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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Uploaded: Jun 20, 2016
I'm not a fan of Walmart, or at least not the Super Stores. I've read critical things about the company and the Walton heirs. I'm not fond of big box stores anyway, but Villa San Ramon is right next door to the Walmart Neighborhood Market; so I decided to ride my tricycle over there to pick up some cat food, milk, eggs, and laundry detergent.

The Walmart is about five blocks from Villa San Ramon. Most of the ride there is slightly down hill and my tricycle is very easy to ride on the smooth sidewalk, but
not all of the sidewalk is smooth. Like the bike path there are cracks and ridges that really need repairs, but these can be negotiated. Driveways or tilts in the surface are harder to negotiate because the trike tilts sideways and isn't stable. So I usually walk it across any sections that aren't flat.

The ride there was pretty easy at 1:30 this afternoon. There wasn't much traffic on Fircrest or even on the sidewalk from Fircrest to the Iron Horse Trail, which runs alongside the entrance to the Walmart shopping center.

I looked for bike racks in the front, but they are hidden behind some large pillars and barrels. There were a couple of boys' bikes with knobby tires on one end of the bike rack. I put my trike at the other end.

I didn't bring the locking cable because I stupidly used it to lock my walker to a tree at the Villa. I suppose a walker is more tempting to someone at the Villa than an adult tricycle at Walmart, but nobody took either of them during time I was in the store.

I wasn't all that impressed with the Walmart. The isles are not well marked and it isn't easy to find things the first time shopping there. Even the employees didn't seem to know where products are. Several employees said they are new.

I asked the man at the checkout counter if he shopped there. He said, "No. I come in to work and leave and go home." They seem to have a lot of turnover there.

There was only one checker on at that time of day. There was another self-check line but I prefer having a person check me out. The store wasn't crowded but the people buying bought A LOT of stuff. I guess they come for the low prices and stock up.

I didn't really need to buy much since the Villa includes two meals a day in the monthly rent. But I needed cat food, which is not available at the Villa, and I wanted some staples like milk, eggs, cold cuts, and bread, for lunches or snacks.

Overall the excursion went well. I got some exercise and fresh air and fresh milk and eggs. Next time I might buy fruits and vegies, but the Villa offers a very nice selection of those at every meal. I will still need to ride over there for cat food every few weeks or order it online from Petco and have it delivered.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 21, 2016 at 9:37 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

I like the quality and price of meat at Walmart, but the esthetics of the interior kinda turn me off.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Jun 21, 2016 at 11:47 am

@DKHSK : "I like the quality and price of meat at Walmart..."

Meh. Last time I looked Walmart meat is mostly Select grade at best. Safeway beats that. The consistently best place for good quality meat that I've found in Costco. Lots of Choice and Prime grade ribeye New York strip steaks which are cut to the proper thickness (at least 1.5") for grilling.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 21, 2016 at 1:35 pm

One good thing about Safeway is their online shopping service. I used that to order food delivered to my house after my Drivers License was suspended. The delivery cost between $7 and $10 depending on the size of the order. Orders over $150 for off peak delivery times were free, but I probably bought more groceries than I needed just to get the free delivery.

The nice thing about riding the trike, in addition to the much needed exercise, is I can't buy too much because the basket in the back limits how much that can fit into it. Next time I'll try going all the way over to the CVS on the other side of the parking lot.

It's nice they are finally repaving the San Ramon section of the Iron Horse Trail. That would have helped when I was living near the bike bridge over the creek to the trail, but now the IHT is right next to the Walmart, so I don't need to take the trail to get to convenient shopping.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 21, 2016 at 2:12 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

I don't have a membership at Costco but I've heard the meat there is really good. I'll get a membership when the one slated for Pleasanton is built.

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