JIMMY’S FOOD STORE is a LEGEND in Dallas. It’s been around since the 60′s and is one of my favorite places.
It’s a combo store/italian imports/deli that have some of the best wines, cheese, and Italian meats – seriously good stuff here.
The deli houses some family recipes that bring people from all over the metroplex to snap up things like Mama’s Meatballs, Lasagna, Italian Sausage. It’s all superb. It’s about a 45 minute drive for me round trip. It’s SO worth it too. I am never disappointed with the quality of things I find there.
In fact, some of their import and in-house items are SO GOOD, that there are about a DOZEN local restaurants that advertise on their menu that they use Jimmy’s stuff. Isn’t that weird and cool? It’s like if Pizza Hut told you where they buy their cheese— Large Pizza Hut Pizza with cheese from Piggly Wiggly—- right on the menu– Odd. But people here love them some Jimmy’s .
Some import items are a tad on the pricey side, but hey, these are imports and I like to support local businesses that deserve it and Jimmy’s does for getting some of this hard to find items.
I have been going there for years. Before there even was a JFC. When a fire took Jimmy’s out of the game for almost a year, I followed them to the Quadrangle, where Siegel’s Liquor Store allowed them to set up a “mini-store” to stay in business. I was just there yesterday and I got some wonderful items.
What I didn’t get–and now that I thought about it never get— was a smile, a hello, a thank you, or anything. It’s a pattern I have always noticed, but never really thought about. As many times as I have been there, I don’t remember anyone in the deli or at the counter ever being that friendly. To me, at least.
When I go, I am like a kid in a candy store. I get excited. EVERY TIME. I go up every aisle to see if there is something new and exciting that I have to scoop up. I hit the outside aisles to pick up their frozen items. I swing through the back and load up on deli items. The deli people know their stuff and always give great suggestions.
At every turn, I am all smiles–walking in– saying hello and thank you’s to every employee I am dealing with. Before this last trip, it had been a couple of months since I had been there. So I was extra happy. I bring my stuff to check out and ask how the cashier is doing— and I get a look. A bored and tired look in return.
The person behind me interrupts to ask if they have a certain wine and all of a sudden this quiet man is all smiles and pointing out the wine section. WTH?
Is this cashier man shy? Is my luck so bad that I always catch this place on a bad day? Is he just nicer to the regulars? Is my money somehow less cool than the wine guy?
The more I thought about it as I walked out, the more pissed I got. I mean when I go, I spend a nice chuck of change. I am so openly talkative and thankful to these guys. All of them. And in all that time I can’t ever get a “thank you” or a “I’m doing fine, thanks”?
Am I making a big deal out of this? I am not trying to – but damn.
The deli guys are usually so busy and I quietly wait my turn and when served I always thank them for their time.
Hell, I am usually telling them how much I loved the last stuff they recommended, thank them for their suggestion, and ask for more. These guys are NOT just the “deli guys” to me. They are part of a respectable family business that has been very successful.
I give people their proper respect.
Later, I asked a couple of friends that also shop there about this.
They couldn’t remember if the staff at Jimmy’s was friendly or not. Nor did they care.
And they couldn’t figure out why in the hell I even cared.
Then one of them made a point that I hadn’t even considered.
“They don’t have to be nice. They already earned their reputation so….where else you gonna go?”
I really don’t want to think that could be the case. I have this image of a multi-generational family business that is thankful for every customer. Not some business that doesn’t give a damn about anything other than dolla-dolla-bills-ya’ll.
I tend to think that if I had a family business that was SO LOVED in this city like Jimmy’s is, my chest would be SWOLLEN with PRIDE. I would be the friendliest person in the world. That love and loyalty has kept them alive for 50 years. That is an accomplishment worth celebrating. So, how about a little sunshine?
Is this really a big deal? I don’t suppose so. I will certainly get over it and will probably continue to shop there. But instead of feeling like a kid getting to go to the candy store – I will feel like an adult on just another trip to the market.