I’ve just come back from Villa Supermarket, Major Avenue, after abandoning my cart in the middle of an aisle and walking out in disgust. Villa Supermarket is located in a new shopping centre in northern Bangkok, Major Avenue. Tucked away at the back of the centre, when it first opened I was thrilled, as there isn’t a supermarket within easy walking distance of my house. But, after three visits there in the last couple of months, I’ve changed my mind and here’s why.
Rotting, Brown and Old Vegetables at High Prices – Today, I went to get vegetables for my rabbits as they eat fresh veggies every day. Villa Supermarket at Major Avenue has a very small selection of fruit and vegetables but because it’s within walking distance of my house, I’ve gone there a couple of times. Villa’s vegetables are always overpriced (at least 10-25 baht higher than most other supermarkets – 30-78 cents more), but for the convenience it would be worth it.
A couple of times before, I’ve noticed that much of their fruit and vegetables isn’t particularly fresh but, picking around the packets, I can usually find something I can buy. Today, however, was a different story. I went for kale, cilantro, carrots, fresh basil leaves and Chinese celery. I ended up with nothing.
Every packet of Kale was at least 30 baht, which is almost four to six times what Carrefour or Foodland charge. Each packet was also full of rotting, yellow or brown leaves, none of which had been taken off the shelf and none of which was fit for rabbit consumption, let alone human consumption. The cilantro was the same, runny brown squishy pieces of cilantro packed in with somewhat fresh stuff, and the Chinese celery leaves were already starting to go yellow. Carrots were 30 baht for two carrots (almost $1) and the ‘fresh’ basil leaves were already beginning to blacken around the edge.
For the overpriced charge, Villa Supermarket should at least have fresh vegetables or do they think farangs (westerners) and hi-so Thais (high-society Thais) will pay exorbitant prices for vegetables that should have been thrown away days ago?
Pork Pies and Meat That Looks Brown and Old – Next, I went to the refrigerators at the back to pick out a couple of pork pies and some chicken. The chicken was already going white around the edges of what should have been a pink and succulent piece, which told me it had been sitting there for a while. The pork pies that should have a crispy hard crust were soft at the bottom, leading me to believe they had been frozen and defrosted, possibly several times. Needless to say, no pork pies or meat went into my cart either.
Cereal and Jams – I grabbed a couple of boxes of cereal to put in my cart and a jar of generic jam. Priced at 10-20 baht more than any other supermarket I go to, I didn’t really want to pay that but felt I had to buy something as I’d walked all the way down there. The selection though is poor and the prices are very high for a product that’s available much cheaper at Carrefour, a quick five minute taxi ride away.
Bakery Products – I also needed bread but, after picking up four different loaves and a piece of raisin bread, I realized all of them were at least a day old, possibly older. The last time I bought a loaf of ‘fresh-baked bread’ at Villa Supermarket at Major Avenue, I’d had to make toast out of it when I got it home as it wasn’t fresh enough for sandwiches. Obviously, these loaves were the same so I left them on the shelf.
Finally, picking up a tub of yoghurt that, on closer inspection, looked like the expiration label on the side could had been peeled off and another one put over the top of it, I gave up, left my half full cart in the middle of the supermarket and walked out.
It will be a cold day in hell before I will shop at Villa Supermarkt at Major Avenue again. I took a quick taxi to Carrefour Supermarket on Ladprao Road, where I bought everything I needed, fresh and at prices one third or less than at Villa Supermarket.
The owners of Villa should be ashamed of themselves that they put that type of garbage products at high prices out on their shelves for unsuspecting customers to buy. I even took photographs of it to prove how bad the produce was, and to be reminded never to shop there again.