Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, but I did receive a gift card, a bag of some store-brand foods and chocolate cake. And if you give me chocolate cake I will love you forever and say nice things about you :)
Go here to read about what my family got up to while I was gone tonight.
When my son was born two years ago we only stayed home for about 24 hours before venturing out with him. Our first outing? To the QFC down the street. And since that first outing, Ethan, and now Vivian as well, have been to QFC nearly every other day of their short lives. The people who work at our local QFC know the kids and always have a smile for them and a comment for me on how big the kids are getting. I love that feeling of knowing the people at the store where I shop!
Ethan's first trip to QFC
Today I was able to participate in a Seattle Mom Blogger tour of the largest QFC in our area. It's a beautiful, gigantic QFC located near the University of Washington. I love my QFC, and it's nice and new, but this store that we toured today has it all and then some! We took a tour of the floral department where we oohed and aahed over the arrangements. QFC tries to buy local flowers when they can- but wherever they get their flowers, they're overseen by the staff florist. We walked past the bakery, where I think I moved fast enough to miss all the calories practically jumping off the gorgeous desserts. We also saw the huge deli area with tons of premade hot foods and salads and so many options for grabbing a quick meal. Then we got a tour of the surprisingly small coolers in the back of the store (we got the real behind the scenes tour!)- QFC likes to make sure that their customers are getting fresh produce, so they don't keep a lot of extra stock in the back. They get it fresh and then put it out for us.
A beautiful floral arrangement from the QFC floral department
One of the most interesting parts of the tour was our visit to the meat section. I buy a lot of meat at QFC, but haven't ever spent the time looking at their meat section beyond the regular steaks and chickens. QFC has way more than just the regular meats that you'd expect at a grocery store- they have all sorts of marinated meats and kebabs and stuffed chicken breasts and so many other options. Everything a busy mom could ever need to not just feed the family, but feed them well. QFC has meat managers at their stores- so if you have any questions about what you want to buy or need ideas for how to cook something, just ask!
Next we visited the huge wine section of QFC. This particular store has 3 full time wine stewards on staff! The wine section was rows and rows in size- and they are happy to order anything that you can't find on the shelves.
This QFC also has a really big health and wellness section, complete with a computer that you can use to learn about what supplements to take, or get healthy, budget-friendly recipes for your family. The people at QFC are working to get these computers into more of their stores, I'm hoping one comes to the store near me soon.
After we toured the store and saw all that it had to offer, we had the chance to test out some of the foods for ourselves. Upstairs we went to the conference room where they had two beautiful tables set up. Then they brought out plate after plate of food, all options that are available in their stores, all really delicious. While we ate, we had a nice time chatting with several QFC executives (Kristin Maas, Public Affairs Director; Donna Giorano, President; and Tammy Bottcher, Sr. Director Advertising and Loyalty) and discussing grocery shopping, the challenges of motherhood (the executives were all moms too) and why we love blogging. We also got to learn the proper way to cut flank steak from the entirely charming meat manager, Lew. This was no ordinary flank steak, it was an amazing flank steak marinated in this divine marinade. Lew said that his kids call it "meat candy". When we sampled it for ourselves, we all totally agreed. Mona actually threw her arms up in the air in joy after taking her first bite.
The beautiful table they set up for us
The menu- 3 kinds of chicken. And 4!!! desserts!
Lew demonstrates how to cut flank steak
The dessert table. Yummmmmmmmmy
We ended the evening with some divine desserts. I had a piece of the yummiest chocolate cake- it had raspberry filling and a gorgeous not-to-sweet-but-still-decadent-frosting. I'm really hoping this is not available at my local QFC. I will be in trouble if it is.
It was such a fun evening, hanging out with fellow Seattle mom bloggers, learning about the behind-the-scenes workings of my favorite grocery store, being fed with great food and waited on. I even got a good laugh after I left the QFC where we'd been visiting- I had my arms full of my samples and the floral arrangement that I won in a drawing, so I decided to go ahead and drive home and just stop at my local QFC to shop instead of trying to balance everything. And when I stopped at my QFC, the teller asked me how my evening was going and I said "it's been great. I've actually been hanging out with your company president". She gave me a look of such surprise!
You can read Shannon's review of the evening here.
One of you will get to win a $25 gift card- QFC is part of the Kroger family, so the card can be used at any of the following: Kroger, Kroger Marketplace, Barclay Jewelers, Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, FoodsCo., Fred Meyer, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Fry's food and Drug, Fry's Marketplace, Gerbes, Hilander, Jay-C, King Soopers, Littman Jewelers, Owen's, Pay-Less Supermarkets, QFC, Ralphs, Scott's Food and Pharmacy, Smith's Food and Drug, Smith's Marketplace, Turkey Hill Minit Markets, Kwik Shop, Loaf 'n Jug, Quik Stop and Tom Thumb! Phew!
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I'll choose a winner with random.org on 11/1 at about 9 PM. I'll email the winner, please respond within 48 hours.