My mom was born in Windsor and grew up here but she was always a bit of a Detroitophile. Once a month on a Saturday she’d load up the kids and the coolers and we’d drive across the Ambassador bridge to go shopping at the US stores. The story goes that she went to a Tiger’s game with a friend and her family when a teenager and they stopped at a few grocery stores before heading back and from then on, my mother was obsessed with all things American grocery stores. Her favourite was always Meijer.
Everyone in the family thought she was crazy. My Dad was smart enough not to actually say anything to her but my Grandma would always ask if she went over to Detroit and shakes her head sadly. “You can get anything you want here,” she’d say before asking my mom if she HAD to go over again to pick up some Vernors or maybe bring back some Faygo so Grandma could have it on hand for the kids. She might give us an orange drink now and then but my mom always got her Redpop and I know she’d have it in the evenings when she’d have a chance to sit down and relax to watch her game shows.
We got more than pop. I to this day will stock up on Better Made Chips and Sue Bee Chicken and Dumplings if I manage to make it stateside. Mom would also get Country Crock Margarine. We’d take the Styrofoam coolers and she’d buy ice at the Meijer Gas Station. Meijer had bags of mixed frozen fruit that she’d buy. I remember there was melon, gooseberries and cut strawberry. She’d put it on top of our oatmeal or pancakes. Even then the wealth of product available just a 20 minute drive away was astounding and at the time the exchange rate was pretty even.
I kept up the tradition with her for a while. She died during the pandemic and by that time, it had been a long time since she lived on her own and stocked her fridge. I’d go see her at the Village and tell her about my shopping trips and her eyes would light up. I really miss my mom and I’m really looking forward to taking a trip to the Meijer on Eureka in her honour.
Helen – 71 – Windsor
Picture is from the Meijer website. Click here to see original source.