20 August 2009

The Fresh Market : Food Store Anomaly


My wife and I were in the Kennett Square area yesterday after visiting Longwood Gardens' beautiful sights in the humid August air and had become pretty hungry. We were making our our way to Philadelphia when we passed one of those behemoth shopping plazas with chain stores and noticed a place called The Fresh Market which I remembered hearing about at work. I expected something like an independent Whole Foods type, based on the size of the store front, but their intentional appearances, inside and out, were deceiving.

Inside there was a very large produce department with beautifully done displays but very little organic or obviously local produce. The store's dim lighting, too dim if you ask Megan, was provided by small spots and police interrogation room styled hanging lamps. The effect was like Whole Foods but more mysterious and gourmet like "open European style markets" (as their website touts, as if you'd found something secret in the aisles. Don't be deceived, you didn't!

Sure, there was a good helping of natural and organic packaged foods throughout the store right along side items containing high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fat), and the vivid hues of artificial food dyes. In neither the bakery nor the prepared food displays was there even a single vegan friendly food that a youngish couple from Lancaster could enjoy. That isn't even true at the huge grocery stores we have around here.

We didn't expect to find The Fresh Market to be a vegan mecca but we didn't expect to be this disappointed. The store offered very little, if anything, more than the natural sections do at most supermarkets while giving the appearance that the place was unique, up-scale, and superior in one way or another. Seemingly, some are being duped into this place over a truly natural or gourmet store. Maybe in the Carolinas this sort of place is the best you can get but not anywhere near Philadelphia. Good luck, The Fresh Market. The rest of you, steer clear.

After writing this I stumbled onto this like minded review.

1 comment:

Sigs said...

That's not cool! I would be interested in you sometime explaining to me a brief summary of why you are vegan. Does your faith influence this decision or your moral code? I feel uninformed (some of which by choice) when it comes to things like growth hormones, treatment of animals, and the negative health effects of much that I eat, but I would like to learn. A conversation, house church discussion, or blog post will do. :)

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