Tuesday, April 14, 2009


As previously promised I am delivering the blog post as titled above. To be honest, I had gotten over my anger at W.inCo and was thus going to forget about this post altogether but then today it double-crossed me again and I won't stand for the betrayal!

First of all, I had never heard of W.inCo until I moved to Oregon and for those that don't know it's a big grocery chain that is different from all the others in that it's much cheaper and you bag your own groceries. Oh, and it tries to kill you.

A few weeks ago I went for the first time and wandered around wide-eyed and salivating at the amazing prices. I bought approximately 35 different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables. I patted myself on the back for being so thrifty. I patted myself on the womb for being so healthy.

Before leaving, I grabbed a pre-made salad for lunch. At home I ate said salad. A few hours later (and for the following 36 hours) I became deathly ill and threw up fifteen times. Now, this would be a nasty twist of fate for anyone, but for someone with a pregnancy as difficult on the stomach as mine has been, this was downright cruel and unusual punishment. I thought very mean thoughts about W.inCo and cursed the moment I plucked that fateful salad from its shelf.

The very next morning I looked at the fresh W.inCo cantaloupe resting on the kitchen counter to ripen. The entire bottom of it was COVERED in fresh black mold. I screamed. Dave gasped. We threw it (and all of the rest of the produce I'd bought) away and vowed never to buy food from that horrible store again.

In the weeks that have followed and as the horror of those incidents has faded, I have tried to keep a firm resolve. But little niggling thoughts accost me. "This would be cheaper at WiiiiiiinCo," chirps the angel on one shoulder as I glance at a box of cereal at Safeway. Or, "These are twice the price of WiiiiiinCo's Wheat Thins," as I loiter in the cracker aisle of Fred Meyers. The devil on the other shoulder shouts back, "Do you mean to tell me you've forgotten? Do you mean to say you have a death wish?"

The angel won. Dave assured me we could count on W.inCo not to mess up boxed goods. And then our friends fed us some cheap and delicious Umpqua brand ice cream that they don't even sell at the regular grocery stores, and the decision was made. I was going back. No produce would I buy, but maybe some boxed goods and some lovely half-priced ice cream.

I went back today. I stoically turned up my nose at the veggies. I bravely ignored the fresh fruits. I filled my cart with treasures that W.inCo couldn't destroy by getting them a week after every other grocery store did. I got the cheap ice cream. I knew we needed milk too, and though I debated about this, I got some for Dave, who downs about a gallon every three days. "It's not even produce," the angel comforted. "But it could spoil! Something could go wrong!" shouted the devil. But I plopped it in my cart. I checked out. I bagged my groceries. I drove home. I opened my trunk and THE ENTIRE CARTON OF MILK HAD CRACKED AND LEAKED ALL OVER MY TRUNK!!!!!
"I HATE W.INCO WHICH IS TRYING TO KILL ME AGAIN!!!" I yelled to Pixie as I sopped up loads of soggy milk which will no doubt have my car smelling like a rotten tuna factory in no time. Pixie blinked at me. I think she hates it too.


Dave Fuhriman said...

Dear W.inCo (formerly Cub Foods):

You are dead to me.

You try to take my wife, my baby, and now even the trunk of her beloved (OK, not really) Mustang.

You have hurt me and my family for the last time. The black mold that so easily overtook your canteloupe is the color of my dark feelings for your welcome prices but mephitic merchandise.

In other words: BAG THIS.

Love & Pepto,


Erica said...

Great letter Dave!

I TOTALLY understand, I hate Winco as well! Nate always wanted to shop there when we lived in OR and I dreaded every time I stepped foot in that store. The fruits and veggies SUCK!!! Yes, things are cheep but totally not a pleasant shopping experience at all. I would much prefer to shop at Trader Joes and pay a little bit more, and maybe even some day I'll be able to shop at Whole Foods and not grimace at the prices, just sit back and enjoy the wonderful shopping experience. You guys do have New Seasons, which I miss SOOOO much.

Happy shopping.

Erica said...

BTW, sorry you got so sick!! I;m sure you're done with throwing up for good, no!?!?

Anonymous said...

milk carton that broke open in trunk was drivers falt not winco. winco employee.grocery stores get dairy products from common sourses.

Anonymous said...

mold on canelope would not appear magically over night. please post honestly.

Jessica said...

Dear Anonymous WinCo Employee,

I have been safely transporting milk cartons via my trunk for 15+ years. The first time one cracked was the first time one was purchased from your (not so) fine establishment. Coincidence, my dear Watson? I think not.

Yours kindly,
Disgruntled Ex-WinCo Shopper

P.S. I swear it's true about the cantaloupe.

Staci said...

Wow - quite the controversial post!!!

So funny - classic Jessica post. Sorry about the food poisoning, spilled milk (yes I am resisting the obvious joke there) and the yucky melon.

I know where I won't be shopping in the event of our relocation to Portland...

Emily said...

Ohh, honestly, it's too bad nobody told you not to buy produce from Winco to begin with. I shop at Winco, but these are the rules of shopping at Winco.

No produce.
No meat.

I have stretched/broken these rules on a few occasions because I really needed something. I've found I'm okay getting bananas there. Bananas are easy enough to tell whether they're good in the store. I've also gotten meat that isn't packaged by the store and I ALWAYS check the sell-by date on everything (i.e. pre-packaged lunchmeat and things like that). I do get milk there (and check expiration on that as well), and I think what happened to you was just a horrible coincidence (although I wonder why that winco employee even cares?) I've gotten a ton of milk there and have never had that problem, I think my mom had that problem once with a gallon of milk from another store (can't remember which store, probably Fred Meyer or Albertsons) but I think that was just bad luck.

Oh, last rule. I shop after 9pm. There's still always at least some line because there's less cashiers then, but I still think it helps. I WILL NOT go to Winco at 5pm. No freaking way.

Not that I'm trying to convince you to go back, I don't care if you hate Winco forever. But they can be a good place to get boxed foods, I always try to get pastas, soups, spaghetti sauce, staple items, and cleaning supplies from there. I usually only buy cereal on sale now that it's so expensive, so it's usually cheaper to wait for a sale at Albertsons than get them at the regular price at Winco. Albertsons does great deals on cereals pretty frequently. And Costco is a good deal on cereal (and lots of other things).

What sucks is that I want to go to every store because with any given grocery list, there's 6 stores I could get the best deal on something: WinCo, Costco, Target, Albertsons, Safeway and Haggen - depending on varying sales. But who has that kind of time? But I still frequently go to at least 2 stores. (Why do I even read those grocery store ads?)

Emily said...

Wow, sorry, I wrote quite the letter there.

nicole said...

I don't have a beef with Winco, but I am quite distressed to hear it is trying to kill you.

I agree with some of your other readers - never buy meat or produce from Winco.

I will be very wary on my next trip there for a few $1.98 boxes of Cheerios (such a great deal -- it's hard not to go back).

Robyn said...

LOVING, let me repeat LOVING the anonymous comments. Love him/her taking it personally. The best part of my day so far.

Courtney said...

Wow. Well, I guess sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Sorry, Jess!! That's pretty horrible, especially the salad compounding your already horrible pregnancy nausea.

P.S. The employee posts are hilarious! I can't believe they are taking it that personally.

Blythe said...

I found this post hilarious, but I find the employee comments infinitely funnier! I can't say that I would want to shop at a grocery store whose employees feel the need to blog-stalk their customers and try to assign blame for (gasp!) transporting your groceries in your trunk.

Thanks for the warning! And sorry about your sad and pathetic groceries.

Emily said...

I mentioned your post to Kyle and he thought I should mention carefully inspecting even boxed goods. On a couple of occasions at the one by Cornelius Pass and Cornell we've gone to pick up boxes or bags of things to find that they have holes in them because their receiving crew isn't careful when they cut into boxes and sometimes cut the top product. So that's something to look out for, too.

Valerie and Mercado Family said...

It sounds like a discount store we have here. I don't usually buy produce there either. Some people here love it, but I can take it or leave it.
Sorry about being sick while you're pregnant, I've done that before, and it stinks!
How is your cereal from there?

Jessica said...

Val- the cereal from there is great! Every kind you can think of for $1.98 when on sale (which is pretty often). We have consumed many boxes with nary a problem. Also the ice cream turned out fine!

Anonymous said...

This is so gross.....
Now I am terrified.... just went shopping there (which we RARELY do) and bought meat and milk.... so far we haven't had a problem!

Jessica said...

Future commenters on this subject:

I am not interested in any other comments from WinCo employees, or folks pretending not to be WinCo employees. You are very rude and can't spell! Comments go unread and are deleted.

Heather said...

I was hoping to see more nasty comments left by Winco employees. Darn. The post was most amusing though, as was Dave's letter.