by Benn Ray
Here we are, one week after the new grocery store, Fresh & Green's, reopened in the defunct Superfresh spot on 41st. St. in Hampden. So I thought I'd post an update on how the store's plan to "expand the selection of prepared meals and natural foods while still providing all the conventional food products and brands you have enjoyed in the past" is coming along.
This time around, I'll leave the discussion of employees' issues out of it. I've not heard anything new there. I'll just say there were a few familiar faces from Superfresh still working at the Fresh & Green's, and there were a few faces I didn't recognize, so I assume they're new.
The good news is there have been some minor improvements to the store. Fresh & Green's now seems to have a sign (shown above), even if it is just a banner hanging from the front of the store. That's better than no sign at all, I guess.
They also seem to have a logo, but it's only visible on their receipts (even if the receipts don't show the cashier's name like they're supposed to). Note that the spelling of the store name on the receipt is different than the spelling of the store name on the banner. The former is "Fresh & Green" while the latter is "Fresh & Green's". So there's that.
The bad news is that's the only progress viewable from a customer's perspective. Everything else indicates a grocery store still dying.
There is less food on the shelves than a week ago as the Superfresh backstock continues to slowly get depleted and very little seems to get restocked. The only new things I noticed were some prepared salads.
Everything else was pretty much the same only, well, less of it.
More shelves empty. More and more refrigerator units with less and less food.
The store is also still not capable of accepting WIC or EBT. And when I was checking out, there was a senior in front of me who was trying to buy groceries with a pre-written check and get the change in cash. That is evidently a Superfresh policy that Fresh & Green's is unwilling to continue.
If Fresh & Green's is serious about being a viable shopping option in Hampden, it needs to start putting food on the shelves soon. It needs to start renovating and making the old Superfresh look like something else. There seem to be plenty of employees there ready to work, if they were only given something to work with.
Fresh & Green's needs to work harder to serve the needs of the whole community. A little food on the shelves, a little repainting, a little rearranging would go a long way.