If you haven’t been to the new Spring Branch ALDI store yet, you’ve been missing out on produce, packaged foods, meat, fish and more at great prices. You’re also missing out on “ALDI Finds.”
“Their ALDI Finds are awesome. It’s like Black Friday every week,” shopper Laura Marie told us.
A recent visit to the store at 2550 Gessner in the Spring Branch District confirmed this, as an older gentleman stood in the ALDI Finds aisle, checking out espresso machines and woks, his arms full of other items.
“Look at these,” he said, pointing a finger from under his armload of groceries in the direction of a Crofton Teppanyaki Grill Plate priced at $14.99.
“These are cheap,” he said, adding with emphasis, “and they are QUALITY.”
This Spring Branch resident said he visits the store all the time, as he lives close and he finds it easy to navigate, and he loves the selection. He especially enjoys the ever-changing Finds aisle. His tip: They bring out the new Finds on Wednesdays.
Besides the looking for Finds, seasoned Aldi shoppers tell us they go there for produce (especially salad kits), chips, nuts and dried fruits, specialty meats and cheeses for charcuterie boards, baking ingredients and frozen fish.
One shopper told us ALDI’s caramel coconut fudge cookies. mint chocolate cookies and peanut butter cookies taste “just like” the Girl Scout versions. While we always encourage everyone to support their local Girl Scouts, sometimes there is a cookie emergency, of course, so ALDI is there if you can’t reach any scouts.
Another tip: Shopper Ben says ALDI’s Peanut Butter Wafers taste better than Little Debbie Nutty Bars. He instructed: “Buy them!” At 99 cents for a box, you can’t go wrong.
ALDI opened the Gessner store late last year, featuring the latest design in ALDI stores. It’s streamlined, allowing for quicker shopping trips. That’s a good thing, especially during a pandemic, when you want to get in and out of the store as fast as possible.
“The new Spring Branch store offers about 12,000 square feet of retail space, making it simpler and easier to navigate than traditional supermarkets,” said ALDI Rosenberg Division Vice President Karla Waddleton. Even the hours are simple. The Spring Branch store is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The new location is part of the company’s national expansion plan to become the third-largest U.S. grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022.
“We know shopping for groceries is essential, which is why we are committed to providing high-quality, affordable groceries and a safe shopping experience,” Waddleton said.
On our recent visit, we noticed the aisles are wide, allowing for easy social distancing. Don’t want to go in? Curbside pickup is also available at the Spring Branch store.
ALDI pioneered private-label goods and, for the past 10 years, ALDI has held the esteemed title of Value Leader among U.S. grocery stores, according to the Market Force Information U.S. Grocery Competitive Study.
As you shop, you may notice Store Brands Magazine blue ribbons on certain items, signifying they were editors’ picks for various categories. We decided to try the Park Street Deli Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus, a 2019 Editors’ Pick for Best New Product. I got to taste it, and my family finished it — within an hour of getting home.
Also notable is the beer and wine. The Thrillist rating site at www.thrillist.com, ranked the German company’s store-exclusive pilsner, Wernesgrüner, the #1 beer at ALDI. It’s $6.49 for a six-pack at the Spring Branch store.
And, believe it or not, the $2.95 Winking Owl wine is actually drinkable. Winking Owl is ALDI’s competitor with Trader Joe’s “Two-Buck Chuck” Charles Shaw wine.
Shoppers told us some of their other favorite ALDI items include Goldhen Liquid Egg Substitute, the 95-cent bottles of various spices and Danish Kringles all the way from Racine WI, which we found on our recent excursion near the front of the store.
On the healthier side, a shopper told us the Simply Nature Brown Rice Crackers are gluten-free and guilt-free. We also read that the ALDI-exclusive Burman’s Tomato Ketchup is not only cheap, it tastes great.
Need a gift? You can find fresh flowers in the Spring Branch Aldi, and on our visit they had a nice selection of Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes and candle gifts. You could even buy your cat a “Valentine’s Cafe Cat Scratching Playhouse.” Catnip included! (Of course, it’s in the ALDI Finds area.)
Whether you’re doing your grocery shopping, checking out the ALDI Finds or buying your cat a gift, you won’t spend too much money at ALDI. But if money is low, they even had 5-inch money trees for sale at the checkout.
As for the plants, one shopper told us, “They really grow.” We predict the customer base for this new Spring Branch store will continue to grow as well.
Special notes: ALDI provides no shopping bags, so bring your own. Shopping carts are for “rent” for a quarter, which is refunded when you leave.
ALDI Spring Branch
2550 Gessner Rd.
Houston, TX 77080
— By Dorothy Puch Lillig