Real Richmond Review: Rethinking Grocery Shopping with Relay Foods

Let me preface this review with a confession:

Prior to my fresh (in more ways than one) experience with Relay Foods, I believed such co-ops to be A.) providers of only the earthiest/crunchiest of goods, B.) overpriced alternatives for those too lazy too shop, or C.) an necessary embarrassment-saving option for parents with predictably tantrum-in-the-candy-aisle prone children.

Alas, I am now forced to eat the crow of my judgmental presuppositions. Thankfully, my Relay Foods provided groceries are far tastier.

When given the opportunity to give Relay Foods a try, figured there’d be no better “trial” than their fulfillment of my running list.

A quick click to and my alternate acquisition process began. The site was more friendly than I’d envisioned…even for a delivered food neophyte.

The variety of vendors was surprising…not only were there local farms and family businesses, “regular” mainstream groceries were available as well. Put a checkmark alongside “frozen waffles.”

As a matter of fact, every item on my list was procurable via Relay Foods’ site…all except for one: pizza-flavored string cheese. To be entirely fair, frequently, traditional grocery stores don’t stock it either. No demerits doled.

One surprising dearth was in the “dog treats” department. With the proliferation of cottage industry pet treat bakers, I predicted abundance in this arena. [By the time this review goes live, that shortage may be rectified.]

To answer the question I trust most are asking, shockingly, no. The prices are not across-the-board higher than one would expect at the grocery store or even big box stores for comparable goods. Maybe ten cents here and there, but negligible price increases to my view.

A pleasant surprise? Low-priced “limes!” Our Double Daddy prefers freshly squeezed lime juice in his evening cocktails, and Relay Foods’ regularly priced 39-cents each beat the sale price at a local grocer (the one who replaced Ukrops…not to name names) by twenty cents each. No kidding.

Miss Megan and kiddos at Relay Foods

As tends to be the way, our running list had special items for each member of the family…something specific for everyone. Every one except me. Enter Relay Foods’ access to Carpe Diem donuts. A Charlottesville mainstay for which I’d developed a hankering via downtown’s Urban Farmhouse. Now, I could get a bountiful supply for my own home. Inexpensive? Nope. Irresistible? Yes. A half-dozen apple cider donuts and a J. Emerson bottle of Argentinian malbec and this mama’s happy. Another happiness inducer? $5 off for Savvy Saver card shoppers with purchase of $50 or more (not including that Argentinian malbec).

Rather than pay for home delivery (which is an option, and no doubt a very alluring one for families with young infants), conveniently, the Relay team has a weekly drop-off behind my twins’ elementary school.

What began as an “I’ll give it a try,” may have just become a regular supplemental food source for our family. Miss Megan’s friendly food pass-off cinched it!


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