I have lived in Cagayan de Oro for 26 years, and I think it would be safe to say that I know enough about Cagayan de Oro, especially when it comes to grocery stores and wet market. As a home-maker, I’ve bought from almost all (or maybe all) of the different grocery stores in this City as I looked and went after best deals for the majority of consumer products I patronize.
So here’s my take on the top 5 Best Grocery Stores and Wet Market in Cagayan de Oro in terms of the following criteria:
- Accessibility through public transport & enough parking spaces
- Price and affordability;
- Convenience (wide aisle, neatly arranged gondolas, shopping carts in good condition);
- Availability of products mostly needed by consumers;
- High quality products (freshness);
- Variety of available products;
- Customer service
Top Five (5)
- Ororama Superstore (Mortola-JR Borja Sts)
- Robinson’s (in Limketkai)
- SM City Mall (Upper Carmen)
- Savemore Kauswagan (former Macro alongKauswagan Highway)
- Gaisano Mall (CM Recto Avenue)
Okay, so that’s my top 5 …
But allow me to say something more … let me explain the strengths and the not-so-good in each of these grocery stores.
Ororama tops my list for the following reasons: It carries almost everything I need as a homemaker. For example, for sardines, it has a vast array of brands I can choose from, unlike some grocery stores that only carry or display a few brands. Second, their gondolas are arranged very well; like it’s easy to look for anything. I know of a big grocery store here in the city where you could get lost looking for cooking oil or sugar. Third, Ororama’s prices are also reasonable, except for their vegetables, which are absurdly expensive in comparison with Cogon Market prices. But I guess this is to be expected since Ororama is cleaner and is airconditioned. Ororama is also very accessible for customers using public transport (Motorela, Sikad, Taxi, and Jeep). It also has a parking lot along Mortola Street.
The only problem I see with Ororama is that it can get very crowded especially during pay days; the line in the cashiers can go very very long. There’s also a slight problem with their shopping carts – “lisod drive-an og mag buot og iya asa moliko hahaha!”
Very clean, very spacious, great meat, poultry, and fish vegetable section. Prices are higher – fit for A and B market. I love the fact that they have open freezers and the customers can check out the meat products – smell, touch, scrutinize or inspect, and choose.
The not-so-good: they have limited stocks; there are brands that they do not carry or sell.
SM Mall and Savemore
There’s nothing wrong with these two, in fact, they are very good. However, accessibility may be an issue for residents living in the City proper since they are located in the outer parts of the City. But then again, someone’s misfortune can also be a blessing to others. This is true for residents living in the numerous subdivisions in upper Carmen and Macanhan. With SM City Mall near them, shopping is no longer a problem. This also applies to residents living in Kauswagan, Bulua, Patag, Opol, El Salvador, etc. as Savemore Kauswagan is now meeting their grocery store needs.
Prices: a little higher than Ororama.
Price is okay. Stocks: okay but at times incomplete.
The not so good: the grocery store has a distinct smell, like people will know you’ve been to Gaisano. Even their bread carries the same smell – more like laundry soap. Their meat – not very well presented. I’d even say at times they are sloppily cut. Some of their meat displays are discolored and some “smell” already – like it’s been defrosted many times over.
Gondolas are weirdly arranged – feels like you’re in a maze. Maybe it’s because the place is so huge. For example, you’ll find a gondola displaying canned good in the extreme right side, and then there’s another gondola displaying the same on the extreme opposite side. For me, this just does not make sense.
How about you? Do you have your own Best Five(5) on Anything You Fancy?