Out with Scary Alberstons, and in with Sprouts

I have found that even chain stores, with all their efforts to homogenize their many locations, develop individual personalities in spite of their best efforts. It’s the characters working there, the customers, the location, the vibe—the elements beyond paint colors and tile and uniforms—that do it. In Fort Worth, there’s the Cold Starbucks (on Hulen south of I-20), and there was, until about a year ago, the Scary Albertsons (at I-20 and Hulen), which distinguished itself from its tamer locations with super-aggressive baggers, a high incidence of incidents (shoplifting shakedowns, etc.), and a parking lot that always felt sketchy at best. Scary Alberstons was, until it closed, the closest supermarket to my house. Whenever I ran over there at night for a pint of ice cream or a bunch of bananas—you know, something I really could not live without until the next morning—my husband would always tell me to be careful, and I knew exactly what he meant. In spite of how I felt about Scary Alberstons, I have really missed having a grocery store so close. So with great interest, I’ve been watching the Sprouts market that’s being built in half of the old Scary Albertson’s space. It’s scheduled to open later this month. I’m pretty sure it’ll bring something into the rotation of local markets that’s missing (natural foods, low prices?), and I’m very excited about how close it is to my house. And really, is there such a thing as Scary Sprouts? We’ll find out.