An incredible deli, a walk-in booze closet, outdoor seating and a cooling cheese room is what Romeo’s Paddington IGA in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has to offer.
In comparison, Lloyd’s IGA in Newtown in the city’s inner west has no fancy benefits and consists of just long, straight aisles.
The difference is so stark that in the never-ending debate of which area in Sydney is superior – the eastern suburbs may have just won a point against the inner western suburbs.
Romeo’s food hall IGA in Paddington is sleek, clean and looks like it could be used as a set in a glossy Hollywood romantic comedy.
You can even treat yourself to a coffee while your hunting for fresh produce.
Meanwhile, Lloyd’s IGA in Newtown is more traditional, featuring none of the same bells and whistles and it looks more like it could be used as a set in a gritty low-budget Australian drama.
So how can two stores be so different and belong to the same chain?
Well, like McDonald’s, owners of IGAs buy into the franchise but then can put their own spin on things.
So, while Paddington shoppers are treated to bevy of quiche options, Newtown customers don’t even get a deli counter.
Seamus, a regular at Paddington IGA, calls it an “oasis” and praises the customer-friendly layout. “Everything always looks nice and is so easy to find,” he explained.
When customers shopping at Lloyd’s IGA in Newtown were confronted with photos of the stunning Paddington store, the reactions were mixed.
One shopper claimed that she was happy with Newtown’s IGA.
She said: “I like it the way it is! We have enough cafes in Newtown.”
While another shopper declared they’d happily trade their Newtown IGA for the Paddington one.
“I’d love a good deli. I find this IGA hard to shop in! You really have to know where everything is,” he said.
Another Newtown local explained that they usually shopped at Broadway Harris Farm because they didn’t feel there were enough deli options at Newtown IGA.
“I’d love for this IGA to have more options, but the options here are better than Coles,” she explained.
While another shopper revealed that she’d love the Newtown IGA to be upgraded.
“I work down the road, and I’d love to be able to get a nice lunch here! It’d be nice to get something from the deli that is more interesting,” she said.
Still, not everyone was interested in having a Paddington-style IGA in Newtown.
“I don’t think it would be Newtown anymore! If there were a Paddington-style IGA here,” a shopper confessed.
She added, “I’m also reluctant to want a boujee IGA, because it might jack up the prices of things.”
The 2021 Census found that the average household in Paddington was bringing home a staggering $3131 weekly.
In comparison, households in Newtown’s medium weekly income is $2325.
Both areas are firmly in their boujee areas now, but only one has the IGA to prove it.
Originally published as Swanky IGA in Sydney’s eastern suburbs reveals what other areas are missing out on
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