There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Thanksgiving Samplers on the Other Hand ...


Two days ago, the food editor at The Plain Dealer wrote a small blurb about a free Thanksgiving food tasting at Whole Foods last night. Managers expected between 50 and 200 people tops. Instead, they got closer to 300 patrons. The line for the free grub – which included small, Dixie cup-sized servings of stuffing, goat cheese and caramelized nuts, pumpkin pie, and maple flavored mashed sweet potatoes – started at the front door and ran all around the store. Expected wait time: 45 minutes. “This is unbelievable,” Ron, a Whole Foods employee, observed as he dished out some cheese. Food supply was not a problem – the kitchen was packed full of tasty treats. “I would just like to get home to my wife at some point,” he said with a sigh, as a meaty hand reached out for a sample. To keep customers occupied during the wait, managers employed two classical violinists who played tunes from Mozart and Stravinsky. The marketing director weaved in and out through the customers, handing out free samples of garlic mashed potatoes. At the end of the line, a few John Carroll students eagerly took their miniscule slivers of pumpkin pie. Was the 40 minute wait worth it? they were asked. Of course, the students said, looking at the reporter with surprised expressions: “It was free." -- Rebecca Meiser


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