Sir: I recently had the opportunity to get to The Dutch Market’s newest location on William Street at Park Street in Chatham.
I had been an occasional customer to this business at its previous locations in Chatham, but I was totally blown away by its new location, where the former Loeb’s, IGA and No Frills grocery stores once had occupied.
The place is huge, and now just doesn’t just serve the candy and bakery goods for which it is best known. It still serves those items, but oh so much more. It has a full-scale bakery where one can buy fresh bread. There is a section where fresh fish is served. There is a dairy section, fruit and vegetable section, soft drinks and more!
There is a restaurant, with a wonderful buffet where one can order hot or cold food. The food is weighed to determine the price. There is a good-sized seating area to eat in while watching television or reading the newspaper.
When I was there recently, there was also a charity BBQ just outside the main door.
I think if there is a drawback to this store, its prices on some items are no doubt higher than other chain big-box type stores in Chatham. Still, The Dutch Market is there where there has long been a need for a grocery store in Chatham’s downtown and east end sections of Chatham. That considered, I was shocked by the small number of customers that seemed to be trickling through the store on a pleasant Saturday afternoon.
I think if one includes The Dutch Market, there are now approximately seven grocery stores in the greater Chatham area. There are also grocery stores in area towns like Wallaceburg and Blenheim.
I understand there are people that would prefer to go to stores such as COSTCO in London and Windsor, because they think they get better bargains than they would shopping in our local grocery stores. Still, I think it’s a shame that there seem to be more grocery stores than there are people that live in this area.
We are blessed to have so many grocery stores to choose from that it makes it seem like shopping out of our home area is ridiculous, unless you are looking for items not carried in the Chatham-Kent area stores!
I don’t always go to The Dutch Market. I live closer to other grocery stores in my area. It would be a shame, though, after all the talk of a need for a grocery store in the downtown Chatham area that The Dutch Market would have to downsize from its current location. This store should fill the need for a downtown Chatham grocery store that has long been asked for.