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Old 08-28-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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The competitive landscape is vastly different here -- folks are lately going gaga for Pete's Fresh Market which is "independent" compared to Jewel or Dominicks but they source nearly everything from Centrella. Marianno's is the locally "hot" newcomer but they are part of the massive Roundy's chain.

There is nothing "wrong" with any of these sources but they are hardly run by some "close to the farmer" sort of Alice Waters of grocers...

In only my little pissant corner of the world I can walk to Standard Market at the Westmont / Clarendon Hills border, they have wonderful selection of specialty foods, beers, and a nice selection of produce but they are targeting folks that are accustomed to Whole Foods, not The People's Grocery...
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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I live near Warrenville in Wheaton. Wheaton is probably the closest place to go to from Warrenville for shopping but Naperville is also close. I have not found any independent groceries or fruit markets like you have in the city like Stanley's or Edgewater market. Its basically Whole Foods, Jewel, Dominicks, Utra, Costco, and the like. Caputos is in Naperville. There is a Trader Joes in Glen Ellyn on Roosevelt. Valli Produce is a place people frequent I think its up on North Ave in Glendale Hts but I have not found reason to go there. Wheaton has a pretty terrific French Market on Saturday mornings but prices are high. Fun to go to though. Also Mariano's is going to open in Wheaton on Roosevelt Rd. within several months. Also a Fresh Market is opening at some point on Roosevelt Rd. in Glen Ellyn, a stone's throw away from Mariano's. We have soooo many stores but non of the mom and pop variety like you are speaking. Also some like the Blue Goose supermarket but that's out in St. Charles. I like it quite a bit but a bit far for me.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:44 AM
 
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By the way, I went to whole foods and they had a whole table of Illinois peaches. They were hard as a rock and no tinge of blush to them. I was skeptical and opted for California organic peaches that looked like peaches and not small grapefruit. But now I am wondering if they were good. I like to find Michigan peaches but have not seen any. Oddly sometimes you can find better produce at Ultra. They are located close to Warrenville at Roosevelt and County Farm Rd.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
How strange.

The store back in Washington state went around to growers in the region and made deals to buy direct from them. Yes, they had produce from California and Mexico in the winter, local onions (ever eaten Walla Walla Sweets? ), local fruit, potatoes, berries, even hydroponic tomatoes, etc. I had just assumed that there would be several large stores that do the same things. This one had a huge ethnic foods selection, a very large vitamin / herbal section, deli, bulk dry foods, and even their own branded spices. And it served an area of about 80,000 people ( total population for the region). I figured there'd be even more like that.

I was in Cermak Fresh Market today and had to laugh... Badly abused Fuji apples from near where I used to live... 2000 miles from here And, a little lump in the throat, too.
We are not as "crunchy Granola" as the Pacific Northwest. I can appreciate the disappointment. Was in Michigan a few weeks ago, the local farmstands were really cool & the apricots, peaches and blueberries were delicious.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
We are not as "crunchy Granola" as the Pacific Northwest. I can appreciate the disappointment. Was in Michigan a few weeks ago, the local farmstands were really cool & the apricots, peaches and blueberries were delicious.
In the Chicago area, I suspect the OP would be happiest living in a place like Oak Park or one of the Chicago neighborhoods where the crunchy quotient is higher. Whole Foods or Caputo's is as close as we get to crunchy in Naperville/Wheaton/Warrenville.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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Default Not really...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
In the Chicago area, I suspect the OP would be happiest living in a place like Oak Park or one of the Chicago neighborhoods where the crunchy quotient is higher. Whole Foods or Caputo's is as close as we get to crunchy in Naperville/Wheaton/Warrenville.
Oak Parkers seem to be pretty happy with Whole Foods in River Forest or Trader Joes. Evanston has no real "college town collectivist coop". The Hyde Park Coop collapsed years ago, and it was terribly behind the curve of not just foodies but anyone that did not want to ptomaine poisoning -- a flithy stinking dump of a store!

There are handful of folks pretending to be "humane butcher shops" in some of the hipster neighborhoods like in Brooklyn, but from what I hear they are not having much success.

The big produce stores like Jerrys are sourcing from the same docks as Centrella.


There is just a very different level of detachment from agricultural producers in this area -- I suspect that will never change, the "volume" mindset of so much of our food chain is very ingrained.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
In the Chicago area, I suspect the OP would be happiest living in a place like Oak Park or one of the Chicago neighborhoods where the crunchy quotient is higher. Whole Foods or Caputo's is as close as we get to crunchy in Naperville/Wheaton/Warrenville.
LOL, you don't know me

I'm from the country, not the big city "crunchy granola" burbs. However, I was blessed to grow up in a fruit, berry, melon, onion, potato, and truck farm region which produced world class flavor and quality. Just up the road is one of the highest quality producers of IQF packaged peas and corn (and other things). If you have ever eaten Cambell's soups, likely you've eaten stuff grown and processed there.

I know you guys grow corn here and one of our favorite things to do was to visit the local growers and get it fresh ( picked while you wait or just before you got there) and eat it when you get home. I just figured I could do the same here. Maybe by next summer I'll have these places down pat and can work them into my travels. I guess I'll find out if they're as good. I hope so.

Dang. I'm making the trip again in a couple weeks back to the PNW, and driving out. I think it'll be too late, however, for all the good stuff.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Yeah, but I suspect you're more likely to get the locally produced stuff where the crunchies and hipsters are found.

You might also try emailing the Frontera Farmer Foundation ... Rick Bayless is a big supporter of locally grown and his foundation might be able to point you in the right direction. Here's a list of farmers the foundtion has supported ... You might contact some of them and ask where their produce is available:

Meet the FFF Farmers: Frontera Farmer Foundation - Rick Bayless | Frontera
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:18 PM
 
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You could also try Local Harvest:

Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food

Here is a place in Wheaton to check out:

http://www.moograssfarms.com/

Last edited by whakru; 08-29-2013 at 04:23 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:50 PM
 
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Illinois is not a "farmer state" it is THE CAPITAL of "agribusiness". Monsanto, DeKalb/Pfizzer, Cargill, ADM, are not abstract "bad guys" here -- these are companies that sign the paychecks of traders heading home from the exchanges to places that INCLUDE Oak Park, Evanston, Lincoln Park and other "crunchy" looking places. The guys and gals that work for law firms, banks, advertising firms and the myriad web of other businesses that depend upon the MASSIVE flow of cash that comes from hugely efficient crop production might enjoy a night out at some frou-frou resturant but at the end of the day they know what butter is spread on their bread and ANYTHING that paints the hyperproductive agricultural in a negative light is not going to be tolerated by the corporate heirarchy.

Not to sound too nuts but the rumor was that Illinios politicians so disliked John Grisham's "The Firm", portaying the ugliness of corporate attorneys that spend most of their time using dirty tricks and poltical payoff to ensure their clients are above the lawy, that they nixed filming here... Yep, this where you live now.
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