Sims Footscray

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The deli section at Sims in Footscray is a winner.

Sims Footscray, 511 Barkly St, West Footscray. Phone: 9687 2117

The Footscray branch of Sims doesn’t get quite as much of our time or money as it used to.

Other places – the Circle in Altona, Sunshine Fresh Food Market, the combo of our local Yarraville IGA and the Village Store a few doors along – tend to get our shopping action these days.

Still, it proves useful still on occasion – it often depends where we’re heading home from.

Will the big boys squeeze Sims out?

According to a very short article at Wikipedia, the Sims family package of supermarkets is now down to two – Footscray and Werribee.

Stores in Hoppers Crossing and Sunshine have been sold and rebadged under the macPlus Retail Group banner.

The two remaining Sims stores are affiliated with IGA in some way, but I seriously wonder how the Footscray branch is going to deal with the growing pressure of rapid growth – the store backs on to Bunbury Village – and the arrival of the big boys.

The Highpoint development project currently being erected will house a new Woolworths supermarket, and just up the road from Sims there’s an Aldi and a Coles at the Central West.

We like the range of Black & Gold sweeties at Sims.

Sims stocks Bickfords cordials – bit not the bitter lemon flavour! Grrrrr …

They do stock muesli basics, though. The white sultanas and roasted almonds for same are obtained from Sunshine Fresh Food Market.

Sims often has pretty good specials. I’ll be interested to see how these super cheap Italian tomatoes scrub up.

For a store that has quite a robust Mediterranean flavour, the range of oils and pastas is on the humdrum side.

For some splendid reason, the Footscray Sims just about always has really cheap red capsicums.

I love the way the smell of them getting blasted in the oven fills up the house.

Peeling and seeding roast capsicum is one of those Zen things – you’ll end up with a puddle of mush if you’re in any way cranky, impatient or hasty.

So soothing to just let your fingers ease the seeds and skins away!

The deli section at Sims is definitely one of the store’s strengths, with a really excellent range of cheeses.

The meat section is no great shakes, but there are quite often specials on items that are approaching the date they’ll have to be disposed of.

We tried a couple of these rather fine-looking but affordable pizzas … and found them to be not very good at all. The Village Store in Yarraville has a different and better brand.

I’ve often been frustrated when being unable to find fresh coriander at Sims. And then, when I do find some, I find it’s $3 a bunch!

The bread and specialty biscuit arrays don’t do much for us, but we like the range of rolls and buns for work and school lunches.

The ATM comes in the flavour of free – for my cards, anyway!

In some ways, that we don’t use Sims so much these days is a little sad for us. It’s just the right size – you know, not too big, not too small.

And it’s eccentric and and has a heart, unlike its corporate competitors.

Long may it remain open!

18 thoughts on “Sims Footscray

  1. Wow… have never even heard of SIMS (besides the hours I’ve wasted on the PC game). Your photos of the B&G lollies remind me of when I sent some Musk Sticks over to an American friend who refused to believe that we would use musk as a food flavour. Neither he nor his children were very impressed….

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  2. We beg to differ! We love sims because it is so entertaining. The theatre of Rodney the former employee who has his own spot on the bench, who spends more time there than any employee, who is always up for a chat about the Tatts prize pool; the products that we have never dared to buy like “Fant” and “Slang cream”. The pizza is good – and near the expiry date is half price and makes for a great cheap emergency dinner. The special fridge down near the butter which before our diet always a great source of drumstick icecreams $20 for 24 and other specials. At the deli the long bacon is yummy and the prosciutto is cheap and great quality. The dogs tied up out the front and the great carpark with shade and amusing signs of things for sale and the lost dog and cat signs on the power pole. You can save money elsewhere (we buy veg, fruit and meat at Footers market) but not have as much fun!

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    • Hi Melissa! You’re not the first person who has referred to the Sims entertainment factor. Maybe because we’re not regulars, that part of it seems largely to pass us by. Look, we actually quite like the place – better the a soul-less Coles any day! It’s a community supermarket and I’d hate to see it squeezed out. And as I noted above, the deli section is real fine. We like checking out the noticeboard, too!

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  3. I’m dreading the day my sims dissappears. I love it. I need it. I don’t want a coles or a woolworths. They seem to be running the planet anyway.

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  4. We love Sims in our house, just love it! It’s cheap, friendly and always entertaining, as previously pointed out.

    Some great things about Sims:
    * big range of Deli cheeses and meats
    * 70 cent mineral water
    * Best pickled veges selection this side of Eastern Europe
    * decent bread (Philippas) if you get in early enough
    * widest beer selection in Footscray in the bottle-o
    * random specials (like you pointed out with the canned tomatoes)
    * cheap across the board – our shopping is usually $20-30 cheaper for similar items than the IGA in Kensington where we lived before Footscray

    And my mother in law even “pashed” Peter Sims once in her youth, so that is worth something too 🙂

    Viva la Sims!

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  5. Well, I love Sims too. I started my career working for safeway and within 4 years I was jack of the big chain stores, found my way to Sims and have been there in differnent roles for almost a decade. The SM Trev has been there for 30 years and the storeman Jeff has been there for 40 years, you don’t get that sort of dedication if the place isn’t doing something right. People often ask if we’re hiring and I tell them no… nobody’s leaving, ‘who’d want to leave this place!?’
    And I’m going to look at getting bickfords bitter lemon into the cordial section… it was deleted from the wharehouse a few years ago but probably replaced, just didn’t get onto our shelves 🙂

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    • Stephen, it’s great to hear from you here! And a fine thing to hear about the contented staff at Sims! I know from our visits that there are a lot of familiar faces around the place, so turnover must indeed be low! Very notable, that! How do the staff and/or management feel about the threat posed by the big boys? Oh man, if you get Bickfords’ bitter lemon back on the shelves, you’ll get our custom full-time for sure. But who knows – maybe it’s not being made any more. That would explain why I have such a hard time finding it! 🙂 😦

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  6. I love SIMS. It is the most wonderfully daggy place on earth. It has some amazing bargains.
    I love the great prices for wonderful cheese, the specials on tinned tomatoes and passata, the old men willing to have conversations about the pickles. My niece who lives in Kew now regularly shops there with me. On her first visit she was amazed by the cheap prices and great range.
    Today I went to the (relatively) new IGA in Footscray. It too is pretty amazing. Definitely worth a review. It has fish tanks with live seafood!

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  7. Just a special mention for the most excellent (and cheap as) split green olives from the deli. Does anyone have suggestions for good cheeses there? My housemate buys some there that are a bit blah (a blue that is not more than salt stuck together with dairy product) but maybe there are some others worth trying…

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