I, too, used to shop at Joe's ...
I, too, used to shop at Joe's prior to the remodel when my mom used to take us there when we were kids. The newly designed and merchandised store is a lot different than the way it used to be, but I find the new items, look, and feel to the store to be a welcome change.The store is bright and CLEAN, which I value highly. I have been shopping there for several years as an adult, and have always found their items to be of superior quality to the competitors in the area. It is true that sometimes you might pay a little more, but I have found that when I purchase "similar" items elsewhere, they are not fresh, and the quality is not as good. I end up throwing these things away, which is a complete waste of money. Now I prefer to spend a little more for the quality, and enjoy what I buy, rather than save some money at the outset, then have to throw it away before I can use it all.
While I can see how someone could assume that a remodel will guarantee an automatic price increase, I feel that is more of an assumptive expectation, rather than to be a reality across the board. They offer middle-of-the-road items, and some higher-end items, so I always feel that I have a choice.
More than anything else, I have found their customer service and attention to detail to be superior to the other stores in the area. Every time I have ever had an issue or a question about one of their products or policies, I have been treated fairly and with sincere interest in my opinions. One time, last summer, I went to the store in the summer and asked about buying apples "off season". I always assumed that apples are best enjoyed in the Fall, and that apples that were sold in the summer would be mealy and unpalatable because they had been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for several months. The person who I asked introduced me to Joe Jr., who took the time to explain the different types of apples to me, and explained that 'Jazz' apples were perfect for summertime eating and explained the reasons why. He also offered to take me on a tour of the store. I really appreciated that he took such an enthusiastic approach to my question and took the time to listen to my questions.
There are at least 4 other grocery stores and markets that I pass on my way to Joe's (One is another "specialty" store which is within walking distance to my house), but I prefer Joe's every time. For me, it's the quality and personalized service is what keeps me shopping in their store.