Nichols of Liverpool gets my dear wife’s approval

My morning fill-up spot

My morning fill-up spot

I’ve got my morning routine down before I settle into my desk at the Liverpool Public Library. I leave the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood at least 10 minutes earlier than needed. I like the cushion of time, one. And two: After pulling into my spot in the underground garage, I walk down Tulip Street, cross First Street, hang a left and enter Nichols.

The independent grocery store has a wonderful self-serve coffee bar stocked with Paul de Lima, made in Syracuse. My personal favorite is blueberry, four little creamers.

I’ve purchased an Italian half-sub at lunchtime, and other items here-and-there after work, even.

All the while, I’ve wondered, what would my dear wife Karen think of this little grocery store?

Entering from the parking lot.

Entering from the parking lot.

And so I took her there the Saturday of Fourth of July Weekend, sandwiched between our trip to the Regional Market and our lunch visit with our great friend Melinda.

Produce, yes.

Produce, yes.

Karen walked in with me from the parking lot, soaked up the atmosphere in the produce section, and declared that she felt like we did while shopping in a cozy independent grocery while we were in a vacation town.

Nailed it!

Take your pick.

Take your pick.

She said some stuff was a bargain, like the interesting pick-it pricing in the meat section. She did.

Other stuff was a bit higher than in the chains we frequent, on the other side of the Little Bitty.

Service oriented.

Service oriented.

The final declaration was that Nichols will be like Trader Joe’s, a good place to have in the rotation but not a total replacement for Tops, Wegmans and Price Chopper.

Besides, says smart Karen, now she has the perfect mental image for this text: Honey, why don’t you run over to Nichols after work and pick up …

Do you frequent independent grocery stores or the chains? Do you stick to one place, or chase best-prices? What do you think of Nichols?

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14 thoughts on “Nichols of Liverpool gets my dear wife’s approval

  1. Now that’s an interesting and fascinating store format Mark. Here in eastern Canada we have the big grocery stores with the wide range of choices and the high cube products like pop and toilet paper and paper towels. Their footprint is huge because they need a lot of square feet. It can be a chore to pop in for a few items – too big and too much traffic. When you do your regular grocery run you want all that choice and all those products, but our lives are changing. As the family unit shrinks and the awareness of freshness and organics increases, i find myself going more often to the store for fewer items each time. So, once a month I do the big shop and stock all the basics.Then I get milk,bread, cheese,meat, etc on short trips many times during the month. Our local convenience stores only stock snacks and sundry items – and at very high prices.

    In short, I love the idea of a store like Nichols that is small in format but stocks the items I need to replace weekly or even daily -like fresh bread, milk, meat, butter, cheese,etc.Those items at my convenience store are very pricey or not carried at all. I have often thought that we needed this type of store but they are not here – I am pleased to see them developing in the US. What starts there generally follows here.

    Great post Mark – I can see the Nicholas of the world soon having the bench with the old men solving the problems of the world as a local meeting spot.

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    • Nichols has been a cornerstone of the Village of Liverpool for two generations at least, Paul. The old men meeting to talk on the benches out front there were young when they met there first! I hope you get these type stores on your side of the border, and quick, because people love the freshness of product and friendliness of service.

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  2. Nichols sounds like our Dash’s (the original store in the Village of Kenmore). I wouldn’t shop at Dash’s for most stuff because their prices tend to be higher than Wegmans or Tops, but Dash’s has stuff the other stores don’t have, like some wonderful locally made pastries, plus the atmosphere of the small neighborhood store.

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  3. I LOVE Paul deLima’s coffee! I love small, independent stores of all kinds. We are blessed with several here in the Mohawk Valley (perhaps you’ve read some of my blog posts about them). I’m going to share this to Facebook, to recommend Nichols to my sister that lives in Liverpool. Thanks!

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      • Thank you always, Mark! Please do come by and share your wellness finds and brag away about your walking! Hey, are you on RunKeeper? A great way to keep track of miles and wave hi to friends 👍

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      • I will stop by more frequently, of course. I don’t count steps at all. I walk at lunchtime for 15 minutes, briskly around the Village of Liverpool after finishing my bring-in-a-bag sandwich at the shore of Onondaga Lake. I walk with Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle in the blocks surrounding the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood for at least 30 minutes, more if the pooch is up for it. So it’s more by the clock than by the step. And all outdoors, not on a treadmill.

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