Waterbury's down another grocery store with the closing of Price Chopper this month. According to the company, they are closing the store because it has been "under performing." That seems a little fishy, considering that it's been voted best grocery store in Waterbury. Perhaps not coincidentally, there have apparently been ongoing squabbling between Waterbury's Price Chopper and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (Local 371). Maybe a month before Price Chopper announced that they would be closing the Waterbury store, Waterbury residents received a postcard mailing from the union asking us not to shop at Price Chopper, because the store "pays non-union substandard wages." I vaguely remember the union doing a similar mailing and newspaper advertising roughly a year ago. Maybe the union protest had more to do with the store closing than anything else.
Meanwhile, a new grocery store has opened downtown in the Colonial Plaza on Thomaston Avenue. Compare Foods is really great. The prices are low and the selection is fantastic. An article in the Republican-American about their opening stated the the manager spent a year studying Waterbury's communities and shopping habits, and has tried to meet the grocery needs of everyone. I can't speak for anyone else, but the store definitely does what I need. There are only one or two things I buy that they don't carry, and there are things they carry that I like and can't find anywhere else. The grocery store that preceded Compare Foods at the same site was very poorly managed (raw fish being sold from display stands in the middle of the store, rotting away). Compare Foods is nothing at all like that store--it's clean, well-stocked, and has great customer service.
Another new grocery topic is at Stop & Shop. They've gone "green" with their bags. If you purchase a green shopping bag for 99¢, every time you use it, you get five cents back. It doesn't take long for the bags to pay for themselves, and they are much better for carrying groceries than standard bags. The only glitch is that they aren't really all that green: they're made out of polypropylene. They're durable, but they're made from a substance that is not biodegradable and are not considered ecofriendly. Oops.