An Adventurous Errand: Shopping at Price Rite with the Woodsmall Family

Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
1 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
2 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
3 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
4 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
5 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
6 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
7 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
8 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
9 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
10 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
11 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
12 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
13 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost
Photo: Copyright - 2016 Jamie Cotten
14 of 14 | price-rite-customer
Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that cost

As the sun begins to rise over the calm waters of Mount Hope Bay in Swansea, Massachusetts, the Woodsmall family is already a blur of motion in their kitchen with coffee brewing, cereal being consumed in mass quantities and feet being coaxed into multiple pairs of shoes.

Parents Jeremy and Amy, both 37, manage the controlled chaos like a pair of expert lion tamers—convincing their children Samuel, 7, Benjamin, 5, and the twins Vivian and Violet, 3, that it is a good idea to get into their jackets as they head for school.

Each lunchbox is loaded with organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy sandwiches, sitting neatly in a row on the counter. All the while, the family golden retriever, Finley, waits patiently below for any stray pieces of cereal or other food bits to miss their marks and fall to the ground.

“It’s utter pandemonium for about a half hour,” says Jeremey. “Then we all come together at the kitchen table, share a meal and realize, this is what being a family is all about: living with the craziness and serenity in equal measure.”

The Woodsmall parents both juggle robust careers, PTA meetings and after school sports for their kids, so it’s no easy task finding spare moments when the entire family can catch up with each other. Mealtimes, even if they last 15 minutes, have become their consistent bonding time; a moment when they can take a breath and break bread together. “It’s the best part of my day,” says Amy, who works as a project manager in the medical field. “Shopping at the grocery store and making dinner together keeps this traveling circus happy and healthy.”

Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that costs little compared to big-name organic markets. Photo by Jamie Cotten for ViewFind

Ever since Price Rite opened a location in their neighborhood six years ago, Jeremy and Amy have been using these trips as an adventure for the entire family, rather than just one of many weekend errands.

Utilizing her skills as a product manager, Amy crafts a detailed shopping list that corresponds to the store’s layout, and then the little ones playfully fight over who gets to go to the store with Dad. “It’s like our own social hour,” jokes Jeremy. “They help me cross off the items — in addition to drawing cartoons on the list.”

Just about every Saturday, Vivian and Violet scamper down the aisles, their tiny ponytails bobbing as they energetically pick out cartons of organic milk and oranges from open boxes in the produce section..

Samuel enjoys searching for exciting ingredients to toss into the salad spinner. And Ben, notoriously the picky eater of the family, skeptically inspects the broccoli section as he searches for foods that might appeal to his discerning palate.
Working in the solar technology industry, Jeremy has a deep understanding of the importance of sustainability and living frugally. He says that his family receives the positive benefit of saving sometimes 60 cents to the dollar in the Price Rite produce section.

For Amy, her love for Price Rite stems partly from her father, Steve Higginbottom, who works as a produce manager inside their local store. Born with a green thumb, Higginbottom has always been a successful gardener and is constantly recommending new recipes for the family to try out. “He knows what’s coming in and gives us a heads up on the best seasonal produce,” says Amy. “Sometimes, I’ll call him and joke, ‘I can’t find the organic kale, what’s going on?’”

Jeremy and Amy Woodsmall and their four young children do their grocery shopping at Price Rite, a grocer known for organic and local produce that costs little compared to big-name organic markets. Photo by Jamie Cotten for ViewFind

“We have some friends that are incessant about shopping at high-end stores and we say, ‘You have no idea what you’re missing. I just spent a third of what you did, and it’s all organic,’” says Jeremy. “When you have six mouths to feed, those savings add up. We’d much rather invest in the kids’ futures instead of fretting over bills.”

Even though the Woodsmalls have a family connection with Price Rite, they say they would shop in their local store regardless because of the strong sense of community they feel there. Fellow shoppers are always complimenting Amy on her beautiful children, drawn to the charismatic charm of Samuel, the quick wit of Benjamin and the matching outfits of the twins. “Without fail, there’s consistently a friendly atmosphere at the store, even during those times we’ve accidently knocked an entire shelf over,” says Amy. “That’s the nature of the beast when you have little ones bouncing around.”

After the overflowing carts are loaded into their minivan and subsequently unloaded into the appropriate spots inside their kitchen — that’s when the real fun begins. The children prepare and help cook the meals that Amy has meticulously planned and outlined on a chalkboard near the stove. One night, they might be sizzling halibut on the grill, stirring Grandma’s famous chicken recipe, or even preparing homemade pizza — the kids’ favorite dish.

Whatever the culinary creation, the act of cooking together is imbued with a sense of love, teamwork and the importance of making healthy choices. “Our kids eat broccoli at 10 am, so we must be doing something right,” says Jeremy.

“It’s a roller coaster of emotions just going through the normal tasks of daily life,” says Amy. “That’s what it means to be a family. We’re going to have our moments, our challenges, but at the end of the day, we’re all looking out for each other.” And as night descends on the bay, the Woodsmall house is, if only for a brief moment, completely at peace.