegmans sounds fancy and nothing like that around here. Another I can add to the list that Bailey mentioned to the Bristol area is Food Country. Its off of HWY 394 between HWY 11E and I-81. They are dangerously close to Food City. Food Country is a brand new store and its nice, with a nice Pizza parlor inside (Pizza Plus), but I dont think they are doing that well. I think they are higher priced in general than Food City and the nearby Wal-Mart. One plus is that they have 100% (ethanol free) gasoline. I go there just for that.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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I love Wegmans. That is one place I dearly miss. I cannot wait until they finally make their way down here, it will blow the competition out of the water.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,757,598 times
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Hmmm, let's see, people move here, then whine about not having a grocery store like one at the place they left. Why did they leave the place where they were from?

Then you talk about blowing competition out of the water? Locally-based corporations like Food City (Abingdon) and Earth Fare and Ingles (Asheville)?

Sorry, but that's bull****. And you people wonder why we don't like "foreigners"?

Sorry, I'm normally very optimistic here, but Jesus.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,951,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennesseestorm View Post
I was going to say, that Wegmans sounds fancy and nothing like that around here. Another I can add to the list that Bailey mentioned to the Bristol area is Food Country. Its off of HWY 394 between HWY 11E and I-81. They are dangerously close to Food City. Food Country is a brand new store and its nice, with a nice Pizza parlor inside (Pizza Plus), but I dont think they are doing that well. I think they are higher priced in general than Food City and the nearby Wal-Mart. One plus is that they have 100% (ethanol free) gasoline. I go there just for that.

Food Country is having somewhat of an identity crisis. People around here are familiar with their work (ie the old Food Country). Everything about their new store is superior to Food City. Well prices are about equal, but otherwise...

They even make a great caramel mocha beside the Pizza Plus, but I don't think anyone knows about it.

I was also disappointed with the new Food City in Piney Flats. It looks like any other Food City. It had a shot to be my Grocer of choice, but my top three remain...

#1 Walmart (prices)
#2 Earth Fare (specialty items - 3 different brands of quinoa - wow - and a caramel mocha sweetened with stevia)
#3 Food Country (aesthetics, convenience, speed, & 100% gas)
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: NE PA
166 posts, read 586,836 times
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Thanks everyone for the candid replies.
Jab, You're usually a very rational guy but I think you misinterpreted what someone wrote. Believe me, As good as Wegmans is, a great supermarket isn't enough to keep me up in the frozen tundra known as NE PA-LOL. I don't think anyone meant NE TN was deficient or inferior because there's not a store comparable to Wegmans. It's a matter of business competition. If a 'nicer store' opens in the area, everyone benefits. Don't you get excited when you see a new chain opening in the area? When Wegmans opened here, not only did they have a great store, but the competition forced the existing stores to improve, so everyone benefitted, even if they continued to shop their traditional favorite supermarket. And I can relate to what you mean about transplants, because we have plenty of them here in NE PA...but a new store in the area raises the bar for everyone else. Believe me, most tri-cities residents would like a Wegmans or comparable store...but even if they don't shop there, it improves the other stores due to the improved competition.
Even if there's no Wegmans, I'm still looking forward to retiring to NE TN someday
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