15+ stores in OH, IL
"When I was growing up, my parents made me go to church. Usually, I goofed around during Sunday school, and when I got old enough, I dozed off during the sermon.
"But as part of the Sunday tradition, my dad would drive us to the grocery store afterward to shop a bit and buy lunch. Typically, we went to Finest, a now-defunct grocery chain. But on occasion, we'd stop at Heinen's, which was about 5 minutes further from my house, but closer to our church. Heinen's always seemed more expensive -- but also somehow classier. Going there felt like a treat.
"My brother was really into eating salads, so we'd go hog-wild on the salad bar and fill up one of those flimsy plastic triptych containers each. Whatever ended up in the two smaller sections had to be good -- like artichoke hearts, or something we didn't keep in the fridge at home. That's kinda Heinen's in a nutshell -- the artichoke heart of saladstuffs, in terms of grocery stores. Heinen's was smaller than other supermarkets, but it felt like the selection was somehow more carefully selected." -- Ryan Craggs, editor