I recently made my way up to North County to check out the new ALDI in Vista, California. I’m always up to find the latest and share with you guys. I found it to be a beautiful, clean and bright store with enthusiastic employees.
What’s great about this grocer is they don’t offer endless versions of the same item and keep costs down as a result that get passed to the customer by only carrying the best. Many products are ALDI-branded, actually more than 90 percent to be exact.
ALDI reminds me of a cross between a larger wholesale store and the selective items of a specialty grocer. Sure there are items in stacks and wood pallets, but on a smaller scale with everything stacked neat and orderly. The store was spotless and has been open since May of this year.
I was greeted by an ALDI employee who helped explain the shopping carts. Each customer pays a quarter deposit for a grocery cart, which you insert into a lock system attached to each cart. Easy enough, right? I’m sure this helps keep the carts getting returned near the front of the store upon entering and not left wherever in the parking lot. Win, win.
As part of my partnership with ALDI, I received an ALDI Delivered package of dry goods the previous day and needed to check out the store and get my needed produce to make some recipes. The box was chock full of goodies ranging from Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, liveGfree® Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix to California Olive Ranch Olive Oil, SimplyNature® Organic 100% Apple Juice and others items.
I was excited to check out the recipes they offered me to recreate and share with you.
Each section in the store was inviting.
Fresh, vibrant produce, a beautiful meat department, everything was very appetizing in how it was carefully displayed. No overcrowding, everything very bright, visible and labeled.
Down another aisle was a fairly decent variety of coffees, too, from instant coffee to ground coffee beans and various teas. There was even some of my favorite Abuelita Mexican Chocolate by Nestlé.
The dairy department had some of my favorite cheeses like Pueblo Lindo Grated Cotija and even Pueblo Lindo Mexican crema. Major points there. The Hispanic food section was well stocked with various products ranging from Kern’s Nectar Mango Nectar to Pueblo Lindo Hominy, Instant Corn Masa Mix and Doña Maria Mole Sauce.
For those with special dietary needs or restrictions, there is a fantastic gluten-free baking section too.
The store manager explained to me there’s also a row called ALDI Finds. This row changes weekly for special must-have items and various seasonal items like ice coolers. There are automotive and household goods, electronics, kids toys, shelving. Even something that really grabbed my attention, a master electric smoker!
The refrigerated and frozen sections are spotless everything was so clean. Lots of windows, the glass shiny, bright with easy visibility. You could tell the staff cared and kept items organized. They even have a pet section of various foods, toys and treats.
Walking down the bakery aisle the aroma from the breads were heavenly. For families with kids there’s quite a variety of baby food and snacks like Little Munchers, Yogurt Bites, Puffs and a variety of Organic Puree Pouches all from Little Journey and only at ALDI.
As I went to the cashier to check out I realized I needed to bag my own groceries and pulled out the ALDI shopping bag I received and loaded up. I usually go through the self check out lines at other grocery stores myself and this was easy. As I left, I pushed the cart back in and got my quarter back and I was on my way to start back home and try out some new recipes.
The Vista store is part of 45 new stores ALDI is projected to open in Southern California by the end of this year. Stores have already opened in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I’m hoping ALDI continues to expand and finds San Diego a home, too. We could use it.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by ALDI. As part of my partnership with the brand, I received my ALDI Delivered box as a fun way to sample and review products and recipes. This is not a new delivery service.