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In a sure sign that things are finally getting back to normal, Costco announced it's bringing back its food samples. So when will they be available here in Rochester?

The good news that those always enjoyable free food samples at Costco-- which quickly went away when the pandemic shut just about everything down last spring-- ARE coming back to Costcos across the country, including here in Rochester.

According to this USA Today story, Costco broke the news during its third-quarter earnings call last week that it was bringing back the beloved food samples, as well as in-person dining at its food court. And, here's even better news, those samples may already be back.

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USA Today notes that Costco said 170 of its 550 locations will be bringing samples back starting this week, with the rest expected to resume sampling by the end of the month. So where does that leave our Costco here in Rochester?

Well, I was at Rochester's Costco Sunday afternoon and didn't see any food samples, but after talking to a Costco representative on the phone Tuesday morning, I found out that those food samples... are already back here in the Med City! They're being slowly rolled out this week, I was told, and will continue to increase throughout the next few weeks. Yay!

USA Today also noted that Costco is also set to reopen its food court soon, as well, though there will only be half the seating capacity as before the pandemic. The tables will also be spaced out to maintain physical separation, and seat a maximum of four people.

My wife and I have found many different brands we like because of those Costco samples! Although sometimes it seems like despite how many samples they give out, even our favorite brands simply go away, right? Keep scrolling to check out some once-popular brands that aren't around anymore.

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