by Chrysa Smith

I do enjoy food shopping. Well, not just any old food shopping, but good and fun food shopping. To me, that translates to great buys on fresh, wholesome produce, grains and baked goods–as well as the new and fun stuff that sustains this shrinking family of four (two empty nesters/two poodles).

So, where can I shop and enjoy at the same time?

It’s as eclectic as I am. It’s a mish-mosh of places, from the ordinary to the sublime, depending upon what it is I am looking for.

Trader Joe’s–In Montgomeryville, Jenkintown and other locations nationwide. It’s got fresh and packaged food that’s natural, wholesome and organic. It’s surprisingly affordable and for folks like me who love to cook and hate to bake—well, it’s got me covered on a great selection of frozen cheesecakes, creme brulees, tarts, cookie dough and other sweet treats, that I keep a stock in the freezer—for whenever that craving calls.

Whole Foods–Tried and true, it’s my ‘go to’ place for fresh produce off season, seafood, deli and baked goods. The selection is nice; prices in line. I do love their seasonal baked goods and their all-the-time challah bread—egg dipped, braided sweet bread. It’s delish.

Redner’s—It’s bare bones. It’s basic. It’s a warehouse. But come on; they’ve got the best pricing on your staples—-dairy, cleaning, cereals, condiments, etc. The produce isn’t bad either. They got a fairly decent aisle of whole foods and a new freezer case with bakery-made coffee cakes and pies—-ooohhh.

Wegman’s It’s the Taj Majal of supermarkets, and I even make it a point to take my Montana inlaws there for a few oohs and aahs when they come to town. I really like their floral and organic depts., cheese shop, seasonal and tableware dept, plus their fresh baked bread. I think it compares to any good bread bakery worth their weight in dough. And for a light lunch bite? It’s a nice change for good slow food, done quickly.

Wrightstown Farmer’s Market In season, it’s one of my favorite Saturday morning stops. Not only do they collect some of the area’s best farm products, but there’s tastings, there’s a band and I can bring the mini-poo’s. It’s a place where we can relax, sit in the shade and hang out while listening to folk music. It’s also home to some serious slow food (healthy, sustainable food vs. fast food) movement people—check it out on their website.

Does stocking the pantry stoke your desire to cook? Fire it off to us here.
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