We were giddy. Like kids in a candy store. Adults in a grocery store. A grocery store with everything you need (but pleasantly not one that feels like a warehouse or seems like it's the length of a football field). Fully stocked but totally cozy, too. I checked for all the things I like: Local Shatto milk? They have that PLUS Shatto butter and Shatto ice cream. My favorite orange juice - they have it AND it's cheaper than at the other store. Environmentally friendly toilet paper - bingo! The good kind of yogurt? Three different brands! Organic products? Plenty! Reliable vegetarian and vegan fare? Yup! "Natural," "Organic," "Gourmet." Everything. They even have prepared foods, too and an olive bar (!); everything looked so delicious - I would have eaten Eggplant Parmesan and Risotto Balls for breakfast. (But instead I had a delicious muffin and a cup of Roasterie coffee.)
There was only one thing I couldn't find, but do you know what happened when I asked one of the many helpful staff members about it? She took down my name and phone number, the name of the product, and said she'd let me know. Above and beyond.
They have some things we don't want, too - like pig's feet. When Sergio picked up the jar and showed me I said, "Oh no!" and laughed. Standing next to us there was a quite elderly woman wearing a scarf over her head; she interceded - "Oh, but they're so good!" "Really?" I asked. "Sure," she said, "except I can't have them any more - that's why they're so good. But when I was kid ..." and she smiled. The range of shoppers was just as diverse as the range of products.
This is a funny moment in life for me to be so especially enthusiastic about a grocery store as I am currently immersed in exploring an off-the-grid food system (which has left me wanting to buy all my produce directly from farmers and to make all my food from scratch) ... but even with all that, I am still beyond thrilled by the new store. After all, you gotta buy your beer and toilet paper somewhere, as they say.
And Cosentino's Downtown Market has my favorite kind of both of those things.
Our local Central Soyfoods tofu!