11 October 2007

Local Food Stores

Recently, a petition went around to try to convince Trader Joe's from coming to Albany.

I've never shopped at Trader Joe's -- a California-based chain store that sells grocery and gourmet foods -- but I have listened to many friends talk about how great it is. They've shopped at Trader Joe's in Boston or New York or West Hartford (!) CT. I guess I can be stubborn in my ignorance, but I could care less about whether the store comes to town or not. Besides being a popularity contest for the coolest cities with the most discerning (affluent?) customers, to me the petition represents a desire for the convenience of the known rather than the discovery what's already here.

Happily, I read about a local place yesterday, Eats Gourmet Marketplace at Stuyvesant Plaza, that opened last year. A picture showed a chef using local produce to make Italian bean salad. Another day's newspaper had an article about a local Italian food market that I have occasioned. The accompanying photo showed the 92-year-old patriarch, Augusto Cardona, making meatballs. The text describes the seven different pasta sauces that Cardona's Market makes in house.

I'd like to point these stores out to those who signed the Trader Joe's petition. Right here in Smalbany, there are local foodstuffs being cranked out everyday in stores that uniquely reflect their owners' visions. I'm sure there's something that's a favorite at Trader Joe's for which there's no substitute at these stores, but why not look to a local source before inviting a mass-marketed (even if a specialized market) approach to food?

1 comment:

Scott said...