Joining the Fort Worth and Weatherford locations, the Arlington store is now the third to open under the Town Talk name.
Town Talk Foods owns a small chain of grocery stores that specialize in selling salvaged goods. They are licensed as a salvage retailer, which allows them to buy food products from manufacturers, distributors, warehouses, and other sources to then resell at prices lower than normal retail. The license also allows Town Talk to buy and sell products that are unable to be sold at other stores like Tom Thumb or Kroger due to stricter qualifications around food products that they are able to sell.
Warehouses and distributors often carry inventory that is overstocked, unable to be sold completely, or damaged in some way. Salvage grocery stores will then buy this inventory and sell it. They also specialize in selling products that other grocery stores are no longer able to sell, including damaged or bent cans, products past their expiration date, damaged packaging etc. Despite the presumably lower quality of these food products, they are all still perfectly usable and edible. By doing this, stores like Town Talk are able to keep prices much lower and provide more opportunities for customers to save money.
The ability of stores like Town Talk to provide another price-friendly option for Arlington residents looking for food is important, but it comes with some quality concerns. The nature of salvage grocery stores is that they sell products that other stores are not allowed to sell, which includes products past their expiration dates. Although there may be some concern about buying food products past their use-by/sell-by dates, there is no scientific consensus that eating expired food is dangerous or bad for your health. Most food scientists agree that food products eaten well past their expiration dates would simply, at worst, not taste as good. While there are some products that should definitely not be used past their expiration date, such as baby formula, most food is perfectly fine to eat past the date on the package.
The biggest trade-off that comes with these cheaper products is the smaller selection of familiar products available. Since Town Talk buys their salvage inventory from many different sources, there is really no telling what kinds of products will be available for sale every week. However, the Town Talk does not necessarily see this as a downside. They describe their store’s experience as a treasure hunt. That means that you will find brands and products that you are probably not used to seeing around, including limited edition items of popular brands as well as products from brands that are not as well-known. Many of the items sold in the store can be bought by the case, emphasizing the low-cost mission of the store. The store has an interesting “market” feel to it. You are likely to see something new every time you come in to shop, sacrificing the selection of your usual, popular brands for a “see what we got” approach.
The Town Talk Foods experience is not for everybody, but if getting food at the lowest possible price is a priority for you then this store is a great option. They have done a good job of updating their social media to let customers know what new products will be available, which is helpful for planning your grocery shopping ahead of time. Along with the usual grocery store staples like dairy, meat, and produce, the unique selection of food products and other goods available at Town Talk are sure to provide a quirky but affordable grocery shopping experience. Come with an open mind, ready to try something new.
Be sure to follow Town Talk Foods on Facebook, where you’ll find daily updates of new products you can find in-store.
For more info, visit http://www.towntalkfoods.com/