Well Foodies... we know it has been quite some time since there has been any traffic on this site. I would say I am sorry about that, but we've been living our very busy lives with a VERY busy 2-year old. That said, we are trying to keep you in-the-know on great food via Facebook, so if you haven't found us there yet, you really should. I promise we post at least once a week.
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On to the business of this post...
The Kalamazoo Foodies were honored to be invited on a special tour of the organic-food market, Earth Fare, which opens in Portage THIS Wednesday. They are open 7 am- 10 pm daily.
The company is 40 years old and started as a one-shop operation in North Carolina. Their mission is to connect communities and improve lives through food. They place a strong value on customer service and aim to provide the freshest, healthiest food available. Learn more about Earth Fare here.
The Portage store will be their 35th store. They are growing slowly and purposefully, and look for communities that are vibrant, have a strong local-food movement, and focus on wellness. This will be their first store in Michigan.
|Earth Fare's Food Philosophy.|
Their labeling system makes it easy to tell what is local, organic, or gluten free. They define local as sourced within a 100 mile radius. Most aisles have easy-to-find gluten-free sections.
|Clear labeling helps to identify local (within 100-mile radius) products.|
The bulk-foods area is robust and you are encouraged to try before you buy by opening up any bin and scooping a sample into your hand. I tried their English Toffee and organic, vitamin C gummi bears. There are no dyes in any of their foods, which means that the color candy section is full of colors you would find naturally. You can also buy honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar in bulk and can even bring your own container if you want. Also included in the bulk-food section is a nut grinding station for fresh-nut butters.
The Earth Fare brand offers many options throughout the store and are priced at a great value. I saw boxed macaroni and cheese, pasta sauce, and more that I will be trying.
At the back of the store are three aisles of wellness-related items including medicinals, supplements, and beauty products. Our tour guide showed us a collection of gift baskets that will be raffled off this week after the grand opening. I saw many brands I recognized and many new ones.
Other areas of note within the store:
- All products at the meat counter are antibiotic free.
- The cheese counter has a large selection, including many local cheese, and all are made from "grass-fed milks."
- The majority of the breads are baked in-store and made from scratch. Plus, they have fresh baguettes at an everyday low price of $.98!
- The deli counter features a large variety of house-made salads and other options. There is a salad bar ($7.99/lb) and a hot-foods bar (also $7.99/lb). There are also a multitude of grab-and-go options including sushi. These items can be enjoyed in the store's Café area (which includes free wifi) or taken to go. You can also grab a cup of coffee from the coffee bar.
- Finally there is a fresh juice and smoothie bar. You can build your own or go with one of their blends. All are made fresh to order. "Happy hour" is from 2-5 pm and gets you a $1 discount on your juice and smoothie purchase.
Fresh juice and smoothie bar.
I was especially intrigued by the Meal Deals. I have included a picture of the Meal Deals board. In addition to the daily deals, which include things like $7 pizzas and $5 rotisserie chickens, they also ALWAYS have $3 healthy kids meals. For an on-the-go family who strives to eat fresh while on a budget, I feel as though this may become a new option for us to add into our meal planning rotation!
|Check out the daily meal deals!|
The grand opening is THIS Wednesday, February 25th! The first 100 people "in line" (they have worked out a ticket system so you don't have to actually stand outside in line, but can wait in your warm car) will get a gift card with a surprise value ranging from $5-$500! They will also be announcing the amount of a donation they will be making to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes following a fundraising event they held this past Saturday. They are excited to become engaged in our community and help others when they can.
With that, I am excited to announce that the KALAMAZOO FOODIES have a gift card to giveaway! A $50 card to Earth Fare! All you need to do it post the link to a healthy recipe that your family enjoys in the comment section below, and we will randomly choose a winner THIS Friday, February 27th! How easy is that?
Check out more photos from our tour below! We look forward to adding your recipes to our collection!
|Loving the Healthy Kids Meal options!!! Only $3!|
|Sandwich counter with a great daily deal!|
|Clean, bright, and welcoming. The view from the front door.|
|Fresh pizza! 1/2 a pizza for $6!|
|The cheese counter with its large selection.|
|Check out the local cheese options.|
|Fresh, made-from-scratch breads including $.98 baguettes!|
|Lots of great health and beauty options.|
|THIS COULD BE YOURS!|