Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our St. Patty’s Day Experience

St. Patty’s Day is a holiday my wife, friends, and I enjoy celebrating every year - as we are Irish. There is a new Bristol Farms in town and we were walking through the store checking them out, we ended up trying the corn beef they offered as a sample and way to get customers to buy the prepared meals for the Irish holiday. We were sold! We ended up preordering eight meals for our family and some neighbors. When the day came (17th) we went to pick up the meals, they pointed out that there were reheating instructions included (See below).

When we got home and started to take out the containers, we noticed they were plastic and not aluminum, as the instructions mentioned. So I called Bristol Farms. They mentioned they were old instructions and that they were sufficient for the task. So I asked specifically if we should put the plastic containers in the oven. The response was that we could. I asked if we should still put the aluminum foil on the top, they said yes.

Well, as you can see wherever the aluminum foil touched it melted the plastic, not to mention a general meltdown. Fumes, smoke, smell, all contributed to drive our guests outside our condo. Now, I realize that people make mistakes, and apparently these were not the “oven-safe” containers they thought they were giving us. To be fair, Bristol Farm management was very sympathetic and gave us a full refund of the $90. However, I must say a couple of things.

Firstly, I can better understand this mistake if it were made at Ralph’s, or Vons. However, Bristol Farms bills itself as a step above these other grocery chains. For the money, they had better. Secondly, in these economic times where people are cutting back, these types of higher end businesses need to pull customers in like us and try to make us permanent visitors to their business, and thus benefit by us spending our hard-earned money there. Bristol Farms failed our yearly family celebration (on both accounts), a mistake we will not make again, unfortunately for Bristol Farms.

I think, upon further reflection, my family will stick with Whole Foods.

Papa Giorgio