Customers shopping at Stern's Quality Produce store in downtown White River Junction this past week were more than a little disconcerted to hear a woman loudly ask the store's owner if the rumor that Stern's was closing was true. According to Judy Gray, the owners' daughter, the answer is an emphatic no, Stern's is not going anywhere. So you folks who delight in your visits to Stern's to bring home boxes of fresh produce at prices that don't break the bank, fear not.
For those unlucky readers who are not familiar with Stern's, here's a little background. Stern's was opened on Pine Street in White River Junction in 1985 by Keith and Judy Stern. The Sterns' goal was to find, source and sell good quality produce at low cost in the Upper Valley. Stern's sends trucks to Chelsea, Massachusetts several times a week to bring back boxes of cantaloupes, bok choy, fennel, broccoli, beets, apples, cilantro and just about any fruit, vegetable or herb you can imagine. Stern's also sells produce it can source locally or close to locally. For example, the corn at Stern's yesterday was from a farm just outside of Brattleboro, Vermont. Stern's also sells eggs, dairy products, tofu, a number of specialty asian foods and sauces, various dried fruits and nuts, maple syrup, honey and much more.
Corn from outside of Brattleboro, Vermont
A major reason to shop at Sterns is the prices. They are extremely competitive, in some cases one-half or one third less expensive than prices at other grocery outlets. And after comparing prices for a number of items in Stern's to prices for the same items at the Coop Food Stores, Hannaford's, Price Chopper and Shaw's, we can confidently tell you that Stern's sells a pound of Cabot butter at a lower cost than any of those competitors. Stern's sells Cabot butter for $3.60 while local grocery competitors sell the same butter for prices ranging between $3.99 and $4.99. Similarly, you will not find basil or cherry tomatoes in any grocery store in the Upper Valley at a lower price than those at Stern's. So if you haven't checked Stern's Quality Produce out, you should. And if you're a regular shopper there, don't worry - the Sterns aren't going anywhere.
Red, yellow or green peppers at $2.25 a pound
Stern's is open on Mondays through Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, Friday from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Make sure to say hi to Zach when you shop there!