Confessional: Why I drive from Dilworth to the southeast Charlotte Aldi


Mary Hopper spent years helping MoRA turn from an idea into the impactful non-profit it is today, and we talked about her invaluable contributions to our volunteers. She took a step back from our organization nearly two years ago but returns with this guest article after discovering the Aldi at MoRA Point.

I live in Dilworth, but now travel to Monroe Road to shop at your new Aldi.  In the almost 20 years I have shopped at various Aldi stores, I have witnessed how this plucky chain has modified its offerings to meet the needs of its rapidly expanding customer base. It is testament to their well thought out business model that they have been able to bring a carefully curated selection of goods at excellent prices to shoppers. I have seen an expansion of healthy choices, gluten-free products and organic offerings, and even additional exotic items are featured. No wonder Aldi is often highlighted in food blogs and the grocery industry media.

Aldi is increasingly international in what you can buy – i.e. Belgian chocolates, German items (the owners are German), a good Mexican section, Italian selections and Asian items including a good brown Basmati rice and Asian sauces. The MoRA Point store has so much more of everything than the two ALDIs nearer me, making my drive a no-brainer.

Aldi has become the darling of food bloggers who delight in announcing new offerings. A Business Insider analysis just ranked it “Top Rated for Value” of all the stores surveyed. And its products often are given “best of” awards in blind tastings and consumer rankings. Check out their website for their product awards.

I am impressed with how Aldi is still able to pass significant savings along to their customers: having you put a quarter in the slot to get a shopping cart (don’t panic, you get it back when you return the cart), bagging your own groceries, the limited number of offerings (who needs to ponder whether you want Green Giant peas or another brand?) all work to the consumer’s advantage.  How to shop at Aldi. I like their store brands, ranking them far better than Publix’s and on a par with many national brands. Yes, I have to go other places for some items (ie, my #2 coffee filters), but the trade-offs more than balance out. I see it in my savings, and marvel at the quality of what I bought.

Many of you know the family link with Trader Joe’s (no, they are NOT co-owned but the families are related) so you will not be surprised at the fabulous cheeses and good wines. And to the firefighter I ran into on my first trip, don’t despair that Monroe Road got Aldi and not Trader Joe’s. The fresh produce at Aldi is hands down far superior. And the expanding fresh meat selection beats Trader Joe’s as well.

Don’t just take my word for it. Visit your new MoRA Point store at Monroe and Idlewild. Follow this link to some items I especially like.