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Sassy Blake

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Everything posted by Sassy Blake

  1. Dottie, I have dogs too, and I never thought of using the turkey for them. That said, I use the same 5 lb ground turkey rolls too. My freezer is stocked with them when they ever come in! I spice it up and make spaghetti sauce, taco meat, meatloaf, and anything else that ground beef is used for (except hamburgers). Here are some great turkey sausage recipes. They were published in the newspaper many years ago, and we really like the "basic turkey sausage". Turkey Sausage.pdf
  2. Approximately 3 weeks ago, an acquaintance ( 21 yr old indigenous male, Native Spanish speaker; IOW not a Gringo) hailed a taxi in central David. The taxi driver drove for a bit, and then robbed the rider at gunpoint. A struggle ensued, and thankfully the gun wasn't discharged--who knows, it could have been unloaded or a toy, the rider didn't know. But the driver stole the wallet, phone, backpack, and the rider's shoes. The rider's hand was injured and he experienced some nerve damage resulting in a flacid right hand. After this 3 weeks, he's finally regaining some control over his hand. The driver drove off and the rider didn't get the license plate. He went to the police, but without a license plate, there is nothing the police could do. There is a Boquete bombero who drives taxi in David on his days off and while on vacation. His name is Enrique Pitti. Ph # +507 6272 7744 Spanish speaker only An English speaking, honest, full time David taxi driver is Carlos +507 6514 0650 Both are honest men. Be careful who you ride with in a taxi. It was suggested to me that quite possibly, the taxi car might have been stolen by the robber. We have no knowledge of a stolen taxi report as we don't follow news in Spanish. Best to ride in taxis with a known driver. Above are 2 known entities I've entered both mens names and numbers in my contacts so I can call ahead if I anticipate needing a taxi.
  3. I've been out of country for several months. Upon my return I had an email exchange with Melissa Twohey of PriceSmart about the new Member's Selection pet food line, as I was going to be introducing it to my canines and felines. In a nutshell, without recounting the "back and forth" conversation, she said, " Our supplier has developed a special strain of probiotics to help with digestive health for dogs, as this is a big concern for owners. What is special about this probiotic is that it is a strain specific to canines. Really hard to communicate that on the packaging! But there it is…and they’ve done lots of research to make sure it is effective and that it survives in the digestive track of the dogs, which is key for probiotics. Our supplier of Member’s Selection is incredibly focused on quality, and has the knowledge to back it up." My comment to her was that I mix the Kirkland with the Member's Selection, and she said I am basically duplicating, since the supplier is totally familiar with Kirkland and it's benefits, and Member's Selection has everything Kirkland has, plus the probiotics. "Regarding Kirkland Pet Food – our intention is to activate the KS Salmon/Sweet Potato Formula (grain free) as our ultimate premium dog food offering." So to clarify/summarize: "The current Kirkland items that we offer are pretty much a duplication of our new Member’s Selection program." PriceSmart will be introducing the Kirkland Salmon/Sweet Potato Formula (grain free) as the premium dog food offering. Regarding the Kirkland cat food v.s. the Member's Selection cat food: I did a price comparison yesterday while in the store. Kirkland is $1.91+ per kilo (11.34 kilo bags), Member's Selection is $1.73+ per kilo (7 kilo bags). My cats like them equally well. Switching won't be a problem in my household. Also, even though it was some months back, she wanted to assure the Members that, "PriceSmart experienced a temporary shortage in Fresh Step Cat Litter due to a production issue. We will continue to offer our members both Fresh Step and Member’s Selection Cat Litter at PriceSmart locations." She was very apologetic for the inconvenience.
  4. PriceSmart said if you aren't 100% satisfied with their private label on which ever product you're buying, you can bring it back for a full refund. If you're dissatisfied with the kitty litter, return it. That's one way they can know whether their private label is meeting expectations. Also, Melissa said they will be keeping both, the Kirkland and the Member's selection pet foods to see how sales go. So let your purchasing habits do the "talking". She also said, "The pet food that will be launching in the next several months is Member’s Selection – and it will be a high-quality formulation at a fantastic value. For example – the dog/puppy food does NOT contain corn, and the first ingredient is Fresh Chicken. We do not use by-products in our Member’s Selection pet food. And the formulation includes proprietary probiotics and superfoods to help maintain healthy digestion and coat. We partnered with a top-notch supplier in the US that leads the way in the industry with their quality. I’m very excited about it!" Cats tend to be finicky, and my experience with a change in cat food especially, is that it has to be introduced slowly, i.e. buy Kirkland and a bag of the new food and mix them 35%/65% initially, with their familiar brand being the greater quantity, and gradually, mix 50%/50%. I, like my cats, dislike change, so I'm looking forward to the introduction of the new food, and will be mixing it. I've always fed my cats in the states, premium cat food, and to me, it sounds like PriceSmart will be selling a premium food for an affordable price. Once I read the ingredients, and buy the first bag, it should become clear whether it's a good product. Dogs tend to be less finicky overall. I have dogs too. So I'm interested in seeing how my dogs accept the food. With Chicken as the first ingredient and no fillers, I'm hoping for the best.
  5. Melissa Twohey, PriceSmart VP Corporate Foods, wrote this very informative explanation regarding their private label and the upcoming introduction of the pet food line. I am happy to answer your questions!
  6. not being picky at all. You're 100% correct. In fact, I recently had to explain that difference to my Panamanian lawyer. So I'm confused, this tax avoidance treaty; does it mean that now avoiding taxes is illegal?
  7. The last sentence I quoted from Melissa, "We’ll be watching the sales of the new Member’s Selection pet food before we make any decisions on the Kirkland," leads me to believe that the Member's Selection label is the Price Smart label. I see the MS label on some of the products I buy, but I didn't know it was the PriceSmart label. I buy the Member's Selection extra virgin olive oil, for instance. So if Member's Selection is the PriceSmart label, then the dog, puppy, and cat food will be Member's Selection, not PriceSmart. I'll confirm with Melissa and post it.
  8. I recently inquired whether PriceSmart has stopped carrying the Kirkland maintenance cat food. here is the response I got on Feb 11. So if you're a "consumer" of the cat food, count a couple weeks from the date I heard back from Melissa. Also, Melissa said that they will continue to carry both the Kirkland and their own label food for a time to see how they are received. Per Melissa: "We’ll be watching the sales of the new Member’s Selection pet food before we make any decisions on the Kirkland."
  9. I forgot to mention, you need to send the MINSA form 3 days before you travel. Their hours are 8am-11pm. You will supply your travel information on that form so they are sure to be there when you arrive with your pet(s). also, upon arrival at PTY, you WILL have to put your animal in it's carrier thru the x-ray machine before bring it to the MINSA office.
  10. I just imported 2 dogs and 2 cats from South Carolina, on 2 different trips 3 months apart. The process seems overwhelming, but it wasn't too bad. Did it all myself without paying for any special service. The dogs flew in the belly of the plane on one trip; on the next trip, the cats flew in the cabin. When you accompany the pets, that IS NOT considered cargo. Cargo is when you're shipping pets. Cargo is very expensive. When you're accompanying the pets the cost is less. I found American Airlines to be the cheapest for flying my dogs. $200 per dog, when I was accompanying them. Flying the cabin pets was a bit cheaper, $125 per cat. The most complicated part of the transport was flying. There are temperature parameters and temperatures in the US and Panama don't correspond, so that was tricky. The dogs were flying in the belly of the plane and we had to change planes in Miami. By the time we were due to arrive in Miami, the tarmac temperatures were going to be too high and therefore the dogs wouldn't be allowed to fly. The way we got around that is, while my bags were checked straight thru to PTY, the dogs were only checked thru to Miami, where I collected them in baggage claim, watered and fed them, walked them in the Airport's doggie park, and then we waited in the air conditioned terminal until we had to go back thru security. We had a 4 hour layover, and by the time it was time to fly again, the tarmac temps had cooled somewhat, so we were within the temperature parameters. We were arriving at PTY at 8p.m. so there was no problem with the temps at this end. Not all airplanes are equipped for putting animals in the belly of the plane. So when booking a flight for animals who'll be traveling in the belly of the plane, be sure the airplane can accommodate your animal. The airline reservationist had to search several flights until she found the flights with the "equipment" that could accommodate the dogs. From my airplane seat I could see the cargo being loaded into the plane's belly. I also spotted my dogs' kennels and was obviously interested in how they handled the dogs' kennels and whether they'd just toss the dogs in the cargo compartment. I was gratified to see that they handled the dogs' kennels respectfully. Coming thru Customs in PTY was pretty simple. I collected the dogs in baggage claim, and brought them to the MINSA office and waited until they did their end of the paperwork. They peeked inside the kennel, I paid the money, and we were out of there. Before leaving Panama for the animal-transport-trips, I went to the David airport and rented a Hilux to accommodate the large kennels; paid a Panamanian acquaintance to drive to PTY to meet us, and we shared driving back to Chiriqui. It was a win-win event. I saved a lot of money not hiring a service, and he enjoyed driving the Hilux. When transporting the cats, I did the same thing, only rented a Toyota SUV so the cats could ride inside the car in their kennels. Rental companies don't permit animals in the cars, so if you bring them inside the car, be sure to keep them in the kennels so no animal hair gets on the car seats. Paperwork requirements weren't too confusing. The main thing is to do all the paperwork on time, for instance: the Health certificates need to be done 10 days before you travel. If you don't live within a reasonable driving distance to the USDA-APHIS office, you have to fax or overnight those docs, including the rabies certificates to them, and get them all back so you can then send them to the Panamanian Consulate for your part of the Country for Apostille. Then, you have to be sure to fax, or scan and email the Minsa, Home quarantine form plus the Rabies and USDA-APHIS docs to cam@minsa.gob.pa. The USDA-APHIS Veterinary Certificate of Health is specie specific. There is one for dogs and one for cats. It's actually the same form for both species, but choose the appropriate form for your animal. The form is applicable for multiple animals of the same specie, i.e. more than one dog on a USDA APHIS form. Airlines won't transport certain breeds. My dogs were BOTH breed mixes that couldn't be transported OR imported. One terrier mix, and the other a pitbull mix. NOTE: the Rabies certificate indicates the breed. So on the Rabies certificate, my vet "re-classified" my dogs. The Pitbull is now an Australian Heeler mix. And the terrier, was re-classified "jack russell mix" we just left off the word terrier. It all worked fine. In addition to Rabies Certificate you need the attached forms completed by the Vet: The MINSA form for Home Quarantine is completed by you, not the Vet. Remember, the Veterinary Health Certificate is Specie specific. I've attached for dogs, but if you're bringing in cats, download the one for cats. Vet Health Cert. dogs to panama.pdf USDA Health Cert. form sm animals.pdf MINSA Panama English.pdf
  11. Here are the responses from the buyers regarding the items you suggested: Products previously tested and discontinued due to low demand (not planning on repeating) · Fresh Artichokes – due to low demand · Pepper Jack Cheese English Muffins – the buyer says that the product PriceSmart offers is a higher quality than Thomas Muffins, which means that the top and bottom muffin are almost the same size and can be used for sandwiches. Enjoy! Please note that due to seasonal bakery products for the holiday season that we need to make room for, sometimes the English Muffins are temporarily inactive during Oct/Nov/Dec due to space constraints. Marinated Artichokes – will be rotated in from time to time. Will let you know if/when they are back in stock! Melissa Twohey Vice President, Corporate Foods
  12. Just to let you know PriceSmart has English Muffins!
  13. they only put 20 in the David store. And expected them to sell out in 3-4 weeks. The other day when I was there, there were a group of PriceSmart execs roaming the store and checking things out. I stopped and asked them about the products which were asked about earlier in these threads, and at the same time, we spoke about these storage containers. They said they were a special purchase, but they bring them back from time to time.
  14. There were many responses and inquiries to the post of a new item at PriceSmart. I said I would forward an answer once I got one. Yesterday, while at PriceSmart, I noticed a group of several "honcho-looking" PriceSmart employees strolling the aisles. I stopped to ask the questions for food items that were requested in the "New item at PriceSmart" topic of November 2016. So here is the info I got: regarding the much requested English Muffins: They said the English Muffins were discontinued because they weren't a good seller. I contested that there were several requests for them on that post. They answered that unfortunately, when they have to buy for 40 stores, while Chiriqui buyers loved them, they didn't do well overall. Can you imagine the poor taste of the consumers in other PriceSmart areas?!?! ~smile~ I also asked about the real vanilla and kalamata olives. no answer on that yet. I will pursue it a little further with Melissa. I can say, that when the decision was finally made to bring Grey Poupon mustard back, I got a note saying it was now in all the Panama stores. That doesn't sound to me like it was in all 40 stores. So DO make your requests known at the site I included in a previous post. Maybe, we can get more of the stuff we like in the Panama stores! One bit of interesting info is that if you buy a product at PriceSmart which has a warranty/guarantee, PriceSmart is your warranty Return center if the product fails while still under warranty. Save your receipt, and bring it with your defective/failed product to the store, and they'll see that it gets repaired or replaced. That's what I was told by Bob Coulson and Andrew Skare, both of whom are in charge of various aspects of merchandising.
  15. While at PriceSmart today, I inquired about whether the store would be open on Thursday, Nov 10. The Associate told me PriceSmart is open EVERYDAY. The ONLY 2 days they close are December 25 and January 1.
  16. I"ll be at PriceSmart today and I'll ask whether they'll be open Thursday. Will post the answer here.
  17. While PriceSmart carries some Kirkland products (Costco), they also carry Member Selection (Sam's/Walmart) things too. When Sol Price started Price Club in CA, San Diego, specifically, it was a warehouse club as PriceSmart is now. Price Club couldn't compete with the giant Sam's Club, so Price Club sold out to Costco. In stead of going out of business, PriceSmart was born and served Costa Rica, then Panama, Central America, and recently, it opened in Colombia--the first club in South America. PriceSmart is not part of Costco, neither is it part of Sam's/Walmart. So your membership cards for either of the other two stores won't serve you here in PriceSmart.
  18. https://shop.pricesmart.com/pa/en/contact-us/ at that site, in the contact us box, there are 2 options: 1) contact us by email 2) Facebook. I just clicked on the "contact us by email", and it pulled up the form that you fill out that looks like the screenshot above. the "contact us by email" was kind of strange. I had to roll my curser over it a couple times before I realized it was a roll over link. I was directed to it and typed in the 'name' field. it appeared to take my information. Did you try the link in this post?
  19. The Kirkland products are great quality, aren't they? I asked about PriceSmart carrying Kirkland mayo 1) because it most tastes like Best Foods/Hellman's (depending on which US Coast you're on) my personal favorite, 2) because I found the re-use of those jars particularly useful. Melissa said 2 things: 1) since they are somewhat space limited to carry everything everyone likes all the time, they tend to rotate items, and items that didn't sell well may not rotate thru again until asked about it such as the Grey Poupon mustard. Also, if as in the case of the recent Grey Poupon order, they'll put a small amount on the shelves for a 3-4 week period as a "trial" to see how it goes; and/or as they told me when they agreed to put it on the shelves again, once we see it, stock up because it may not be there again for a long time. 2) re the Kirkland products which it seems most people here are familiar with and appreciate: Melissa told me that for obvious reasons, Costco has first dibs. It's their Brand. So if there are any "leftovers" that Costco can't use (my word, not Melissa's), PriceSmart can try to obtain products. BUT before they do, they have to be sure the amount of product they secure has expiration dates far enough out that their own distribution channels can sell the product in plenty of time before product expiration. So it's a bit more complicated than just bringing in requested items into the David store. They buy for all their stores at once and so they're always looking at how well an item sells overall. ( I don't actually know if they buy for regional favorites or for ALL stores at once, but they buy for more than just one "club" as she calls them. I sent Melissa a couple emails suggesting all the items that people requested in these posts over the past several days. I suggest to you that everyone who reads this and wants to ditto any of the suggested items send in the form I posted earlier so PriceSmart can see a groundswell of requests for those popular items that PriceSmart may not even know are cherished. And when PriceSmart gets them in, stock up. If by chance, Melissa notifies me about a requested item coming to the store, I'll certainly post it. Re an earlier post about the kalamata pitted greek olives: I too asked Melissa about them when they ran out some months ago. Back then, she told me that they were one of those items that were being let go due to space and demand. She told me a certain Panama City store had a few jars left, and they were being closed out--discounted. If I had had a Panama City contact and a way to get them, I would have bought all they had! I lost out on that one, as did we all! That said, my memory may fail, but I think she may have said something about bringing those olives back for the Holidays. Again, if you see them, stock up! But leave some for me! jajaja AH! one more thing: I don't know about the email address posted in the store, but Melissa DID tell me that some of the email addresses and sites aren't monitored. So that's why she gave us the info I posted above. She said it is a monitored site.
  20. Here is a response from Melissa at PriceSmart: I sincerely welcome your suggestions. I haven’t had a chance to go through all of the items you’ve mentioned (been bogged down with a couple critical issues that are taking all my focus right now) but I’m looking forward to reviewing the suggestions and providing the solutions that we have coming. I did want to resend the directions on member feedback: please use the link below that will direct you to a form on our website. https://shop.pricesmart.com/pa/en/contact-us/ There is a webform to fill out or you can provide comments to the facebook page; there is a link to follow from that same webpage. I’ve provided a screen shot below.
  21. ok, so I'll ask about English Muffins and Artichokes too. I've already asked her about the chicken stock in cans and pepper jack cheese. I asked on Friday and so hopefully, I'll hear something back this week. Sometimes she travels. Also, i noticed in the list that Keith Woodford provided of the different PriceSmart contacts, Melissa Twohey's position in that list isn't what it is now. I guess, she either got a promotion or they changed her job title It sounds to me like everyone who's dreaming about their "wish list" might have been hungry when they wrote. Kind of like going shopping when you're hungry--you think of everything in the world you crave! jajaja I'll put in the request and ask her to respond to each of the items requested. Let's see.
  22. I asked Melissa to re-send the suggestion site since i can't find it in my inbox anymore. I agree wholeheartedly about the pepper jack! and the other items, too. I'll drop her a line and she whether she's sorry she ever contacted because of all the requests! jaja! actually, she said she loves to hear from customers--and then, in the next sentence, is when she gave the site for suggestions. anyway, I'll ask her about the items mentioned and will post her response.
  23. yes, Sassy got this from PriceSmart. Some time back when we were at PriceSmart (a couple years ago, I think), I saw this "gringo" man scurrying around like he owned the place. very unusual since we all know PriceSmart employs the locals. But since he spoke english, and our spanish was pitiful, I struck up a conversation with him. Turns out we were speaking with the Executive VP of PriceSmart, Tom Martin, who gave us his card. One day, fairly recently ago, I wrote him about a product, and reminded him of our conversation way back then (he remembered the conversation, which I fully expected since we're so memorable! jajajaja!), and then he forwarded me to Melissa Twohey; with whom I've had some periodic ongoing conversations about products including "storage solutions". So when she sent me a note telling me about the container described above, I thought I'd "put it out there" for any one who might find it useful. PriceSmart is responsive to the requests of customers. The thing I asked Tom Martin about was Grey Poupon mustard. He told me they had it a long time ago and it wasn't a good seller, but it had been awhile and they'd be willing to try it again for a limited time. It turned out that it was such a good seller this time that they're carrying it again, at least for the time being. So if you like it, buy it because it could go away any time! So I suggest, if you want an item, make the suggestion. The Boquete.ning site, had the site for making suggestions and requests. It might still be up on Boquete.ning somewhere. Hope that clarifies the confusion about from whom the original post came and how the post got put on Chiriqui.life.
  24. the price is $27.79, i think. anyway, $27 something. The plastic seems pretty stout. to answer whether I can hold one, I don't work for PriceSmart. Just a customer like everyone else.
  25. just to clarify, it is a very small place. Only 2 tables which each seat 5, and a couple small "counters" that have more handmade stools than people could actually sit at and eat at together. nonetheless, all the food is homemade, with fresh ingredients--at least when we ate there. I hope that doesn't change. the owner served a small, probably no more than a tablespoon sized, tazita of a salsa to go on the shawarma. To us, it was very delicious, and we wished she'd be a bit more generous with it as it suited our taste buds. maybe, if you like it, you can ask for more of it, and she might get the hint that it's a hit.
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