Rating: 4

June 15, 2010

Woodman's is a local mega-grocery, and is bigger than the local stores of the Sentry, Logli, or Piggly Wiggly chains - I'm not sure if it's larger than Pick 'n Save on Janesville's south side. The strong points of Woodman's include low prices, wide variety, and one-stop shopping.

Woodman's has a respectable selection of ethnic Mexican and Asian foods, especially for a community like Janesville, which isn't even quasi-cosmopolitan. If you are into mouth-burning, gut-churning, spicy hot food, there are plenty of spices, peppers and hot sauces available at Woodman's. Woodman's also has a large selection of magazines and paperback books, and does film developing. They also sell gasoline and liquor (although due to a Janesville ordinance, the liquor store is through a separate door in the same building - Logli and Pick 'n Save have the same configuration).

Their meat isn't quite as good as it's competitors, but it is cheaper. They have a lot of variety and brand names of sausages, bacons, pre-packaged chicken and turkey, etc.

The "rabbit food" at Woodman's isn't as good nor neatly coiffured like Logli and Pick 'n Save's produce departments, but the pricing is more attractive. Fresh vegetable/fruit quality has been a little spotty at Woodman's the last year with some staples such as bananas, tomatoes, and green peppers. I'm not sure how much of that is attributable to their wholesaler shopping and how much to the crop availability. I read that Florida's spring tomato crop got hit hard by frost this year. If you are feeding your own face or stuffing the kids, go with Woodman's. If you are laying out veggies for a party or event and are going for the 5 points for plating (© Iron Chef ☺), you may want to pay the higher prices at their competitors for better looking greens and fruits.

Weak points include:

The bakery - it isn't as good as it's competitors. I get my commerical bread, such as Beefsteak Rye, or Gardner's sandwich and hotdog buns there, but I go to Logoli's for fresh "real" bread. I've never ordered a custom cake at a grocery store, so I don't know how that service at Woodman's compares to their competitors (that would be a good idea for someone to write a review on).

The deli is the weakest point of Woodman's. Unless you are picking up 20+ pounds of sliced ham for the company picnic or family reunion, skip it and go to Logli's (which also has a great build-your-own salad bar) or one of the Sentry stores for good deli food.

Almost any time I go through Edgerton or Milton on the way home to Janesville, I make a pit stop at "the Pig". Piggly Wiggly has a great bakery and deli at both locations.

Due to its size, Woodman's seems to have more free samplings going on than their competitors.

Woodman's is a good grocery to do the bulk of your shopping at for a wide variety and to save money.