Review: What makes Sobeys so extra?

(Lauren Hoyt/AQ)

You may notice Prospect Street looking a little busier after the opening of Sobeys Extra. The new location, only a few feet down the road, isn’t that different from the last. But there are a few, you guessed it, extra features.

On Nov. 22, the store welcomed over 400 customers. Eager shoppers flocked to check out all the extra amenities of their go-to grocery store. Complete with a fresh juice bar, a wellness section, a salad bar, a bakery full of sweets and a floral section, the store didn’t disappoint.

It’s still stocked with the usual products. There’s the deli section, dairy, produce – excluding Romaine lettuce, of course – and a hot food station where you can order your supper.

But it was the new additions that sparked curiosity among most customers. The juice bar offers fruit and vegetable blends created in front of you by produce employees. Strawberries, oranges, bananas, lemon, turmeric and ginger are just a few of the ingredients tossed into the blender. Bottles range from 250 millilitres to 1 litre for $2 and up. Some prices were unsubstantiated: a medium-sized bottle of strawberry lemonade cost $9. The same sized bottle of Fruit Fantasy, a smoothie-like mix of strawberries, oranges and bananas cost $4. I didn’t try the lemonade, but my thicc Fruit Fantasy was worth the price.

Cannolis are offered in the bakery for $1.49 each. They’re a nice treat, but nothing special. (Lauren Hoyt/AQ)

The wellness section has everything you need to lead a healthy, clean and green lifestyle. Aisles are stocked with different types of vitamins and essential oils. Natural household cleaners and soaps are offered for a more environmentally friendly option than mainstream cleaners. Supplements and meal replacements are available for the active shopper. Even natural skincare and toothpaste are available.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, the bakery offers more than just the typical birthday cakes and fancy cupcakes of Sobeys’ past. Now the cases display chocolate and caramel-covered apples, chocolate-dipped licorice, cannolis, eclairs and donuts. Everything looked appealing, but I went for two cannolis, one chocolate and one vanilla. They were a nice treat, and not bad at $1.49 each. But with a hard shell and thick filling, they were no authentic Italian pastry.

More than five flavours of juices are blended in store daily. (Lauren Hoyt/AQ)

The floral section sat in the middle of the store, a counter surrounded by flowers rather than the usual bouquets available at the checkouts. With Christmas approaching, the section overflowed with red poinsettias. Mini Christmas trees lined the counters, complete with mini ornaments. I doubt there were any complaints about the floral selection in the old Sobeys, but it will be nice to have a one-stop shop for Valentine’s Day.

Some think the new Sobeys is nothing special. According to a cashier, some customers even had complaints when they saw the shopping bags had changed. No longer the thick, greenish beige plastic bags everyone knows, the new bags are thin, white plastic. To those who are unimpressed, I say, “It’s just a bag. You should be using a reusable bag anyway.” I love the new Sobeys. Shopping there is an exciting experience with something new around every corner.

If you haven’t visited Sobeys Extra yet, I suggest you take a look – especially on Tuesdays, because we all appreciate a student discount.