How They’re Watching Us

How They’re Watching Us

In the early days, retail stores tracked customers via turnstiles. After turnstiles, some stores turned to electronic beams, while others used light sources to count traffic in aisles. These methods were largely impersonal — they didn’t capture our faces, our phones...
Side Dish Gallery: Mom & Pop Shops

Side Dish Gallery: Mom & Pop Shops

As we conceived of this grocery-themed issue, our minds naturally went to the tech-laden big-box stores. But then we remembered how grocery began: the small, independent mom-and-pop shop. Here’s a selection of our followers’ favorite small groceries — some stores are...
Food Movers: Paper or Plastic

Food Movers: Paper or Plastic

The plastic grocery bag as we know it today comes from Sweden. Working for a plastics company called Celloplast in 1965, engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin developed a technique for sealing a folded tube of plastic and punching out a hole to create sturdy handles. The...