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17 Things I Love About Lowes Foods

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Lowes Foods Sign

 

I think everyone in three counties knows that Lowes Foods is finally coming to town, and we couldn’t be more excited! I’ve heard friends sing their praise for a while now. But no one could explain exactly what was so awesome other than a little piece here or there. Then they each would say, “You just have to go to one!” Well, I got that chance a few weeks ago. Lowes Foods invited several PTA moms and several women from the Lexington Women’s Club and little ole me on a field trip of sorts to visit their store in Simpsonville, SC. And now I am part of the “Lowes Foods is amazing! Just wait til it opens!” club. But now I will attempt to convey the amazingness of Lowes Foods … in less than an hour. This is going to be quite the task.

Lowes Foods Front Door

 

Lowes Foods Community Calendar

 

1 – Community

The sense of community starts right as you walk through the front door. There’s a giant calendar with events that will take place at the Community Table through the month. From activities for the kids to cooking demonstrations and more, “gather ’round the table” to spend time with friends, make new friends, learn new things and enjoy just slowing down for a bit.

 

Lowes Food President

2 – The People

On our trip, several people from the Lowes Foods home office came down to meet us and take us on individual tours around the store. Pictured above is Tim. He’s just the president of the company. Ya know. No big deal. Not only were they each so genuinely nice to each of us, it was incredibly sweet to see how excited they were to see other employees that they had not seen in a while. There were giant hugs and warm smiles all the way around. From baggers to executives, they were just so stinkin’ nice!! (Side note: my tour guide, Heather, was the best!)

 

Lowes Foods Print

 

3 – History

The little touches throughout the story are obviously well thought out and intentional. One of my favorite stories is the prints inside the “box car” near the front of the store. There are prints of the last train that ran directly from Wilkesboro to Winston Salem as a tribute to Lowes Foods start in Wilkesboro and their move to their current home, Winston Salem.

 

Lowes Foods Boxcar Coffee

 

4 – A drink while you shop

The rumors are true! Yes, you can buy a drink and put it in the drink holder on the cart while you shop. Sipping along your way. You can grab a coffee at BoxCar Coffee or beer or wine. Side note: the national average for grocery shopping is about 80% is done by women and 20% by men. At Lowes Foods, the percentage is closer to 65% woman and 35% men. Hmmmm, wonder why? My guess is the Beer Den and the meat. Oh and the coffee was REALLY good. I’ve also heard several people say that strolling the aisles of Lowes Foods and shopping may become their new date night! I think it’s a swell idea.

Lowes Foods Beer Den

5 – Pick & Prep

Let’s be honest, the hardest part of cooking healthy and/or big meals is the prep. One of my favorite ways that Lowes Foods helps make life easier is Pick & Prep. In this section, you will find an extensive collection of fresh food already cut, diced, spiraled, you name it. Fruits, vegetables, salad mixes. They also have fresh pressed fruit juices and fruit infused waters.

Lowes Foods Pick & Prep

And if they don’t have exactly what you want, you can pick out your produce from the produce section, walk over to Pick & Prep and ask them to prepare the food exactly how you want! Dice this, slice that, please. Done!

Lowes Foods Herbs

6 – Freshness

You don’t get much fresher than picking your own herbs from the soil. Right by the Pick & Prep section, you can cut your own herbs. Just in case you know you don’t need a giant bundle of oregano.

Lowes Foods Tomato Potato

7 – Variety

Well it’s a combination of variety and the opportunity to easily try new things. The pictures above are the tomato bar and potato and onion bar. I don’t know that they are actually called “bars”, but you know what I mean. You can mix and match the different types you want in one container for one price.

Speaking of variety, the wine selection is extensive!! And there is someone who works IN the wine department who really knows their stuff to help you pick the perfect wine.

 

Lowes Foods Wine Cheese

8 – Convenience

Ummm did you see the picture of the “free chilling service”? As Andy in the Simpsonville store said, “Why should your white wine choice for dinner be limited to what will fit in a cooler?” (He was also amazing!) Most stores, even if they have a large wine selection, only have a few choices already chilled in a cooler on an end cap. At Lowes Foods, you can grab ANY bottle of wine you want from the shelf, chill it quickly and efficiently in the store and have it for dinner.

Another example of convenience is “Spice Bazaar” where you can get reasonable and manageable amounts of spices and spice mixes and much more!

Convenience is another one of the underlying themes you feel running through the store from chilling wine to Pick & Prep to the large selection of already prepared or easily prepared food throughout the store.

 

Lowes Foods Sausage Works

 

9 – Sausage Works

Really? Sausage is a favorite thing? Yep. Sure is! It falls under the categories of freshness, variety, and convenience. I came home with a few pounds of “The Kentucky Gentleman” and everyone in the house gave it two thumbs up. There are so many varieties to choose from! It can be overwhelming, but the staff is fabulous in helping you pick out what will fit your needs. Oh, and there’s these buttons and switches on the front of the counter that kids can play with and it moves different parts of the giant “Sausage Works” sign.

 

Lowes Foods Divine Cut

 

In addition to Sausage Works, there is plenty of other fabulous meat to choose from! Pictured above is some beautiful beef from Divine Cuts, which is also where I found cubed chicken that was ‘pecan wood smoked’. I could not stop eating it when I got it home. Super easy to throw on a salad or heat up over some rice. So yummy!

 

Lowes Foods Breadcrumbs

10 – Bread Crumbs

Fresh baked bread. All day long. Bread Crumb is kinda in the middle of a wide open area. My ‘tour guide’ Heather said they wanted to pull the ovens out of hiding so everyone could see the process and how fresh it is. While I was there, I picked up two fresh loaves of italian bread that they sliced on the spot for me. Delicious!! And so many different types to choose from!

 

Lowes Foods Sammys

11 – Take it “To Go” or There

In Sammy’s, you can grab a sandwich or a fresh pizza that they can bake real quick for you to take home. Because really, how many times have you gone grocery shopping but by the time you got home, you did not want to cook. OR there are tables near the Beer Den where you can sit and have a snack or a meal in the store! All of the sandwiches and pizzas are made fresh from ingredients in the store from the produce department, meat department, Bread Crumb, etc.

In addition to the sandwiches and pizzas at Sammy’s as “to go” options, you can just as easily grab some chicken, cornbread and fixin’s at the Chicken Kitchen. Which is also where the famous Chicken Dance takes place!

 

Lowes Foods

12 – Keepin’ It Local

See up there where it says “Five Forks Deli”? In every Lowes Foods store, the deli and registers are names for local places. The deli at the Hwy 1 store will be named … oh I don’t know if I’m allowed to say? Well it will be a nod to our area. And instead of register numbers, each register is named after area roads, bodies of water, etc. In just a bit, we’ll get to how they REALLY keep it local.

 

Lowes Foods Cakery

 

13 – Cakery & Nearby Treats

Holy Moly! These cakes are divine! But can we discuss for a second those muffins and cookies up there?! They were SO good!! Three different types of muffins found their way home with me. And the box of caramel pecan cookies made it home with me and were gone in a skinny minute.

 

Lowes Foods

 

14 – Kids Are Encouraged to Be Kids

So the picture right above is a set-up on the side of Bread Crumbs. When I asked what it was for, I got the happy, cheery answer, “Oh! It’s just for kids! You know, to play with!” Wait. So no one is going to flip out if my kid touches things? And you left out pots and pans for him or her to play with? Hallelujah! Just like the sign at Sausage Works, it’s another well thought out feature for kids, for families. Kinda like the Chicken Kitchen doing the chicken dance. Oh! And the lights on top of the Cakery sign? Ask the employees if your child can “blow out” the candles. It’s neat!

 

Lowes Foods Lights

15 – All That Well Thought Out Planning

Have you picked up on it all the way through? The lights (literally) above are another example. There are indirect skylights that will bring in natural light. And the lights you see are called “LED light blades”. They use far less energy than fluorescent lights and will last thousands of hours longer.

 

 

16 – All that Awesome Local-ness

It goes way beyond naming a register. Lowes Foods carries food from dozens of local vendors and farmers. Locally sourced produce and so much more.  If you look on many of their private label items, it will tell you which town in North or South Carolina it came from.

They met with dozens of local residents to answer their questions and get feedback. Employees have gone out into neighbors to introduce themselves and share surcis with their new neighbors. They came to Babies & Bumps to meet y’all.

Lowes Foods didn’t fill a bus with media or “big wigs” on the trip a few weeks ago. They filled it with PTA moms and Women’s Club members and me, the local “mommy blogger”. I don’t know how it would be possible to get much more local than they are. And I, for one, am SO glad to have them in our community!

Bonus cool story: They have Carolina shrimp year round! When Lowes decided they wanted to carry Carolina shrimp year round and they figured out how much shrimp they would have to buy to have fresh in season and to freeze to truly have it year round, the processing company they work with was able to reopen a facility in Oriental, NC that had previously been closed due to lack of business. I get goosebumps thinking of all the jobs Lowes Foods brings to the area, helps sustain for our area and all of the Carolinas and that ripple effect.

17 – Honorable mentions that I just ran out of time for:

Ariel – Y’all! I can not wait for you to meet the store manager. He’s my new BFF. We’ve discussed this. But seriously, he is so sweet and ready to meet all of you! Tell him I said Hi 😉

Lowes Foods to Go – Why, yes. They do offer grocery “pick up”. But it’s not just grocery pick up. It’s personal shopping. For example, you can tell them things like you need 3 ripe avocados for guacamole tonight and 2 not ripe avocados you would like to use in 3 days. And they will do that for you!

Fundraising for schools – Stop by customer service to get your loyalty card and ask how you can connect it to fundraising for a school. PTA board members, stop by customer service and ask about the cake walks and other ways Lowes will work with your school.

The Prices – The prices were quite affordable! I really expected them to be higher. And when I was in the Simpsonville store, I noticed many items that were BOGO in the different sections. Let me see if I can remember what I bought for about $50: 3 packages of muffins that each contained 2 giant muffins, a box of 6 fresh made cookies, 3 small loaves of fresh bread, 2 packages of taco mix seasoning from Spice Bazaar, a package of dried garlic, a package of fresh spiraled sweet potatoes, a nice size package of that cubed chicken, 2-3 lbs of fresh sausage, Cotija cheese, a large container of fresh Parmesan cheese. I think that was it. That’s A LOT! I was paying attention to prices and trying to get things that were BOGO so I could try as much as possible. But that’s still a LOT!

Their Hours – They. Don’t. Close. Sick kid? Run to Lowes. Craving? Run to Lowes. Making cupcakes at midnight because you forgot you were in charge of them and then realize you forgot frosting? Run to Lowes. Work third shift? Run to Lowes. The list of benefits to 24 hours is long.

So who is excited to welcome Lowes Food to the community at the Grand Opening on Wed, May 24th at 5pm? I know I am happy to have them here!

PS – Follow Lowes Foods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They are amazing at social media!

 

3 Comments

  1. Tamra Swiderski

    May 23, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Great post! So excited they are opening soon. Thanks for taking one for the team and doing all that research!

  2. Nancy Johnson

    May 27, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Wow! I wish I lived there.

  3. Mike

    June 27, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Have been twice! They were out of most of the sale items that I was looking for and the usual answer is I dont know! As for the sausage dept “we just get them in and never know whats on the truck” Oh “and we are out of that” As for the bakery — “I am looking for this pineapple pie that is here in the sale paper! Reply ” I dont know that that is I have never even seen that. They put stuff there that we dont know about.”
    Save the trouble and stick with Publix. Where the employees care and shopping is a pleasure

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