Let’s start really close to home with the Cub Foods VIP event. For those of you out-of-towners, Cub Foods is a grocery store owned by SuperValu, a Minnesota food distribution company. Awhile back I was contacted by Carmichael Lynch Spong, the PR company working with Cub, with an invite to a VIP Event hosted at my local Cub Foods. There were several reasons why I wanted to go:
- Finally, an event in my own city – this is “my Cub”
- I’ve been a bit dissatisfied with “my Cub” lately and figured I could voice my concerns
- It offered an opportunity for a behind the scenes look at Cub
- A lot of my blogger friends were going
For the most part, all answers were yes. While it was obvious the event was geared towards moms due to the constant mom references and calling us all mommy bloggers, I successfully resisted shouting, “Hello, food blogger with no kids here!” Instead I tweeted it (hee hee).
We were treated to a tour and I have never seen the store so clean and expertly stocked. Surely this was because VIP’s were coming in;) We stopped at various sections to listen to presentations and try foods. Of course my favorite section was produce. Tom, the produce manager, taught us about exotic and fun fruits Cub offers like starfruit (yum!), kumquats, blood oranges and passion fruit (my favorite scent). But was he ready for my questions? Turns out, he knows his stuff. He’s been working with produce for about 20 years and loves it. So, I fired away:
Why is the Swiss chard completely wilted every time I visit?
Tom said they must have had a bad shipment. He then called the distributor and followed up with me at the end of the tour. For freshest kale, Swiss chard and other greens, come in early in the week.
Why is the passion fruit so shriveled?
Turns out a little dimpling isn’t so bad. It helps the fruit pull away from the outer shell and is easier to eat.
If you advertise selling local produce, where is it?
Of course this is easier to do in the summer months. Buying local at high volumes can be risky, but when it works out, the signs are labeled so you’ll know. Apples and corn are popular local items when in season.
Why don’t you consistently sell Equal Exchange (fair trade) bananas?
It is Cub's standard organic offering, but sometimes suppliers run low and to avoid not having organic bananas, Cub has established several partnerships.
Can you tell your stock people to not punch the spinach bags when stocking?
Ok, I didn’t really ask this one, but I wanted to.
Tom is responsible for simmering me down. I was incredibly impressed by his follow up and his eagerness to answer my questions and any others I may have in the future. While I will still rely on the co-op and farmers markets for most of my produce, I feel a lot better running to Cub when needed because my voice was heard.
Another thing that redeemed me? The awesome gift bag. I won’t lie; I’m a sucker for free stuff, especially free stuff that I will use. In an effort to spread the Cub Foods love, I’m doing a giveaway. While I can’t give away the perishable items I received, I can give away a gift card!
I'm giving away a $20 gift card to Cub Foods!
It’s pretty simple to enter. Leave a comment about your favorite Cub Foods item. Maybe it’s something you sneak into the cart last minute, maybe it’s something that is always on your grocery list. Whatever it is, list it below and you’re entered to win!
*Each comment will be numbered and will be chosen using a random number generator.
*Make sure your name is attached to your comment so I can identify you.
*Contest ends at 11:59pm CST Sunday, February 28th and winner announced within 48 hours.
*Must be a resident of the United States and have a Cub Foods in your area.