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New opportunities to buy overpriced sushi

I’d never parked on the roof of a grocery store before. I’d never been to a grocery store that had parking on the roof before. Now that the Fresh Market has come to town, I can check that off the list, because that was right up there with “pet a monkey” on the list of things I absolutely must do before I die.

I had to park on the roof because every single resident of Indianapolis was as stupidly excited about the opening of this grocery store as I was. Yay! I’m not the only food dork! I’ve been driving by the construction site every day on the way home from work, hoping for the day when I can easily stop off to buy overpriced sushi instead of detouring several miles out of my way to buy overpriced sushi. When they changed the banner from “Coming soon” to “Coming June 25,” I nearly started bouncing up and down in my car. I know they’re going to charge me far too much for mangoes, but I just love it when a new store opens. It’s like a big party and the whole town is invited! This opening is particularly exciting because no grocery store had been in that location since the Atlas grocery closed down in 2002 , which pissed a lot of people off.

Even with the deluge of customers, someone had taken the time to tip the top plastic hand basket up and away so it could be easily picked out of the stack. Nice attention to detail, guys! I wasn’t a few steps into the fruit section when a woman offered me a pineapple chunk stabbed not by a toothpick, but by a pretzel stick. I wanted to take a photo of the delightful hors d’oeuvres, but I was afraid of being accused of spying for the Kroger. I didn’t want to be tossed onto the freshly paved parking lot before I could check the price on sushi, so I kept my digital camera hidden in my basket with the flash off, which probably made me look even more like a spy.

When I walked in, I thought the prices were what would deter me from stopping here too often. However, now I know it will be the evil under glass.

Too much evil to count

The very colorful evil.

Colorful desserts

Along with the beautiful and tempting dessert section, they also had a huge candy aisle near the checkout section, which could not be avoided unless you plan on shoplifting. There is also a huge nut section, which made me nuts. I found myself staring at a big tub of Kona Coffee Crunch for an inordinately long time, reading the list of ingredients including cinnamon and walnuts and yogurt covered nuts, beginning to talk myself into buying some. I, who still have muesli in my trunk because I can’t handle having it in my cupboards. It was like having demons whispering to me. Finally I pulled myself out of it, if only because I took a look at the lines.

The line

Then I ditched my plastic bag of $0.99 per pound peaches too, vowing to come back later in the week when prices were still good, even if those particular peaches won’t be.

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30 Comments

Jill • June 27, 2008 at 8:22 am

You are so funny!!!

What a beautiful store! I want to live there. In the colorful evil section.

YUM.

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Anonymous Boxer • June 27, 2008 at 9:42 am

We have Whole Foods here and one is threatening to open 5 minutes from my house.

I. AM. DOOMED.

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G.G. • June 27, 2008 at 9:59 am

I LOVE the Fresh Market. For some reason I just feel more sophisticated when I walk in the front door, even if I don’t buy anything.

My first FM experience was in grad school 14 years ago when there was one w/in walking distance from my apartment. I used to go there and imagine the days when I could buy more than an occasional loaf of bread. When I go to the new one that just opened up near me now . . . . I imagine the same thing. Only now it’s more likely to be raw nuts than bread.

One thing where the FM can give you a good value is for spices. You can buy small amounts and spend less instead of buying a big jar for more that will lose its flavor before you use a quarter of it. That should appeal to your frugality!

About the colorful evil section–at least it’s possible to partake of the colorful evil in small doses. On rare occasions! It’s manageable evil.

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Lori W. • June 27, 2008 at 10:58 am

That middle photo of the strawberry cakes looked like a war photo — the strawberry cakes being surrounded by chocolate petit fours guerillas….wouldn’t that make a funny video cartoon?

I enjoy going to Whole Foods and sometimes it’s a zoo there too. Maybe you can find a farmer’s market nearby which would be just as interesting (our farmer’s market is a bit of a cruise market, wink wink) and cheaper and less crowded.

I’m enjoying your book; thanks for the autograph!

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Amy • June 27, 2008 at 11:12 am

Hey, I didn’t know they were open already! Is it like Whole Foods, i.e., another place I can get all the weird ingredients that Meijer doesn’t stock?

Thought you might be interested in this site that lists product nutrition labels and user reviews. Saw it in Time’s 50 best websites voting thingy.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1809858_1809957_1811569,00.html

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Laura N • June 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Your grocery store photos are a hoot. That pastry case is scaring me!

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Julie • June 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm

That’s like going to Costco and only getting one thing. So.not.worth.it.

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Kelly • June 27, 2008 at 1:45 pm

The desserts at Fresh Market are beautiful- they all look so good. They look 100 times better than they taste though, so even if you buy a few, you’ll stop, eventually, becuase they are expensive and not just “not great” desserts, but almost not even worth eating. But their cookies and muffins are good, and their granola is addicting.

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Recovering Actor • June 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Um, there’s one of those in the Greater Philadelphia area.. except it’s called Food Source. I’m pretty sure it’s the root of all evil. At Food Source… they homemake Italian gelato. And have vanilla and jasmin flavored vitamin water. All very froofy for the Mainline babies.

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Ayksha (4 Short) • June 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Wow…well, okay so I just typed and deleted about three paragraphs so I’ll just leave it at that

wow:-)

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asithi • June 27, 2008 at 3:44 pm

I notice that the pricey grocery store near my house also have a mouthwatering display of beautiful desserts too. I know that is the whole point. Make it look pretty and people will buy it. But it is a scary temptation for me. It pretty much do not go near that portion of the grocery store.

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jenn9899 • June 27, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Pretend everything in the glass cases are plastic. It cuts down on the drool when you walk by.

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Melissa • June 27, 2008 at 6:08 pm

For five years, I lived three quarters of a mile away from the Fresh Market here in Orlando. Needless to say, I parted with many a dollar there. I tried the Kona Coffee Crunch for the first time last week–just for the cinnamon yogurt-covered raisins–and, as you can imagine, it was dangerously good. They have tiny bags in the candy section that I use for the fruit and nut blends. They only hold an ounce or two each, so that way you can only get yourself in so much trouble vs. the big ass bags by the gravity bins hold a pound or three each. Or, rather, a greater variety of trouble.

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Helen • June 27, 2008 at 6:49 pm

I’m still mad about Atlas closing and I haven’t lived in Indy for over 20 years! ;-) But that is yet another thing you’ve written about that takes me baaaack…Atlas was my neighborhood grocery store. :-)

Do you have Trader Joes out there? Now THAT is my food porn place…but I also get a LOT of great healthy stuff there too!

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Pamela R • June 27, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Girl I know what you mean! There’s temptation everywhere, especially the fresh bread isle for me. I go about every 2 weeks to stock up on Fage 0% plain yogurt. Low cal, low fat and high protein. And would you believe it’s a lot cheaper there than my regular supermarket? I bring it home and mix it with whatever SF jello flavor I’m in the mood for (I’m talking about the powder, don’t make jello first.)

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PastaQueen • June 27, 2008 at 8:26 pm

We do have Trader Joe’s, but it’s a bit of a drive, so I only go there when I’m doing other things, like buying my cat’s prescription cat food. I love their oatmeal and their soups.

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PastaQueen • June 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm

That’s an interesting idea. Jell-O powder + yogurt. Too bad I’ve given up yogurt temporarily to see if it’s a headache trigger.

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starbird • June 27, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Based on what Kelly said a few comments above this, the desserts would probably taste like plastic, too! Easy to skip when you know what to expect.

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Laura • June 27, 2008 at 9:44 pm

I live in North Carolina where Fresh Market originally started. They do have good desserts, but they also have wonderful produce! Enjoy!

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Katrina • June 27, 2008 at 9:53 pm

If you love grocery stores that much, you must come to Austin, TX and check out the mothership Whole Foods. You can’t park on the roof, but you can go ice skating up there in the winter (we Texans have to make our own ice). AND you can take an esculator in AND out of the market. They have a special one for your cart.

I’m such a grocery store dork.

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Sarah • June 28, 2008 at 2:13 am

They have these honey roasted cashews…oh man. I usually hate honey roasted, but these are amazing.

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Andrew is getting fit • June 28, 2008 at 4:33 am

Hmmmm….evil!

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lynn • June 28, 2008 at 5:55 am

That store is beuatiful, the supermarkets here in the UK should take a leaf out of their book, that’s what I call a public service, look at the size of those strawberries, I’venever seen anything like it

I too want to live there

Lynn x

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cindy • June 28, 2008 at 10:39 am

We have Whole Foods in our area. I have two that are about 20-30 minutes from my home, which makes shopping an even bigger chore. I find it is worth it, though, and I make the haul on a weekly basis, or every two to three weeks in summer (when I can get most of my food locally at farm stands and a farmer’s market). Whole Foods has an amazing looking bakery, but I try to only look (I don’t drive a half hour only to sabotage myself!). There are a lot of ridiculously priced items there, but over all, I find them to be reasonable, especially for all my basics (excellent prices on organic whole milk yogurt, frozen organic berries, sprouted grain breads, whole grain flours, organic sugar from Florida, organic veggies for soups, grass fed beef, organic chicken, etc…). I stay out of the middle aisles for the most part, as that’s where the mark-up occurs—as well as where you find all the processed foods that I shouldn’t be eating anyway! Though if you want a treat, they have their own brand (365) of organic potato chips that are as light and delicate as I’ve ever tasted, and I feel they MUST be just a little bit good for me as I munch away on them that long ride home…

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laura • June 29, 2008 at 1:25 am

I scoffed at whole foods when it moved to my neighborhood. Now I’m obsessed with it. I can’t buy diet coke there (suck), but I can get goat gouda cheese and freshly scooped gelato. mum-num! Fresh on!

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laura • June 29, 2008 at 1:30 am

oh and on the delicious looking dessert case: Those fruit tarts are covered in a thin layer of gelatine to make them shiny. That’s enough to keep me away from them. I can take jell-o, but I don’t trust that stuff – it reminds me of the gel on canned ham. *shiver*

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Supple Mama • June 29, 2008 at 1:55 am

They really know how to lay it out!

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Zandria • June 29, 2008 at 9:06 pm

There’s a fresh market in Richmond, VA (where most of my immediate family currently lives, and where I lived for almost 8 years). It’s a great store, and definitely aesthetically pleasing. :)

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meggiemerma • June 29, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Hey! Just finished your book and it is great. I’m taking it to my weight watchers meeting to recommend to the group. I admire your dedication, your success, but above all, I admire your ability to persevere. There is nothing worse than failing a little. It makes you question the whole endeavor. To be able to pick yourself back up and get back in the race is much more of an accomplishment than a hundred good days on the scale. With your down-to-earth view of the whole thing, you have inspired me more than you’ll ever know. And you can rest assured, since you’ve learned how to live, there will be more minus 10′s for you in the future than ten pluses.

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Amy • July 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm

But TJ’s doesn’t carry TAHINI of all things, so then you have to drive to Whole Foods too! I get my bodywash at TJ’s and really can find the rest of the stuff elsewhere.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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