Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Cold Room At Fairway

I have often referred to Fairway as "the happiest store on earth." Compared to grocery stores in suburbia it's probably not that big a deal, but where I live there are very few truly large grocery stores, so when Fairway first opened its 132nd street store, I thought I'd died and gone to grocery heaven. Every time I thought I was almost "out of store" there were MORE rooms and aisles! I bring people to this store all the time and they just about faint. It becomes their "Happy Place" too.

One of my favorite features of this store is "The Cold Room." It's an entire room that's been turned into a gigantic freezer. It's not a little room. It's a big room with lots and lots of aisles! All meat, poultry, fish, and dairy items are in there as well as essential staples like pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough. :) I don't know the exact temperature of The Cold Room but it's low enough that the store supplies jackets for customers to put on before they enter -even though it took them a while to actually tell us that that's what the jackets were for!

It all started when a bunch of coat racks showed up alongside a wall in the middle of the store one day, with what appeared to be a variety of old coats. In short, it looked like someone had raided the local Good Will. But why all those old coats were hanging there was a mystery. At one point I thought they might be personal coats belonging to store employees (because, you know, that makes perfect sense... that out in the middle of the store would be the place for employees to hang their coats, instead of someplace more private and secure in the back!)

It was at least another month before the random coats were replaced by brand new matching Fairway jackets, another few weeks after that before a cardboard sign was put up explaining what the jackets were for, and another month or two after that before a professionally made sign was finally put in place.

New people, in particular, rarely grasp the "take a jacket before you enter" concept. You can always tell who's never been to the store before because they're the ones huddled in the corners and turning blue. When I ski over to them with my sled dog team to give them a shot of brandy and tell them about the jackets that are hanging outside the door, the looks of gratitude in their faces make life worthwhile. I'm sure there are several first born children named after me by now.

Of course there will always be that small percentage of people who refuse to put on a jacket even though they know that's what they're there for. Some people think they're too cool to put on a jacket (no pun intended). Others get creeped out by the thought that hundreds of people may have worn that jacket before them. Me...? I don't have this problem. I put on the jacket. I don't care how many people have worn the darned thing before me! It's freaking COLD in there!

Once or twice I was in a hurry and thought "I'll just run in there quickly, grab what I want, and run back out. I don't need a jacket." -I learned my lesson. I always wear a jacket in The Cold Room now. And if no jackets are available, I will wait outside those swinging doors until someone returns and puts their jacket back!

sled dogs and I are in no hurry.



Nora Bee said...

Wow, that does sound like grocery heaven! I've never heard of such a thing but I loved reading about it :-)

Melissa said...

If you ever come to NYC I will take you! Lol! I love this place!