Saturday, January 3, 2009

A supermarket to lust after

Technically this should be posted in Lost & Found but, meh, so long as it isn't posted on a railway station wall in lurid green paint by some tosser...
Anyways, I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of the supermarket every woman dreams about once upon a time.
It was the Tuckerbag Supermarket on the McIvor Road in Strathdale,near Bendigo (from memory) that granted us some moments of bliss and respite while shopping with whining children.
They had a properly fenced indoor play area supervised by a properly trained child care worker. One signed one's ankle biters into the play area and ran away to romp playfully through the chocolate and liquor aisles.Or maybe that was just me?
They put on school holiday activities and entertainment, with Santa and the Easter Bunny dropping in, etc. At no charge to the parents.
They added a brekkie/coffee bar where shoppers could park their butts on a stool and read the paper whilst getting their free vodka and OJ caffeine hit for the day.
Late one night we came home from staying with the ex's in-bred family in Melbourne for Chrissy only to find a massive storm had knocked out our power some days previously and we didn't have a crumb in the house that was edible. When I got to the Magic Supermarket the next morning one of the workers over-heard me asking the girls to wait while I stocked up for them to have brekkie; she came over and told us to sit ourselves up at the coffee/brekkie bar where she produced 3 disposable bowls which she filled with cornflakes, topped with milk and then she trotted out the back to the staff room and toasted us bread to follow, with butter and Vegemite.
Once the girls' tummies were filled I signed them into the play area and went forth to stock up, no longer stressed and irritated by a lack of foooooood.
Soon after they introduced the rainy day service (one of the first, if not THE first in Victoria) - huge golf umbrellas held by male shop assistants over the heads of shoppers trying to get their goods to the car through the rain (yes it used to rain on a regular basis back then). They'd go out to the shopper's car, load the goodies in the boot and return the trolley to the supermarket for them.
They NEVER had a lost/stolen trolley. Ever.
Sometimes the elderly were given a lift home if the weather had turned nasty while they were out.
Sure, you paid a few cents more than your garden variety Co or Saf Other Megapowerful Supermarkets but the extra services that made shopping a dream out-weighed the hip pocket.
They had EVERY cash register open at peak times, the staff were polite and joked with everyone, and they actually KNEW where products were located when asked (imagine that!!!).
They were one of the first in the area to introduce EFTPOS on every register, they had Christmas Club-type hamper accounts for shoppers, the manager/owner worked on the floor with everyone else and LISTENED to both his staff and customers.
When asked about then-bizarre foods that were gluten/sugar/dairy free by myself and other mothers the owner stocked them in within 2 weeks, none of the "awww, I dunno if I can stock such a small amount/ it's not worth my while/it's a small demand/ I'd have to order in a huge amount to make it viable" BS.
Sadly, when the ex and I bought our home elsewhere the Magic Tuckerbag Supermarket was almost 60 kms away and we had to shop at the local garden variety supermarket.
And my friends from the girls' old playgroup would torment regale me with any other new services the store brought in after I'd left the area. The store was bought out in the late 90's and became a garden variety supermarket.
Oh, for the return of bliss, joy and civilised decency of  shopping!!!!


  1. You're playing with us here. There is no such place. There couldn't be. Are you actually saying there is a place that makes shopping bearable?

    *falls off chair*

  2. If only we had better supermarkets. Australia has, officially, the worst in the world today.

  3. OMG who would have thought that such a place ever existed. It sounds like almost bliss. We can only dream that maybe one day such a place could exist again.......

  4. I'm with Anja here.

    Is this a joke?

    Are you living in a fantasy world?

    This is like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for grown-ups.

    If this is true....I'm totally amazed.

  5. There was, Anja, as in past tense. *sob*

    So it isn't just me with murder in my artichoke heart directed toward the Megapowerful Tossers, Reuben?

    Hopefully someone will use their noggin to recreate it, Gem!

    It was real, Dina, LOL, and it was very civilised, but some smarty-pants decreed that "all good things must come to an end".

  6. The store must have done pretty well on the 'good will' price when it was sold. Imagine being there when it changed hands and losing all that.

  7. That would have been a lovely place to shop.

    I must admit I do rather like my Coles Online, can shop in my PJs while eating my breakfast and throwing crumbs to the starving hoards. :D

  8. This the one?

  9. We have the supermarket of every man's dream round our way. It's shut all weekend.

  10. Ha Ha Brian Hughes.

    Unfortunately us new age guys would have nothing to do on Saturday morning if the supermarkets were closed.

  11. That was the thing, Andrew, it was always busy but not in a crowded, jam-packed-can't-move kinda way, so the good will would have been huge.

    That's the ad for them, Marita lol, the girls used to love Tucker the talking brown paper bag (yes, there's a dozen jokes in that sentence!).

    Oh, Brian, not even a deli with bacon rashers for bacon buttys?!

    That's when you have to hit the Bunnings stores, Colin, and rummage through the bits 'n' bobs ;)

  12. Oh my - you do describe a dream.

    The supermarket where we grew up always carried your boxes to the car, always wrapped the cold stuff in newspaper and would take your shopping order over the phone for a neighbour to collect - and always worked "on the tick".

    They too demised. Progress is not always forward motion.

  13. That's it, Jeanie!
    It was almost like an over-grown local general store where (almost) everyone knew each other, though no one had goods put on tick (as far as I know).

  14. I remember dear old Tuckerbag! Were they a chain of independent stores,or part of a friendly corporation? You'd imagine that with those sort of customer service values they'd be a beacon to all other supermarkets. Sadly not.

  15. *joins Anja on the floor*


    Shopping nirvana....... I never truly believed it existed!!