The opening day for Albany’s ShopRite store was this morning. I went earlier in the week to get a peek at what the Albany store’s setup looks like, and left with the impression that it’s a pretty big deal to Albany to have ShopRite here.
They had associates passing out samples of food (some good, some not so good), but still. Wow. This was an event.
Daniel B. came with, and we made a beeline to the Cheese Shop. He was even impressed with their selection (or at least disliked it less than the CoOp’s).
Their store made mozzarella was creamy, although I think Roma’s in Latham may just be a bit more tender.
The ShopRite staff for Albany were all fairly upbeat, but like other ShopRite stores, some are still a bit green when it comes to understanding their products.
They had a curry chicken salad that is unique to the Albany store at their deli area to sample.
I’m not a chicken salad fan, but the Profussor was all about me getting a shot.
Sushi! This was about as good as grocery store sushi ever is.
Here’s the Asian hot bar section. They even had fat ribs on there!
The fried food section. Avoid chicken cordon bleu. It was not so great.
But fried shrimp is always good. I’ll be interested to see if their oil stays clean with more turnover.
Store roasted eye of round. Cooked med-rare and pinky and served with some kind of creamy sauce.
The guy slicing it up did an excellent job of thin slices.
Healthy schtuff to try. I thought their fruit platters/bowls were a good buy – the entire platter is packed with fruit. So it’s about $20, but it’s a solid several pounds of fruit in there. Daniel B. suggested I get one every now and then to appease Albany John’s head shaking around my poor knife skills.
They have UNFLAVORED Wensleydale cheese! I’ve been dreaming of this for ages, and other places have said it isn’t made in the US without fruit. I so can’t wait to go back and buy this.
Gruyere with those crystalline bits in it!
Coccadotts is featured as a local bakery within the bakery. After talking with a ShopRite representative, she said that part of the reason they were so excited to work with Coccadotts was because their products would be exclusively available at the Albany ShopRite outside of the Coccadots bakery.
Internet dramz that may exist aside, Coccadotts can bake one damn fluffy cupcake. The peanut butter cup one was fan-freaking-tastic, and so was the red velvet cupcake. Daniel B refused me a bite of his champagne cupcake (just a nibble!), but said it was also great.
THEY HAVE ONE OF THESE MAGIC POP MACHINES! They are awesome – 15 calories for a disc as big as your face, and full of brown rice goodness. They’re great as crackers.
Aww, happy cake!
Villa Italia is also present in the bakery section.
The napoleon was really good. That custard inside was so creamy and smooth.
Sarada Bernstein, ShopRite’s dietitian for the area also included tahini in a glass jar, specifically for Mr. Fussy. Sarada reached out to me earlier in the year to discuss the nutrition program at ShopRite in Schenectady, and their in-store dietitian (more on that in the near future).
I brought Daniel B along for the ride when we first met, and (big surprise) he found a nit to pick on, specifically how squicked out he gets about tahini in plastic containers (like the brand on the right). Sarada vowed to find him something in a glass jar, and true to her word, we found it while wandering the aisles in Albany.
ShopRite will pretty much go out of their way to get anything you can think of. It’s pretty sweet.
Also sweet was the theater team from SUNY that they had. The kids performed some cute jingles and live ads for ShopRite. All in all, it was a nice way to involve the community.
Even Jerry was there!
I’m really excited to have ShopRite in the area. It’s a store I grew up with as a kid downstate, and it will add to our often stale grocery store competition up here. Overall, I got a really big sense of community involvement from all of the staff present, and a desire to really make an impact in the community, especially from the nutrition standpoint.