Campbell River Grocery Stores

I haven’t done much grocery shopping since I got to Campbell River, but I have tried three of the five options I see open to me.

My first instinct was to go to my favourite western chain, Save-On-Foods, but it is definitely pricey compared to other options. Being on a super tight budget, I decided to explore other options.

I received some gift certificates for Discovery Foods in Willowpoint Village. It’s a small, full-service store. The prices are high and the selection isn’t very good. It is the only one that’s within walking distance, so I tend to go there on my days off to get a little some special for dinner so I have an excuse to get exercise.

A third option closed at the end of December, Super Valu. This name makes me shudder as it is the same store where I had to shop in Oliver. I never set foot in there figuring the prices would be just as over-inflated.

The fourth option is the Super Store. I only shop at the Super Store in Whitehorse because it’s the best option for that city, otherwise I avoid this chain. The stores are just too big and overwhelming and the selection is limited.

Today, I discovered a fifth option, Thrifty Foods. I expected this store to be a small, bargain-type supermarket like Buy-Low, but nope. It is a smaller, full-service grocery store with excellent prices and selection. I’ll be shopping there from now on! Today’s exciting buy was skinless, boneless chicken breasts. They had a ‘two-for-one’ sale, which really meant 50% off the regular per pound price. I had to convert from kilograms per dollar, but it looks like I paid about 4$ per pound, which is a bargain. I bought enough for at least six meals, for just 9$. I wasn’t the only person whose basket was piled high with chicken. 🙂

Walmart will be opening up a store in Campbell River this spring. I believe it will be a Supercentre with full grocery, so that will be another place to shop (and probably the reason why Super Valu closed).

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  • I have been shopping at Thrifty Foods for years I think they are wonderful. My grandson worked for the Salt Spring store for about four years. They are wonderful to their workers and give kids a very good training program. They are very community minded as well. I’m truly a great fan of this small grocery chain.
    It seems they have been recently bought out by Sobeys but in BC have kept the Thrifty name.

    Elaine in Saltair (Ladysmith) BC

  • Elaine, my first thought when I entered Thrifty’s was that it reminded me of my favourite Quebec chain, IGA… which was recently bought out by Sobey’s. So, it’s no wonder I like it!

    (you’re not that far away; we should get together before I leave the Island…)

  • Thrifty’s was my favourite in Victoria too. Some people have said that some of their prices are high, but I find that is true of all stores, some prices are great, and others are high, so I just pick one that has the look and feel that I like, and go with it. I also agree with Elaine – they are a fantastic contributer to the community, so that encourages me to go that route too.

  • I lived in Campbell River for a short stint a couple of years ago and actually loved the slightly shambolic old-school charm of the Super Valu, which actually didn’t have too bad prices for the most part. I’d shop at Quality Foods when quality was of the utmost importance and Super Valu for the No-Name and President’s Choice stuff.

    Actually, Super Valu came to my rescue once when my wife needed sherry vinegar. Quality Foods actually didn’t stock it, but Super Valu did!

    While I think you have a point about Walmart contributing to Super Valu’s demise, I think it’s more to do with corporate planning. Loblaws owns both Super Valu and Superstore, and once they establish a Superstore, Extra Foods or other Loblaws-owned outlet in a location with a Super Valu, it’s just a matter of time until the Super Valu gets phased out and shut down. Whitehorse and Coquitlam also lost their Super Valus last year, the Coquitlam one being replaced by a No Frills outlet.

  • Grocery Geek ( 🙂 ), thanks for your input. What you say about  Loblaws and SuperStore makes sense! I forgot that Whitehorse has a now-closed SuperValu.

    You mention Quality Foods. Haven’t found that one yet!

  • Quality Foods is worth checking out if you’re in the area of Merecroft Village (which also has a good little sushi place) which is located in one of Campbell River’s newer neighbourhoods. It’s a bit like Thrifty’s (which I admit is pretty special), but is still independently owned.

  • Oh! Of course! I’ve been there a few times to go to the movies.

    Wasabia’s the sushi restaurant you’re thinking of. I’m looking forward to going there this spring!

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