The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 26, 2021 1:00 am

Many locally prefer to buy own groceries

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Some local shoppers say they'd rather choose their own groceries despite the potential time savings of ordering online. Rachel Blakeman is one of them.

“It's not a good fit for me,” she said. “I thought this is going to be one more disappointment, and I don't need one more disappointment in my life.”

Blakeman has embraced the option of ordering online and picking up curbside when it comes to items from retailers including Target, Home Depot and Lowe's. She's not as picky about general merchandise.

But when it comes to ingredients for the several new recipes she tries each month, Blakeman doesn't compromise.

“I have a very targeted list of what I'm looking for,” she said.

The one time she tried ordering groceries online, the store's shopper substituted unsalted canned chickpeas for the regular variety. Apparently, the shopper assumed the recipe could be saved by simply adding more salt.

But Blakeman, an accomplished home cook, knew better. She would have preferred swapping canned black beans in the dish.

The substituted chickpeas, Blakeman explained, “wouldn't be infused with the salt.” 

But the fact that some shoppers are trading their online shopping for in-store hasn't stopped many stores from offering it.

Kroger this month launched Kroger Delivery Now nationwide. Online orders are delivered in 30 minutes or less by Instacart.

Meijer and Walmart offer same-day grocery delivery for online orders. Minimum orders or fees might apply.

Fresh Thyme Market, which specializes in organic and natural foods, also offers delivery through Instacart. Online shoppers can have anything delivered from the store at 4320 Coldwater Road, including meat and produce.

Instacart also will do the shopping and delivery for customers who want to buy from Fresh Market. The Covington Plaza store, at 6306 W. Jefferson Blvd., also offers curbside pick up.

Trader Joe's requires customers to come into the Jefferson Pointe store to do their own shopping.

Other smaller, specialty groceries don't offer delivery options either.

Health Food Shoppe of Fort Wayne lists 769 items on its website that can be bought online. But customers must pick up their orders curbside at 3515 N. Anthony Blvd.

The 3 Rivers Natural Grocery Food Co-op & Deli doesn't offer online ordering, but front end manager Heather Grady is willing to do the shopping for customers who call or email with requests for a few items. She started making the service available to those who had trouble wearing a face mask when they were still being required by the governor's mandate.

“We didn't really advertise it,” she said. “It's not something we've done a lot because it's just me.”

Grady estimated about 15 people used the service during the COVID-19 pandemic's darkest days.

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