Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. I joined this organization because I knew they worked with Mariano's and I was really excited for the opportunity to work with them. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Mariano’s. The opinions are all mine though!
Mariano's is a relatively new grocery store to Chicago and they are kicking off their 3rd anniversary celebration at the Arlington Heights store so we had to check it out. We have a strange fascination with grocery stores, and the fact that we got to visit a new-to-us Mariano's was even better. The reason is- we are a Mariano's family!
We love our local Mariano's store! It is a welcome addition to our community and we will be spending a lot of time there this summer for sure- it is within walking distance of our house! We love that we can go sit and have lunch as a family, we can grab some fresh prepared food or just buy our normal groceries. We love that we can get store brands at a great price on the same shelves as organic and premium brands. We love the little touches that make it family friendly: the two-child car carts, the smaller size kid carts, step stools at the bathroom sinks, samples galore during prime times, the deli often offers a taste of what you are ordering, a gelato case at the same place as the coffee counter (your rewards card gets you freebies of both too), the piano being played at the front of the store, store brand organic items, filler-free deli meats and cheeses (dietz and watson) with nutritional values displayed in the case and the Nu-Val number posted on many grocery items to help select the most healthy option!
This time instead of walking, we loaded the kids into the car and headed out to Arlington Heights, looking forward to the festivities. It's a half hour away to this store so we brought our handy dandy Mariano's cooler for some of the items on our list.
We were happy to see that the parking lot wasn't crowded but we still missed out on the cool two-kid shopping carts that my daughter loves. (The picture above is from the first time we were able to use the car cart.) My son was born the same week that our local store opened 10 months ago, so he has only been able to sit up for a couple months. We just started using these carts and they do make things easier for me, I'll tell you that!
We could not, however, miss the shiny new red car right outside the door that is part of their Live Well Customer Appreciation Sweepstakes! This is a no-brainer of a sweepstakes, all you need is your Mariano's Rewards card when you check out! I use that anyway! What can you win, you ask? $50,000 in prizes! Each time you checkout with your Mariano’s card, you’ll get an entry into the sweepstakes. Prizes include: Fiat Pop 500, Luxury Italian Vacation, Free groceries, Ravinia Gala Experience, Bikes, Lollapalooz a Tickets, Guitar autographed by the group Train.
We also spied a sign for a kids craft going on in the store that day, which would have been perfect to occupy my daughter and let one of us get the shopping done quicker. Alas we had arrived a bit too early, next time! We attend the in-store events at our local store pretty often…one of my favorite pictures of my daughter with my husband was when we came to the store for their Halloween event. We keep track of what is going on via their facebook page but they also have a twitter page if that is more your style. They actually have a nice community page too!
As usual we got some yummy samples in store- the best was the cake, but we love when they do the Mariano's Challenge, pitting big name brands versus their Roundy's store brand. Often the nutritional values on the store brand are better than the big name ones and you are not sacrificing any of the taste. It's also fun to do the tasting “blind” and try to figure out which one is which- I usually can't tell!
Shopping done, samples eaten, Vero coffee bev in hand, we headed to check out, always with more in the cart than we came for!
It was a lot of fun to see another location of Mariano's to see what it was like and we learned all about the promotions they have going on around their anniversary. We even have a Google+ Album from the day. All in all it was great to celebrate this milestone with my favorite grocery store!
Happy Anniversary Mariano's- from a loyal Mariano's Mama! #MyMarianos #CBIAS