My friend The Diaper Diaries and I were anxiously awaiting the grand opening of “Fresh Market“. It is in Waterfall Shoppes, by the Cascade Costco. And by anxiously, I mean obsessively. This week, it finally opened!
We both paid visits within days (for her it was hours, actually) of the Grand Opening. We share tastes in pretty much everything food related (recipes, restaurants, etc). Much to my suprise, we had very different experiences. So here you have it,
because two whole people asked me by popular demand – my review.
The store is very nice. Great lighting, great layout, and attractive beyond the fact that it is simply shiny and new. The pastries looked awesome. The staff is very friendly (although the shoppers were not – it’s a grand opening, Oscars, stay in your garbage cans until it slows down if you’re going to be grouchy about a crowd!). The cashier actually held Maybelle behind the counter and let her push the buttons on the cash register! They have a free cookie club, and kids get a cookie every time they go in.
Up until this point, the Fresh Market was like the new guy in high school. Very cute! You’ve heard great things! He’s finally sitting by you at lunch!
Then opens his mouth he starts talking, and you realize the home grown boys you’re been in class with since preschool are just as good, if not better.
They had samples of some of their ‘TFM’ store brand items out. The coffee (disclaimer: see this post for more info about my coffee snobbery) tasted a lot like a very famous coffee chain’s brand that is not my favorite.
I bought a bottle of their house brand San Pellegrino Water which was OK but not cheap enough to convince me not to spend the extra change and get the real stuff. I also bought a loaf of sourdough bread with garlic butter from the bakery, and we had it with dinner. OK but not amazing.
Their wine selection is good – but not as good as Martha’s. Their spice selection is good, but not as good as Harvest Health’s. They have all the healthy snacks, like Bear Naked Granola and FruitaBü, just like Forest Hills Foods. A special nod to FHF – one thing you can find in your store and not at the Fresh Market (ironically) is Crème fraîche.
It has a good selection of international foods, but not as good as Meijer and G.B. Russo . The deli items were really good looking, but nothing I couldn’t find somewhere else, like Grand Central Market or Grand River Grocery.
And the produce – while beautiful – had nothing on the Farmer’s Market (see my recent post on this) in season and Horrocks year round. I did not see one bit of local produce and I am not about to buy a peach from California when the local Red Havens are all over the place.
This is not to say I didn’t enjoy myself, or that I will never return. It was nice to have many things in one place, but since I would go to the other stores anyway for other things, it really doesn’t offer me anything I didn’t already have access to.
I was suprised by my response to the store. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I will continue to support local business whenever possible.
Did I miss something? Either in the Fresh Market, or around town? I’m curious to read everyone else’s opinion, leave a comment either way if you’ve been there (or even if you haven’t!).