Angela Mirra is stopping by (cool) progeny today to share her experience touring the new ShopRite Grocery Store in Lutherville-Timonium. It’s now a must-check-out on my list – especially with Thanksgiving food shopping just around the corner. How about you?

I can be a very inefficient shopper. I know it doesn’t make sense for my schedule or for my veteran cart riding toddler either, but I have to admit that in my line of work I am always looking for certain ingredients or for a new favorite product.

I have the grocery store pyramid addiction. Hit one, hit the other, wait a day, and then hit the next. I guess I spend a lot of time around food and my son spends a lot of time singing, counting, whining, and eating while on wheels.

My first impression of ShopRite in Timonium was the usual: large aisles, big store, a bunch of standard ingredients… Until I took a tour with some of the staff members and then I was really able to see that they offered  much more than just standard. There are a ton of different ingredients and options here! Veggies are fresh, and often local. The bread is warm. The salad bar is crisp, and people seem genuinely happy with their job.

Not so “standard” after all.

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW SHOP RITE IN TIMONIUM

1. Let’s say you really love a certain special ingredient for a family recipe, but you have to go to another specialty grocery store to find it. Chances are Shoprite carries it and if they don’t you can usually find a Shop Rite staff member walking the aisles with a notepad and pencil in their jacket pocket ready for a special order. If you like it and you order it, they’ll most likely carry it for you. Doesn’t that sound like such a nice family service?

2. ShopRite is a cooperative and it is still run and mostly managed by the family that opened the grocery store chain in 1946. ShopRite stores are a family owned and operated business – many with second, third, or even fourth generations involved. You do get this feel walking through the store. Staff seemed to always be helpful: answering questions, smiling, explaining ingredients or leading hurried moms in the right direction of their needed product.

3. Does your child have a specific food allergy? Has grocery food shopping become a litany of can nots and not alloweds? Do you need some new ideas and alternatives to the daily lunch and snack routine? Maybe you just found out someone in your family has high cholesterol and you need to brighten up your grocery list with healthier options. Shop Rite has a totally new concept for the grocery store experience: an in-store dietician, with an office, available everyday to help you make healthier shopping choices for your specific needs.

4. Are you looking for a way to get a group together for a fun, local and interactive evening… at a low cost? Shop Rite offers culinary workshops with a chef. Their workshops promote sharing kitchen tricks of the trade in a very hands-on environment. Kid friendly options are available or not, your choice! Cook together, eat together, share kitchen tips together.

5. The gluten free jackpot! If you need a place that offers variety when it comes to gluten free products, Shop Rite is definitely leading the charge with a plethora of gluten free snacks, ingredients and products for baking and cooking. It’s pretty simple to spot as they have clearly labeled all things healthy with their “Live Right” brand.

I don’t think I will ever master the art of one stop shopping. It’s not in my nature, and it doesn’t necessarily work for my profession. But… if I were, Shoprite would be a good place to start.

It looks like I have a new stop to add into my rotation.

Angela Mirra has been working to support healthy families for many years. Angela is a certified Nutritional Counselor who focuses on nutrition for pregnancy, postpartum health, babies and children. Angela offers one-on-one programs building customized nutritional plans that are simple, effective, and individually tailored towards her client. Angela also works as a Massage Therapist and Doula. Angela feels passionately about working with pregnant women and their growing families for nutritional wellness and support during this transformative time. Angela enjoys working individually with clients, small groups and facilitating healthy cooking workshops. Find out more by visiting her company, Root and Bloom, on Facebook.