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SaraSherman63
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April 7, 2014 1:19 am  

Hi again everyone - started a new thread since my other one is more focused on cars and banking.

I'm curious as to what to expect as far as grocery stores go. I don't expect Whole Foods-style selection, but what's realistic? Can you get everything you need?

Does anybody order from Amazon's grocery department and have it shipped down? I love to cook, so I have a feeling the food could be interesting 🙂 I love trying new things though!


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JulieKay
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April 7, 2014 1:49 am  

I cook - a lot - and I love high-quality ingredients.

I can't comment on the STT grocery stores as I most recently lived on STX. But I can tell you that unless something has changed in the last three months, Amazon is not cheap for shipping to the VI, and there are many items they won't ship at all. I would order things from there when I had a large enough order to make it worth the expense and have it sent to VI Cargo in Miami and brought down on the boat - but that is also costly.

For me my best affordable bet on obtaining ingredients that I couldn't find in the VI was to take an extra suitcase when I went back to the States, and shop and hand carry back grocery items. I even bought a cooler bag to put frozen foods in that I could pack.

There are some other websites for food that will ship to the VI - just spend time looking. Most of them are still expensive shipping, but depending upon what you buy can be worth it. Bob's Red Mill, Penzeys spices, and Rancho El Gordo beans are three that do, for example. You just have to look, and ask sometimes, to see if they will ship or not.

Groceries vary in prices in the VI - expect packaged items and frozen items to be the most expensive - I think the prices on average compare to NYC prices; about double from most of the US. Fresh produce can be iffy from the States, but there is a lot to explore locally, and if you love trying new things you will have a lot of fun. 🙂


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AandA2VI
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April 7, 2014 1:53 am  

There's nothing we haven't been able to get here on STT. We use cost u less (like Costco), plaza extra and when we wanna go gourmet we use gourmet gallery. I spent $150 on cheese and 6 scallops last week tho lol!! So freaking delish and worth every penny! My new "thing" is Himalayan salt block cooking and scallops are just to die for on it.


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OldTart
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April 7, 2014 11:27 am  

There's nothing we haven't been able to get here on STT. We use cost u less (like Costco), plaza extra and when we wanna go gourmet we use gourmet gallery.

I second that. You do learn to be creative as sometimes you just can't find something you need for a couple of weeks and then find it in abundance when the trailer comes in! Like AandA2VI, I shop between CUL and Plaza as one-stop shopping for your list is virtually impossible!


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sunshinefun
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April 7, 2014 12:18 pm  

We have a variety of well stocked grocery stores with a wide selection of products found on the mainland. I've never had a problem buying what is needed or desired locally. There is no need to buy food from Amazon unless you're looking for something exotic.


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donefarming
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April 7, 2014 12:30 pm  

Quality Foods and Merchants Market are also good options!


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Alana33
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April 7, 2014 12:45 pm  

You just have to shop around. In STT, we have Cost U Less, Pricesmart, Pueblo, Fruit Bowl, the Health Food Store, Plaza Extra,
Food Center as the main places to shop for groceries. Prices can vary a lot between stores that carry the same product.
You'll figure it out.


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speee1dy
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April 7, 2014 12:46 pm  

the only thing i have never been able to find has been hickory smoke salt. this i ordered from some spice place online. love it for steaks

you might have to go to more than one store to get what you need. one time i was making a blueberry cake and went to 5 stores before finding them

when i first moved here i could not find celery anywhere, this was near thanksgiving. hubby went out a few days later and found it


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Kahu
 Kahu
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April 7, 2014 1:08 pm  

What about that new STX Direct over in the old Bingo hall building? (next to AZ Academy)... they're shipping in dry goods, tires, and working on a refrigerated shipment I believe?

I looked it up and it was stxdirect@gmail.com ... It started recently but I've been off-island working and just got back.


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JulieKay
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April 7, 2014 1:13 pm  

Hi Kahu, yes poodle (who has set up STX Direct) is a friend of mine and is building business...I absolutely recommend anyone on STX go check it out...

SaraSherman who asked the original question is moving to STT. 🙂


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JulieKay
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April 7, 2014 1:19 pm  

And others have mentioned it sometimes means adjusting a recipe or doing without. I can't say how many times I planned to cook one dish, and after shopping it turned into something else! Which is no biggie, it's really just changing an attitude about cooking. Have you read, "An Everlasting Meal" by Tamar Adler? Her book changed how I cook tremendously - it's about the ingredients, not the recipes.

You will find organic and gluten-free items mixed in at all grocery stores - CostULess is actually a good place to go, they stock several Bob's Red Mill products as well as other organics. Plaza also has a good selection of organic items, you just have to look.

However if you're looking for a "Whole Foods" or "Trader Joe's" shopping experience or selection you won't find that. But you can order those items or buy them back in the States. Personally I don't shop at Whole Foods any more, they've jumped the shark for me - too much packaged processed "food" in boxes labeled organic or gluten-free. These days I primarily seek out local produce and meats/dairy, and use herbs we grow ourselves. STX is a great place for that, and I know there are good farms on STT as well. Enjoy the adventure! 🙂


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BeachcomberStt
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April 7, 2014 1:34 pm  

Read this thread also for information.

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,221717


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BeachcomberStt
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April 7, 2014 1:59 pm  

Stt PriceSmart

http://www.pricesmart.com/Local/Shop/Default.aspx

Stt Cost-U-Less

http://www.costuless.com/store037/


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mtdoramike
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April 7, 2014 2:40 pm  

You'll find that it is a lot easier to find things on the islands than it was 20-30 years ago. They carry a lot of stuff that the states do.


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Alana33
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April 7, 2014 4:10 pm  

One of my favorite things to do when I go to the states is to go to a grocery store.
They have so many items that we never see in the VI, (nor probably ever will) everything is always so clean, the produce is so fresh and the prices are so affordable. Well, in FL, anyway. Northern CA has prices similar to ours but there is such an amazing variety.
Plus your fresh fruit and veggies don't go all moldly on you the day after purchasing.
I obviously need a stateside shopping fix.


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OldTart
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April 7, 2014 4:31 pm  

Bring a supply of "green bags" with you! I've been using them for years both at home and in my restaurant I owned and operated for 16 years on STT until closing it 2 years ago. I've no clue why they're almost impossible to find here but I order them online and I honestly can't imagine being without them as they save me a ton of money. They're reusable many times over.


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speee1dy
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April 7, 2014 5:32 pm  

alana, i so agree with you. i took photos of the grocery stores when i went to the states in november. sigh


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janeinstx
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April 7, 2014 5:38 pm  

alana, i so agree with you. i took photos of the grocery stores when i went to the states in november. sigh

I thought it was just me. I go and stare at all the varieties of bread...none of it moldy. Clean, bright, stores that don't smell bad.


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JulieKay
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April 7, 2014 6:06 pm  

If you guys ever want anything, hit me up. I'm happy to ship whatever will make it. 🙂


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OldTart
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April 7, 2014 7:05 pm  

]
alana, i so agree with you. i took photos of the grocery stores when i went to the states in november. sigh

I thought it was just me. I go and stare at all the varieties of bread...none of it moldy. Clean, bright, stores that don't smell bad.

I bake my own bread - the ease of raising it here beats setting it in a low oven or aside a wood stove, both of which I did in past lives!


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RandyNTaj
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April 7, 2014 7:08 pm  

I read this thread and just went and pulled my breadmaker, rice steamer, and other kitchen appliances out to make an inventory....I think baking my own bread once I find good recipes that work with the water/altitude would be ideal..... I'm used to 8000' elevation though so the idea of cooking at sea-level is a novel one....


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speee1dy
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April 7, 2014 7:11 pm  

JULIEKAY, I WOULD LIKE A PUBLIX GROCERY STORE PLEASE, ESPECIALLY THE BOARS HEAD lunch meat.

ot, hubby had been making bread for some time and is delish.

jane, oh no you are so not alone. i could spend hours in a grocery store in the states i really really really want to go to a wegmans


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JulieKay
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April 7, 2014 7:35 pm  

Oh boy, I think I will have a hard time packing up a whole store!!!

I don't know why Food Town doesn't get Boars Head. It would be SO popular!!

Taj, on baking bread - it takes a while to get used to the lower elevation and humidity. Bread will look like it's rising beautifully and then turn into a doughy lump. 🙁 But there are lots of successful bakers and it's not hard to get tips. We don't eat much bread so didn't miss it.


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AandA2VI
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April 8, 2014 12:28 am  

I would LOVE and pay a premium for boars head. All the rest is full of nasty nitrates. I haven't seen it on STT, is it here? Ive look at GG.


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RandyNTaj
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April 8, 2014 1:02 am  

Oh boy, I think I will have a hard time packing up a whole store!!!

I don't know why Food Town doesn't get Boars Head. It would be SO popular!!

Taj, on baking bread - it takes a while to get used to the lower elevation and humidity. Bread will look like it's rising beautifully and then turn into a doughy lump. 🙁 But there are lots of successful bakers and it's not hard to get tips. We don't eat much bread so didn't miss it.

We do a bit with sandwiches so we'll have to see on the bread. I do like it in the morning but with avocados and mangoes it may work its way out of my menus...we have fresh bread here in our bread machine every week or so...and I do pizza dough in it, which may be something to stay with--- veggie pizzas!


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