The Win A Date With Tad Hamilton Grocery StoreAug 25th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
One movie location that I have wanted to stalk for what seems like forever is the L.A. area grocery store that stood in for the Fraziers Bottom Piggly Wiggly Supermarket in fave romantic comedy Win A Date With Tad Hamilton. Josh Duhamel! Sigh! I was so obsessed with finding this location, in fact, that a few years ago when I happened upon a real Piggly Wiggly store while visiting a small town in Arkansas, I just about died of excitement! Because Piggly Wigglys can only be found in the Southeastern United States, I had never seen one in person before. So, I immediately made my fiance pull the car over so that I could take a photograph out in front (pictured above). Anyway, thanks to the production notes on my Win A Date DVD, I knew that producers had used a 14,000 square foot vacant supermarket somewhere in Van Nuys to represent the West Virginia grocery store where Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, and Ginnifer Goodwin worked in the movie. With that information in hand, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I pretty much scoured the entire Van Nuys area looking for the store, but, sadly, came up completely empty handed. I even went so far as to have my dad, who used to work in the grocery industry, call up some of his old business contacts to ask them if they knew of a Van Nuys grocery store that was used in the filming of a movie back in 2003. Sadly, none of them did. At that point I honestly thought the Win A Date With Tad Hamilton Piggly Wiggly was going to be a lost cause. Until master stalker Chas entered the picture and promised to help me locate the ultra-elusive store. And locate it, he did! In just a few short hours, no less!
Since Chas knew that Mike and I had pretty much already turned the entire city of Van Nuys inside out looking for the Win A Date store, he decided to disregard the production notes and begin his search just outside the city limits. And it’s a good thing he did because it turns out that the Win A Date supermarket is not actually located in Van Nuys, but in the neighboring city of North Hills. Today, the Win A Date grocery store is actually a 99 Cents Only Store, but at the time of the filming it was a recently vacated former supermarket. According to the DVD’s production notes, the crew decked out every square inch of the empty market with signage and props received on loan from the Piggly Wiggly Corporation. The crew did such a good job of dressing up the store, in fact, that people from the neighborhood stopped in and actually tried to shop! LOL Lucy Fisher, one of the Win A Date producers, said “When we tried to explain that it was a movie set , they still tried to push their way in. Everything looked so bright and shiny and delicious, but it was all fake. Still there seemed no way to convince the neighbors that it was not a real market.” LOL LOL LOL Oh, how I wish I could have seen the store all dressed up as a Piggly Wiggly – that would have been just about the coolest thing ever!
I am very happy to report that, despite some changes, the exterior of the 99 Cents Only Store is still very recognizable from the film. The Piggly Wiggly signage has, of course, long since been removed and a small facade has now been added to the market’s sloped roof, but otherwise it still looks pretty much the same as it did in the movie.
The only major difference I noticed while stalking the place is the fact that in the movie there were two sets of entrance doors, one located on each side of the market, while today there is only one set of doors, located in the center of the store. I asked my dad about the change and he said that it is a fairly common alteration for grocery stores to make, as having only one means of exit greatly cuts down on the possibility of theft.
Although the interior of the market was used extensively in the filming of Win A Date , it, sadly, has been changed quite significantly since the 99 Cents Only Store took over. In fact, it looks as if the 99 Cents Only Company had the building completely gutted and remodeled before they moved in. While stalking the place, I actually walked around the entire store, hoping to find some small remnant leftover from the filming that took place there just six short years ago, but, unfortunately, there was not one single thing.
Even though the Win A Date Piggly Wiggly looks considerably different post-filming and even though in reality it’s just your average, everday grocery store, I could NOT have been more excited to finally be stalking it! I was literally pinching myself the whole time, as this was one location I never thought I’d actually find.
Big THANK YOU to Chas for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Win A Date With Tad Hamilton grocery store is really the 99 Cents Only Store located at 8723 Sepulveda Boulevard in North Hills.