Name says it all for Wilmette grocery store
The wine department is one of The Fresh Market's several specialty sections. | Jackie Pilossoph~For Sun-Times Media
The Fresh Market
3232 Lake Avenue, Suite 150
Updated: December 24, 2012 1:14PM
Joy Landen lives in Chicago, but works on the North Shore. She also grocery shops here. Specifically, she shops regularly at The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store she said she prefers for many reasons.
“I like the small feel of the store,” she said. “I don’t like big stores where I can’t find anything, plus, I love their specialty items: the sushi, the homemade bread, sliced salmon, the bakery and their homemade peanut butter.”
The appearance of The Fresh Market lends itself to an independent, one-location gourmet grocery store, and doesn’t look like it would be a chain, but Wilmette is one of more than 150 Fresh Market stores across the country, and one of four in the Chicagoland area, including Lake Forest, Crystal Lake and Kildeer.
According to Store Manager Mariann Zak, The Fresh Market truly is a specialty grocery store that offers a lot of items a regular grocery store doesn’t.
“We look at the detail of making sure the store is stocked with the highest quality products,” Zak said, “European foods, holiday fixings, and different types of foods that brings newness that people don’t see in other stores.”
“I’m here almost every day,” said Deborah Burrows, of Wilmette. “You can quickly come in and get what you need and walk out. I like the sushi and pre-made salads, and they have a really helpful butcher who gives good tips on cooking meat.”
With several specialty departments, including a bakery, butcher, fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, wine, floral, and deli, the North Carolina-based grocer offers personalized services to its customers.
“We have lots of recipes in each department and we give our customers options on what to make,” said Zak. “We also couple meals with certain wines, and we package up dinners, including dinners for the holidays.”
Recommended by the store for Christmas dinner: Boneless Turducken, which is a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, with herb dressing and Andouille sausage layered throughout.
“This is a huge seller for us,” Zak said. “For the quality of our food, our prices really are competitive.”
Gerald Gorski is a frequent customer who came into the store to buy horseradish root to make homemade horseradish.
“This is one of the few places that sells horseradish root,” he said. “Jewel and Dominick’s aren’t comparable to this store. Whole foods is, but the prices here are better.”
The Wilmette location produces the highest volume in sales for the district, according to Zak, who said it has to do with the great location, the fact that it was one of the first stores to open in the Chicagoland area and, most importantly, the quality of the food.
“It all comes down to freshness,” she said.
“This isn’t the Campbell’s Soup type of place,” said Gorski, “They have great quality products here. It’s a really nice store with delicious food.” ~.