Today I went to Russo's with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. This place has now became our favorite store! After introducing it to my father-in-law, he now goes once a week.
Russo's is not like any other grocery store that I have seen, especially on the East Coast. It's produce is fresh and inexpensive. And more important, they have a great variety of fruits and vegetables, including a whole lot of Southeast Asian stuff like sadao (a bitter leafy vegetable), banana blossoms, guava fruits, and green papaya. It also has an awesome selection of cheeses and breads, and the pre-made dishes look yummy, but we haven't tried them because every time we go, we get excited to go home and cook!
Oh, and the Asian produce is not in some separate special "exotic" section like Stop & Shop does "Food of the World." At the mainstream supermarkets, you see people go into the ethnic section and get like a mango and ignore everything else. Those store don't know anything about tropical fruits, I change the prices on Asian fruits like cherimoya to be cheaper since I know the cashier won't know what the heck it is. At Russo's, the Asian produce is just all throughout the store, it's weaved into every section.
Another thing I like about them is that they are a family-owned business, and their staff is very diverse. There are a lot of people of color working there, especially Asian and Latino immigrants, and they are not just stocking the shelves, but they are in management positions too. They are pretty helpful and friendly, and if that's the case, they are probably treated well. At the big supermarkets, staff don't care if you die in the aisle.
There's also a lot of locally grown produce, and that's good for freshness and not using too much gas to transport them. But it also must mean they have good relationships with a lot of local Asian farmers who are growing all these Asian vegetables!
It's good to see that good food is affordable. Lately I feel like only the rich have a right to be healthy. Tv and magazines show a lot of products you can buy to stay healthy, but they all cost so much money, that nobody can really afford them. But the people who shop at Russo's aren't just hipsters, but include immigrants of all colors, mothers with their babies, old Asian ladies, really all people.