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Stanley's (North & Elston)

Stanley's (North & Elston)
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  • Stanley's (North & Elston)

    Post #1 - November 27th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    Post #1 - November 27th, 2007, 6:45 pm Post #1 - November 27th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    I love this place for its convenience factor!!! In and out in less than 10 minutes.

    Good prices. (Especially on the olives.)

    Sometimes however, their "price it to move" philosophy has me wondering about the quality. Does Stanley's buy up old and odd stuff from wholesalers and then just price it to move it fast? I've bought some of the "deal" items like avocados and raspberries only to find them past their prime. Yesterday I almost bought some prickly-pear lemonade for 99 cents, only to discover that the cap said best by 11/28/2007. Anyway, I love the place and have been going there for years, but the quality is really nothing better than other places, and sometimes you get what you pay for on the sale items so watch out. The tomato deals are usually some bizarre stuff too. Anyone else notice this?
  • Post #2 - November 27th, 2007, 6:54 pm
    Post #2 - November 27th, 2007, 6:54 pm Post #2 - November 27th, 2007, 6:54 pm
    Uh-oh, sounds like old Stanley is cutting corners? :wink:
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #3 - November 27th, 2007, 7:15 pm
    Post #3 - November 27th, 2007, 7:15 pm Post #3 - November 27th, 2007, 7:15 pm
    I've been shopping there a lot recently also. The prices, generally speaking, are great. Some items are definitely past their prime and you can see it while still in the store. Other things look ok in the store, but go downhill pretty quickly over the next few days. Other items - and I'd venture to say most items - are well priced and of good quality. As long as the risk-reward ratio stays like this, I'll keep going back.
  • Post #4 - November 27th, 2007, 9:02 pm
    Post #4 - November 27th, 2007, 9:02 pm Post #4 - November 27th, 2007, 9:02 pm
    When I lived in the area, I frequented Stanley's for all of my produce - especially in the Winter, when a local Framer's Market wasn't an option.
    I always had the same opinion regarding the quality. I learned to buy what looked good and skipped what didn't.
    Now that I live in Portage Park, the local A & G Supermarket, featuring a nice array of fresher produce for similar prices, has become my default option.
  • Post #5 - November 27th, 2007, 9:31 pm
    Post #5 - November 27th, 2007, 9:31 pm Post #5 - November 27th, 2007, 9:31 pm
    I either heard or read that stanley buys up "bruised" produce that the supermarkets are not permitted to accept in order to give you those low low prices. that is my understanding of why the quality of certain items declines quickly. i have never confirmed this but it makes sense to me.
  • Post #6 - November 27th, 2007, 10:04 pm
    Post #6 - November 27th, 2007, 10:04 pm Post #6 - November 27th, 2007, 10:04 pm
    I shop at Stanleys regularly, but I agree that you need to pay attention to what you are buying. If I'm flexible, I'll browse the store for whatever looks best and buy that, but if I need something in particular, I sometimes need to go elsewhere.

    Fortunately with produce, what you see is pretty much what you get. If the pepper look wrinkled, or the avocados overly soft, or the greens too wilted, I just don't buy them. On the flip side, the quality is usually pretty good and the prices the best I have found in the area. I have found a lot of second rate produce at Dominicks and Jewell as well at a much higher margin. Whole Foods is consistently very high quality, but even there I occasionally see some ratty looking item, and you pay a multiple of the Stanleys cost.

    So for me its Stanley's first, and then Whole Foods for anything I couldn't find.
  • Post #7 - November 27th, 2007, 10:59 pm
    Post #7 - November 27th, 2007, 10:59 pm Post #7 - November 27th, 2007, 10:59 pm
    I've found much better quality fruits and vegetables at Family Fruit Market. It's not quite as cheap as Stanley's. But, my purchases there seem to have better staying power than what I have bought in the past at Stanleys. They're damn sure cheaper than Jewel.

    Family Fruit's Deli often has some really good deals, too.

    Family Fruit Market
    4118 N Cicero Ave
    Chicago, IL 60641
    (773) 481-2500
  • Post #8 - November 27th, 2007, 11:47 pm
    Post #8 - November 27th, 2007, 11:47 pm Post #8 - November 27th, 2007, 11:47 pm
    Stanley's was my first introduction to cheapass(in a good way) spices back when I lived cattycorner to the (former) Carneceria Leon ca. '98. Their produce has always been hit or miss(tho' affordable and abundant). What I never could stomach was how hipsterish it can be(as if it's some secret coveted by those denizens of that neighborhood) *and* how horribly packed it's narrow aisles can get concommitant with the self-entitlement and oblivious navel-gazing of that aforementioned type of customer. Kinda like Whole Foods, really.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #9 - November 28th, 2007, 12:00 am
    Post #9 - November 28th, 2007, 12:00 am Post #9 - November 28th, 2007, 12:00 am
    RiverWester wrote:I love this place for its convenience factor!!! In and out in less than 10 minutes.

    Good prices. (Especially on the olives.)

    Sometimes however, their "price it to move" philosophy has me wondering about the quality. Does Stanley's buy up old and odd stuff from wholesalers and then just price it to move it fast? I've bought some of the "deal" items like avocados and raspberries only to find them past their prime. Yesterday I almost bought some prickly-pear lemonade for 99 cents, only to discover that the cap said best by 11/28/2007. Anyway, I love the place and have been going there for years, but the quality is really nothing better than other places, and sometimes you get what you pay for on the sale items so watch out. The tomato deals are usually some bizarre stuff too. Anyone else notice this?


    Riverwester -

    You run the gamut of emotions here, such that I can't decide in the end, how you feel about Stanley's. Bit like watching a soap opera . . . in the beginning the emotions run high . . . you're loving the place, but by the end, that GD Stanley is cutting corners and pedaling bad produce.

    Having made that observation, I think Stanley's is a no-guarantee type place. It's totally caveat emptor. Buyer beware. If he's pricing the red peppers @ .39/lb and they're wrinkly? Guess what? They're on their way out. The lemonade you described? You should be checking those dates anyway, and in any case, it was still 2 days before the sell-by date, so it's all cool (it was a sell-by date, right? as opposed to a due date? You usually have 7 days from the sell-by date). So in the case of the prickly pear lemonade, not sure what the beef is.

    But as others have said above, you get what you get. Sometimes, the produce is quite good, and well-priced. Sometimes, not so much, and then you take a pass.
  • Post #10 - November 28th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    Post #10 - November 28th, 2007, 2:27 pm Post #10 - November 28th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    I stop by Stanley's from time to time. This being said they are hit and miss. I have seen price to sell item that were at the peak of ripeness and things that were just ok. The fact is you will not see any produce there that is going to kill you. You should usualy plan on using their goods within 3 days. They do buy in huge quantitys and this sometimes results in low prices. At the end of the day, it is my oppinion that Stanley's hands down beats Dominick's and Jewel on price and usual quality every day of the week. I suggest if you want fruit, shopping at most Mexican produce markets offer exelent quality for a fraction of the price. Vegetables are up in the air. Stanley's, Mexican markets and Whole Foods can be a great place for quality.

    Cheers,
    Justin Hall
    FIG Catering
    FIGcatering.com
    MMMMM, Moon Waffles.
  • Post #11 - November 28th, 2007, 2:31 pm
    Post #11 - November 28th, 2007, 2:31 pm Post #11 - November 28th, 2007, 2:31 pm
    Ohh yea, and please make sure you check out the farmers market first. The things they offer are usual the best.
    Justin Hall
    FIG Catering
    FIGcatering.com
    MMMMM, Moon Waffles.
  • Post #12 - November 28th, 2007, 2:37 pm
    Post #12 - November 28th, 2007, 2:37 pm Post #12 - November 28th, 2007, 2:37 pm
    Not to be overly pedantic, but I think the common complaint about Stanley's is merely an extension of our instant gratification culture... Our craving for non-seasonal goods at our fingertips and at cheap prices.

    It is true that Stanley's produce sometimes walks the line between "eat it soon" and "whoops, too late," but I like the creativity or flexibility I must have when shopping there. It also keeps me mindful of the unnatural state of buying strawberries in winter, I get what I deserve!



    Also... I'm cheap.
  • Post #13 - December 3rd, 2007, 12:52 pm
    Post #13 - December 3rd, 2007, 12:52 pm Post #13 - December 3rd, 2007, 12:52 pm
    If you know how to pick produce and you are flexible enough to pick/cook with what looks good - you can't beat the deals there. There is always something that's a good deal and excellent quality. Good points about looking for seasonal items above as well.
  • Post #14 - December 3rd, 2007, 1:31 pm
    Post #14 - December 3rd, 2007, 1:31 pm Post #14 - December 3rd, 2007, 1:31 pm
    I usually go to Stanley for medjool dates. I was wondering if anyone knows a place to get those that would be closer to Cicero?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #15 - December 3rd, 2007, 3:08 pm
    Post #15 - December 3rd, 2007, 3:08 pm Post #15 - December 3rd, 2007, 3:08 pm
    When they have the guacamole there, and it's fresh, GET IT.

    Homemade and top notch. The pico de gallo is pretty good too, although they must put the tomatoes through a grid-type slicer/chopper since I always have to pick out pieces of core.

    It's one of the few places you can get radicchio for $2.00 per lb. regularly.
  • Post #16 - July 26th, 2018, 8:40 am
    Post #16 - July 26th, 2018, 8:40 am Post #16 - July 26th, 2018, 8:40 am
    North Branch market Stanley's up for sale

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realesta ... p-for-sale
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #17 - July 26th, 2018, 7:15 pm
    Post #17 - July 26th, 2018, 7:15 pm Post #17 - July 26th, 2018, 7:15 pm
    I used to stop Stanley's on the way to Culinary Historians at Kendall, and stop at Local Foods on the way home. I really miss both, they aren't worth a trip just for them. Best deals are on the organic foods, cheaper then regular food at the big chains.

    Yes, I quickly learned fresh fruit especially would start going bad within one to five days. Many times I bought many raspberries and other berries and froze them for future use (spread them out in gallon zip bags, suck the air out to keep them from moving and hold them just barely touching, freeze, combine into one bag when frozen, and save the other bags for next time).

    Jerry's in Niles is similar, though IMHO not quite as on the edge: berries go bad in 2 to 7 days, prices almost as good....except little or no organic (and when they do have organic, it is just mixed in with the other items, one must read the label to discover it). Though I always wonder if maybe the "organic" really isn't, it is just that Jerry's got it cheap because it was packaged incorrectly.
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #18 - July 26th, 2018, 8:42 pm
    Post #18 - July 26th, 2018, 8:42 pm Post #18 - July 26th, 2018, 8:42 pm
    I personally hate Jerry's parking lot and the store in general. I was in the neighborhood a few weeks ago, and so I stopped in Jerry's, and spent 15 minutes in the store, and walked out without buying anything. You are right they do have organic, but very little, and you have to look for it. I think most of Jerry's customers are not into organics anyway. They have a lot of seniors shopping there that should not be driving any more. The only thing at Jerry's I was even remotely interested in buying was pineapple that they had for 2/$1.

    Yes I have to pay more, but I have a much more pleasant experience buying my produce at the farmer's market. Last Saturday I ran into two friends there, and I got to try a new peach variety.
  • Post #19 - July 27th, 2018, 1:59 am
    Post #19 - July 27th, 2018, 1:59 am Post #19 - July 27th, 2018, 1:59 am
    NFriday wrote:I personally hate Jerry's parking lot and the store in general. ... The only thing at Jerry's I was even remotely interested in buying was pineapple that they had for 2/$1.

    Yes I have to pay more, but I have a much more pleasant experience buying my produce at the farmer's market. Last Saturday I ran into two friends there, and I got to try a new peach variety.


    Parking at Stanley's is IMHO worse than Jerry's, where I go at 8:30 AM if at all possible. And I know we are supposed to "buy local", but I need my avocados, pineapples and other exotics, many of which are not available at farmers markets, and I can afford occasionally at Jerry's (like dragon fruit). The portabella mushrooms are good as are the bags of mesclun greens. And quarts of Fage strained Greek yogurt for $5.50. And olive oil, balsamic vinegar, giardinare (?sp) in gallon containers, salad dressing, taffy apples. Closeout sales of new products companies trialed or imported (big stacks of 82% cacao chocolate bars 2/$1, dark chocolate with pistachios) many of which I take to activities as contribution to snacks there.

    I have tried a number of new varieties and new fruits from Jerry's, and yes, I have also from farmer's markets....and from my garden. I have had up to 30 some varieties of tomato when I started my own seeds (only a dozen this year from several nurseries). multiple colors of raspberries, including black which, if ever available to purchase, you need an armored truck to bring the cash along. I have 7 kinds of grapes, a 5 on one pear tree (none of which are sold in stores), Asian pears, enough basil one year to make 16 quarts of just basil/oil/nuts (keeps better to add cheese when serving), 3 kinds of collards, other varieties of greens and lettuces, countless sweet, mild and hot peppers. The time restrictions on farmer's markets are a problem for me.

    I get most of my organic foods at Fresh Thyme plus bulk items and filtered water. Never liked "Whole Paycheck Foods", and refuse to buy from Amazon now, so that is out forever (hope that isn't considered political). I heard that something like 60% of all online dollars go to Amazon, and I feel that is too much.
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #20 - July 27th, 2018, 8:41 am
    Post #20 - July 27th, 2018, 8:41 am Post #20 - July 27th, 2018, 8:41 am
    Full page story (page 2) in the Chicago Sun Times today if you want a paper copy and don't have Crain's. Should I scan and post the paper? Here is the online version:

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/s ... oln-yards/
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #21 - July 27th, 2018, 9:26 am
    Post #21 - July 27th, 2018, 9:26 am Post #21 - July 27th, 2018, 9:26 am
    I'm weird, but the hustle and bustle at Jerry's is very much like going to an open air market abroad.

    I once commented to the cashier how much I love this place. He thought I was joking until he realized I was earnest.

    It is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but it suits me fine.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #22 - July 27th, 2018, 9:39 am
    Post #22 - July 27th, 2018, 9:39 am Post #22 - July 27th, 2018, 9:39 am
    diversedancer wrote:Should I scan and post the paper?

    Please, no. That would be a violation of our Posting Guidelines.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #23 - July 27th, 2018, 11:49 am
    Post #23 - July 27th, 2018, 11:49 am Post #23 - July 27th, 2018, 11:49 am
    Which Fresh Thyme do you go to? On rare occasion I would go to the Deerfield store when it was open, but now none of the stores are convenient for me. Probably the Elston store is the closest one for me, but I never frequent that neighborhood, and I am not making a special trip just to go there. There is a Whole Foods that I can walk to in 15 minutes, and I also occasionally go to the one on Green Bay, but I drive past there at least twice a month when they are open. I nickle and dime them at WF. The last time I went there was last week when I had to go to se the dentist who is three doors down from the downtown Evanston store. I spent a grand total of $4.11. I bought a quart of organic 365 yogurt, and I bought a bag of Bob's Red Mill wheat germ, which I had a $2 coupon for. I buy most of my peanut butter there too. If I was a member of Prime I would probably spend more there.

    I've probably spent $200 at Amazon in the last year. I do surveys online, and I get Amazon GC for doing them. The only other things I bought online in the last year were garden seeds at Johnny's, and a strainer at Bed, Bath and Beyond that I spent too much money on, but it is going to last me a life time. CI recommended it.
  • Post #24 - July 27th, 2018, 1:22 pm
    Post #24 - July 27th, 2018, 1:22 pm Post #24 - July 27th, 2018, 1:22 pm
    i've been going to stanley's since the early '80's when parking really was difficult: stanley's was just an open front large stall and there were only the few spots on the elston side available (no parking lot). i've always shopped carefully, knowing that low prices were more the good deal than the quality. but i'm going to miss it badly.
  • Post #25 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:07 am
    Post #25 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:07 am Post #25 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:07 am
    Stanley’s Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, a popular produce market on Chicago’s North Side, has closed after 52 years in business.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #26 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:11 am
    Post #26 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:11 am Post #26 - April 22nd, 2019, 11:11 am
    what a shame, i started shopping there when it was an open place with an awning over it (in the late '70's). i'm sure another overpriced condo will be coming....and not to reach out the night before to their employees so they didn't show up and find themselves out of a job was really wrong.
  • Post #27 - April 22nd, 2019, 2:47 pm
    Post #27 - April 22nd, 2019, 2:47 pm Post #27 - April 22nd, 2019, 2:47 pm
    I started going in the mid 80's, but not regularly, only if I was somewhat nearby. When we moved back to the city, we went regularly for a couple years. While you always had to be very selective since many things were on their last legs, I saw a significant downturn maybe a year or so ago around the time they announced they were selling the property. After a few bad visits, I gave up.
  • Post #28 - April 23rd, 2019, 8:49 am
    Post #28 - April 23rd, 2019, 8:49 am Post #28 - April 23rd, 2019, 8:49 am
    Not a nice way to treat your employees...

    https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/04/22/stanleys-abruptly-closes-without-telling-longtime-workers/?mc_cid=e7b6e4a65c&mc_eid=75a4814b00

    'On Monday, employees showed up to the market, 1558 N. Elston Ave., to find a sign on the door: “Closed for Remodeling,” the sign reads. “Employees come Wednesday for your checks. Thank you. The Mgmt.”

    The owner, Stanley Peters, and his family showed up at 11 a.m. and refused to address the employees — some of whom had been waiting for answers in the parking lot since 6:30 a.m. One manager came outside and told the employees to come at 2 p.m. Wednesday to pick up their checks.'


    Wow...
  • Post #29 - April 25th, 2019, 10:41 am
    Post #29 - April 25th, 2019, 10:41 am Post #29 - April 25th, 2019, 10:41 am
    Nice to see people helping the workers that these scumbags screwed.

    Chicago Businesses Step Up To Help Longtime Stanley’s Workers After Market’s Closure: ‘You Don’t Feel As Hopeless’

    https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/04/24/chicago-businesses-extend-helping-hand-to-former-employees-of-stanleys-fruits-and-vegetables/

    If the owners ever reopen, they won't have my business. Wouldn't doubt they also will screw a lot of suppliers. Maybe karma with catch up to them.

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