Will I Become a Martin's Shopper?

The short answer is, "I don't know." But I went to the unveiling and Grand Opening of the Carytown Martin's today to see what it would be like.

Of course, comparisons are going to be made so let's just put that out on the table right now. Martin's is moving into the Ukrop's stores, hoping to keep the Ukrop's customers and we want to know what will change and what will be the same.

Here's what I noticed.
  • Stores will be open every day of the week from 6am-Midnight. [Ukrop's stores were closed on Sundays.]
  • Beer and Wine are in the stores already. [Alcohol has never been sold in a Ukrop's store. Ever.]
  • Hard to find reusable bags. [Ukrop's went reusable very early. Remember Bin Shopping?]
  • I'm gonna assume the picture of the Ukrop's church isn't there anymore either but I didn't stop to check. Seems likely though, right?
  • Very nice produce section, even if not as varied as the Carytown store's usually is. My guess is they'll be more uniform from store to store, which is different from the way Ukrop's stores were.
  • Not sure I saw a sushi counter, but I might have missed it.
  • Ukrop's Kitchen items are still present!!! You an still get Dinner for 2, Duchess potatoes, chicken salad, pimento cheese, and whatever your favorites are, too- like the bakery items. These just happen to me some of mine.
  • The Organic section is virtually unchanged as is the coffee bar with wifi. I spot checked the area and it seemed untouched.
  • You can still get your groceries carried to your car. No worries.
It was a very nice event today. They had cake and coffee and were handing out flowers to the women. They also had several stations set up so that there was very little wait time in getting your new Martin's card - however, please remember that if you have Fuel Perks you'll still need to use your Ukrop's card until they run out.

I think most people were in the store out of curiousity. I overheard several conversations to this effect. The gentleman in line in front of me came to see if his English Muffin bread was still in stock. I told him I'd done the same - showing him the Duchess potatoes I'd picked up along with a loaf of bread for lunches. "Many things have been able to figure out how to make but these defy me," I told him. "I've tried butter, sour cream, cream cheese in many permutations and none of them taste right." He told me his wife's secret to mashed potatoes which "she's famous for" and in turn I passed along my flower. Even if they don't taste exactly the same I had a great conversation this morning and I'll have a fantastic story to pass along when they do work.

So, Richmonders we have a new store in town. It'll probably feel like going to visit your cousin. Sort of familiar but a little bit different. Good news is that the floor pattern is the same so at least you won't get lost. And I think that's a cool idea. Enjoy.


April 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM Anonymous said...

Another difference I've heard is that Martin's checks ID for folks writing checks. Apparently that was pretty unpopular with a customer in a store near me. One would hope that as people get their Martin's cards that will cease.

April 19, 2010 at 5:42 PM Anonymous said...


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