Welcome to the new KerryDougherty.com. Fresh content most weekdays, and best of all: it's free. 

Subscribe, leave a comment, tell your friends.

And come back often. 

Farm Fresh In Trouble? Another Supermarket Shake-Up.

Farm Fresh In Trouble? Another Supermarket Shake-Up.

Calm down, everyone. We’ll get through this together. It’s gonna be OK.

I know how emotional y'all become about grocery stores. 

I don’t want to alarm those who haven’t yet heard but, according to my former employer, “Farm Fresh’s future is a mystery. Employees brace for the worst.” 


Looks like there’s about to be another shake-up on the local supermarket scene. The Pilot reports that folks are saying something “dramatic” is about to happen to Farm Fresh.

Rumors abound. Stores may close. People could lose their jobs.

Having worked in an industry that was shrinking by the minute, I feel for Farm Fresh worker bees. It's not fun to be worrying about your paycheck. 

But as a consumer, the news is a big meh. To me, anyway. I'm not a foodie. As long as a store is stocked with protein bars, bagged salads and wine, I'm good. 

So I’ve been puzzling over supermarket hysteria for years and still cannot understand why so many shoppers lose their minds when one chain closes or a new one arrives

One thing's certain. We won’t be slaughtering our own chickens and growing our own asparagus if Farm Fresh leaves altogether. Southeastern Virginia is swimming in supermarkets.

There's Kroger, HT, Food Lion, Walmart and those sassy newcomers from Deutschland, Aldi and Lidl. 

Beyond that, we have Trader Joe’s. And for those with juicy trust funds, Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

And let's not forget the commissaries.

Nevertheless, many folks will be sad if Farm Fresh downsizes. I get that. There's something comforting about a familiar supermarket. You know exactly where to find the Triscuits and tomatoes. You know which deli counter slowpokes to avoid when you’re in a hurry. You know the baggers who are always going to put your potatoes on top of your bread.

A new supermarket involves a lot of wandering around, trying to find stuff.

Yet shoppers love new grocery chains. 

Anyone else remember the excitement that swept the area when Trader Joe’s opened a few years back? It was even wilder when Whole Foods came to town.

When Wegmans throws open its doors near Town Center salivating shoppers will work themselves into an absolute food frenzy. The governor may have to call in the National Guard for crowd control. That chain enjoys a crazy cult-like following. 

Grocery chains come and go. You rarely see Acmes or A&Ps anymore. It’s been ages since I stumbled upon a Be-Lo, Giant, Safeway or Piggly-Wiggly.

Farm Fresh began as a homegrown chain and for that reason alone, I hope it survives. But it's never a good sign when corporate types dodge phonecalls from the press. And that's what was happening yesterday.

If you know someone who works for Farm Fresh, be nice to them. Unlike the rest of us, they have a lot at stake in whatever is coming.



Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do