Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Fresh Market

Truth be told, I've become disillusioned of late with both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The former with its narrow aisles, uppity employees, rather high prices, and surprisingly un-tasty fresh foods (I'm talking about their insipid slices of pizza, lifeless chicken salad, and fishy crab cakes to name a few), the latter with frozen food products that seem to rival Banquet in both mushiness and lack of taste, the complete absence of any type of in-store bakery, not to mention that soccer moms and their kids tend to use the aisles as places to hang out, and then snarl at people with carts who are actually trying to shop. Do I sound a bit cranky? Maybe I am, but after years of shopping at both places, the bloom is definitely off the rose.
Enter The Fresh Market, a North Carolina-based chain of gourmet supermarkets that recreate the feeling of open European-style markets.
Open, airy, pleasant, clean (sparkling, in fact), with produce that beckons, and baked goods (cleverly placed throughout the store in addition to being located in an eye-popping in-store bakery) that are positively mouthwatering. We succumbed to the buy-one-get-one-free pie offer and were not disappointed. In our defense, the pies were small ones.
The seafood and meat counters were packed with delicious looking and fresh items. It was such a sensory overload that it wasn't until we returned home that I realized we hadn't actually purchased the crab cakes that I'd been drooling over. No problem! I'll be back.
Don't let the gourmet aspect put you off. This store has sales, great sales. Their fresh, beautiful, red (with no gray meat hidden in the center, a la large supermarkets, for shame!) ground chuck is on sale every Tuesday in June for $2.99/pound!  This is but one of many Tuesday specials.
If a supermarket can have an aura, this one had a beautiful one. I had such a lovely, relaxed feeling while shopping here. Plus, the employees were nice! Very nice. Outgoing, pleasant, and not at all hassled or annoyed by my questions. They made me feel as if they were pleased to have me in their store.
Is this place the be all of grocery stores? Well, no. I have yet to find such a place, but that could be because I am continually in search of less than common ingredients and this often involves specialty or ethnic stores. But with money tight for nearly everyone these days, I'm going to spend mine at a place that offers good specials and makes me feel as if my patronage is both welcomed and appreciated. If you happen to live in one of the areas that has one of these stores, check it out.
This is not a sponsored post. I am just a really happy customer.

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Linda said...

Oh how I relate about WF and TJ's. This place looks wonderful - I see the closest one to me is in Houston, about a 90 mile round trip. :( Hopefully our area will get one soon.
I hope the soccer moms don't discover it. ;)

Marigene said...

Tell us how you really feel, Pattie! I don't go to either one often enough to get fed up with them. I did Google and found that there is a Fresh Market in the area I go shopping. I will make a point to stop in next time I am in the city.
Enjoy the weekend.

Denise said...

Hi Pattie, It's so nice to read your glowing compliments on The Fresh Market -- I can tell you were genuinely impressed. Are you in Missouri? We've lived in North Carolina all our lives, and have been lucky enough to have a Fresh Market nearby for almost 30 years. I, too, love their stores, and so do my Mom and MIL. The Fresh Market is Hal's favorite place to buy steaks for the grill, and I just love it for most everything. :)

As far as the other two stores, I'm not at ALL impressed with Whole Foods (hubby can't stand them) ;) but I like Trader Joe's for some of their products. I had no idea The Fresh Market had branched out to other states, but as Martha says, "It's a good thing."

Hope you have a great weekend!


Denise at Forest Manor

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I'm not a big fan of those two market either. I do like Sprouts here in So CA. They have great veggies and fruit and at a great price.
Whole Food is way to expensive and snooty people.
Trader Joe's is has some great items that I like, but there stores are to far for me.
Have a great weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, your grocery store shopping sounds like an enjoyable time. I have to see if we have a Fresh Market near us! We like Trader Joe's for some specific items and do most of our shopping at Wegmans. Your images look wonderful! Enjoy your day and have a happy week ahead!

Maiah Harrison said...

Oh what a lovely market indeed. I wish I were close to that Market and I would visit often for sure. All your pictures show deliciousness :-)

Donna said...

What a wonderful, yummy market!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I can see why Fresh Market would entice you to shop there over the other two places. All the bins of nuts etc. is perfect for a couple of people that wouldn't want a big bag of something - or pay for the packaging of it. Everything looks fresh and delicious.
Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.