Monday, February 1, 2010

Competition is good

Una nueva tienda de comestibles se ha abierto en Spokane. Es muy bueno. Espera, ¿por qué es que sale en español?

Let's start again. A new grocery store has opened in Spokane. El Mercado del Pueblo is located at 1814 North division just north of the White Elephant (a store worth its own love letter for another time). Being so used to large grocery stores that never seem to have much actual selection (is half this isle nothing but Doritos?), El Mercado del Pueblo is a small space surprisingly full of merchandise including a full-service bakery and a small deli. They have an amazing selection of dried chilies. They have varietal chili powders and other herbs and spices you won't find in glass bottles at the local supermarket. Sodas, canned cactus, 4 meeelion
piñatas and the candy needed to fill them.

But the most impressive aspect of El Mercado del Pueblo is filling our basket with tomatillos, dried chilies, four bottles of Jarritos and some bakery items, our bag of groceries cost less than $9. A quick cost comparison with De Leon puts
El Mercado del Pueblo in the winning category on price alone.

El Mercado del Pueblo isn't the only new store in town. Main Market, Spokane's new co-op grocery, has also opened bringing some much need competition for Huckleberry's. Located at 44 West Main in an old Goodyear service center, the grocery is still ramping up to full operation. It is hard to tell yet, but I hope the Main Market won't follow Huckleberry's lead and imagine that selling niche varieties of products is more important than selling staples. For example, Huckleberry's sells 40 different types of rice but they don't stock medium grain white rice. If Main Market gets their mix together, hopefully it will force Huckleberry's to reexamine their stocking issues.

Here's to competition waking up some businesses that havn't had much up to this point. Hopefully, it will be better for everyone.