FLORIDA, N.Y. -- Big V/ShopRite here has introduced crusty European breads at a remodeled unit in Vails Gate, N.Y., where customers are encouraged to buy just a slice.
All 10 varieties of bread offered have a retail of $2.49 a pound. A demo station, staffed on a recent weekday afternoon when SN visited the store, was busy with customers trying small tastes of the different varieties. Others were buying their favorites by the pound.
"But a surprising number of people buy just a slice of bread," a bakery associate said. She pointed to a wood guide that showed slices of bread in different thicknesses, and said customers choose how thick they want their slice by pointing to the guide. Wood pieces shaped like a slice of bread run the gamut from about a quarter-inch up to almost 2 inches thick. The guide is also used by customers to tell associates how to slice the bread they buy by the pound or by the loaf.
The bakery associate told SN that she has sold single slices that ranged in price from 15 cents to 75 cents. Because the breads are priced by the pound, the price of a slice depends on its thickness and the density of the particular variety of bread. The customers' all-time favorite in the bread line-up is Oregon herb, the bakery associate said. It is made from whole wheat and rye flour with onions and dill added, using a sourdough base and topped with sesame and poppy seeds. Marble rye and Heidelberg fruit and nut are the second and third best sellers, respectively, she said.
A blend of rye and pumpernickel dough is the basis of marble rye, while apricots, raisins and walnuts are some of the ingredients in Heidelberg fruit bread. The other bread varieties are Lucerne, Kornelius, onion rye, oat rye, sourdough rye, six-grain rye and six-grain pumpernickel with raisins.
A brochure available at the demo stand lists the 10 varieties and describes them, giving their major ingredients. On the back of the brochure, nutritional information per serving is listed for each variety. Bread-bar-type cases with curved glass show off the unwrapped breads by the loaf at the service counter and associates can be seen just beyond the cases forming loaves from dough at a long work table.