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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v06n25)
Letters to the Editor - from Abby Williams
posted: Dec. 18, 2009

Note to our readers: Letters to the Editor are the opinions of our readers and not necessarily those of this paper.

This letter was received from reader Abby Williams

From Food Inc. to Kids Ink.

About six months ago I saw the critically acclaimed film Food Inc. Little did I know it would forever change my approach to grocery shopping. While I still occasionally try to find a deal at one of the larger chain supermarkets, you will now find me at Kinkaid's Meat Market, the Farmer's Market, and scouring labels on eggs and ground meat to make sure I am not contributing to some of the madness the movie so articulately proclaimed. Changing where I shop has provided shorter lines, personalized service, assistance carrying items to my car, and undoubtedly lower blood pressure.
Fast forward to last Friday evening. My husband and I, coupons and an excel chart of our gift buying list in hand, ventured to one of the larger chain toy stores. The fact that we had to park three stores away should have been a good sign that we were about to enter a not so "merry" Christmas shopping experience. After about five minutes into the store, swarming with people and carts full to the brim, I quickly realized the "super deals" advertised were either sold out or not applicable with our merchandise. I leaned down to try to read about a marble toy my son previously mentioned and quickly realized my purse was nowhere to be seen. We quickly paced the aisles, recruiting innocent shoppers into helping us locate the stolen goods. One of the employees noted that this is a very common experience at the store, and he suggested that my husband stand at the exit doors to check carts. Words traveled fast, and it appeared that everyone was joining our efforts. My purse was found at the back of the store in a corner, luckily with nothing missing. My blood was boiling, and I vowed I would never return.
Saturday morning I decided to head to the local "Mom and Pop" book and toy store, Kids Ink, to attempt our Christmas shopping at an entirely different venue. I parked ten feet from the door, was greeted by not one but three employees, and was quickly asked how they could be of assistance. While it was a smaller selection and a bit pricier, the peaceful atmosphere allowed for carefully chosen gifts, gift wrapping, assistance finding age-appropriate books, and the feeling that I helped support a neighborhood store. From Food Inc. to Kids Ink., I truly understand the importance of shopping closer to home at smaller establishments with caring employees, a less frenzied environment, and assurance that I am making a difference by choosing where I spend my money.

- Abby Williams
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