By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jan 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM

I like to shop for groceries.  It gives me time to catch up on podcasts and there’s a certain marketing beauty to it all with product placements, pricing and promotions.  So, I consider it marketing research, too.  I don’t do all the shopping, but I do enough to know what I like and what I don’t.

I’ve come to this conclusion, Whole Foods Market is my favorite grocery store in the area.  I don’t buy all of our groceries there, but if – for some crazy reason – I had to shop only at one store, it would be Whole Foods.  The selection, cleanliness, number of check out lanes, great customer service, friendly people, music and location.  All are solid.  The entire experience here is better – in my humble opinion – than most other grocers.

Each to their own, of course. And I do still really like Metro Market, Sendik’s and the occasional Outpost or Trader Joe’s stop.  Of course if it's bulk or speciality items that I need Aldi, Groppi's, El Rey and Glorioso's are on my list of stops, too.  

Question, though.  Why do we shop where we do?  For many it’s location, others price, others selection and some just, well, because we all gotta eat.  

What makes one place better than the next?  All the above, plus I really believe that design and overall experience are becoming more important in grocery stores.  Many of the smaller places get this.  Whole Foods has it nailed, but even Target gets this.  Just look at what they’re doing in their grocery departments.  

Competition is good, and while I’ve never been to a Woodman’s I know many who swear by it.  Others love Metcalfe’s Market, Brennan's, Grasch's or the simple in and out of "their" neighborhood Pick ‘N Save.  Again, each to their own.

Personally I like the self checkout at Metro Market in Downtown.  It’s easy and usually far less crowded than the standard aisles.  I also really like the layout at the store, but, come on Roundy’s, beef up your organic fruits and vegetables.  Your store brand organics are great, but you need more selection in produce.  This is one of the reasons Whole Foods gets my vote.  The fruit and vegetable selection is really hard to beat.  

I know there’s a ton of passion around where you grocery shop and why, so use the talkbacks and tell us your favorite Milwaukee area grocery store.

Finally, I also realize there’s a ton of passion around your least favorite grocery store option.  I have one, and I’m sure you do, too.  I’ll tell you mine in a future blog and, of course, you’ll have the same opportunity to share yours.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.