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Shopping 2.0

Side Dishes: Healthy Living joins the web-shopping revolution

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Some people enjoy grocery shopping — wandering aisles packed with colorful produce and exotic specialty products is their idea of fun. For others, particularly those with busy schedules or mobility issues, buying food can be a chore.

Soon Healthy Living will offer a new service to the latter group. The locally owned store has partnered with Colchester biz MyWebGrocer to give its customers an online shopping option.

Within the next few weeks, explains Healthy Living co-owner and general manager Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, a customer will be able to browse the store’s products online, add them to a shopping cart and place an order “at any time of day, seven days a week.” Prices, including discounts, will correspond exactly to those at the brick-and-mortar location.

While the browsing goes online with MyWebGrocer, pickup and payment still happen at the store. Customers select a pickup time, receive a confirmation email and pull into one of two special parking spots where a Healthy Living staffer greets them and collects payment — no money is taken through the Internet. Once payment is processed, groceries are zipped out to the vehicle.

Lesser-Goldsmith says the online shopping experience won’t be impersonal: Employees will be sure to call the customer with any questions about the order. “Healthy Living is famous for its customer service,” he says.

But how much does the convenience add to your grocery bill? For orders under $150, Healthy Living will charge a $7.95 fee to cover costs of the service and in-store labor. Busy folks can choose a $30-per-month “unlimited” plan.

Although Lesser-Goldsmith says there’s a learning curve involved with web-based shopping, he believes customers will quickly see the benefits. Old grocery lists are saved, so favorite items can easily be added to one’s cart. When Healthy Living posts a recipe on its website, the system enables customers to purchase the necessary ingredients with a couple of clicks.

“For a lot of people,” Lesser-Goldsmith says, “I think this is going to be a really exciting new way to shop.”

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