Farm Stores: Only Online Grocery Shopping Now Available

Categories: Musings
cow_store_logo.jpg
via 3guysfrommiami.com
On a recent late-night run to a local Farm Stores (the drive-thru convenience store with the cow on the sign), a nifty flyer with a $20 coupon was dropped in the bag. That discount is good for online grocery shopping. Curiosity was piqued.

So what are the advantages of Internet shopping with Farm Stores? Ms. Barbara Scarabello, Farm Stores marketing manager, says, "Simply put, it's about time." She makes a point that time is saved by not having to drive to a grocery store, find parking, push the cart through the aisles, wait in line to check out, and then load the bags into your vehicle.
cow_store.jpg
via 3guysfrommiami.com
FarmStores.com is the first online grocery-shopping supermarket with drive-thru pick-up in the United States. And as far as online shopping, there are also no other grocery store chains offering online shopping, of any sort, in Miami-Dade at this time.

All FarmStores.com orders are fulfilled from their main supplier, Gardner's Market. Those orders are then taken to one of 17 Farm Stores drive-thru locations in Miami-Dade County. (Fourteen locations are advertised as "coming soon" on the website). The pick-up location and time are selected by the customer.

FarmStores.com and Gardner's Supermarket Inc. are owned by the same parent company. This allows FarmStores.com to offers thousands of brand-name items among fresh meats, poultry, produce, deli products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby needs, pet food, and other items typically found at major supermarkets. If you can't find what you need while shopping on FarmStores.com, all you have to do is click the "Can't Find It" link and submit your request. Farm Stores carries its own brands. If the ice cream is any indication, Farm Stores brands stack up well against name-brand competitors. Online, you can also find organic produce (Earthbound), but not much of it, and at $7.89 per pound for fruit, it doesn't seem like much of a bargain. Not to mention, produce is difficult enough to sort through at the store; imagine having a stranger pick your apples.

There is a $4.95 service charge for online orders, but that fee is waived for your first three purchases. There are also weekly specials offered with discounts of up to $20 off your first purchase.

While testing out the fluidity of shopping online, I became increasing frustrated by the time it took trying to find items and brands that I typically purchase. The website isn't as user-friendly as one would hope, not with a drop-down menu appearing on the left-hand side of the screen and subfields appearing in the center of the screen, at the bottom of large advertisements. As you try to navigate through the online departments, you realize the time you think you're saving really isn't being saved after all.

While the novelty of online grocery shopping sounds intriguing, much is left to be desired. There's the lack of a user-friendly website getting in the way at this point, and ultimately there's nothing quite like picking your produce, choosing your meats, and deciding between the quality and value of two brands at the brick-and-mortar grocery store.

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Farm Stores

20190 Old Cutler, Cutler Bay, FL

Category: General


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4 comments
Jones
Jones

I agree that the first time was a bit time consuming. But in all fairness, I had the same experience with Publix Direct the first time that I used it. But, like Publix Direct, once you select your items, it saves the list. The second time was much easier. I logged in, put a check mark next to everything that I needed and checked out. The whole process (the second time) took me about 5 minutes - mainly because I buy the same things every week. I think that the prices are fair and I haven't had any issues with the fruits or produce. I, for one, and thrilled that online grocery shopping is available in Miami. I hate going to the grocery store. This let's me shop when I want, get in my car (without worrying about what I look like and who I am going to run in to) and get back home in less than 20 minutes. I'll trade $4.95, gamble on the selection of my produce, pay an average price ALL DAY for that convenience. I went into withdrawal after Publix Direct stopped. I feel whole again!! :-)

mega
mega

I too was skeptical at first when I saw the ad in the Herald offering online groceries, but the $20 off coupon quickly grabbed my attention and I tried it. $20 off groceries is not easy to come by now a days. It would take you a lot of coupon clipping to add up to that amount. Anyways the first time I had to navigate the web-site I also found it confusing but I started creating my favorites list right away from an old receipt I had from Publix. I have shopped 5 times since then and I can tell you that I get my shopping done in a matter of 15 minutes. When I drive to pick up, they load it in my car and that took all of 3min 15sec mi (I timed it). when they were out of a certain item I requested I received a phone call the following day allowing me to substitute it for another brand. When I placed an item on the couldn't find it list, i received a notice soon after that they would be stocking that item from then on. The time I have saved is amazing and well worth the $4.95 service charge. The money I save alone by not having my kids with me at the store has got to be in the hundreds on a monthly basis by not buying those items the stores push on the kids to ask their parents to buy. As far as the produce it was also surprisingly good when I tried it. I love the concept!

Edith Stone
Edith Stone

There is a new online discount sweeping the country this holiday season, called "Printapons" where a local store is featured every day with huge discount.

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