How Berkeley Bowl cashiers memorize literally everything in their legendary produce department

1 Like

Wow, I’ve wondered about how the Berkeley Bowl cashiers do their job for 10 years. This article answers that and then some.

Really impressive they can recognize the produce on sight (especially the differences between varieties of the same produce). By contrast, a cashier at my regular grocery store didn’t recognize fresh turmeric yesterday. It was a Smart and Final so fair enough but it makes Berkeley Bowl cashiers all the more impressive.

1 Like

I feel like Trader Joe’s cashiers used to be similarly awesome before they went to scanning a decade or two ago

Smart & Final had fresh turmeric?

Yeah, I was going to pick it up at Ranch 99 but Smart and Final had it so it saved me the trip. I started seeing it at regular grocery stores in fancy areas in LA some years back but I guess it’s migrated to Smart and Final in regular neighborhoods. Obviously not a commonly purchased item, though.

Does that Smart & Final have a lot of South Asian customers?

Not noticeably so based on my shopping there the past few years but it’s about two blocks away from Ranch 99 off Main Street in Alhambra so there may be some in the SGV keeping it in stock.

More likely it’s just the popular trend towards using turmeric generally since I’ve also seen it at the El Monte Smart and Final and the first time I saw it in LA was at a Ralphs in some snooty part of town.

To bring it full circle, I first remember being impressed that Berkeley Bowl had it in stock many years ago! That was the only place I saw that and the unshelled caltrop water chestnuts in person until it started cropping up here.

Oh, that’s right. I forgot it’s trendy.

I think Berkeley Bowl already had fresh turmeric when I first started shopping there in the original location 25-30 years ago.