A truer statement cannot be found. You city people can bitch about the chain stores, but out here in the flyover the chain stores sometimes save your ass.
My town has several small, local bookstores. Sure, they’re cute. They’re picturesque. I buy books from them quite a bit. But on the occasions I’m looking for something in particular (as opposed to just browsing) - a selection of travel books, perhaps, or a specific title - they’re miserable! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if Barnes & Noble put a store in this town.
Anyway, back to the OP:
- Mexican canned goods (salsa ranchero, chipotles in adobo) at Econo foods. I don’t think anyone but me buys them.
- Illy cafe at the local coffee shop
- A selection of good, imported cheese at the local deli
- I’ll second Homebrew in saying Lindt and Ghiradelli at many of the local grocery stores
- good Italian pasta at the local grocery stores (no Creamettes for me, thank you very much)
What I still can’t get here:
- decent scallops and other types of seafood.
- Tillamook cheddar
- A SELECTION! This is probably what I miss the most - stores will have one or two brands or types of things. If you don’t like 'em or are just in the mood for something different, you’re out of luck.