When Morgan and I met in 2007, we were “localvores”. Our community was so tight knit that we didn’t have to go far to get what we needed: we drove the local CSA’s delivery into town in exchange for fresh veggies; we designed and printed the bags for our favorite cheesemaker in exchange for, well, cheese; and the list goes on. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not hippes, I mean, the mall was only blocks from our downtown apartment – it just meant we didn’t have to drive there!
Despite our preference for knowing the people who made the things we consumed, there was no getting around the big box store. It showed up every once in awhile for things like laundry detergent. And, like, air mattresses. Full Disclosure: I love Home Depot. There, I said it. Anyway, when Morgan was building out the new printshop, she was doing research where the cheapest shelves were, and where to get rubber gloves at a bulk rate. This inevitably led us to Sam’s Club, because she was outfitting an entire shop that served hundreds of people a month and had to do it on half a dime.
My first trip into Sam’s Club was about a year ago. I’ll never forget that first smell of rubber from the new tires they were selling, and the giant ceilings that seemed to reach to the heavens and were filled to the top with palates of shrink-wrapped STUFF. I was amazed that some of the stuff they sold there – Bose speakers? Really? Chicken? Hmm. Accompanying Morgan on her printshop supply trips became more of a spectacle than a need, but I was along for the ride.
I don’t remember when they told us, but our friends Jeremy and Joe, who have a similar secret affection towards big box stores, were talking about Costco having a liquor store that you didn’t need a membership to buy from. This intrigued us, because for the wedding we were thinking of only having wine and beer, which we were assuming we’d just talk to our family members and friends who work in the business and could maybe get us a good deal. BUT this opened up a whole new door of possibilities! We could make fancy beverages! Specialty coctails! Signature drinks! Naturally, we had to see for ourselves, so this past weekend, Morgan and I drove the 50 minutes to Stoughton, Mass to check it out.
At the door, they asked for our Costco card and we said we were thinking of becoming a member but just wanted to check it out first. It worked, because we were able to attain a visitor pass, which allowed us to tour the grounds but not buy anything… from the main store. They didn’t say anything about the liquor store though! As good spies often do, we stealthily moved through the store, appearing as though we were checking out the bulk cheetos aisle, very interested in how many little packets were inside the giant outer packet. Wrapping up our excursion, we moseyed into the liquor department very casually and asked the clerk if the rumors were true! Apparently, it is illegal to require a membership to purchase alcohol, so by law, they must be open up to the public! This was great news, especially since we looked around us and saw prices that were sometimes $10 less than normal. So we had to go home with a souvenir. Or two. Actually I think it was more like four. *sigh* The cost of research these days!