How in the name of Joe Albertson’s Supermarket is this even possible?! 

At this point, it’s really not a secret that if you look hard enough, you’ll find a “best in every state” list for virtually any category you can think of. Best Burgers. Best Tacos. Best Fish and Chips. Best Camping Spots. Best Romantic Hotels. Best Terrifying Attractions. You get the idea. 

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash
Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash
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Whether you’ll admit it out loud or not, you’ll usually click the ones that pop up in your newsfeed because you’re mildly curious to see what they’ve chosen for Idaho. You’ll either nod and think to yourself, “ok, I get that pick” or jump on social so you can rage in disgust over what an injustice the pick was. 

This pick? Oh…it’s definitely swimming in the second bucket. Eat This, Not That published a list titled “This Is the Best Supermarket in Your State” and we’re stunned by their pick for Idaho. Honestly, we thought the only pick that made sense for Idaho would be Albertsons. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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After all, the grocery chain that now has over 380 locations in 15 states, was founded right here in Boise. Joe Albertson got his start in the grocery game as a Safeway District Manager but dreamed of something bigger. As the Albertsons website tells the story, he saved $5,000, borrowed about $7,500 from a relative and opened the first Albertsons store in 1939. That store is still there today and you’ll find it at 16th and State in Boise. Surely, Albertsons should be the best grocery store in Idaho, right?

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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But, that’s not who they picked. What about WinCo? They have roots in Boise, too. According to WinCo’s website, the company was originally called Waremart and was founded by two Boise businessmen in 1967. While the name “WinCo” is an abbreviation of “Winning Company,” it does contain the first letter of every state the company originally called home, including Idaho. Thanks to the big logo on the roof of their Boise distribution center, they’re one of the first companies to welcome air travelers to Boise. You can easily see it as your plane approaches BOI.  WinCo would be just as good of a candidate as Albertsons for the best grocery store in Idaho. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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Nope. That’s not who they picked either. We don’t really consider Walmart a “grocery store” because they sell everything else under the sun, but they have 26 locations in Idaho and a big grocery section. A lot of listeners say they pick Walmart because it's close to their homes. We could live with Walmart as an answer if we had to. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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That’s still not who they picked. Fred Meyer, maybe? They have 14 stores in the Treasure Valley and people who shop there seem to pick them for the same reason as Walmart. Proximity.

No, Fred Meyer wasn’t the top choice. Nor was Trader Joe’s…or Whole Foods…or even Grocery Outlet, Bargain Market (which has 11 stores in the state.) 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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Instead, they picked…Natural Grocers? We’re stunned. In a flash poll asking listeners where they shop in the Treasure Valley exactly ZERO people mentioned Natural Grocers. They have four stores in Idaho: the one on Milwaukee in Boise and locations in Coeur d’Alene, Hailey and Idaho Falls. A developer known for building Natural Grocer locations bought the former home of the Pancake House in McCall, so it's possible there’s a fifth on the way. 

So why Natural Grocers? Eat This, Not That explains:  

Yelp listed Natural Grocers as the top grocery store in the entire state of Idaho! The community grocer proudly offers supermarket staples such as organic produce and a selection of meats and cheeses. But it goes above and beyond by also stocking dietary vitamins and supplements, pet and body care products, and even doling out free nutrition education.

We’re sure Natural Grocers is nice (truthfully, we’ve never shopped there because of the location) but come on…the Yelp reviews of FOUR stores make it the top grocery store in the WHOLE state? We’re not buying it. The title should’ve gone to Albertsons or WinCo.

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