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Is your grocery store cleaned out?

No mini-marshmellows at three different stores in Bethesda. No firewood, save the fake stuff, in Silver Spring. No bananas at the Whole Foods in Rockville. No stew meat at some stores. Nothing but brussel sprouts and garlic in others. And that was just on Tuesday. On Sunday, the little Giant near my house in Alexandria was low on hot chocolate mix and had nary a hint of green produce, just a neat pile of untouched rutabagas and beets.


This is a photo the Post's Carrie Donovan took at her local store a few days ago. (No doubt the shelves have been restocked and depleted, restocked and depleted a couple of times over since then.)

The record snow storm is sending shoppers into hoarding mode - the manager at a Magruder's in Alexandria estimates she sold more than 1,000 gallons of milk on Thursday alone - but unpassable roads and runways are making it difficult for out-of-town suppliers to make it to warehouses, for trucks to deliver fresh produce and groceries to stores, and for workers to get in to restock the shelves. What's missing on your grocery shelves? Anything surprising beyond the usual milk, eggs, bread and somewhat mysteriously, toilet paper? How bad is it in the shops you frequent? Or are they doing a good job keeping up with demand under trying circumstances? Let us know!

By Brigid Schulte  | February 9, 2010; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Build-A-Story  
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I stopped by the Silver Spring Giant today before 10am and they were restocking the shelves! Lots of employees and plenty of options. The parking lot was a nightmare but the store itself is clearly well run and prepared!

Posted by: smurf0980 | February 9, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Whole Foods at Tenleytown is impressively well stocked, with the meat department looking hardest hit. Plenty of milk, fresh bread, ripe avocados, and sundries, though very limited tomato selection.

Giant at Van Ness was as of last night out of milk, packaged cold cuts, most meats, bread, but a good amount of beer and wine. ;D

Posted by: rwjc | February 9, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The Safeway at Burke Center in VA hadn't even made an effort to restock since last Thursday, when we were greeted by a cart wrangler who said "Good Luck Finding Food" as he handed out carts. We went by there last night, and the only difference was that the broken eggs were cleaned out of the empty egg case, and the onion peel bits had been swept from around the still-empty onion cart.
On the other hand, the Whole Foods on Old Keene Mill not only seems to be restocked every morning, but has plenty of everything--both on Friday morning when I went to try and make up for the dismal Safeway trip and again yesterday evening. There's no question which one is earning our loyalty this winter.

Posted by: anilcm | February 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I give A+ to Wegemans. They not only restocked immediately, but had each register manned to move the crowd. I was, however, at Leisure World Giant today. They hold the elderly hostage, prices are up and shelves are empty. This particular store has no cart returns in the parking lot. This is a contuning problem, does anybody know why? The elderly people do not take their carts back, they cart returns.

Posted by: linda_521 | February 9, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

You know Post-this is a VERY useful thread-I went online to see if there was a thread started about local grocery stores before heading out (unclogged my car about an hour ago). Man! I just got back from Vegas yesterday, and could not BELIEVE HOW UNPLOWED EVEN THE MAIN DC STREETS WERE!

Anyway, I think I'm going to walk to Whole Foods in Glover Park-but good to know that WF Tenley was well stocked.. of course, that was early this morning....if I decide to do it, I will post back-I'm mainly concerned with fresh veggies and good WF frozen seafood, like shrimp and wild caught salmon!

Posted by: arrabbiato | February 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I need Otterbein's chocolate chip and lemon sugar cookies-(Otterbein's makes THE BEST CHOC. CHIP, LEMON SUGAR COOKIES-old family bakery out of Baltimore) sold at DC Giant's and Wagshal's in Spring Valley-but I'm not going to drive there to see what I'm pretty sure is the case-they are looong gone!

Posted by: arrabbiato | February 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The Harris Teeter @Pentagon Row had almost no fruits or vegetables left, although they had fish, meat, eggs, and *some* milk. Oh, and toilet paper - always a crowd pleaser in a storm.

Tom Siestema should do an article on how to make Chinese long beans, rutabegas, and kohlrabi...although then those would probably sell out too and I'd have come home empty handed.

Posted by: pHactored | February 9, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I've been very impressed with the stores in Herndon & Reston. Harris Teeter in Reston was out of sour cream right before the last storm but that's it. Everyone else is very well stocked and constantly restocking.

Posted by: Marimom | February 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Around 1:30, Giant in Kingstowne, VA, had no milk, very little meat (except jumbo packs of chicken wings and filet mignon), and very few veggies (no cabbage, mushrooms, or squash). But for the person that said WH was out of bananas...they had plenty...but they were all green. People just laughed at the whole situation.

Posted by: kim6160 | February 9, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The Giant Food in Centreville is out of chicken. No, I mean - OUT of chicken. I have never seen that before. The Shoppers is pretty much out of flour too.

Posted by: dand187 | February 9, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Everybody - these are great reports from the field. I'd like to use some of them with your names and store locations in the story I'm writing for Thursday's web site and Friday's print edition. So email me the info if you'd like to participate (

I'm heading out to the Whole Foods distribution center/warehouse tomorrow that will be trying to fill backed up orders after all their stores were wiped out Tuesday and closed today (Wednesday.) Tried to get into Safeway's warehouse, run by C & S, but didn't get very far, and Giant said they're too busy concentrating on delivering groceries to stores that they're not accepting any media requests right now.

Keep the reports coming in! Thanks all. Brigid

Posted by: BrigidSchulte | February 10, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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