Sitting on the couch tonight, looking around my apartment for something to jump out at me and inspire a blog post, I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit. I bought the cherries at the huge Wegmans grocery store in Cherry Hill, NJ (I wonder if there was a time that cherries actually grew in Cherry Hill?).
I drove out to Wegmans yesterday afternoon in order to buy soap to send to my mom for her birthday, which is next week. They typically have an enormous display of handmade, hand-sliced soap in the natural foods section. I got her a bar of rosemary-scented soap there six months ago, and she liked it so much that she cut the bar in two so that it would last longer.
My mother isn’t big on stuff, which makes her fairly hard to shop for when birthdays and holidays roll around. However, a handful of years ago, she admitted that she really loves good-quality soap that smells good. So that (along with the occasional frying pan) is what I get her. And thankfully, since it’s the sort of thing that gets used up, it’s a gift that is never unwelcome.
I’ve been thinking about heading out that way for the last couple of weeks to get this soap, but for one reason or another, I never got around to it. But yesterday afternoon I was out, in my car and realized that I was starting to run short on time. So off to New Jersey I went. After a brief wander through the produce section, I headed for the aisles of natural foods products, so that I could get the soap and get out, without incurring too much financial damage (that store is a very dangerous place for me–so much fun and interesting stuff). But when I got to the soap section, it was all gone. There was just an empty display. I stood there for a minute, hoping that someone would come along and I’d be able to ask them about it, but no one stopped by. Disappointed but figuring they had stopped carrying it, I grabbed a couple of things from the bulk grain section and headed out.
I was finished checking out, I stopped by the customer service counter, to find out if they knew the name of the company or if there was anyplace else I could get this soap. They made a couple of calls and discovered that it wasn’t that they had stopped carrying it, they just were changing out the display and so had packed it away for a week or so. A staff member in that section headed into the bowels of the store to unearth two bars of rosemary soap for me and brought it all the way to the customer service counter.
I was so happy that I decided to ask about it and that they were so willing to find me the one thing I wanted (I realize it’s sort of sad to be so thrilled over a positive customer service experience, but things like this don’t really happen in Philly. If I had been in the city and asked about soap, they would have stared at me blankly and shrugged, before turning away to tell their coworker about how drunk they had gotten the night before). It made the trip out there doubly worth it and now I have something nice to send to my mom (I’m not ruining any surprises, I was so tickled yesterday when it happened that I called her to tell her the story. She is excited for the soap).
Wegmans BEST STORE EVER. Reminds me I have to get a fix at my local one in Warmister.
I am from Rochester, NY, so I am a Wegmans groupie. I LOVE WEGMANS! The customer service you experienced there is so characteristic and is totally the reason why there is honestly a Wegmans cult following!
we welcome you to the Garden State with open arms! Come often and stay late!
I love wonderful soaps too. If you ever see any fragraced with figs, don’t hesitate to buy it — it’s the most beautiful frangrace imaginable. I love Wegmans in Cherry Hill too!
I don’t know of any cherry orchards here, but there are definitely lots of cherry trees and they are beautiful in bloom. Chapel Avenue is lined with cherry trees near the high school.
TODAY’S DOSE OF OTHERWISE USELESS INFORMATION:
The town was originally called Delaware Township, and the name Cherry Hill was chosen by the township’s citizens in a non-binding referendum in 1961, and was officially adopted November 7, 1961. Cherry Hill had been the name of Abraham Browning’s farm on Route 38 opposite the site where the Cherry Hill Mall would be built. The farm property was approximately what became Eugene Mori’s Cherry Hill Inn and is now an AMC-Loews movie theater complex.
Mori, the largest developer in the town from the 1940s to the ’60s, used the Cherry Hill name on many of his properties, including the Cherry Hill Inn, Cherry Hill Lodge (now a nursing home), Cherry Hill Apartments (now renovated as the Cherry Hill Towers), and the Cherry Hill Estates housing development, where the streets are named after thoroughbred race courses. Thus, it has been suggested he (Mori) had a vested interest in getting the town named Cherry Hill.
Another motivation for the name change was a desire for the township to have its own post office. However, there were other places in New Jersey named Delaware, New Jersey. The postal service suggested a name change, and Mayors Christian Weber and John Gilmour, whose administrations came during the renaming decision, agreed.
You might try posting this great experience on http://www.measuredup.com – it’s a new customer service website where consumers can share their experiences at various stores in their communities.