Sunday, 23 April 2017

Kicking my heels this afternoon - A new market, some jaundiced opinions, and a joyful happenstance

With time to spare and no urgent care  I took myself  to snoop at  "Sprouts" the newly opened "up-scale" market in south Sarasota.  The place was mobbed (and I was part of the mob!)

Despite the claim that it is a  Farmers Market  (see photo' above) it was hard for me to  see it as anything more than a rival or alternative to Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

That's fine and dandy if you like that sort of thing.  (In the interests of full disclosure I use Whole Foods and/or Fresh Market every now and then.  But I could not possibly afford their prices for my regular grocery  shopping.  Be aware that I am not sure if my ethic is based on price, or on principle).  

I thought that the prices at "Sprouts" were on the high side.  Not to worry!  I'll never have an urgent need to shop there, especially as the Store in nearly nine miles from my home.

But I think that it will be a good place for comfortably off residents of south Sarasota  (and they are legion) who will no longer have to trek north on the over-crowded Route 41 all the way to downtown SRQ to get their upscale fix at Whole Foods.

It's all very well just so long as these fancy/dancy Markets do not become the matrix from which we assess what is good in the food biz.

What is good in the food biz may not be so good for those good, loyal and hard working Americans who are unemployed or under-employed  and who struggle to get ahead.   In SRQ many of them live in an area called Newtown.   It's an area  which even the utterly downscale supermarket chain  (Winn-Dixie) abandoned leaving behind a food desert.

Guess who created a pretty good food oasis in Newtown's food desert when Winn-Dixie bailed?

Whole Foods?  WRONG

Fresh Market?  WRONG

Sprouts?   WRONG

A hint!  It's that evil and dreadful chain based in Bentonville AR (which does business in the UK as "ASDA").

Pause for thought by we anti Walmart snobs?


But I have digressed.   For lo and behold I met two of my favourite people at Sprouts.  They were Ashley H.B and her son Grant.    I haven't seen them in about  three or four years.  Their family used to attend St. Boniface Church.  They transfered out to Sarasota's First Congregational Church (U.C.C.) some give or six years ago,   This was not for any negative feelings about St. B's.  It was that in their minds and hearts they preferred the United Church of Christ and the retirement of St. B's long term Rector  (they adored him) gave them a gracious way to follow their hearts.

I have always had a warm place in my heart for Grant, ever since the Sunday  (when he was aged about three or four) I saw him almost dance up to the Altar for the sheer joy or receiving Communion.  It was a wonderful sight!

Grant has had a growth spurt and her is now a student at Sarasota's Pine View School  (middle school I think).

The three of us had a happy reunion in the aisles of Sprouts.   It was so good to see them.

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