An Open Letter to Costco

A whole smoked whitefish from acme smoked fish corp in brooklyn

5 December 2010

Costco Wholesale Corporation
Attn:  Customer Service
P. O. Box 34331
Seattle, WA 98124

Re: Lack of Acme Fish Corporation’s smoked whitefish products at your Richmond, California, store

Dear Costco:

It’s me, your biggest fan.

I’m wondering why you, once again, pulled the rug out from under my supply of smoked whitefish.  Clearly you don’t understand what kind of hardship this presents – particularly during the holidays.  Why do you think I’m always filling out those customer cards when I leave the store, crestfallen?

I’ve lost all hope in terms of the smoked whitefish salad, which you had for some 18 glorious months several years ago.  Those two pound tubs for $7.99 made me scoff at the local bagel stores hawking the same exact stuff for upwards of $15 a pound.  The laugh was on me, though, Costco, when I had to go crawling back to those places with my tail between my legs when you discontinued that product.

Oh, sure, you sometimes have the whole smoked whitefish, but, like a parochial school girl in a short plaid skirt, you’re a tease.

Costco, you know I love you.  I always talk you up to my friends, even when you hurt me.  I love you even though I understand you conduct random drug tests on your employees, which I believe to be a violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, but I’m willing look past that and dip a toe into the waters of hypocrisy because you carry such excellent cheeses.  Your inexpensive Prosciutto di Parma, #10 cans of Rokeach gefilte fish, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and Very Berry Sundae have me all wrapped up.

Why can’t you justify my love and give me a regular supply of whole whitefish, at the very least, if you can’t manage to stock the salad?  This way I can make my own whitefish salad, though I’d really appreciate being spared the grief of all those bones, if you catch my drift.

Do you think you could hook the Richmond store up with one or both of these products from Halloween through the New Year, and then again at Passover?

Some of us don’t drive – or can’t drive on freeways or bridges and so cannot easily get to a different Costco.  Some of us are tired of asking friends in San Francisco to look for these products for us.

Give an ex-New Yorker with a Jewish husband and German mother a break.  Ex-South Floridians, ex-La-La Landers, Northern Europeans and others in the Oakland-to-Richmond corridor of the East Bay would appreciate it, too.

Costco, I believe you have spies  people out in cyberspace keeping track of what is said about you and your products on blogs and other sites.  I think those people might even comment now and again to diffuse negative criticism.  I can’t prove it, and I don’t blame you, but the analytics for my blog, as well as a few suspicious comments, seem to point in that direction.

I know you didn’t like it when I said the dressings provided with some of your in-store prepared wraps are too viscous because you use gums.  No, I don’t think you liked that at all.

I’m hoping that the gentle criticism I offer now and then on my blog won’t have a negative effect on my smoked whitefish request.

To remind you, these products are marketed under the Blue Hill Bay label and come from Acme Smoked Fish Corporation in Brooklyn.  I also provided a photo of a whole smoked whitefish at the top of this post for your convenience.

I won’t be sending this letter through the mail because I’m certain you’ll be aware of it in very little time, given keywords I used.

With best wishes for a wonderful holiday,

The Akitachow household

PS:  I’m assuming you’ll be handing out free cookbooks and samples of your caramel apples and peppermint bark, but maybe you can also have someone there cutting up a whole prosciutto on the afternoon of 9 December?

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12 Responses to An Open Letter to Costco

  1. Karen says:

    Great post! Isn’t it the worst when something you expect to find at Costco isn’t there??? And it seems like it’s always the thing you want the most! I feel for you…

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Karen. And it’s a different product for all of us :-)

      It’s also annoyed me that I haven’t seen pine nuts – another thing I used to buy there all the time!

  2. You think you can get them to bring their Seafood Roadshow around a little more often, too??? 😉

  3. another whitefish addict says:

    I, too, way up here just north of Seattle, was in fish-eating dreamland when I discovered the whole smoked whitefish at our Costco early this past December.

    It took me back to my ever-so-long-ago childhood in The Bronx, and I had visions of everlasting whitefish bliss.

    Alas it was not to be. By mid-January I discovered that this all too brief happiness was not to be extended or repeated.

    While I am not overly devoted to gustatory delights, I do wonder why this small incredibly delicious addition to the cured fish section has to be shuffled off.

    Still reliving this recent joyful event and hoping it might return in the flesh.

    • admin says:

      I feel you. Maybe you’ll see it now and again – instead of never again….I hope.

      I always check because I figure they’ll come to their senses.

  4. Marianne Farrell says:

    Diddo to everything you said,I have to tell you I laughed so much I almost wet myself,ha-ha called up my friend to read your letter to her she also cracked up.
    Just got thru on dec 7th making a round trip to Costco in kansas city,kansas and Kansas City,mo 500 miles round trip,was amazed that they don’t carry the same products mind you that’s only a difference of 13 miles,also could not find a lot of the stuff the used to carry.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Marianne! I love Costco, but I think they cringe when they see me coming :-) It really is true that what they carry varies. There are some things I have to drive over the bridge to San Fran to get, yet my Costco in Richmond has things not found there. It always kills me when they stop selling something I depend on! -Renate

  5. Acerbica says:

    I’ve got a big tub of it sitting right next to me….they must have brought it back. My problem is I bought it and don’t really know what to do with it. Sort of strong for my tastes….but there are two pounds of it to use in the next few days.

    Also, if a company wants to make sure it’s employees aren’t coming to work high, that’s their right. People who want to break the law and use drugs are free to do so, but they aren’t protected from others finding out or firing them for it.

  6. TomL says:

    I just saw the Whole Smoked Whitefish at Costco last night!!! Stared it down for a while, ultimately didn’t pull the trigger. Perhaps I should have. Also a NYC Jew in the East Bay – need to have a decent whitefish salad!!!

    • TomL says:

      Meant to say, specifically, at the Richmond Costco!

    • Renate Valencia says:

      Tom –

      Thanks! Yes, they almost always have the whole whitefish there, and although it’s a pain to make the salad, it’s wonderful to have the option. The South San Francisco Costco ALWAYS has the salad. Currently $11.99 for a 2-pound tub.


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