Here's an excerpt from Marna Krajeski’s book Household Baggage Handlers.
In my 1996 book Household Baggage: The Moving Life of a Military Wife, I conceded that while the commissary was convenient, utilitarian, and low cost, it lacked the amenities of those upscale markets I loved to visit (not for shopping but just to walk the aisles). Nice touches like vats of bubbling soup, cappuccino bars, and white-aproned help offering free samples of chocolate mousse.
At commissary prices, I’ll probably never see such perks, but lately I’ve noticed encouraging trends in the commissary. Buried amid the Pop-tarts and iceberg lettuce, I’ve discovered stuffed grape leaves, gnocci, Swiss cheese fondue, sun dried tomato pesto, and rotisserie chicken. You just have to pay attention. Even my favorite English breakfast tea, Ty-phoo, previously only available from my flight attendant friend after a London run, now graces the shelf in the imported food section.
At the nearby Navy commissary, we now have a fresh sushi bar and a selection of live lobsters in the seafood department. I’ve seen duck and bison meat in frozen foods. Even the organically grown produce offerings are expanding.
What’s more, the Exchange carries personal care products I’ve only seen in health food stores–brands like Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, and Avalon Organics.
This means that customers have been asking for these goods, and commissary and exchange management have responded. Keep it up everyone!