When is a grocery store more than a grocery store?

When it’s “a way of life.”

That was the description we gave to Dorothy Lane Market, our grocery store in Oakwood, Ohio.

Dorothy Lane Market started as a fruit stand and grew into an elegant, state of the art, innovative grocery store through the years.  But it never lost its sense of community, people, or friendliness.  It’s heart and soul.  Sure, you shopped there for groceries but it was the extra-curricular activities that made it a happy experience.

Tasting stations were everywhere.  The long aisles had cut-throughs so there were more places to stop and visit with friends.  Sips of wine were frequently available. You’d dare not enter those doors without lipstick.  You knew you’d see friends.  Lots of friends.   All of that made it THE place to shop.

In the years we’ve lived in South Carolina, I’ve not had that experience in a single grocery store. Not even close. It’s always been all about the list.  Get in. Get out. Get home.

Until yesterday.

I literally ran into a friend in the produce section and we began a conversation that went on throughout our shopping.   We shared grandchildren stories in the condiment aisle, retirement thoughts at the deli counter, husband’s hobbies in the freezer section.  Oh, and that little chat we had at the check out-lane? That stays at the check-out lane

All in all, it was a great day at the grocery store.  Not to be corny but I came home with a lot more sustenance than a week’s worth of food could ever provide.  It brought back ever-so-fond memories of a little corner store in Oakwood, Ohio.  Where all that was the norm; not the exception.