Elgin, IL

Elgin's Fresh Market Provides a Welcome Change From the Standard Chains

Sherry McGuinn

Price, selection, it's a total win-win

Yep, they carry flowers, too!Source: Facebook

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, I find that most of my time "out and about" is spent shopping for groceries. I know, Zzzzzzzz. And, I agree. Grocery shopping can be a big snooze if you don't mix it up a little and try out different markets.

I've spent a lot of time at the Jewel Osco five minutes from our home, as well as Aldi, also close by, and Mariano's, in Schaumburg. Not as close, but worth the drive.

But I want to share with you what I consider what was once a diamond in the rough on Summit Street and is now a full-on gem: Fresh Market, which has undergone several changes over the past few years.

When my husband and I first moved to Elgin twenty years ago, this particular store catered to the Hispanic community and was somewhat limited in their selection of "every day" items. Yes, they had a decent selection of produce, but nothing to write home about.

Back then, Fresh Market had a wide variety of the type of foods you'd expect to see in a Hispanic grocery store: Meat for tacos and fajitas, beautiful, fresh peppers, freshly made tostadas, and the like.

Today, Fresh Market has expanded to the point where their International selections now include Indian and Asian produce and condiments, including Thai (my favorite), a vast assortment of freshly baked cakes, cookies, and muffins, a staffed "hot bar," rotisserie chickens for those nights when cooking is the last thing you want to do, a constantly-evolving seafood counter and of course, fresh beef, chicken and pork. And that's just scratching the surface.

As soon as you enter the store, you're met with a rainbow of gorgeous fruits and vegetables, along with a huge variety of fresh herbs.

I love wandering around the produce department where I often find little "treasures" like Thai basil, which I've never come across anywhere else in the area. And, fresh aloe vera, which is a real find if you're into natural skin and hair care.

What's more, if you're into saving money and I don't know anyone who isn't, you'll find the prices at Fresh Market are not only competitive but much lower, than say, Jewel. The other day, I bought two bags of organic Romaine Hearts for four bucks and a bag of small, Hass avocados for less than three bucks. These minis are great, by the way, when you're craving the creamy goodness of an avo, but don't want to devour a one-pounder, as the calories do add up. These little ones are the perfect size for snacking, without any waste.

As I said, the seafood department is constantly changing, so you never know what's going to be available from day to day. But just yesterday, I scored big time as I purchased a whole, wild-caught red snapper which I'm going to prepare Grecian style, for dinner tonight. The guy at the counter was super-helpful and sliced the fish lengthwise so I can stuff it with garlic and fresh lemon. Yum!!

The entire Fresh Market staff is friendly and helpful and the store itself is always gleaming. I know there are other Fresh Markets in the area, but this is the one I frequent.

If you haven't already been, I urge you to give Fresh Market a try, and if you do, let me know what you think.

As always, thanks for reading.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL

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