Today we went to Ludgate Farms and I was disappointed. I think I was hoping for another Milk Pail, which is this awesome grocery in Mountain View that is always unbelievably crowded for a very good reason: cheap, fresh produce, an amazing cheese selection and a substantial bulk department. It's where you go to buy ingredients for delicious meals that you are making from scratch . I've bought a weeks worth of groceries there, for two people, for under $20 and that included food for having people over for dinner one night.
Ludgate Farms was not Milk Pail. While the produce itself was fine, there wasn't very much of it, which I will forgive because it's the middle of winter. Produce aside, the products that they did have were all covered in dust and not only that, a lot of the available items were either close to or actually passed their expiry date. The ones passed the expiry date were usually offered at a discount. My feeling on this is that I don't really want to pay anything for rancid olive oil, so discounts aren't really going to help. That and everything was unbelievably overpriced - $16.00 for a box of Emergen C? That's twice what it costs elsewhere. Believe me, I'd rather shop local and I understand the plight of the small business but I do not have unlimited funds and I can't afford to pay double. What was most frustrating was their "bulk" section, which wasn't "bulk" in the sense that you bag it yourself or that it's cheaper than the prepackaged version. You buy what they've bagged and tagged for you, already (read: no bins) and then you pay more than you would at Greenstar (for example), which up until going to Ludgate Farms, I thought was expensive.
What they should do is get rid of those millions of bottles of olive oil and premade pasta sauces and preserves and just focus on selling good fresh produce and install bulk bins and offer competitive prices.