Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fresh and Easy Opens!

The long anticipated opening of Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market happened today. We've been watching closely as the old Tower Books building at Watt and El Camino was destroyed and rebuilt as a little super market. I was hoping for a dream store that would be everything I want in a food store:

good prices
fresh produce
easy on the eyes - a natural feel to the decor
not too big
easy in, easy out
bulk stuff and basics for healthy cooking
those cute easy to push mini carts

How does Fresh and Easy match up? It was so crowded I could hardly tell. Seems like half the neighborhood was as curious as I was to see the new kid on the block. My impressions are that it won't quite fit the bill for my dream store. Maybe it was the crowd and the annoying music that was getting to me, but it seemed like a store that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Too much junk food for a health food store, not enough junk to be a regular market.  This store will fit the bill for people who like prepackaged yet fresh food to eat at home. It also has a nice idea up front: a case for no-brainer dinner ideas with recipes and all the ingredients ready to go - good for the Rachel Ray crowd. Today they featured everything for chicken fajitas - tortillas, chopped veggies, chicken, spice packet etc. all there ready to grab with the recipe.

Now that I got that out of my system, I'll hope for a Sprouts Farmer's Market to open up in the area. Or for Whole Foods to get dirt cheap. Or for the planned Nugget Market at Howe and Fair Oaks to be moved a few miles northeast. This picky shopper can always dream.