This week, ALDI announced its intentions to purchase 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys grocery stores across the south. ALDI plans to convert some of the locations to its own brand, but at least a few will continue operating under the Winn-Dixie and Harveys brands, NPR reports. I’m not sure what this means for shoppers, but personally it makes me kind of sad and a little bit nostalgic. Sure, ALDI’s keeping a few around for now, but what will happen to Winn-Dixie in 10 years? I mean, I hate to say it, but “Because of ALDI” doesn’t really have the same ring to it.

This made me wonder about America’s other beloved regional grocers. You know, the kind of store that doesn’t necessarily have the lowest prices, but offers a unique shopping experience and retains a small but fiercely loyal following. Like people, these stores can be flawed, but they're also deeply nostalgic, forever entrenched in the memories of the shoppers who grew up with them. So because of Winn-Dixie, here’s a few of America’s favorite regional grocers with less than 1000 locations.

The Southeast: Ingles

I might be biased, because Ingles was founded in my hometown of Asheville, NC, in 1963. But with 198 locations across the southeast and a meme page created in its honor, I think Ingles deserves the top spot on this list. Though it doesn’t consistently offer the lowest prices, Ingles is known for randomly good sales and affordable, generously-portioned deli meals. My brother, a former Ingles employee, reflects nostalgically on the era of the $5 deli meal. Though the price has gone up a few dollars in recent years (inflation is real), it’s still a great deal for the amount of food. Additionally, Ingles is known for operating locations in more rural areas where there might not otherwise be a grocery option.

Signature slogan: "Low Prices...Love The Savings!" 

The West: WinCo 

Idaho-based WinCo Foods was founded in 1967 and currently operates 135 locations across 10 states. WinCo (originally called Waremart) is unique in many ways. For one, it is employee-owned, and most locations stay open for 24 hours. Also, the chain has implemented some quirky cost-cutting measures to keep prices low, including bulk bins, self bagging, and a strict no credit card policy. My dad described his WinCo experience as feeling like grocery shopping in the 1970s. But that might not be a bad thing, if the prices also feel closer to the 1970s.

Signature slogan: “The supermarket low price leader.”

Hawaii: Foodland/Sack n’ Save

Founded in 1948 in Honolulu, the Foodland supermarket chain currently operates 32 Foodland and Sack N’ Save locations across Hawaii. Foodland is known and loved for its excellent selection of poke, delicious plate lunches, and commitment to offering locally grown and made products. Also, Foodland emphasizes community engagement and is currently working with the Red Cross to support Maui’s wildfire relief efforts.

Signature Slogan: “Food, Family, Friends & Aloha.”

The South and East: Piggly Wiggly 

The name alone is enough reason to love Piggly Wiggly. I mean, it’s just fun to say. Founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916, there are now over 500 independently-operated Piggly Wiggly franchises across 18 states, stretching as far north as New York and as far west as Texas. Piggly Wiggly is known for its fabulous fried chicken buckets, excellent selection of regional specialties, and killer merch (available for purchase at

Signature slogan: "Local since forever."

Texas: H-E-B 

H-E-B was founded in Kerrville, Texas in 1905 and has grown to over 420 locations. The San Antonio-based chain is known for its excellent selection of fresh food, including specialties like kolaches and Texas Barbecue. And fun fact, since I know we’re all wondering: H-E-B stands for Howard Edward Butt, who was the son of the store's founder, Florence Thornton Butt. Over time H-E-B has also come to stand for “Here, Everything's Better.” Or maybe I should say “Here, Everything’s Bigger,” because it is Texas, after all.

Signature slogan: "No store does more."

The Northeast: Wegman’s 

Founded in Rochester, New York in 1916, there are currently 109 Wegman’s stores across eight states. The grocery chain is beloved for its excellent customer service, low prices on quality goods, and chic European design. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Wegman’s even operates its own cheese caves. Need I say more?  

Signature slogan: “Every day you get our best.”

The Southeast: Winn-Dixie

Of course, we can’t forget Winn-Dixie. Founded in Miami in 1925, there are now over 500 Winn-Dixie stores across five states. The chain was cemented in pop culture with Kate DiCamillo’s 2000 novel Because of Winn-Dixie which was later adapted into a film starring AnnaSophia Robb. DiCamillo has said she came up with the idea for the book during a period of nostalgia for her childhood in Florida. It’s just one example of how regional grocery stores are so much more than just a place to buy food: they’re inextricably tied to community, memory, nostalgia, and culture. Although Winn-Dixie’s future may be uncertain, it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. 

Signature slogan: “It's a Winn Win!”