(Photo: Unimart by Ramon F Velasquez, courtesy of Wikipedia)
Anyone who is from the Ortigas or San Juan area (or anyone who has visited Greenhills Shopping Center) should be familiar with Unimart. It’s been around for ages—I have fond memories of going grocery shopping there with my paternal grandmother and my cousins whenever we’d spend weekends at our grandparents’ house in New Manila.
These days, stepping into Unimart feels like going back to the 1980s, complete with sappy 80s one-hit wonders currently being bossa nova-fied to death in this decade. To give you an idea, the section where they sell school supplies, books, and toys looks like it ought to be covered in a layer of dust (it isn’t), and the sales staff should all be in their 70’s by now (far from it). It’s not so bad if you’re the nostalgic type…until you realize that the cash machines also seem to be from the 1980s, and you’re standing in line waiting forever for your turn.
This is not to say that Unimart sells really old things, by the way. Not at all (otherwise no one would do their grocery shopping there). I did notice, however, that there are quite a few things they sell that really add to the feeling of being in a time warp.
Like these funny-looking dog and…I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a bear (or a racoon) benches. Seriously, what mind came up with this idea. Each costs close to US$850.00. Who on earth would buy these?
What did catch my eye were a couple of items that use vintage (or vintage style?) packaging. I spotted three brands of floor wax—”the original since 1953″ and all from the same manufacturer. It’s safe to assume that the packaging also hasn’t changed since.
And these lemon drops! In spite of the weird meshing of font choices (not really liking what they used for “Lemon Drops”), I like it a lot if only for the vintage style illustration. It’s certainly not something you see every day. I didn’t buy it (trying to cut down on sweets) but I’d like to try them one day.
I swear I don’t see these things in any other grocery except Unimart. It’s crazy, and even though I want this place to undergo a renovation, stat, a part of me hopes they won’t ever change.