Friday, September 5, 2014

The Contest: Week 14 - Mariano's

For this week of The Contest, I opted for something a little different.  Still mending my broken heart from the Chicago departure of my favorite grocery store (Dominick's), I wrote our new preferred option, Mariano's.  Was the fragile new relationship reciprocal?  Find out below!


Dear Mr. Mariano,

I was a Dominick’s devotee. Born and raised.  I was the kid in the shopping cart with the box of animal crackers glued to the tank of live lobsters.  I dreamt of one day being a Dominick’s cashier, all sophisticated and mathematical.  When I look back at my childhood, it feels like half of it was spent in that most cherished and magical of grocery stores.

I am now the mom.  My three boys also grew up in Dominick’s, again with those same animal crackers and a strong interest in locating that elusive lobster tank they’d heard so much about.  It was painful to take the final walk on Christmas Eve, to face those empty shelves, and to hug the employees goodbye.  These were warm and caring people who doted on my kids, offered up free cheese, and never, ever forgot to smile.
I feared I would never know grocery store love again.
But dude.
I was totally wrong.
Like a lost widow still grieving her most cherished of loves, I half-heartedly entered Mariano’s last week.
And holy flippity floppity fudge.

Mariano’s ROCKS.

I mean REALLY.  I don’t know about you, Mr. Mariano, but I can’t cook fish to save my freaking life.  I’ve accidentally food-poisoned my family.  Twice. Yet questionable cooking abilities are not a problem at this new-fangled, other-worldly grocery store.

They cook it for you! 

And the food.  THE FOOD.

My gaping emotional wound began healing almost instantly.
So thank you, Mr. Mariano.  Thank you for bringing a terrific store to Chicago and helping mend my broken heart.  I am so very grateful.

As are my boys.

No more food poisoning, you see.
Marianne Walsh
Before I post the response, I can't be the ONLY one who remembers the live lobster tanks at Dominick's, right??
Anyway, Mr. Mariano totally responded with a brand-spanking new gift card and personal letter to my mailbox.  Score!  That brings my total to 42.  For Andrea's post, visit HERE!
Just wait...many more surprises to come! 


  1. Congratulations! That's nice.


  2. It was very kind of Mr Mariano to do his part to protect your family from food poisoning!

  3. When DL and I were there, he found some AMAZING Italian grocery store, but like a Pottery Barn. It was unbelievable. He thought maybe he had been shot in a drive-by, and that he was actually in Heaven.

  4. Hey, I take free anytime! I've only poisoned my ex-husband and that may or may not have been on purpose. Enjoy the gift card!

    1. Thank you! And I'm good at keeping secrets....

  5. SWEET! That letter completely cracked me up. (Yours, not his...)

    Happy shopping!