Area supermarket goes to Defcon 4 at 11:50 a.m.

Chelsea Market Basket before the nor'easter

Cybah joined the pre-nor'easter horde at the Chelsea Market Basket this morning.

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Not certain

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Though it's been decades for me, that top box looks like the inimitable Suzy Q with the remainder the traditional Cupcake.

Ummmm *ahem*

Full disclosure, we were a Hostess household with my mom going to the outlet in Wilmington to stock up. We ate them all straight out of the freezer, Devil Dogs, Yodels, the Table Talk pies (these we would heat up). Ah, memories!

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I agree.

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Methinks the man loves him some Suzy Qs.

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One nitpick

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Devil Dogs and Yodels are Drakes products, not Hostess. We used to put Devil Dogs and Ring Dings in the refrigerator (but not the freezer).

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Oh, crap

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You're right. That's how long it's been.

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Since

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Since I have the original photo, and Adam shrinks the photo (as does twitter). I can tell you that its (from the top)

Hostess Suzy Q's
Hostess Coffee Cakes
Hostess Cupcakes
Hostess Cupcakes
MB Bakery Item (Donuts)
MB Bakery Item (Donuts)

IMAGE(https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3669/33382779546_dbfd4fa164.jpg)

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This is amazing! And has to

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This is amazing! And has to be one of the best "pre-blizzard food shopping" photos ever. This guy is going to be on a serious sugar high tomorrow. Perhaps he plows?

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Carbo loading

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Must be training for an indoor marathon of binge watching.

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Somerville MB

The trick is to do it on a weekday evening. There is even parking!

I went two evenings before the 2013 blizzard. It was very busy, but it was full of the organized people who knew that they were out of groceries and planned ahead. Lines were long, but fun - I took a selfie with the crowd as a back drop, which led to people doing the same screaming face while handing around phones to take the pictures. Older lady looks in my cart: "How many teen boys do you have?". Group of college kids wonders aloud "why is it so busy tonight?". It was their regular shopping night. When told of the impending storm, they immediately regressed to ten year olds, heading back into the aisles to hunt down marshmallows, cocoa, and, perhaps, a shovel.

The next morning? The Somerville FD shut them down for overcrowding.

On a weekend? I'll shop if I'm biking. That's it.

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Market Basket

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That seems like a typical Market Basket trip to me. The place is always packed.

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Not even close

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I usually shop Chelsea, but sometimes shop Reading.

Reading cannot in any way compare. Nope. For starters, Chelsea is about fifteen acres larger with about 40 checkouts.

Reading is cute though - even at noon on Sunday. Been there, done that, you have no idea.

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Everyone thinks that *their* MB is crazy

And everyone is correct.

What they don't know is that there are many LEVELS of crazy.

I used to shop at the quieter MBs when taking the boys to travel team soccer games. I was in Wilmington once, a very quiet store, with my "Medford" kids, exchanging nods with a mom and her "Somerville" branded soccer kids.

We got to the checkout, several lines open, about two to three carts deep. Person in front of me says "Wow - its really crazy in here today". Somerville and I looked at each other and cracked up laughing.

The circles of MB "crazy" for the North of Boston area are (in my experience):

Wilmington
Westford
Reading
Woburn
Burlington
Lowell
Chelsea
Somerville

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Especially the one in Chelsea

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I wonder if it ever doesn't look like this?

Side note, that place is HUGE.

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Chelsea Market Basket

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The Chelsea Market Basket is 138,000 Sq Feet. (source)

Wegman's Burlington is 135,000 Sq Feet (source)
Wegman's Medford will be 120,000 Sq Feet (source)

Chelsea Market Basket is still the largest supermarket in the Northeast.

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MB

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Crowded, buy my local Market Basket is always like that, even right before closing.

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Pendants gonna pedant

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Defcon 4 is just one step away from normal. Given the market basket comments above, this may be correct...

But I have a feeling you meant something closer to apocalypse, which would be much closer to 1 than 5.

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Not at my MB. nope

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Typical busy crowd as was posted already: same crowd as a weekend afternoon. Everyone courteous as always.

What's more is the stock boys were unloading pallet upon pallet of eggs. No shortage of milk. Two brands of bread on sale, as were some of the eggs, and Barilla pasta. Why does anyone shop anywhere else? I'll never know!

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I must live in an alternative universe

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On the usual shopping trip over the week-end, I forgot one important item- bread (technically, I bought too little bread to last the week, but that is semantic.) I rushed to the Prudential Star at lunchtime today worried that there would be only crumbs left, but no, the shelves were full.

As for the lines, it was typical for a lunch time crowd.

Now if only this alternative universe would extend to the actual storm, I'll be fine.

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DEFCON 3

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When I arrived, it was a solid DEFCON 3. (no lines really)

By the time I left and went to check out it was a DEFCON 2 (or DEFCON 4 as I originally said).

My gauge is the lines at the checkouts and how many carriage bangs I have in the aisles.

Edit: For the record, I wasn't there because of the snow.. I was there because I was out of groceries. I've been ill lately and finally felt better after 2 weeks by Saturday afternoon. But with the snow coming, I figured going mid-morning on a Monday would be better than trying to go Sunday afternoon. I guess I was wrong about that.

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Your Edit: reminds me of 1993, when I was very sick

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the week between Christmas and New Years. By early afternoon on New Years Eve, I was feeling well enough to eat something other than soup. Apart from some canned goods, there was almost NO food in the house (I had gone away just before Christmas, which is why I hadn't stocked up).

So I went to the supermarket to get some cold meat, bread, and other basic provisions. Took me about twenty minutes to get what I needed, and another hour or so waiting in the checkout line. Far worse than any pre-snowstorm supermarket chaos I've ever experienced or heard about before or since then.

And yes, I've learned the lesson - have never set foot in a supermarket on New Years Eve since that day.

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Yeah that's about right

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I was 'ill'.. more recovering from surgery. I went the weekend before surgery and got what I was told I could eat. Soups, Jello, Pudding, Apple Juice, Potatoes, Brown Rice, More Potatoes bleh. (I swear if I eat another G-d potato...)

Finally was feeling OK enough to eat more solid foods by this last weekend. And Dr told me after 10 days I could resume normal food providing a I met threshold of wellness (and I have, thankfully).. man, a Cheeseburger from the pizza shop on the corner never tasted so damn good Saturday night.

So I figured it was time to do some grocery shopping... since I hadn't really gone in almost a month now (with the exception of surgery supplies) so I was pretty much out of anything to make a complete meal.

I was going to go Sunday but my sleep pattern is pretty much whacked, so I didn't wake up until 1pm. Too late really to go, especially with the storm coming.. it was just gonna be swamped. So I opted for today. I wanted to go earlier in the morning (i.e. 8-9am) but again, sleep pattern is just whacked and woke up at 10. But I had to go.. I was down to moldy bread, some freezer burned ground beef, and a couple of stray cans of soup and potatoes.. (lots of potatoes)

I thought going earlier it wouldn't have been too terrible.. boy was I wrong. But I had to go.

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Having recently had my second cataract surgery,

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since I'm not allowed to lift any heavy bags, etc., for the remainder of the week (hopefully until Wednesday afternoon), I had a bunch of groceries delivered to me from Whole Foods, courtesy of InstaCart. I've had it done twice, and it's great. I now have some groceries.

For future references: In the event of bad weather coming up, or if it's just extremely cold or hot out, I seriously recommend this delivery company. The website is Instacart.com. Hope I've been of some help here. One can use either a credit or a debit card.

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Roche Bros Downtown

At 5:15 pm I would give it a Defcon 2. No carts or baskets, line back to the cheese.

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No more baby spinach!

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No spinach

Eastie Strong reports from the Whole Foods Market at Charles River Park:

Situation dire ... long lines and no pre-packaged baby spinach

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5:30 PM Report from a North Shore Shaws...

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At 5:30 PM tonight, here is the status of a North Shore Shaws:

Store had plenty of eggs and 1% milk. Whole milk, skim and 2% - all gone.

In the bakery aisle: plenty of bread, although there was a run on Signature Kitchens non-Pumpkin Spice bagels. There were plenty of Pumpkin Spice bagels. Only one, lonely bag of Signature Kitchens Plain bagels remained on the shelves.

E made sure that one, lonely bag of Signature Kitchens Plain bagels, was no longer unwanted. :)

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I went back! Definitely a DEFCON 1 now..

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I forgot something.. and I was bored. And I wanted my blood pressure to rise. And I wanted to see how much more of a zoo it was.

This is the express line. And for those who don't know the layout of the store. There's not much more to that aisle behind this vantage point.. maybe several facings of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and then a end cap. I really was at the end of the aisle at the back of the store when I took the photo.

People were saying when I got to the front that it snaked to the frozen food things in the back of the store.

But in typical Market Basket fashion.. the lines moved fast. Took that photo at 6:43pm and walked out of the store at 6:57pm. I even had 6 minutes before the returning bus came (I was trying to get in and get out.. I had a 25 minute window from the time the bus dropped me off, and the returning bus took me back home!

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Hah..love it (the checkout speed)

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The snaking line that still moves quickly reminds me of my local MB before Thanksgiving. organized, efficient chaos!

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I do this alot

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It's a game I play :-) I like to see how fast I can shop between inbound and outbound buses. Sometimes.. most of the time.. I'm able to get a few things and get in and out in that time frame. (typical time frame window is ~20-30 minutes)

Soon you'll be able to take the Silver Line here.

But seriously.. I can walk there in about 10, but sometimes the bus is faster. Most of the time, if I have alot to bring home. I will bus it there, and then Lyft it home. Others, I have my granny cart.

Honestly I haven't owned a car in 19 years, so I'm used to grocery shopping and lugging it home in the T.

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Hey cybah

I saw one of your MB pics on TV news - credit to @cybah

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I heard some comparisons to

I heard some comparisons to other supermarkets for crowds and size... just a few facts:

The Chelsea Market Basket:

When the temporary registers are in use they have 50 registers

Their total staffing number is around 1,300 people (including overnight stockers etc)

They have a transportation hub on the right side of the store for buses and taxi's and will soon have a Commuter Rail stop and the Silver Line will terminate behind them

When they applied for their planning permits they said it would be the largest supermarket (not taking the retail side of some of those Mega Walmarts into account) on this side of the Mississippi River (I was on the Planning Board when they moved across the parking lot.)

By my count they have at least 9 people working in the sushi department alone

During the weekends and pre storm they have so many people on site that they have a police detail on duty at the front of the store and roaming employees who are in charge of just making sure lines do not impede movement across aisles

Many thought that the opening of an almost as massive Revere MB would result in less people in the Chelsea location and it seemed to have the opposite affect. Now both are even more packed.

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