19 May 2015

Stop and Gawk on Nantucket

The famed American Humorist Erma Bombeck once said, “The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are 3 billion to one.” Those odds are now 4 billion to one on Nantucket with the much anticipated opening of the new mid-island Stop and Shop. The exuberant reaction from locals was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. After months of Mother Nature’s harsh treatment and an Annual Town Meeting that had us divided on everything from neighborhood density to helium balloons, it was refreshing to have a common bond that all of Nantucket could celebrate.

Like giddy school kids, islanders took to the aisles on Opening Day with wide eyes and salivating mouths. Tweets were blowing up mobile devices with clever hashtags like #thatsnuts in reference to the impressive raw nut display. Facebook selfies with Nantucket lighthouses and sandy beaches as the backdrop were replaced with toothy grins in front of trillions of apples and oranges (ok, maybe hundreds, but safe to say it’s some serious fruit!) The new produce section is expansive and just plain awesome.

With so much to see and choose from it’s hard to know where to start. The fresh fish and meat counter with its bone-in rib eye steaks and “just off the boat” Nantucketflounder is upstaged only by the smells wafting from the bakery section. A whole corner pays homage to Pain D’Avigon and there are more baguettes than you can shake an olive oil bottle at. If a light lunch or dinner is on your mind (and cooking is not!) just step over to the sushi bar where they will make you a spicy tuna roll to go with the heaping salad you just created at the do it yourself salad bar where there are so many options it’s dizzying.

If you’re on your way to that first summer beach barbeque and need an extra cooler, picnic basket, beach chairs, bug spray or charcoal…not to worry they’ve covered that in Aisle 10. In case you’re not completely over the moon by this point in your shopping, you apparently didn’t notice the door behind the meat counter which leads to Nantucket Wine and Spirits. That’s right, you can now purchase your beverage of choice right along with your bread and milk. It’s a separate register ring up, but let’s face it – it’s cool. And finally, in the event you tire during this shopping extravaganza, you need only head back to the front of the store where you’ll find the Nantucket Coffee Roasters waiting to pour you a hot cup of joe and offer you one of the 20 seats at their café. You can fire up your laptop and use the free wifi or just sit and people watch.

The saying is true – no pain, no gain. We all endured a painful few months of barely stocked shelves, barely any place to park and barely any patience for it all, as we watched and wondered if the new Stop and Shop would ever be complete. As I told my husband during our first trip to the new store, “the powers that be at Stop and Shop bet the farm (or the grocery store it would seem) that once we spent 30 seconds inside the walls of the new store all would be forgiven and forgotten.” They bet right. It’s a new day on Nantucket and we’re grateful for our new store. Well done Stop and Shop…well done.

Shop and Awe!
Shellie Dunlap

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