We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: Why do you like your grocery store? Thanks for all of your responses. Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.
I shop exclusively at Publix even though they don’t have the lowest prices. I have lived in South Florida for six years and have shopped at another grocery store only 2-3 times! I love Publix because of their excellent customer service. Whenever I enter the store an employee always greets me. I have had employees willingly get items that I cannot reach from top shelves. I can return items with no questions asked. I especially love the BOGO sales even though they prevent me from leaving with only the items on my shopping list!
Gwendolyn Ross, Homestead
I love Joanna’s Marketplace because this family-owned gem has some of the best bread baked in the South Florida area.
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Ellen Book, Coral Gables
I love the variety of kosher food at Winn-Dixie in Aventura. There is a kosher bakery, meat department and even a deli with kosher rotisserie chicken and other food. The staff is friendly and always helpful.
Bonnie Schwartzbaum, North Miami
I love the Fresh Market because the ingredients I need to make healthy meals are always available, its proximity to my house and the fun of finding new items on the shelves that always make cooking fun.
Cristina Pereda, Miami
I have been shopping at my grocery store for over 20 years. The same people worked there for the first 16 years and it was awesome. It was a real neighborhood store we talked about our children, parents, etc. They knew just how you liked your cold cuts sliced, etc. Not so much anymore; however, I still go to the same store and I am trying to build new memories. Nothing is the same. My grocery store is clean.
Bianca Moreiras, Fort Lauderdale
I do my grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Costco, due to the large selection of organic products that they carry. Costco offers great deals on organic products, and Whole Foods carries organic items that are otherwise hard to find locally. I also do some grocery shopping through Amazon, but it usually consists of organic vitamins and other organic items which have a long shelf life.
Antonio Ugando, West Miramar
Trader Joe’s: variety, price/quality ratio, great value on wine, beer, specialty foods, great quality frozen foods, deliciously unusual products at great prices. Unusually helpful and friendly staff. Winn-Dixie: quality of fresh produce and fresh fish.
Ricardo Rovira, Miami
I do most of my shopping at Publix. Given their discriminatory employment policy toward LGBT workers I would prefer to shop elsewhere but they have a veritable monopoly. After years of shopping in that one vast store I know where everything is, they have an excellent selection and prices are very good. Moreover, the store is immaculate. Plenty of checkout lanes and most have a bagger in addition to the cashier to speed things along. Then it’s Uber on home.
David Hart, Miami Beach
I like Fresh Market in Aventura. They have pre-marinated meats and the packaging label gives cooking instructions. Quite helpful. I also like the peanut butter whopper-like candy in the bulk food section. And they play classical music, which is quite relaxing. I also like their bulk coffee area. I go for the cinnamon hazelnut.
Aaron Glickman, Sunny Isles Beach
Miami is probably one of the most poorly served grocery markets in the country. Putting aside the high-end specialty markets (Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) and the low-end price warehouses (Walmart and Aldi) Publix has no competition. So it’s not a matter of what I like — it’s a matter of not having any choice. Consistently, no matter which Publix I shop in, the folks who work in the store are outstanding — friendly, helpful and always smiling….For those of us who actually don’t cook, Publix has an awful selection of prepared foods. Prices are high, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s the inconveniences of shopping at Publix that bother me.
Drew Wofford, Homestead
Great selections, extremely clean store, friendly staff, very large. Publix does it right.
Donald Allen, Kendall
I like Publix because it is well-organized. It is very clean. Shopping cart wipes are provided. There is a great variety of merchandise and the employees are helpful. I particularly like the BOGO offers that are available.
Evelyn Stahl, Hallandale Beach
Having a background is food service in the military makes it pretty easy to find a great place to buy groceries. The reason I like my grocery store is because they treat me like family. They know me by my name. If I have a problem they resolve it right away. They’re always suggesting ways to save money. Everything is always fresh. The manager even follows up on my visits to make sure they aren’t falling short on anything. I’m never in line for very long no matter how many items I have. When having parties at my home they’ll place bulk orders for me and call when it arrives at the store. They honor rain-checks. I could go on and on.
Gregory Pitts, Davie
Publix is convenient to my home and open hours are comprehensive. Staff is well-trained and polite. The company itself is a good corporate citizen. The store is clean and carries the products I like or need to use.
Kim Cavendish, Boca Raton
The slogan says it all: Publix, where shopping is a pleasure. Great employees, clean, fresh products and store. For stocking up, I go to BJ’s. Great products, great prices.
Joann Block, Fort Lauderdale
I like my grocery store because I am able to easily find whatever I’m looking for. I get a lot of buy one-get one free. I save tons of money every time I shop there, and I get money off of gasoline for my vehicle when I shop at my favorite grocery store.
Stacy Vazquez, Palmetto Bay
I go to the best Publix in the world! Sweetest, kindest, professional and trusting staff! I love everyone that works there. Therefore, makes shopping a pleasure!
Michelle Williams, Cutler Bay
My main go-to store is Publix where I can find many nutritional products among the many that are offered. A decent selection of organic along with the row labeled “natural foods” — but still must check the labeled ingredients.
Denis Kelly, Miami Beach
I have always felt like a person when I shop at Publix. Store employees say hello when I walk by and when I check out. Management always has been able to solve any problems that I may have. Stockers give a smile and are helpful. Shopping is truly a pleasure at Publix.
Alexander Ariano, Miami Lakes
The food is fresh. The selections are varied and the customer service impeccable. I go to Publix located on 145th Avenue and Miramar Parkway. I love the store.
Natacha Yacinthe, Miramar
I use the Publix at 1401 Monza Ave., Coral Gables, for things other than deli and fruit, because it has a high turnover, thus fresher stock. I use Milam’s on Bird and Red Road for deli, fruits, vegetables, and some meats because it is less crowded, and I waste less time there. Both markets are convenient to my home.
Robert Black, South Miami
I don’t go to the grocery store unless I can’t get the item from Annie’s Buying Club, which offers pick up spots in neighborhoods through Florida. I find most stores overpriced with expired food on the shelves. Produce is usually past prime and won’t last long unless consumed right away.
Joshua Kingston, Coconut Grove