The Fresh Market opened its Mills 50 store last week, and I am both elated and worried. I’m happy that the upscale grocery store, the third in the greater Orlando area, is now closer to where I live.
That’s also what worries me.
If you’re unfamiliar with Fresh Market, it’s best described as a grocery store that specializes in gourmet products. This is not a place to shop for bargains, and you’re unlikely to find yourself behind a Coupon Queen at the checkout counter. The shoppers here aren’t looking for the buy one/get one deals or looking to save a few pennies on a gallon of milk. The shoppers here probably don’t raise an eyebrow at the $4.99 artichokes (that’s each, not per pound).
The whole experience is meant to be hoity toity, from the moody lighting to the classical music in the background.
But along with the upscale atmosphere and upper stratosphere pricing is the quality of the products, which is generally first rate. For foodies, shopping here is a thrill.
I stopped in the other day and did a little shopping. I bought some gorgeous chicken breasts (which actually were on sale) and some andouille sausage for a gumbo I was making. I drooled a little over the cheese selection — it wasn’t that many years ago that fine cheeses were something you had to purchase on vacation to bring back to Orlando.
The Fresh Market also offers a number of prepared food items, ready to heat and eat, and some partially prepared, such as rolled chicken breasts for you to take home and bake or grill.
The meat case is a carnivore’s erotic dream, but I found the seafood selection a bit anemic. I don’t think Fresh Market will be a threat to nearby Lombardi’s.
It won’t threaten Publix, either. Publix is more worried about the Wal Mart grocery stores than upscale food stalls.
And I’ll still use Publix as my everyday grocery store. But how wonderful it is to have Fresh Market close by for those really special meals.
Fresh Market is at the corner of Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive in Orlando.