The Ink Penn

Do you have favorite Dunwoody haunts? I’m a creature of habit. When I find a shop I like with friendly folks who treat me well plus topnotch merchandise or service, then I’m theirs for life. Some I visit weekly or more frequently; others maybe only every few months.

The place I visit most is Sprouts. I routinely shop on Wednesdays and return a few days later for more seafood and produce, especially when they run their three-day weekend specials.

That gives me more bang for my buck. Imagine getting blueberries at last week’s price of $1 a package when the price for the new week is $2.50 each. Someone is bound to tell me this pricing strategy has brainwashed me into buying more than I need, but that isn’t the case. As long as whatever I buy doesn’t go to waste, buying extra works for me, and not much goes to waste at our house.

In the meat and seafood department, Willie, Carl, and Ernesto know me well. I’m the customer who asks for ¾ pounds of wild salmon or ahi tuna, cut in two pieces. If it’s fresh shrimp, I get slightly less than a pound, and they can count on me to get two pieces of freshly ground chicken sausage. They have a variety of flavors: chicken parmesan, feta and spinach, sweet Italian, and my favorite, basil chicken. Sausage sauteed with red or yellow peppers, onions, and asparagus or broccoli makes a tasty entrée ready to serve over rice.

I treasure the produce area because I pick up only the amount of Brussel sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, or asparagus I need. The ability to buy small amounts of produce for two people, instead of a pre-packaged larger amount is a real plus. When I have a recipe that calls for ½ cup of jasmine rice, I can get that in the area with the barrels of rice, nuts, dried fruits, grains, and candies.

My husband is hooked on their dried cranberries, so I stock up when they go on sale. I do the same for Thompson raisins and regularly buy raw or roasted almonds, whether they’re on sale or not. We’re also addicted to their ginger, lemon, and pumpkin snaps. When I discovered their seasonal gingerbread snaps last Christmas, I bought bags and bags when they went on sale in January.

I also get my Giovanni Tea Tree shampoo there and lately a variety of soaps. This week, I tried Dead Sea Spa lemon sage soap with argan oil and shea butter, and I also enjoy their olive oil soaps.

Face it; I’m a fan. The experience reminds me of living in NYC and walking with my Mom to the butcher shop and the grocer—the kind with the produce displayed out front. With my sister in the stroller, we’d head down the street every few days to shop.

If you’re not yet hooked on Sprouts, I recommend you try them out. Pick up their weekly flyer when you walk in the door, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hit a week when they also have the weekend special. You’re in for a treat.

PS. Lord Banjo and I will be attending Camp Flashback—for rising 2nd–5th graders—at the Donald-Bannister House this summer. Will you? Visit the website, or email for information.

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest, Amy’s Hallmark at the Forum, and on Amazon. Contact her at, and follow her on Facebook,

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