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Scouting Out a New Supermarket

Checking out a new supermarket is simultaneously one of my most — and least — favorite things.
Browsing through the aisles and discovering new varieties of my favorite foods, and even finding brand new, healthy foods I have yet to try? Awesome.
Spending an hour aimlessly wandering around because I can’t figure out which aisle is holding the GD coffee ransom? The worst.
So, when a new market priding itself on healthy option opened up in Gainesville and offered a free tour of their massive store, I may or may not have been the first to sign up. And I’m so glad that I did, because our new Lucky’s Market definitely had some hidden gems. I could go on for pages, but I figured I’d focus on five of the coolest things I discovered.
Lucky's Market
1. Great assortment of produce. There’s not just a door into the store — when weather permits, they actually have big bay doors that they open all the way up leading into the impressive produce section. There were lots of organic options, some interesting prepared and pre-packaged items (like peeled garlic), interesting things in bulk (Brussels sprouts!), and lots of “local” fruits and veggies. Now, as they’re opening, many of the local items are simply local to Florida, but my guide assured me that they had already been in talks with truly local farmers to get their produce into the store.
2. Super fresh juice. Sure, they had fresh-squeezed o.j. (and within just a week, they squeeze 54,000 oranges at the juice bar!), but there was also kale ginger, some varieties of carrot, and lots of other juices. They don’t make them to order right on the spot, but they had quite a few bottled and ready to go.
3. Water! For free! If you come in with your own reusable water bottle, you can fill it up at no cost and stay hydrated while shopping. Since I basically always have a bottle with me (and often do my shopping post-gym or after a run, this ROCKS).
4. Sooo many samples. From a few varieties of bacon to things like curried cauliflower, superfood salads, chipotle quinoa and roasted veggies and more, they have a ton of items in their deli that you can sample. There’s also a salad bar, sushi and pizza made-to-order, and more. Now, I plan to bring home a couple containers of ready-to-eat healthy foods that I can use for quick lunches over the next couple of days.
5. A whole separate booze department. I found a wide variety of craft beer and tasty wine, and it’s all sorted in such a way that it’s truly easy to browse and find what you’re looking for. On my most recent trip, I even came across a type of wine I’d been looking for since … I don’t know, 2012? And it was only $13, which seemed like quite the bargain.
Honorable mention: They have a little cafe where you can grab a coffee, snack, even a pint of beer or glass of wine … and then take it shopping with you. The carts have glass holders and everything. Oh, and the bulk food section shouldn’t be missed. And I found my new favorite lotion in the health and beauty section …
Let’s hear your thoughts. Do you love or loathe checking out a new supermarket? I think it’s worth asking about tours, because, man, did that ever make life easier for me when I came back to do some shopping. Plus, I learned so many swell secrets! Kristen

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