Citi.com/costco

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2010.05.26 06:02 omgwtflol Fulfilling Your Bulk Needs Since 1983

Welcome to Costco, I love you... This Subreddit is not affiliated with Costco Wholesale Corporation.
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2015.01.07 22:08 araaara Burning Miles & Points

A place to discuss anything related to redeeming airline miles & hotel points.
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2012.12.10 22:29 Ghostofazombie Churn, baby, churn!

A place to discuss credit cards to profit from sign-up offers. Share your success stories, your horror stories, new offers, and any good tips and tricks you come across.
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2023.06.06 23:26 MerryxPippin Today I find out if the past eleven years were worth it

I am NOT OP. Original post by u/sirtwixalert in workingmoms. OOP gave me permission to repost.
trigger warnings: Brief mention of child death, suicide, and abuse, but not the subject of the post

mood spoilers: Wholesome

 
Today I find out if the past eleven years were worth it - March 13, 2023
I started medical school in 2012, with the MD class of 2016; I’ll graduate this May, eleven years later, with the MD/PhD class of 2023. Four of those years were expected - two preclinical and two clinical years for the MD. Five more were added for the PhD, completed between the preclinical and clinical years of medical school. Another was interspersed throughout the two clinical years of medical school when my husband moved to another state for a three-year fellowship and I stayed behind to solo parent our daughters during most of my clerkships, and the last was tacked on as a leave of absence when COVID shutdowns and interstate travel restrictions would have kept our family separated indefinitely.
I’ve been married for 9 of those years and a parent for 7. I had our first daughter just a few weeks after I passed my PhD qualifying exam and my husband started his intern year of residency; I had our second two years later, after I had switched labs and my husband had started his final year of residency; and I had our third three years later, after I had finished most of my third year clinical clerkships and my husband had finished his first year of fellowship and the whole world had set itself on fire.
I was the primary parent, and I was parenting alone most of the time. During my graduate years, I got the kids ready and handed them off for the day, worked in the lab 9-5, and then picked them up, played with them, fed them, bathed them, put them to bed, cleaned and prepped for the next day before writing or analyzing data or reading until I couldn’t stay awake anymore. I brought my first tiny academic wingman to my first conference and gave my first presentation with her snuggled on my chest. I wrote my 243-page dissertation and prepped slides for my defense late at night with a sick child on my shoulder. During the clinical years, I coordinated early morning care for the days I needed to leave the house at 4am and late evening care for the days I couldn’t leave the hospital in time for daycare pickup at 6pm. I saved my 2 annual personal days for Halloween and the annual daycare-wide performance of the Nutcracker. I studied for shelf exams and board exams on my phone in the dark, sandwiched between two children who didn’t sleep through the night until this year and another who still wakes up at least twice a night. Most days looked like this, and many still do.
During my rotations, I stood with another mom as her two year old died and listened to a thirteen year old share the experience of her suicide attempt for the first time and played peekaboo with a four year old while my attending looked for signs of abuse more subtle than her obvious bruises and fractures and realized that I wanted to work with children and their families. I made plans to apply to three specialties that would allow me to do so – psychiatry, pediatrics, and triple board, which combines pediatrics with adult and child/adolescent psychiatry – at the hospital where my husband works, the only location that would allow us to stay where we are now. It is unusual to apply to more than one specialty, and especially unusual to apply to only one location; for each of those specialties, students usually apply to an average of around 45 programs with the goal of interviewing with around 10 programs. But my daughters have been through enough, and I will not put them through another move. So I applied to three programs, interviewed at all three, and ranked all three. At 10am today I’ll find out whether I matched, and at noon on Friday I’ll find out which specialty I matched to.
I’m too tired to even know what I want. Whether I want to match or not. Which program I want to match to. If I match, I know that the next 3-5 years of my life are largely out of my control and I will lose time with my daughters; I’m particularly sad at the thought of losing that time during the last few years that my oldest is still excited to hang out with me. If I don’t match, I’m sitting on a quarter of a million in debt without a clear path to repayment and back to square one in the finding-a-fulfilling-career game, and the time already lost in my daughters’ early years will sting even more than it already does.
I was planning to process all of this alone today, but of course it’s a professional development day for our school system so my girls will be right here with me. They know that I’m nervous, they know that I’ll probably cry no matter what the email says, they know that I’ll be both happy and sad at the same time and they know that we’ll be ok. This morning I saw my oldest looking through our giant pile of Costco greeting cards and I heard her tell my middle that she chose the one that says GOOD JOB! because “no matter what happens, mama did a good job” and my middle solemnly declared that she would stop my youngest from spilling all the cups today because “that would probably be extra hard for mama today” while my youngest calmly poured her water on the cat in the other room. These kids. My heart.
 
UPDATE: Today I find out if the last eleven years were worth it - March 17, 2023
I matched to my top choice - psychiatry! It's bittersweet, as my 7-year old told me it would be, to close the door on pediatrics, and I think a part of me was hoping to fall down my rank list to triple board (which would have allowed me to do both), but this was the best outcome for my family and ultimately for me as well. In just a half-decade or so I'll be ready to practice independently, and I'm so excited to help kids and their families and learn all of the things I should have done differently with mine!
 
OOP also added additional updates to her original post:
Edit 1: I matched!!! My oldest read the email, all three ran around screaming, and then they went and pulled out the Costco card, the extra special other cards they made, and the bag of program (but not specialty) specific swag my husband had hidden for me. I assume he had a no-match bag hidden too, so now I’m on the hunt because that one probably has more candy.
Edit 2: thank you all for your thoughts and well-wishes! One of the hardest things about adding the PhD (and then two extra other years) is that I know very few people in my graduating class, and it has been lovely to share this day with a larger community!
 
NEW: OOP responded to some common questions in the comments. For some reason Reddit keeps hiding her original comment so I've copied and pasted it here.
OOP here. My goodness, so much support and (supportive) rage. Allow me to clarify some things, particularly for folks who haven’t experienced medical training personally or vicariously and don’t understand the lack of control and sacrifice it entails.
Did you find the candy?
No, my husband was certain I’d match and had no backup plan. Of all the things to be mad about, be mad about that. Fear not, though, I had my own candy at the ready (as I always do).
Why do you have so much debt as an MD/PhD?
Because I paid for my first year and a half, about 80k in total, and that’s now 120k thanks to interest from 2012 until the loan pause. The rest is from childcare and a year of paying for both an apartment (VHCOL city) and a house (relatively HCOL area of an LCOL state, so somewhere in the middle). A resident’s salary doesn’t cover that, so we flexed my loans instead.
Why did you bother with the PhD if you were just going to practice clinically, you dumdum?
I’m in a research-track residency, and research is likely in my future, but really: because I wanted to.
What the hell is wrong with your husband, and why didn’t he make any sacrifices at all ever?
This is a tough one. I love how much more support you all want me to have, and how mad you are. I want more and I’m mad too, but I’m not mad at him so much as I’m mad at the system. This isn’t the way either of us thought things would turn out, and we’ve done our best to pivot and find a way forward that would let us balance our careers and our family (on a tightrope, obviously).
It’s also not a situation we wandered into blindly. We made conscious decisions at every step, we made them together, and we both sacrificed.
We started medical school a year apart (him first, then me), and then we got engaged.
I decided that I wanted to pursue to PhD and he supported me fully even knowing that his options for residency would be limited to our city because I would be stuck there, and that we would be doubling our most challenging years because our paths were offset.
I told him that I desperately wanted kittens, because I had always had cats and our house felt empty without them, and he helped find two to adopt despite his lifelong love of dogs and general mistrust of cats.
I suggested a total DIY wedding and a monthlong honeymoon immediately following his sub-I and encompassing ERAS (residency application) submission, and he hopped right on board.
He applied only to residencies within our extremely competitive city.
We had kids mostly just when I thought we should have kids, based on when I thought it would be best to physically carry and deliver and breastfeed and such. This included: during his intern year, during his final year of residency, and during his first year of fellowship – the first and last being possibly the very worst times in medical training to add any extra life stress, and the middle no picnic either.
He applied only to fellowships within our extremely competitive city the first time around, and when he didn’t match he worked there as a hospitalist for the year. He would have continued to do so, but he was a shell of himself and I actively encouraged him to apply again, this time more widely. I hoped that maybe I could transfer to finish out clinical rotations, or if I couldn’t transfer then I could take a leave of absence or at the very least just leave completely with my PhD.
He found out that he matched out of state, three hours away, around the time I found out that my school would not consider any of those options. I could stay, or I could leave without my PhD and with a payback bill of roughly 430k (non-MSTP).
He told me he would gladly pay back my debt if I wanted to leave, break his contract and stay if I wanted him to, or figure something else out. We figured something else out, which seemed like the best of three crummy options. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t easy, but it was a finite and doable plan that (should have) involved spreading roughly 18 months of clinical rotations out over three years. It (would have) allowed me to bring our kids to visit him for a full month every other month, and during rotations we would have (and did) see each other every weekend.
But alas, life. And COVID. I made the biggest sacrifices there, I’ll give you that. But one of us had to make money, and he was the only one who could do that. He was also the only person whose level of training made him actually useful to society during a pandemic, though that didn’t factor into my decision to take a leave of absence (which my school was suddenly totally on board with, very cool).
Those years were garbage for everyone in the world, so I won’t dwell on them. I was not ok and he was working most of the time, but that would have been true whether I took a leave with him or stayed the course without him, and we both had more time with our kids and each other than we would have otherwise.
And then he finished fellowship, and he applied to attending jobs in the very few locations that I felt I would be happy whether I matched to residency or not. Bought us a sweet old house even though it probably (ok, definitely) made more sense to rent for a while because I loved it and he knew I didn’t want to move again. Gave me the green light to make my own decisions about residency, a career change, or just some solid time away from work to decide what I wanted and made it clear that he would support whatever choice I made in every way he could.
If you’re mad at anyone, be mad at the system that’s had him working 80-120 hour weeks for the last 8 years, because for the remaining 48-88 hours he has been an engaged parent and husband even when he probably wanted nothing more than to fall into bed.
And a little bit at him, but mostly because of the candy thing.
Yeah but why couldn’t he take the kids so you could do your thing?
I mean, he could have. And he did. There would a couple months at the end of COVID when I started rotations again and he held down the fort with our older girls (the youngest came with me because she was still breastfeeding and I had the boobs), and a couple more when he had all three once she stopped breastfeeding. Beyond that, it didn’t make sense to leave the kids with him and pay a nanny or daycare there when we already had to pay daycare in my city to keep their spots.
Why did you even have kids if you don’t even see them or provide stability for them?
We like them!
Also, if you’re intentional about spending what little time you have together and also about the way you spend that time, you can create lovely relationships and foster stability even in the midst of chaos.
But mostly because we like them!
Reminder - I am not the original poster. OOP is u/sirtwixalert, who deserves all the credit.
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2023.06.02 05:18 BrownAsianDude69 Math help: Which is better to use @ Costco: Citi Costco Anywhere VISA CC or Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Costco (in store) takes Visa. Majority of our shopping is done at Costco for groceries and gas. My Mom also has Executive membership, this gives extra 2% (capped @ $1,000 per year) on Costco shopping (does not include gas or travel), we pay $120 for the exec membership/Costco Anywhere Visa.
https://www.costco.com/executive-rewards.html (mentions exclusions)
https://citicards.citi.com/usc/LPACA/COSTCO/cards/Dual/ps/index.html?cmp=kncacquire2006CARDSMSNBR&gclid=5be799b8913213ccd8c6fdc04c40ba61&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=5be799b8913213ccd8c6fdc04c40ba61&ProspectID=P182ZcuBdlqQEbaQhRLw7tpumeieePtO
Spending total for 2022: $42K
Breakdown:
Merchandise........28K
Vehicle Services...4.5K
Restaurants.........1.6K
Other travel..........575.00
Services.................5.4K
Healthcare............2.2K
entertainment.....$50.00
For 2022 we received $736.00 in cash back.
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa:
AF: $120 Exec membership
4% on gas at Costco (max $7k per year)
3% Restaurants and eligible travel ( NOT eligible are rain and commuter travel fares, bed and breakfasts, timeshares, campgrounds, and rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft)
2% on items purchased at Costco and online Costco
1% on all other purchases
NO FX fees
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chase Sapphire Preferred
AF: 95.00
Currently have 21K chase points
5x chase portal travel
2x travel (non-chase portal)
3x groceries (excludes Costco , walmart, target)
3x Dining
3x streaming (we have Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, and Starz)
1x on all other purchases
10% anniversary boost points on total previous year purchases
25% more travel points when purchased thru portal (I find the portal to be more $$ most of the time?)
No FX fees
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What are your thoughts, better to use Citi or Chase Sapphire or Unlimited? I got back $736 in cash with Citi last year.
I'm guessing using Chase Saphirre...the points transferring to airline partners would be more valuable?
We travel (six of us) to India every 1.5 to 2 years. We usually go thru Europe or middle east.
We travel within USA every April (flying and hotel)
We take driving trips every june, july, aug, and sept and stay in hotel...(usually Marriott or Hilton) hyatts seems hard to come by.
I apologize for the long post, any help is appreciated.
submitted by BrownAsianDude69 to Costco [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 00:55 Superb-Ad4997 Wildflower Weekend Wedding - Budget/Recap May 2023

This subreddit allowed me to plan our wedding. I am so grateful and found these breakdowns especially useful, and now a cathartic experience for me and hopefully a way to give back!
Photos
First step that helped us the most was deciding as a team early on what we wanted our wedding to bring to us and our future.
We were inspired early on by This Post and the comments.
We have both been through a lot of life and have a lot of gratitude for the people that have gotten us to this point and wanted to make space to celebrate with all of them in a big way. This inspired the rest of our wedding planning, committing us to a big guest list, requiring a big venue. We invited 304 people (154 households), 179 RSVP’d yes, and had ~10 no-show. Our family and friends live all over the country and some abroad, so we decided to pick a location close to us, but that had multiple houses on site to host our family/bridal party for the weekend (thurs-sunday; saturday wedding) so that we could have more time with those people closest to us.
Total: $69,407 (MCOL area)
Venue: $28,250 “Weekend Package”
Additional Lodging: $3965
Paper: $845
Decor: $992
Florals: $2322
Food: $8133
Alcohol: $3752
DJ: $1925
Photography/Videography: $9839
Clothing: $3930
Other: $3349
Tips: $770
Our wedding was amazing for us. It felt like an event that truly encapsulated who we are as individuals and as a couple, and that chance to celebrate with so many people we love was priceless. It felt like all the spreadsheets we’d worked on for the last 2 years turned into reality. This is the main master spreadsheet I used:
Google Spreadsheet Wedding Planning
It’s created from all sorts of different helpful spreadsheets I found here and from other wedding websites. The “Checklist” really doesn’t start until I realized how easy it is to get lost in needing to capture so many personal little details that would keep me up at night feeling like they were slipping through the cracks. But if you’re starting from the beginning, you will need to include the big ticket “check boxes” that are in the budget portion. Hopefully it can help some others! Happy planning Weddit!
submitted by Superb-Ad4997 to weddingplanning [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 00:07 BrownAsianDude69 Math help: Which is better to use @ Costco: Citi Costco Anywhere VISA CC or Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Costco (in store) takes Visa. Majority of our shopping is done at Costco for groceries and gas. My Mom also has Executive membership, this gives extra 2% (capped @ $1,000 per year) on Costco shopping (does not include gas or travel), we pay $120 for the exec membership/Costco Anywhere Visa.

https://www.costco.com/executive-rewards.html (mentions exclusions)
https://citicards.citi.com/usc/LPACA/COSTCO/cards/Dual/ps/index.html?cmp=kncacquire2006CARDSMSNBR&gclid=5be799b8913213ccd8c6fdc04c40ba61&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=5be799b8913213ccd8c6fdc04c40ba61&ProspectID=P182ZcuBdlqQEbaQhRLw7tpumeieePtO
Spending total for 2022: $42K
Breakdown:
Merchandise........28K
Vehicle Services...4.5K
Restaurants.........1.6K
Other travel..........575.00
Services.................5.4K
Healthcare............2.2K
entertainment.....$50.00
For 2022 we received $736.00 in cash back.
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa:
AF: $120
4% on gas at Costco (max $7k per year)
3% Restaurants and eligible travel ( NOT eligible are rain and commuter travel fares, bed and breakfasts, timeshares, campgrounds, and rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft)
2% on items purchased at Costco and online Costco
1% on all other purchases
NO FX fees
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chase Sapphire Preferred
AF: 95.00
Currently have 21K chase points
5x chase portal travel
2x travel (non-chase portal)
3x groceries (excludes Costco , walmart, target)
3x Dining
3x streaming (we have Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, and Starz)
1x on all other purchases
10% anniversary boost points on total previous year purchases
25% more travel points when purchased thru portal (I find the portal to be more $$ most of the time?)
No FX fees
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are your thoughts, better to use Citi or Chase? I got back $736 in cash with Citi last year.
We travel (six of us) to India every 1.5 to 2 years. We usually go thru Europe or middle east.
We travel within USA every April (flying and hotel)
We take driving trips every june, july, aug, and sept and stay in hotel...(usually Marriott or Hilton) hyatts seems hard to come by.
I apologize for the long post, any help is appreciated.
submitted by BrownAsianDude69 to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 21:50 LightAcolyte No Annual Fee 3.33% Effective Cashback Everywhere up to $6k/yr, 3-4% Discount/Wholesale Stores, 5.25-5.55% Home Improve Stores and 3-5.25% Online Shopping Category Credit Cards

Some notes on things I don't see covered yet in the "List of Best Cash Back Cards by Category" post (and for the last set the "List of Flat 1.5%+ Cashback Cards") for credit cards that I'm posting here until the list(s) can possibly be updated. I think these would be helpful to others so hopefully they help someone in the meantime.
  1. The list includes UMB Simply Rewards Visa, yet not for all of its categories, like 3% discount stores also covers all wholesale clubs like Sam's Club, Costco and BJ's.
https://dannydealguru.com/umb-simply-rewards/
  1. The list doesn't have a category for Discount Stores such as UMB Simply Rewards (3%), Huntington Voice (3%) and Huntington Voice Business (4%) include.
https://www.umb.com/personal-banking/credit-cards
https://www.huntington.com/Personal/credit-card/voice-rewards-credit-card
https://www.huntington.com/SmallBusiness/voice-business-credit-card
  1. The list doesn't have a category for Home Improvement Stores such as Citi Custom Cash (5.55% w/ Rewards+) and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards (5.25% with Preferred Reward max. {$100k+ assets} and its many co-branded cards it still has like the American Quarter Horse Association or Susan G. Komen available to anyone) include.
https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-custom-cash-credit-card
https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/cash-back-credit-card/
https://www.aqha.com/bank-of-america
https://www.komen.org/livepink/pink-ribbon-banking-card/
  1. The list doesn't include a category for Online Shopping such as Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards (5.25% with Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors {$100k+ assets} as well as, again, the co-branded versions) or the American Express Blue Cash Everyday (3%) include (and while these categories aren't identical between the two, other categories like Grocery, Restaurants and Utilities in the list include cards that don't have identical definitions of what falls under those either and are simply noted as such in the tables so I'd think this could be done similarly?).
https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/cash-back-credit-card/
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/blue-cash-everyday/
  1. The list includes "category" cards of 3%+ yet not cards without an annual fee that give effective 3%+ cash back everywhere (which I think are especially useful when 3% category spend gets capped at lower limits than these or some other options on the list, and so it's handy to know the other options for those categories where there aren't as many cards available as well) like:
  2. A. FNBO FordPass Rewards Visa (3.33% effective cash back as statement credit on $6k spend annually, plus more if you have any use for the rewards like an oil change at the local dealer even if you don't have Ford vehicles)
https://www.card.fnbo.com/ford
https://www.card.fnbo.com/lincoln
https://www.logixbanking.com/loans/credit-cards/platinum-rewards
https://www.fnbo.com/small-business/credit-cards/evergreen
submitted by LightAcolyte to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 19:35 AWierzOne Weekly Development round up - 6/1/23

Dick's House of Sport proposed for Amherst Commerce Park (buffalonews.com)
Under a proposal by Benderson Development Co., Dick's House of Sport would open a 120,000-square-foot store alongside an 18,516-square-foot fenced playing field with a track, bleachers and a scoreboard. Other House of Sport locations feature indoor climbing walls, putting greens, virtual golf bays, food and nutrition markets, batting cages and a "House of Cleats" specialty footwear center.
Construction Watch: 368 Sycamore Street - Buffalo Rising
Work is underway to convert a former warehouse building into the local offices of Bitwise Industries. Douglas Development is undertaking the project. The three-story, 32,698 sq.ft. building was constructed in 1949 and was most recently occupied by Concept Logistics... Bitwise’s facility will include classrooms, space for its own business, a daycare center, café, and additional space for other companies to co-locate there.
Buffalo's restaurant news for May: 5 closings, 14 openings, 14 projects underway - Buffalo Business First (bizjournals.com)
(This isn't really development news but I'm happy a Fatty's is coming Amherst).
Jemal prepares to close on Mohawk Ramp, begin redevelopment (buffalonews.com)
Douglas Development Corp. is hoping to complete its purchase of the Mohawk Ramp from the city within the next two months and then embark on a multi-year redevelopment of the parking garage and several nearby buildings that used to belong to Simon Electric Co.
Jemal won the right to redevelop the ramp following a request-for-proposals issued by the city, which is seeking to make better use of its assets. He plans to restore and upgrade the ramp before adding two more levels of parking, with 300 additional spaces, followed by four floors of apartments on top. That $45 million project will result in a mixed-use building with 927 total parking spaces underneath 200 residential units.
At the same time, Jemal intends to redevelop the seven former Simon properties located nearby on Ellicott, Huron and Oak streets. He purchased those properties – with 8,0500 square feet of existing building space on 1.8 acres – in October 2021 from Bert Simon for $5 million, before he won the Mohawk bid. Now he wants to spend another $110 million to put in 350 to 400 apartments there as well, along with 15,000 square feet of retail space.
ECIDA approves tax breaks for TM Montante project at Gates Circle medical office (buffalonews.com)
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency has approved $108,500 in tax breaks for a $3.5 million project by TM Montante Development to turn a mostly vacant former Gates Circle medical office building into 12 residential apartments and office space for a group of therapists that are currently the only tenants.
submitted by AWierzOne to Buffalo [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 01:01 Timeraft [F4A] Ex-Mafia Bartender Shares Her Past [Reverse Comfort] [Acquaintances to Lovers] [Older Woman][Protective] [Tough] [Crime] [Ex-Con] [Prison Life] [Regrets][Good to Monetize and Modify!]

Thanks u/TheWickedQueen_ for the commission!
This was a six dollar commission so once the commissioner gets a crack at the script it becomes public for anybody that wants it!
I've always kinda disliked the "sexy mafia dude/gal is all into you" cliche. I've always felt that criminals are either romanticized or demonized in fiction, like a slightly less creepy Madonna vs Whore complex. As somebody that grew up in an area with a lot of Ex-cons I wanted to make something more down to earth and explore what its like to be an ex-con a little bit ( I think I've just watched The Wire too much lol).
Also this city isn't based on any real place although I think its probably in the American rust belt somewhere. Its named after the city from Revolt of the Cockroach people
Archive: https://www.reddit.com/ASMRScriptHaven/comments/x9hb9v/script_archive/
If you like what I'm doing swing by my Ko-Fi! And DM me if you want a commission of your own! :https://ko-fi.com/timeraft
You've been coming to this seedy hole in the wall bar for a while, and it's not exactly for the food or the ambiance. No, it's because you've got a massive crush on the former-criminal-turned-bartender who runs the place. You know she doesn't see you that way, but for now, you're happy just to spend time with her and listen to her stories. But today, you'll realize just how badly she's misunderstood your intentions.
Dialogue
Context
SFX
Listener is a quiet shy type living in the inner city(probably early to late 20’s). Speaker is an ex mob boss turned bartender(Probably mid-30’s-early 40’s). They like spending time with the listener and telling stories, but they see a little more of themselves in the young person than they’d like.
And how's my favorite little regular customer on this hot summer night?
You feel that south wind blowing up Saginaw Highway? All hot and dry and smelling like the smog that usually stays way down in the valley? That means it's gonna be a scorcher. So make sure you stay hydrated tomorrow.
Rough day eh? I suppose I can relate. I admire you for sticking it out though, for what it's worth I never could myself. I never took to working, and I paid for it.
I’m surprised you don't have anywhere better to be. What I wouldn't give to be your age again, all alone just before sunset in the dog days of summer. You sure there's no pretty girl out there, just waiting on you to show up at her door and ask if she’s too busy for a little dancing?
No girl? Is there a boy?
Not that either eh? A good looking little thing like you with no place better to be than my little hole in the wall bar. Makes me wonder what you’re really after. I don't suppose you’re here for my pretty face either.
Sets glass on bar
Drink up kid, it's on the house. Finish it up and leave. Don't come round here no more.
Don't give me that look. It's not anything you did.
Listen, you're a good kid. You don't want to hear this, but you’re innocent. Pure as fresh fallen snow. I’d kill to get half of that innocence for myself.
I know you’ve figured out that my regulars are all criminals or ex-cons, they come in here to take a load off. Or sometimes talk shop. I don't care about them, they’re all too far gone for somebody like me to be able to pull them back, but I can stop you at least.
This isn't a place for somebody like you. So finish your drink. And leave.
You remind me of a younger me. The dissatisfied ambitious youngblood, who felt like they weren't going to get anywhere in life unless they were willing to take serious risks.
I spent a lot of time in a place just like this, trying to rub elbows with the people I looked up to.
I told you all the stories before, but what the hell, how about a refresher.
It took a while, but I got in and I was pretty good at it.
Real good.
There was a time not too long ago where I ran this whole neighborhood. Ran the numbers game for a while, that was safe but the returns weren’t the millions I dreamed of so I moved on to more dangerous stuff.
Turned out I was good at that too. Too good. People got hurt. I need you to understand that.
I hurt people. A lot of people. More than I ever got punished for.
And it got me what I wanted. Power. Money. Respect. Fear.
It couldn't last though. You can never be on top all the time.
The sheriffs and the staties couldn't touch me, but I got sloppy with my money and the revenuers locked me up. That's typically how it goes.
I spent ten years in Terre Haute, eight behind bars and two working at the baking powder factory. When I got back to Tooner Flats everything I built was gone, all I had left was this building. I’d never even been inside before. I just used it to launder money.
You ever spend any time in a prison? I know you’re aware it's not a fun time, but you know what really kills you? It's not the gangs or the guards. It's the boredom.
Time slips away from you, but also seems to pass so slow that it's like trying to carve your name in dry cement.
You try to keep your feet on the ground, but you can't all the time.
You get up in the morning at 6, get counted at six fifteen, eat your oatmeal at six thirty, grab a full eight assembling office furniture for the feds. Two hours of rec time, outside if you’re really well behaved. Eat dinner, green Jello on fridays, red Jello every other day. Bed inspection. Choose between the library or the movie. Go to your bunk, lights out.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I went mad for most of year four, came back around to something close to sanity in year six. I never really fully recovered though. I cant really complain I suppose, I deserved to be in there. A lot of people have been in there a lot longer for a lot less.
Here, I want you to try something
Opens a bag of chips and pours them into a bowl
This is a brand of chips they had in the canteen out there in Indiana. You can't normally get this brand outside of prison. I picked up a few bags on ebay because every now and then I find myself craving it. They’re flavored with whatever flavor dust the day shift at the chip factory didn’t use up, so they’ve got a lot going on. Try a couple.
Crunch
Kinda gross right? Wayyyy too much flavor and it all clashes weird. It's like licking the floor at Dollar general.
But believe me. They hit differently when you’re wearing orange and black.
When everything feels and looks the same day and day out, you start craving sensation. Any sensation. This absolute overload of flavor felt like heaven. The closest I ever saw to a riot was the saturday they opened the canteen without a fresh stock of these.
You go a little crazy in there. Just looking for anything to silence that steady drumbeat of monotony. I got really into the twilight books when they were coming out. I know somebody that spent a long time in solitary who spent their time touching cold metal, waiting for it to get warm, letting go and touching it again when it got cold again. Anything to break up the void.
When I look back at those two years where I was on top of the world, they weren't worth it. They weren't worth my time in Indiana. I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did.
Downs a drink and slams down the glass
My dad won't even talk to me now.
He was a nurse, down at the VA clinic on Cleveland Boulevard. It’s closed now, I think they tore it down and built a Costco. Back when I was a kid it was still seen as emasculating for a man to take that job, but he was good at it and it paid enough for him to raise me on his own after mom died. I felt ashamed though.
He was a good honest man, and I spent my childhood ashamed of him. And then threw away everything he ever gave me to pursue life as a bigshot.
I tried to visit him the other day. He lives in a trailer park on the other side of old highway nine, way down in the valley now. I could see him in there, on his chair watching the hockey game.
He could see me. I knocked and we made eye contact, but he never stirred from his chair.
I suppose I’m dead to him,and I don't blame him. I just wish to god I wasn't.
So finish that drink and leave. If I see you around again I’ll break your arms.
Listener swears they don't come around because they want to be criminal
Oh no? You’re not in the market for a life of crime? Why do you come around then? Riddle me that. I know it's not for the drinks, I can't mix a cocktail to save my life, and I know it's not for the company. What are you an undercover cop or something?
My stories? You're pulling my leg! I’m just old and full of shit. Next thing you're gonna say you’ve got some sort of crush on me.
Listener does not deny it.
No
Nooooo
Oh god. You’re kidding.
Hysterical laughter
What in the name of Peter and Jane is wrong with you!?
Look at me. I’ve easily got ten years on you. I'm going grey and getting wrinkles.
I’ve got callouses from the prison shop and dark circles around my eyes that won't go away no matter how much I try to sleep. My hands are cold and my face is sad. Little kids cry when they see me at the grocery store.
You deserve some passionate young woman with stars in her eyes. Mine are just empty and tired. I don't have passion in me anymore.
Hell I don't even do anything anymore. All I want to do at the end of the day is make myself some oatmeal and watch the rerun channel. You can do better.
You can do a lot better.
I really can't talk you out of it?
Well who am I to deny you the right to make terrible choices? You can't say I didn't warn you about me. You damn fool.
I’ll tell you what. This place is dead tonight, what do you say we go dancing?
On one condition. You stop hanging around here. If this works it works and we’ll hang out someplace else. And if it doesnt I dont need you floating around like a sad little puppy.
Deal? Good
They kiss the listener on the cheek.
Go back home and clean up a bit, I’ll go upstairs and do the same. It’s ballroom night at the Falcons lodge. I haven't danced in ages and I want to see if I’ve still got it. We’ll see where that south wind takes us from there.
I’ll see you in an hour. On the dot. If you panic now and stand me up I might straight up break your legs.
God you’re an idiot
-30-
submitted by Timeraft to ASMRScriptHaven [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 23:54 Formal_Pea9167 I Watch Paige's Week At Home Blog So You Don't Have To, I'm Serious The Vlog Is Like An Hour Long Don't Do This To Yourself

A day late but we're here, my little cheeto eaters! Remember as always to grab your bingo cards and let's get our little long weekend slumber party going. This whole fucking thing is FORTY MINUTES LONG, you're all lucky that my sibling who was supposed to spend the day chilling at my place has apparently forgotten that plan.

submitted by Formal_Pea9167 to PLSnark [link] [comments]


2023.05.25 00:24 Magic_Cubes Can I Plant a Burning Bush Next to a Gas Line?

There is a patch of dirt in front of my house on the sidewalk that grows weeds and looks hideous. It doesn’t help that dogs keep pooping there and nobody picks it up. I called 811 and nobody came by for several days so I figured whatever, I’ll plant a burning bush from Costco there. I bought one yesterday, planned to plant it tonight after work, and guess who showed up to mark the utilities today! There’s a gas line there.
Can I still plant the burning bush? I’m reading they have shallow roots and gas lines are usually 18-24” deep. My plan was to water in the burning bush, spread clover around it, and leave it alone once it’s established. I’m in zone 6a-7b and we have hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. My goals are 1) make it not look like trash, 2) make it harder for dogs to poop there, and 3) not have to maintain it often. My other thought is to put a huge rock there, but I already bought the burning bush and I feel like it needs a plant 😅
Note: The city says no permit is necessary to plant on the sidewalk but they do specify what plants are allowed. Burning bushes are allowed as a general rule. They had no comment about the gas line. I want something I won’t have to water after it’s established.
Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/7EOBffS
Edit: there’s already two very old, well established rose bushes over the gas line by the house. These have deep roots. If the burning bush is a problem then I’m guessing these are a problem? I really don’t want to get rid of them. This is south facing and summers are over 100F here. Picture: https://imgur.com/a/6RAV0CS
submitted by Magic_Cubes to homeowners [link] [comments]


2023.05.25 00:07 Magic_Cubes Planting Shrub Over/Near Gas Line?

There is a patch of dirt in front of my house on the sidewalk that grows weeds and looks hideous. It doesn’t help that dogs keep pooping there and nobody picks it up. I called 811 and nobody came by for several days so I figured whatever, I’ll plant a burning bush from Costco there. I bought one yesterday, planned to plant it tonight after work, and guess who showed up to mark the utilities today! There’s a gas line there.
Can I still plant a burning bush? I’m reading they have shallow roots and gas lines are usually 18-24” deep. My plan was to water in the burning bush, spread clover around it, and leave it alone once it’s established. I’m in zone 6a-7b and we have hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. My goals are 1) make it not look like trash, 2) make it harder for dogs to poop there, and 3) not have to maintain it often. My other thought is to put a huge rock there, but I already bought the burning bush and I feel like it needs a plant 😅
Note: The city says no permit is necessary but they do specify what plants are allowed. Burning bushes are allowed as a general rule. I want something I won’t have to water after it’s established.
Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/7EOBffS
Edit: there’s already two very old, well established rose bushes over the line by the house. These have deep roots. If the burning bush is a problem then I’m guessing these are a problem? Picture: https://imgur.com/a/6RAV0CS
submitted by Magic_Cubes to gardening [link] [comments]


2023.05.23 18:26 loveorlocation Help me make the biggest decision of my life choosing schools.

Please help me choose a school between new DO + SO vs. established DO.
We are both non-trads close to 30M, 30F with the intent to couples match. My hopes are to settle down in the PNW, Chicago, or New England. I am most interested in EM, but am open to other primary care. Given that I finish after 35+, I most likely want a 3-year residency program.
KansasCOM (Wichita, KS)
Pros
Cons
Western U COMP-NW (Lebanon, OR)
Pros
Cons
Summary: As I am from Chicago, I thrive best in communities with large BIPOC LGBTQIA+ communities. But Portland is a 3-hour round trip from COMPNW. I'd go once a month max. Mountains and beaches are not a need, but a want. Please remember that we are already 30M/30F, and want to have kids throughout residency.
Questions
For current med students: How much do you value emotional support?
For PGYs or attendings: in hindsight 20/20, what would you have chosen if you were me?
If I go to WesternU COMP-NW, if one of us goes, would that increase our chances of settling down in the PNW?
Can any Western-COMP NW alums here chime in?
FAQ:
Where would you go if you were single?
WesternUCOMP-NW

Thank you if you've made it this far!
submitted by loveorlocation to premed [link] [comments]


2023.05.20 20:09 veg4npoutine Best place to stay in Mexico this July? (e.g., in Peurto Vallarta)

These are the ones I had in mind after looking at Costco packages:
  1. Puerto Vallarta: The Westin Resort
  2. Puerto Vallarta: Marriott Vallarta
  3. Puerto Vallarta: Hilton Vallarta Riviera (all-inclusive) - this was my top choice until I was told that the beach is narrow and rocky, and I also read this post about how bad the building is. I also read that Riveria is isolated and outside of the city.
  4. Puerto Vallarta: Fiesta Americana (all-inclusive)
  5. Occidental Nuevo Vallarta - All-Inclusive (newly added)
Notes:
Questions:
submitted by veg4npoutine to puertovallarta [link] [comments]


2023.05.18 23:16 dylster13 Local Option Election

I’m trying to judge the interest in circulating a petitioning to hold a local option election to allow for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption only.
Basically this means that liquor stores will now be allowed in Garland.
I’m tired of driving to and giving my tax dollars to other surrounding cities when I want to make a margarita or drink a whiskey at home. Also, big box stores such as Costco have indicated that they won’t come to cities unless they are allowed to sell liquor.
It will take ~20,000 signatures from registered Garland voters on the petition within 60 days to get it on the ballot in November.
GarlandLOVE.com
Thoughts?
submitted by dylster13 to garland [link] [comments]


2023.05.17 04:47 Meanderingmochi Iceland Trip Critique Request 23F Solo Trip Research

Hi all, I've been scouring google search terms, "reddit" to help plan my trip and have found this sub so helpful! If you wouldn't mind, could someone check me on the logistics of my potential trip since I'm sure the map size looks smaller than it is in person.
Length: 5-7 days - whatever would let me process and soak in the sights without breaking the bank - Last few weeks of september or first week of october
Day 1 - Recover from flight
Day 2 - Drive up to Snaefellsnes Peninsula ~3h
Day 3 - South Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Drive down
Day 4: Vik and Diamond Beach
Day 5 - Gently Make My Way East
Day 6
Day 7 - Time to Go Home
I'm fairly flexible for the most part and have tried to narrow down the sights that I previewed on google maps, but if things are illogical, I am ok shifting the plan. Please any input or told experiences would be appreciated! Thank you in advance!

edited: date specifics
submitted by Meanderingmochi to VisitingIceland [link] [comments]


2023.05.13 22:24 imenmyself1234 Next credit card recommendation

I have Discover, Citi DC and Amex hilton no fee card. Thinking of getting a new credit card to maximize cash back (thinking about grocery/fastfood/gas) Prefer fixed category based rewards than rotating. (At max i'd like to have max 5 credit cards in total. ) Please don't recommend any annual fee card.
Discovery and Citi DC Spending by Category: https://imgur.com/a/14m7LfN https://imgur.com/a/ZZsmCFF
These may not reflect my 2023 properly, i guess grocery, gas spending might increase in 2023 onwards.
CREDIT PROFILE
* Current credit cards you are the primary account holder of: Discover 5%, Citi DC, Amex Hilton no fee
* FICO Scores with source: Close to 800
* Oldest credit card account age with you as primary name on the account: 4yr 10mos
* Number of personal credit cards approved for in the past 6 months: 0
* Number of personal credit cards approved for in the past 12 months: 1
* Number of personal credit cards approved for in the past 24 months: 1
* Annual income $: 115000
CATEGORIES
* OK with category-specific cards?: YES
* OK with rotating category cards?: Maybe (don't prefer)
* Estimate average monthly spend in the categories below.
* Dining $: rarely dine-in, lots of fast foods specially value menu.
* Groceries $: if in hurry usually Walmart, if not Sam's Club. Sometimes Costco
* Gas $: Sam's Club if not very far n i have time. If in hurry, cheap random station on gasbuddy.
* Travel $: flight travel some year zero, some year maybe few. usually i do roadtrips on my sedan 25miles/gallon avg., stay on cheapest bedbug free hotel via priceline or hotpads. Car rental, lyft/uber is very rare. I usually do contract/project salaried job which usually lasts 4-6months or maybe a year, then it may take me couple of months to get another project, during this gap i usually drive for ubelyft instead of doing some hourly job.
* Do you plan on using this card abroad for a significant length of time (study abroad, digital nomad, expat, extended travel)?: maybe as i'm an immigrant (would be nice to have a no FTF visa on my portfolio)
* Any other categories (examples: phone/internet, insurance) or stores (example: Amazon) with significant, regular credit card spend: online shoppings i do at amazon, ebay, and others.
* Can you pay rent by credit card? If yes, list rent amount and if there's a fee for paying by credit card: not interested in signup bonus/churning. yes i can pay rent but they charge $40 or so i guess.
MEMBERSHIPS & SUBSCRIPTIONS (delete lines that don't apply)
* Current member of Amazon Prime?: no
* Current Verizon postpaid customer?: no
* Current member of Costco or Sam's Club? Both but go to Sam's more as its near
* Currently paying $13.99/month or more for Disney Bundle (Disney+ / Hulu / EPSN+) or other Hulu services? no
* Current member of Chase, US Bank or any other big bank?: Chase, Alliant CU
* Active US military?: no
* Are you open to Business Cards?: (these are an option if you have any kind of side gig, such as selling on eBay or Etsy): no
PURPOSE
* What's the purpose of your next card?: to maximize cash back on grocery/fastfood or gas
* do you have a preferred airline and/or hotel chain? no, i usually book cheapest bedbug free hotel via hotpads or priceline. or sometimes maybe Marriott
* Do you have any cards you've been looking at? no, prefer cards that are unlikely to be nerfed down (i'm looking at you redstone fcu)
submitted by imenmyself1234 to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.13 13:00 scottymtp No real standout cards for those in the game

For those not super new to this, what cards do you have or plan to get that you are you excited about?
None really seem to standout to someone like me with multiple cards. For me, some of the below seem in the running for my next step, but curious to hear about everyone else's wallet
  1. AMEX Bonvoy Brilliant and Chase Ritz Carlton for the 85k certs
  2. Citi AA Exec has Admiral club access
  3. CSR but current SUB is weak
  4. AMEX Hilton Aspire with Diamond and 150k point SUB maybe
  5. BofA 2.625% cashback setup with ML funded accounts
  6. Charles Schwab Plat AMEX
  7. Barclays AA Red for instant 50k AA pts
  8. Alaska Air business for companion ticket
Edit: For some context in discussion about my wallet.
Active Cards:
Status (or soon to be):
Other notes:
submitted by scottymtp to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.12 18:49 scottymtp Help me map a plan for my next cards

CREDIT PROFILE
Current credit cards you are the primary account holder of:
Credit Overview
CATEGORIES
MEMBERSHIPS & SUBSCRIPTIONS
PURPOSE
Do you have any cards you've been looking at?
Really want option for lounge at DCA and C1 VX doesn't have any options currently. Priority pass w/ restaurant benefits would be decent instead or in addition.
Contemplating the below:
  1. AMEX Bonvoy Brilliant, then PC Chase Marriott Bonvoy to Ritz Carlton for the 85k certs and SUB for brilliant then sock drawering
  2. Hilton Aspire since it would be cool to have max status at 4 hotels (soon to be Hyatt Globalist) and has 150k point SUB then sock drawering
  3. PenFed Pathfinder for 4x cashback or going all in on CSR, or maybe there
  4. BofA 2.625% cashback setup with ML funded accounts
  5. PenFed Pathfinder for travel 4x or something better?
  6. Charles Schwab Plat AMEX
  7. Citi AA Exec for Admiral club access at DCA
  8. Barclays AA Red for instant 50k AA pts
  9. Alaska Air business for companion ticket if they ever have 70k plus SUB
So as you can see my head is all over. I'm at 3/24 w/ Chase. Haven't brought Player 2 into game much.
What would you do if you were me and are there other cards I should check out.
submitted by scottymtp to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.12 14:23 MariaKudos Credit Card News and Deals Roundup: Week of May 8, 2023

Credit Card News and Deals Roundup: Week of May 8, 2023
TD Launches Two New Cards and Spruces Up Existing Offerings
https://preview.redd.it/pl5g5npx7eza1.png?width=1094&format=png&auto=webp&s=8d0eb67dd25a5f51361983bd7f7f7f1739fc7fce
This week, TD Bank introduced two new credit cards and updated the rewards on two of its popular cash-back cards.
New Cards
The TD Clear Card
https://preview.redd.it/dk802vy08eza1.png?width=280&format=png&auto=webp&s=404adf87547c0492d7d2779b902996fe1dce5c71
The TD Clear is a different twist on a credit card. Instead of being charged an interest rate, cardholders pay a monthly fee for their credit line with a fixed minimum payment amount. Aside from that fee, there are no foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees, late fees, or balance transfer fees. There are also no rewards, so if you’re looking for a card that’ll pay you back, this isn’t the one.
There are two flavors of the card, offering two different credit lines (both pretty low). You can choose between:
If you have trouble sticking to a budget and want a streamlined and simple fee structure, this card could be a good choice for you. If you pay your credit card off in full each month or carry a small balance, pass on this card. There’s an annual fee in the form of a monthly charge, plus no rewards.
TD FlexPay Credit Card
https://preview.redd.it/2m9nb9e38eza1.png?width=278&format=png&auto=webp&s=2fe7868562469a8cfd2613deeaf56c07d3f67435
The TD FlexPay Credit Card is for those who crave more flexibility in paying off their credit card, offering cardholders the chance to skip one card payment per year without penalty (although interest is still charged on the balance). It comes with a long introductory 0% APR for 18 months, which puts it on par with balance transfer heavyweights like the Citi Diamond Preferred Card (21 months), Discover it (18 months), and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card (18 months). If you need to consolidate your debt from other credit cards, you could consider this route. LIke the TD Clear Card, this card doesn’t have any rewards. Unlike the TD Clear Card, however, it doesn’t carry an annual fee.
Both cards do come with cellphone protection, which is a nice perk. Cardholders can get up to $500 per claim to repair or replace their damaged or stolen phone, as long as they charge the phone bill to the credit card every month. It is capped at $1,000 per year and there is a $50 deductible per claim.
Updates to Existing Cards
TD Cash Credit Card
https://preview.redd.it/uwirsd858eza1.png?width=282&format=png&auto=webp&s=b85ed2f6d7a83d09d0348e2c07bfd642d6766a2a
The TD Cash Credit Card has updated its rewards! Previously, the card had a 3-2-1 rewards structure:
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 2% cash back on groceries
  • 1% cash back on everything else
Now cardholders can choose their 3% and 2% cash-back categories and change them each quarter, with no spending caps or limits to what they can earn. Eligible categories include:
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Travel
This puts the card squarely in competition with the popular US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards cards, both of which offer cardholders the ability to choose their reward categories as well. It’s nice to see more issuers going toward flexible rewards!
TD Double Up Credit Card
https://preview.redd.it/18x4xup68eza1.png?width=283&format=png&auto=webp&s=d6a84ae004d2474f41ae5c110fd1325046cbdcd7
Are you looking for a straight cash-back option that’ll earn you a flat 2% on every purchase? In the past, the TD Bank DoubleUp Card required cardholders to deposit into an eligible TD account to earn 2% on their purchases, or else they would just get 1% back in rewards. Now the card earns 2% on all purchases, broadening its appeal to people who don’t have other TD accounts. It’s not the first card to offer 2% though. The Citi Double Cash has been offering this rewards structure for almost a decade.
Capital One + MLB All-Star Game = Free Tickets to Play Ball Park
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Are you a Capital One cardholder and interested in Major League Baseball All-Star weekend? You’re eligible to receive up to 4 free tickets to Play Ball Park, which is part of the MLB All-Star weekend July 8-11, 2023 at Lumen Field in Seattle. The ticket unlocks access to meet baseball legends, take a photo, get an autograph, see the World Series trophy, and more. You just need to claim your tickets!
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Citi To Offer Buy Now, Pay Later Credit Card
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Citi is gearing up to launch a new credit card to compete with existing buy now, pay later models like Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and PayPal. Dubbed the Citi Pay Credit Card, it will only work in-store with retailers that partner with Citi to offer promotional financing for products. That’s all the information we have now, but we’ll be sure to update you as soon as we hear more news.
Deal of the Week: Buy Annual Costco Membership, Receive a $30 Costco Cash Card
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Are you in the market for a Costco membership? Now is the time to take the plunge. When you buy a Costco 1-Year Gold Star Membership from StackSocial for $60, you’ll receive a $30 digital Costco Shop Card, effectively cutting your annual membership fee in half. Keep in mind that this is only applicable to new members or members whose memberships have been expired for more than 18 months.
We'll return next week with the hottest credit card news and deals!
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2023.05.12 02:03 loriwalk3r Mod Exposure Smyrna, GA Smart Circle

Posting again with more censoring in hopes it doesn't get taken down again. All links provided are to public information.
I originally found the job posting on Indeed listed as "Event Marketing Assistant" in Atlanta, GA. The ad was targeted toward recent grads and those looking for entry-level positions in the marketing industry. I was hired in early January 2022 by “CEOs” N****** N**** and M****** R****** and relocated to Atlanta for the position until I ultimately abruptly quit in March 2022. The job didn't include any sort of health or medical benefits and paid $600-$800/week as it was listed, but I only ever made upwards of $400 a week even though I was told I was doing great within the company and was moving up in the ranks. We worked 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, and typically worked long hours. You either made commission or $10/hr, whichever was higher, which ended up being the $10/hr every time. They claimed they would reimburse you for travel when taking a business trip with the company, but failed to mention that was only if you were the one driving to said location.
I should’ve initially known it was a sketchy company by the interview process. The first round of interviews was on Zoom and it was me and like 5 other people on a call with the “CEO” N******, which I initially thought was odd that the CEO would be interviewing at least for the first round. Everyone else in said interview was relatively quiet while we mostly talked briefly about ourselves and our skills and goals. We were told that several hundred people applied and they were only hiring 3 new people (possibly 1 I can’t remember). In the second round when they discussed the company they noted several things that I thought sounded off. They said that as far as their history they were formed in 2020 and had made $1.8 Million in revenue. If you look at https://www.georgiacompanyregistry.com/companies/mod-exposure-inc/ you can see that Mod Exposure wasn’t founded until January 08, 2021. They claimed they’d reached 99+ stores, represented over 20 clients, we're partnered with 4 Fortune 500 retailers, were in 3 states, and reached 15+ cities. None of which added up. They said they would then call you for a third round interview which was a phone call which was when I think they offered me the job.
I went on three business trips during my time at Mod Exposure, two to Auburn, AL, and one to Valdosta, GA to promote the app Moocho. During the trip, we stayed in a hotel provided by the company. These were very rundown hotels and on the invoice I saw they had only paid around $60 a night for our stay. On one particular trip to Auburn the hotel we stayed at was so sketchy that the door to our room didn’t even close all the way making it impossible to lock. We both felt like we were in a very unsafe and uncomfortable situation but were forced to tough it out. In this scheme, we had to go up to customers in Winn-Dixie (walking up to them randomly in the aisles) and promote the app Moocho. Our goal was to get the customer to use Moocho to pay for their groceries that day by putting their credit or debit card information on the app, and the deal for signing up and paying with Moocho that day was you would save $5 off your groceries in addition to the 10% cash back you earn from the app. Keep in mind you couldn’t use EBT with this app and the locations we were at had lots of customers paying with EBT that were not eligible for the discount. Management told us this was our fault that we were making more sales and that we should convince people paying with EBT to use a debit or credit card to be able to use the app. We were also sent phone numbers of upper management to contact to ask for advice to “do better” in the field and we faced very harsh criticism from them telling us that we simply weren’t working hard enough.
They marketed the position as an events/marketing position when in reality I was selling Sheex sheet sets in Costcos around the Atlanta area upwards of 2 hours from both my home and their office. They made you show up to early morning meetings to discuss sales and marketing tactics to trick customers into buying the products. We had to bring notebooks to take notes on everything said in such meetings. In these meetings, you were required to dress in business professional attire (which I didn't have and had to go purchase to attend the meetings). I remember one time a girl was reprimanded for wearing a cardigan because it wasn’t business professional. In these meetings, we were forced to memorize sales pitches that we then had to go home to study as the next day we were required to write the entire pitch on a whiteboard in front of our peers. We also learned “sales processes” and “marketing tactics” in these meetings that we were also forced to recite. These included the 4 systems which were 5 Steps to a Conversation, FUGI, The Law of Averages, and The 8 Steps. We were also forced to write these on a whiteboard and present the information in front of peers.
After the meetings, we would go to “the field” for the day. We were divided into two groups, those who sold Car Keys Express at Sam's Club, and those who sold Sheex at Costco, I was of the latter. We were taught to approach/engage with every single customer that came within eyesight. The commission was split equally between everyone working that day, so even if you made the majority of the sales you were barely compensated. The rate of compensation also varied based on the product you were working on.
To become a campaign manage enter into “leadership” you had to have several co-workers "under you" which is where it starts to sound like an MLM/pyramid scheme. They claimed you would begin at entry level, and rank up to Campaign Mange“leadership” after 4-6 months, which I did after 2 weeks. These other employees would be under your "supervision" and their sales would count toward your progress in ranking up. Once you had a certain amount of people under you you qualified for the position of Executive Regional Manager where they claimed you oversee territories, oversee 3-5 events, and oversee 10-20 employees. This is the part where you “become your own boss” and become the new “CEO” of your company.
We were constantly having meetups with the team after work hours, unpaid, and were forced to talk about work-related topics. For example, we would have team nights, which seem innocent and fun at first. You could invite your partners or friends, which no one ever did might I add, and we would all attend an event together. One of the ones I went to while I worked there was at a Karaoke place and they still wanted to talk business during the event. They always wanted to know your goals with the company.
Additionally, they called you several times a day and expected you to be worried about work on your off days, which were Monday and Tuesday might I add. You would have daily check-ins with your supervisor where they would call you and ask you how the day went and how you could do better. They expected you to go to unpaid events such as team nights, leadership chats, 1-on-1s, and talk about work during all of these.
I finally quit when I wasn't feeling well so I told N****** I wasn't going to make it to a business conference (unpaid) and she reacted very negatively telling me and I quote that it was "not a good look" that I missed the conference. When I told her “Listen I really don’t feel good today I need the day off” she directly responded with “Yikes!”, which I found very unprofessional.
The "CEO" N****** has listed on LinkedIn that she's worked for Mod Exposure only since June 2021. Before that, she has listed on her Facebook that she worked for Tier 1 Event Management in Sacramento, CA. This company also seems like a similar MLM from what I've gathered from their Glassdoor page. On N******'s LinkedIn she has listed that she worked as a CEO for The North Point Executives from August 2018 until June 2021. This company also seems like an MLM from what I've gathered on Glassdoor. Their address listed on https://www.georgiacompanyregistry.com/companies/the-north-point-executives-inc/ happens to be the business address of Mod Exposure found at https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/BusinessSearch/BusinessInformation?businessId=3210679&businessType=.
The owners, N****** and M******, have worked for previous similar companies that give off major MLM vibes. After much research, I have also found that the “CEO” (who is also listed as the business’ CFO, incorporator, Secretary, and agent via https://www.bizapedia.com/ga/mod-exposure-inc.html) has been sued by the Department of Workforce Development for a labowage claim in August of 2021 in Milwaukee County Courts. More information about this can be found at https://wcca.wicourts.gov/caseDetail.html?caseNo=2022UC005570&countyNo=40 =. She also has a “branch” of Mod Exposure in Jacksonville, FL as of September 20, 2021, as seen at https://www.bizapedia.com/fl/mod-exposure-inc.html.
The other Mod Exposure “CEO” M****** R****** is listed as the CEO, CFO, Incorporator, and Secretary for the company 32 Innovations, Inc. Said company’s address is the same as the address for Mod Exposure, Inc. This information can be found at https://www.bizapedia.com/ga/32-innovations-inc.html.
A former co-worker that began working at the company shortly after I did that also excelled fast in the company, C**** H****, has since moved up in the company and become an “owner” and works with Car Keys Express in Jacksonville, FL. Since then he knows is the “President” of PTD Promotions, the same company under a different name. This information can be found at https://www.bizapedia.com/fl/ptd-promotions-inc.html.
After further investigation back into old emails I have found an email regarding the Sheex teardown instructions that have a logo for Smart Circle on them along with an email and phone number address for Smart Circle if you need assistance with the teardown process. I now understand that Smart Circle is a part of Devil Corps, which more information about can be found at https://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com. Additionally, I suggest you watch the documentary “The Slave Circle” on Youtube as it explains the job down to a T. You can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCRzBt7GuY. I’m assuming all of the said companies are under the parent company Smart Circle and have since changed names due to legal issues.
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2023.05.08 14:23 just-read1ng Newsletter 1 - APRIL 2023 Part 1

I thought i just start with a newsletter showing the most recent news i found here
Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/prices-may-be-up-but-fewer-shoppers-are-cutting-down-on-grocery-purchases/648051/
While the share of shoppers who said they bought fewer groceries dropped to 32% in February from 41% in October 2022, the data indicates that people have nevertheless been taking active steps to mitigate the impact food costs are having on their finances.
Sixty-eight percent of shoppers in the survey said their grocery spending was more than it was a year ago, up from 59% in 2022, and the vast majority of those people (85%) blamed that additional spending on rising prices.
Although grocery inflation has been slowing, it remains sharply elevated, according to U.S. government statistics.
More than half of respondents (52%) to the survey said they are looking for deals more than they did in the past, an increase of 5 percentage points since last October. Notably, 31% buy items only when they are on special, up from 27%. Thirteen percent of respondents said they have stopped buying organic products, and 14% have reduced their purchases of fresh produce, although both of those figures were below their levels in October.
In addition, the percentage of people who buy less fresh meat or seafood than they did before has trended downward, while the proportion who buy more of those items frozen has increased, suggesting that shoppers are looking at myriad strategies to manage costs while keeping their homes stocked with food.
Shoppers have also been buying more items in bulk in person, increased their purchases of products carrying store brands, and stepped up their use of loyalty programs, according to the research.
Some 15% of shoppers said they eat out less often, a behavior shift the report pointed out generally pushes people to buy more groceries. Still, spending on food in restaurants outpaces grocery spending by a margin of 53% to 47%, according to the report.
The poll, part of FMI’s ongoing U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends survey, was conducted from Feb. 1-14 by The Hartman Group and reflects responses from 2,105 shoppers.
The survey also found that people visited an average of 5.2 grocery stores in February, up slightly from 4.9 during the same period in 2022. In addition, consumers are placing greater importance on quality perimeter goods — especially produce — and accurate pricing information in choosing where to shop.
The report noted that although worry about COVID has fallen to its lowest level since the early days of the pandemic, a third of shoppers remain “extremely” or “very” concerned about the disease.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/h-e-b-central-market-unveil-credit-cards-with-new-perks/648008/
While the cashback feature is the main one that H-E-B is spotlighting, the grocer also noted that the cards have additional benefits, including instant access to a virtual version of their card; personalized travel and lifestyle specials; and, for eligible participants, no impact to their credit score.
The announcement noted that neither card has an annual fee and that customers get the 1.5% cashback not only by shopping at H-E-B but also for all other Visa-eligible purchases at other vendors like movie theaters, gas stations online retailers and more.
H-E-B Group Vice President of Marketing Ashwin Nathan said in the announcement that the new credit cards are part of the Texas grocery company’s efforts to offer “innovative, quality programs” that help shoppers save.
“With the H-E-B and Central Market credit cards, we’re offering Texans a more rewarding shopping experience that provides savings wherever they shop and gives H-E-B and Central Market fans a premium benefit on their favorite products,” Nathan said.
Along with the two new Visa Signature Credit Cards, H-E-B launched last September its H-E-B Debit Card account, which lets customers access several benefits and perks such as 5% cashback on H-E-B private label items.
That same month, DoorDash and Chase announced plans to launch a DoorDash and Mastercard credit card — a first for the e-commerce service provider.
Chase also partnered with Instacart to launch a co-branded credit card last month.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/wakefern-boosts-executive-ranks/647919/
Less than a month after naming its next president, Wakefern Food Corp. has announced additional updates to its executive ranks.
The retailer-owned cooperative said Monday that Elena Kabasinskas has been named group vice president of strategy, planning and transformation. In the role, she will oversee key business processes and future-focused strategies like the deployment of new technologies.
Kabasinskas has worked for the past two years as an industry consultant, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, she worked at The Estée Lauder Companies, where she was most recently senior vice president in the company’s Global Transformation Office and Special Projects — a role in which she “led strategic initiatives that drove growth, efficiency, and transformational change,” according to Wakefern’s announcement.
Kabasinskas also led financial and business operations for the cosmetics maker as senior vice president of strategy, finance and business services in North America. In all, she spent more than 25 years at The Estée Lauder Companies, according to her profile.
“[Kabasinskas] will play an important role as we look to further fuel growth across our entire business. Her deep experience in process improvement and business transformation will be pivotal as we look internally to strengthen our own operations and meet the challenges presented by a new digital world,” Joe Sheridan, Wakefern’s president, said in a statement.
Wakefern also announced that Michael Day, who joined the company in 1999, has been promoted to senior vice president of strategy, business development and architecture. In that role, Day will lead strategic planning across numerous business units and will oversee information technology, real estate, business development, member services and strategic transformation strategies.
Kabasinskas will report to Day, Wakefern noted.
Last month, Wakefern announced that Mike Stigers, who formerly headed United Natural Food, Inc.’s retail division, will become its next president, effective June 1. He will fill the role currently held by Sheridan, who announced his retirement last year after nearly five decades with the company.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/lunds-byerlys-artificial-intelligence-computer-vision-phood-food-waste/648031/
Phood’s technology and feedback will give Lunds & Byerlys employees the ability to scan and weigh food as it is added to the grocer’s deli food bars and then again before food is thrown away, according to the press release. With this data, the grocer can make changes to ensure less food is wasted by providing shoppers with the proper food offerings at the right time.
Phood’s solution is a combination of hardware and software that automates food waste tracking for food retailers, according to the announcement.
Aaron Daly, vice president of strategic development at Ecology Action and previously principal at the Ratio Institute, noted in a recent interview that Phood’s system informs store employees and managers of what was bought for different departments, where it’s all going and what it’s costing the grocer. This in turn makes it easier for grocers to know what to order less of, said Daly, who is familiar with Phood from the Ratio Institute’s work with the company.
“It’s a real-time management tool that’s very powerful, saves money [and] reduces food waste,” said Daly, who was also a former director of energy management at Whole Foods Market.
The Monday press release credits Lunds & Byerlys with being the first retailer in the Twin Cities to adopt Phood’s food waste management solution. Along with the food waste reductions estimated with the company’s technology, Lunds & Byerlys has a partnership with Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Rescue Program and also donates food to local pig farms. The grocer said it is stopping nearly 6 million pounds of food from becoming waste annually, the press release notes.
In Coresight Research findings released last June, 90% of surveyed grocers considered food waste reduction to be key to meeting corporate sustainability targets. However, 51% of surveyed retailers said they do not have the technology needed to prioritize this sustainability initiative while 52% said they lacked management support for effective food waste reduction.
“The gap right now, I think, is that grocers need guidance on how to find the best tools and how to integrate them into their businesses,” Daly said.
Grocers often rely on partnerships with companies like Too Good To Go and Flashfood, which sell food that would otherwise go to landfills for a discounted price, to bolster food waste efforts. But more food retailers are beginning to integrate technology, like artificial intelligence, that will help with management and better limit food waste.
For example, SpartanNash at the end of last year began piloting Afresh Technologies’ predictive ordering and inventory management system at 10 Family Fare stores in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area with the goal of improving forecasting, procurement, inventory control and food handling to decrease food waste.
Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this report.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/giant-eagle-resumes-printed-flyers-cleveland/647923/
The announcement that Giant Eagle is adopting what is essentially a hybrid approach to notifying Cleveland customers of promotions comes several months after the supermarket chain reportedly stopped sending printing circulars to customers in the Midwestern city.
Giant Eagle did not provide specifics about why it elected to again send a paper version of its weekly flyer to shoppers in Cleveland.
​​​“We are committed to putting our customers at the center of everything we do to ensure we provide what is most important to them, and what they want most right now is high-quality products at a good price,” Brian Ferrier, senior vice president of merchandising for Giant Eagle, said in a statement.
The grocer also did not indicate if its decision would affect other markets where it operates, but local media reports in Pittsburgh, where Giant Eagle is based, said the chain plans to start distributing printed circulars to homes in that region in May. The retailer ceased sending paper circulars to households in Pittsburgh in March, according to a report by WTAE.
In that city, Giant Eagle is facing stiffer competition: Walmart recently surpassed Giant Eagle as the top grocer in Pittsburgh as measured by market share, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this month.
Data indicates that shoppers have been showing declining interest in purchasing groceries online as they continue to deal with inflation, suggesting printed circulars could resonate with shoppers looking to connect with supermarkets without having to head online. Consumer rights advocates have urged retailers to find ways other than digital channels to deliver promotions to the millions of people who do not have internet access or are not comfortable using online tools.
Giant Eagle’s move back to printed circulars follows its appointment of a new CEO last month, when the retailer summarily ousted its longtime leader, Laura Shapira Karet, without saying why it had decided to part ways with the executive.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/grocers-sustainability-bottom-line-investors-analysts/646069/
This story is the first in a three-part series on how sustainability ties into grocers' bottom lines.
Kroger has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into its Zero Hunger, Zero Waste sustainability initiative, yet when the supermarket company’s leaders answer questions from industry analysts about its financial results, the expansive environment-focused program doesn’t typically come up.
Top managers of other publicly traded food retailers that also highlight their sustainability programs, such as Ahold Delhaize and Sprouts Farmers Market, also don’t often field questions during earnings calls about their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, even as metrics like same-store sales and earnings per share are top topics of discussion.
That disconnect stems from the fact that while paying attention to the planet might be laudable, demonstrating the connection between sustainability and the bottom line remains a substantial challenge for the supermarket industry, according to analysts.
“You hope companies are doing the right things, but I don’t think as of right now people are going to go, ‘Oh, your sales and earnings were not good and they look ugly, but you're doing good things in sustainability, so we're going to reward you for that,’” said Brian Yarbrough, a consumer research analyst for financial services firm Edward Jones. “We're just not in an environment where that is today, and I don't see that in the foreseeable future.”
Many investors are also skeptical about claims companies make about their sustainability-related goals, in part because of a lack of standards governing the way they measure and report that information, Yarbrough said. That means that aside from fund managers who are specifically focused on putting money into companies based on what they can discern about their ESG progress, there is relatively little interest in using programs related to taking care of the environment as a way to judge a firm’s performance, at least for the time being, he said.
“There’s nothing there like GAAP data or accounting where it says, ‘OK, this seems believable, this is how they’re going to get there,’” said Yarbrough, who tracks retailers including Target, Walmart, Costco, Amazon and Dollar General.
Scott Mushkin, CEO of R5 Capital, shared a similar view. “It’s hard to delineate between the companies that … are looking at ESG through the lens as you would look at any investment in a business, and those that are just doing it to dress the company up to satisfy the latest trend” instead of as a way to improve underlying business fundamentals, Mushkin said.
The fact that companies track and report their progress toward sustainability-related goals differently is a central reason why analysts are paying relatively little attention to that information, said Arun Sundaram, a senior equity research analyst for CFRA Research who tracks the grocery sector.
“In the financial statement universe, you have standards, and then auditors make sure that every company is following the standards,” Sundaram said. “But there’s not something like that right now for ESG. The criteria are different, and there’s no standardization. We’re still very much in the early stages of ESG reporting.”
Efforts are underway to develop standards for how companies report aspects of their performance related to the environment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into ways to standardize how companies describe climate-related risks that could materially affect their performance to investors in regulatory filings and other documents. As part of that initiative, the agency has proposed laying out specific requirements for how companies disclose details about their greenhouse gas emissions to investors — potentially paving the way for companies to include metrics about sustainability in their earnings statements.
Private-sector groups like the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation are also working to harmonize the way companies communicate with investors about sustainability-related financial information.
“As a CEO, you have to care and want to do better for the environment and do things that will help the environment, but you also can’t just be throwing a bunch of money at it without any type of return, because you will get penalized for that by investors.”
Brian Yarbrough
Consumer research analyst, Edward Jones
Sundaram and Yarbrough said while their firms have taken steps to guide investors who want to take sustainability and other aspects of ESG into account when making decisions, they remain focused on using basic accounting principles to make recommendations.
Sundaram noted that his firm relies on an automated scorecard developed by in-house quantitative specialists to benchmark companies on their progress relating to ESG, adding that he doesn’t usually touch on sustainability in writing reports about retailers he follows.
Yarbrough said Edward Jones subscribes to an ESG-scoring service so it can provide guidance to investors who ask for it. But he emphasized that most investors are much more concerned with traditional financial measures when they decide where to deploy their funds — and expect company executives to focus on those metrics, too.
“As a CEO, you have to care and want to do better for the environment and do things that will help the environment, but you also can’t just be throwing a bunch of money at it without any type of return, because you will get penalized for that by investors,” said Yarbrough.
While traditional investors might not be ready to use ESG metrics as a way to judge companies’ performance, sustainability and marketing experts said firms that demonstrate a commitment to the environment nevertheless stand to benefit because shoppers are increasingly paying attention and climate change is directly impacting their operations. Investors are taking notice of that dynamic in the relationship between consumers and grocers.
“Understanding the importance of embracing sustainability … is really the next wave of total quality management,” said Chisara Ehiemere, senior research lead of return on sustainability investment at the Center for Sustainable Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Ehiemere continued: “If you're going to be thinking long term, if you’re going to be making sound business decisions, you're thinking about sustainability opportunities. You're thinking about the benefits from the consumer lens, you're looking at the risks, you're thinking about resiliency.”
The connection between a retailer’s commitment to sustainability and its prospects as a business also plays out in the types of goods it offers to shoppers, data the NYU sustainable business center recently collected in conjunction with consumer behavior analysis firm Circana suggests. Circana was formed in 2022 through the merger of Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and The NPD Group.
Shoppers have been gravitating toward sustainability-marked products more quickly than conventional goods, and these products’ market share grew to 17.3% of purchases in 2022 despite the high inflation pressuring consumers, according to NYU and Circana’s Sustainable Market Share Index, which takes into account sales of products in 36 categories.
Rising interest among shoppers in buying sustainable products emphasizes the key position grocers play in helping people demonstrate their commitment to the environment through their buying decisions, said Randi Kronthal-Sacco, a senior scholar of marketing and corporate outreach at the Stern School who helped direct the research.
“For a retailer in particular who's interested in growth, which is sustainable products, and the future consumer, they should be gravitating towards sustainability in a big way,” Kronthal-Sacco said.
Doug Yolen, Circana’s vice president for center of store, said the data is a sign for retailers that their public commitment to sustainability will play a growing role in attracting shoppers in the years to come.
“Knowing the channel and the audience who the grocer is talking to is critical for them to be successful,” Yolen said. Whether they are shopping in a store or online, shoppers “really do get into the nitty-gritty when it comes to looking at grocers as a sustainable shopping in-store experience.”
Increasing shopper interest in buying sustainable food from retailers that make environmental stewardship a priority — combined with the savings retailers can realize by taking steps to use natural resources more efficiently and cut waste — underscores the importance for retailers of focusing on the environment and taking concrete steps to broadcast their achievements, said Sandeep Patnaik, a professor of marketing at the University of Maryland Global Campus School of Business.
“If companies, including grocery stores, are to survive and to be sustainable themselves in terms of the bottom line, then they have to have this conversation” about their commitment to sustainability, he said.
The efforts retailers make to position themselves as the sources of environmentally friendly products shoppers want, build sustainable supply chains and cut waste from their operations, Patnaik added, are “music to the investors’ ears.”
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/wegmans-self-serve-coffee-pilot/647906/
Wegmans’ is looking to brew up new coffee options after recording a decrease in morning traffic at its in-store Buzz Coffee Shops, which are staffed by the grocer’s workers, according to local reports.
In a statement to News10NBC, a Wegmans spokesperson said that coffee-brewing technology “has come a long way” and noted that the new self-serve machines use “our same high-quality coffee beans and offer a similar menu” to what customers can find at Buzz.
It’s unclear when the pilot started and how long it will last. Wegmans did not respond to media inquiries from Grocery Dive by publication time.
“As always, we’ll monitor the success of this new program, and continue to evaluate the future of our coffee shops as we move forward,” the Wegmans spokesperson told News10NBC.
The grocery industry has seen foot traffic rise as pandemic restrictions and concerns have eased, though high gas prices have cut into some of those trip gains. The grocery sector saw a 3.1% drop in foot traffic in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, according to Placer.ai.
The self-serve coffee pilot comes at a time when grocers are figuring out how to balance automation with their workforces in areas like checkout, service departments and e-commerce fulfillment.
Wegmans has a history of innovation and trying out new concepts to bolster its business, with stores around its headquarters in Rochester often serving as testing grounds. Earlier this year, the grocer started piloting smart carts from Shopic at two New York stores — one in Amherst and another in Rochester. The grocer also recently launched an online tool called “Feel Your Best” to help shoppers plan balanced meals and build healthy eating habits.
Wegmans has also not shied away from making tough choices to benefit its bottom line. Last year, it decided to end the use of its scan-and-go shopping app three years after launching it at a Rochester store.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/grocers-launch-new-snap-benefits/647927/
The regional grocer’s new benefit launched on Monday and is accessible to SNAP participants via Giant’s pickup and delivery services orders, according to the press release. The grocer noted the program is tapping funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Nearly 150,000 of our Baltimore neighbors are impacted by the hunger cliff. This is an important step to help address the effects of the loss of SNAP Emergency Allotments and support families’ nutritional needs,” Michael J. Wilson, the director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, said in a statement. “Making sure our residents have access to healthy, affordable food is a step toward combating food insecurity.”
Eligible Baltimore shoppers who want to take advantage of the program through Giant Pickup have nine stores to choose from, according to the press release. Orders placed from Tuesday through Thursday do not have a delivery fee, while shoppers will be charged $3.95 per order at other points in the week.
The Harvest Market project is overseen by the nonprofit San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, the announcement notes, and the instant rebates are provided to participants who earn matching dollars when they buy California-grown fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can earn up to $60 in rebates per month at the grocer’s Fort Bragg and Mendocino, California, stores.
The grocer began participating in the incentive in early March and will continue to do so until the CalFresh pilot project ends in December, according to Harvest Market’s press release.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/coborns-to-buy-sullivans-foods/647827/
Coborn’s has agreed to acquire Illinois grocery chain Sullivan’s Foods in a deal that will add 11 stores to the Minneapolis-based retailer’s operations and mark its expansion to a sixth state, according to a Thursday press release sent by email.
Terms of the deal, which is on track to close in early May, were not disclosed.
Coborn's said it plans to continue operating the locations it is absorbing under the Sullivan’s Foods banner and intends to hire all of the approximately 800 people employed by the family owned company. Corborn’s also intends to continue Sullivan Foods’ relationship with Associated Wholesale Grocers, according to the announcement.
In addition to the 11 grocery stores Sullivan’s Foods in northern and central Illinois, the company runs three Ace Hardware Stores, a warehouse and a convenience store that includes a fuel center.
“The Sullivan family has run their family of stores with great care and is a highly respected retailer,” Chris Coborn, chairman and CEO of Coborn’s, said in a statement. “We look forward to extending the same operating philosophies in these locations that have made us successful for 102 years – investing and training for our people, supporting our communities and investing in our stores to improve the experience for our guests.”
With the addition of the Sullivan’s Foods locations, Coborn’s will include 77 supermarkets in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois and Michigan. The retailer, founded more than a century ago, also owns liquor stores, fuel centers, pharmacies and a franchised restaurant unit.
Sullivan’s Foods began operations in 1967 with a single grocery store in Savanna, Illinois, on the state’s border with Iowa.
Coborn’s deal to acquire Sullivan’s Foods follows its purchase in late 2021 of Tadych’s Econofoods, a six-store Michigan chain. In 2018, Coborn’s acquired North Dakota-based Hornbacher’s from United Natural Foods, Inc.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/why-albertsons-gave-o-organics-private-label-makeove647729/
As Albertsons aims to continue evolving its private brands to better resonate with consumers, the grocery company has recently revamped its O Organics line with redesigned packaging.
The new look taps into bright colors and keeps the identifiable “O” in the logo but gives it a modern take, Brandon Brown, senior vice president of Own Brands at Albertsons, said in an interview. The brand only carries products that are USDA-certified organic, non-GMO and grown without synthetic pesticides.
“O Organics always has a look and feel that our customers recognize, but, to be honest, it’s stale,” Brown said about the former look. “It kind of has this farmhouse, old-farming feel to it and it’s just not who our customers are today.”
Consumer testing found that customers primarily recognize the big “O” and bright colors, and that they wanted a more contemporary design, Brown said, noting Albertsons is going for “fun but still familiar” with vibrant colors and modern elements.
“I love the way it looks now because it is bold purple and these really bright colors that just pop on shelf,” Brown said. “And it just stands out, especially [since] a lot of organic and natural products have this kind of a little bit of dull look.”
Launched by Safeway in 2005, O Organics was one of the first store brands to focus on natural and organic items. Following that chain’s acquisition by Albertsons in 2015, the line has spread across numerous banners but has mostly retained its focus on a “very natural, close to the farm” approach to branding, Brown said.
That strategy risks looking out of touch with shoppers, particularly as specialty store brands like Kroger’s Simple Truth and Whole Foods’ 365 have streamlined their looks and become powerhouse sellers for those companies.
While organic products have long had a reputation as better for people and better for the environment, in recent years organic has gone more mainstream as concerns linger over affordability and access.
During the past nearly two decades, O Organics has grown in both sales and the number of products, now totaling more than 1,500 items including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meats, cage-free certified eggs, snacks, baby food and more. In 2018, the store brand achieved the $1 billion sales milestone, becoming the fourth Albertsons private brand to do so.
The redesign is also coming at a time when consumers have flocked to private brands for not only cooking and hosting events at home, but also to save money during months-long high food prices. Thanks to innovation across the grocery industry, private brands are no longer just seen as lower-cost alternatives, Brown said.
Brown pointed to Albertsons’ imported pasta sauces under its Signature Reserve line and Soleil line of flavored sparkling water as areas where the grocery company has shone with innovation and unique offerings.
The O Organics redesign was “well underway” when Brown started at Albertsons in November after more than a decade at McKinsey & Company. The rollout of the new look is currently happening category by category across the grocery company’s store banners, which include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Jewel-Osco, and will be completed this year, Brown said.
To accompany the introduction of the new look, Albertsons has updated marketing materials and a social media campaign. Three 15-second videos are each devoted to spotlighting specific traits of the brand: affordability, availability across store aisles and timelessness.
“O is for Organics in every aisle,” reads one marketing visual.
In a bid to reach younger consumers, who are “driving a lot of growth” in O Organics, Brown said, the grocer’s #WakeUpOrganic social media campaign this April links to the grocer’s Organic Breakfast month promotion. The campaign is asking people to spotlight their favorite organic breakfast foods.
“Organic foods really started with fresh produce but now consumers are making entire meals using organic ingredients,” Brown said. “So breakfast is a great example where organic food spans across milk, dairy, coffee, cereals, granola and more. And brands such as O Organics have made that more affordable, more accessible.”
In recent years, Albertsons has added plant-based frozen meals to its O Organics line. The grocer has its eye on further private brand innovation in the frozen category, particularly around ethnic flavors, Brown said.
“Frozen food is always been a big category and [we’ve] started seeing a lot of innovation from more ethnic cuisines” such as Asian and South American options, Brown said.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/online-grocery-shopping-habits-vary-by-where-people-work-report-finds/647810/
Remote workers are 25% more likely to order groceries online at least once weekly, while hybrid workers are 31% more likely to do so despite those groups potentially having more time for the errand of shopping for groceries, according to the Morning Consult report.
By comparison, in-person workers are only 14% as likely to order groceries online at least weekly.
In addition to purchasing groceries through online channels more frequently, roughly 70% of remote and 66% of hybrid workers claim they got all or most of their groceries this way while only 44% of in-person workers rely on online grocery shopping for the bulk of their groceries. In addition, remote and hybrid workers typically turn to apps for grocery shopping as well as meal planning, the report noted.
The Morning Consult report says these results are partially demographically driven as remote and hybrid workers are most often parents and high-income individuals — demographics that lean the most towards online grocery delivery.
Shoppers’ daily schedules are another factor the report considers, specifically in terms of car travel. Workers already set up at home find it more convenient to have their groceries delivered than to make a separate trip out, according to the report.
While a number of consumers continue to rely on online grocery shopping, grocery e-commerce sales dropped 7.6%, to $8 billion, in March, according to Brick Meets Click and Mercatus findings released last week. This decline is largely due to inflation still having a tight grip on shoppers and their buying habits.
Of the households that placed online grocery orders for pickup or delivery, 44% stated that “not paying more than necessary” was a key factor in determining the service used, per the Brick Meets Click and Mercatus report.
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Link: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/walmart-us-chief-merchandising-officer-charles-redfield-exits/647836/
After three decades, Redfield is leaving Walmart.
Redfield replaced Scott McCall, who retired from the chief merchant position in January 2022.
Redfield started his career with the retailer as a cashier at Sam’s Club while attending college at the University of Arkansas. There, he was roommates with Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Redfield went on to become an assistant manager with Sam’s Club and progressed to further leadership roles within operations and merchandising. By 2010, he was named chief merchandising officer for U.K. subsidiary Asda, and two years later became executive vice president of merchandising for Sam’s Club. Redfield eventually became executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S. and held that position prior to his current role of CMO for Walmart U.S.
“Whether they’re shopping online or in stores, his focus has been ensuring customers can always find the items they need and want at the lowest possible prices,” Furner said in the memo. “Especially as inflation started skyrocketing, Charles and team have worked hard with suppliers to lower prices and give value to customers when they’ve needed it most. He’s built a world-class diverse team that is on track to deliver for the business.”
In a recent post on LinkedIn, Redfield said that his merchandising team was working hard for its customers who look to Walmart for low prices. “I think it’s a truly exciting time to be at Walmart,” he wrote.
The big-box retailer, which has over 5,300 locations, reiterated earlier this month at its annual investor meeting that Walmart’s inventory sits within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population. Furner called the company’s stores “the key nodes” in its omnichannel operation.
By the end of fiscal year 2026, Walmart said it expects about 65% of its stores will have automation capabilities, 55% of its fulfillment center volume will move through automated facilities, and unit cost averages could fall by some 20%.
Over the past few weeks the company has been going through rounds of layoffs at distribution centers around the U.S., totaling over 3,000 workers so far.
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2023.05.07 07:47 RadioactiveJello_ New Ice Cream Vendor Start Up in Colorado

Hi, folks of the foodtrucks community!
I'm a college kid starting up my own little ice cream cart this summer. I'm doing this in the Denver area with a small mobile cart. I've done a little research, but I have a few questions for the ice cream truck veterans out there!

1.) Sole Proprietorship
Since I will be the business owner and I don't plan on having any employees, I was planning on going that route. I won't have very much equipment, just a really cheap cooler with a DIY umbrella & menu setup. I'm trying to do this little start-up as cheaply as possible (for now) since I'm a broke college kid.
Does anyone recommend a cheaper website to file for a Sole Proprietorship? I started an application on govdocfiling.com but backed out once I saw the $350+ price tag. I'll just be using my name as the company name, to eliminate more hassle. I understand it might take a few bucks to get a registered business, but $350 is still quite a bit for me.
2.) Ice Cream Suppliers
I need something to sell, so I'm planning on going the route of packaged ice cream bars (novelty ice cream?). Now I have tried to do as much research as possible to find a vendor, but apparently, local ice cream vendors can be hard to find! Local restaurant food suppliers don't seem to carry the type of ice cream bars I plan on selling, although I could be wrong. I also have the option of just buying from regular bulk grocery stores, like Costco, but that doesn't give me any variety and leaves a smaller profit margin.
Ice cream trucks of the Denver area, what suppliers do you use? Or what national suppliers are available? I tried goodhumor.com but it looks like their website is completely broken and the search for distributors page isn't working (goodhumor.com/us/en/store-locatodistributor.html).
3.) Public Events
My town does a lot of summer festivals and farmers' markets. I know food trucks get a lot of business during these times, and I expect an ice cream cart would be no different.
How do you start a relationship with these cities as a vendor? What is your normal rate for a spot? (Hopefully, a little cart instead of a big truck wouldn't get charged as much).

Sorry for all the questions. If you don't feel like answering all of them, I'd still love to hear your input on one!

Thanks for the support!
-AC
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