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not webvan, but rather AMAZON FRESH

One of the advantages to working at Google up in Kirkland is, well, everyone’s pretty much from either Amazon or Microsoft. This means easy access to the Microsoft Company Store (though I already had that), and, most recently, a beta invite to Amazon Fresh, their new grocery delivery service.

My first thought was, “Hasn’t this idea already failed?” And my second thought was, “Guess it’s about time to sell that Amazon stock I have.”

The brilliant thing Amazon did (and I doubt they did it for this reason) is offered up some produce, specifically apples, for 10 cents. The whole problem I have with online grocery shopping is that you can’t pick your own produce. I would fully expect bruised apples or, at minimum, not the crunchy ones I so long for. But, at ten cents, I figured I could order ten and at least get a few good ones. And even if I didn’t, heck, it’s a buck.

As such, I picked up 10 apples each of 4 types: Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn, and Jazz. I had not heard of Jazz apples before, but again, 10 cents.

I also picked up a pineapple, a clove of garlic, and some chicken breast, to see what their meat was like.

They offer delivery, but unfortunately, not in my area. Fortunately they have a pick-up point only two blocks from where I work (though not in the direction of home – otherwise I could see actually using this very often). I place an order, it’s fulfilled somewhere in Seattle, shipped to this “store front,” and I pick it up. The whole process is supposed to take 4 hours, though mine was ready in 3 (which I found out because they called me, to let me know and also asked if I needed directions. Way more customer support than I’d expect on a $9 order, which is mostly apples).

I got a little lost trying to find the “store” – it’s pretty small since it’s just a front desk, and an employee-only area which has what appears to be two gigantic freezers (fridges?). The lady at the desk, incredibly nice, said they were getting more signs put up. Apparently, they had just opened Wednesday, so, I cut them a bit of slack on their find-ability.

She scuttled off to find my 4 bags (this is the first inkling I got that maybe I ordered too many apples), stating that if I had parked closer they load the bags into the car themselves. I figured I could handle the apples.

Anyway, this is what I ended up picking up (click the images, especially the second one, for closeups):

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Impressed by the sheer volume of apples, I knew I had to weigh them and see how many applies I ended up getting for $4.

It ended up about 18 pounds and some change. That is a lot of apples. Not only that, they’re good. They are firm, unbrused, and really, really big. (Sadly, the price of apples has gone up! They are now about 80 cents each).

Plus, I have grocery bags with Amazon’s logo on them. That’s pretty cool.

It’s a bit weird to buy things how you do – per apple, or per 1 lb of meat (I only ordered 1 lb of chicken, but I assume if I had ordered more, it still would have been individually packed per pound. Which, I should mention, is actually pretty nice). The interface is somewhat nice, though you can’t browse sales, and I sure do love a sale. The prices ranged from good (apples, chicken) to average to bad (for some reason, bone-in chicken was twice the cost as boneless, when it is typically half. Most of the beef is fairly expensive, too). The service was great, and the quality was as well. It was amazingly convenient as well.

So, yes. I think I will purchase from them again, especially if they expand their delivery area out to Redmond.

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