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New Orleans Fresh Market: New Life for an Old Home

So we went to the New Orleans Fresh Market grand opening today. I remember when this building was a funeral home. It was a beautiful building on the inside with wood paneled walls and nice furniture.

New Fresh Market in New Orleans – New Life for a Grand Old Home

New Orleans Fresh Market

New Orleans Fresh Market Grand Opening gives a new life for an old home on St’ Charles Avenue

Then Borders came along and gutted the thing and there was nothing left of the old building but the facade. Well, Borders didn’t last although every time I went in there it was pretty much full of people. So Borders had a financial problem and they closed all across the country. I don’t even think they are in business any more any where.

Now this company from South Carolina, which has dozens of stores across the south, has taken over this building and put in their own store completely revamping what Borders did to the building, removing the escalators and putting in an elevator and basically gussying the place up with homey wall decorations and setting it up European style as one of the workers there told me.

Now why do people think that because it’s European style it’s somehow better. I mean don’t the Europeans do the same thing, you know, call things American style?

I guess the thing with this place is the presentation. It’s all in the presentation. Which is one of the reasons I like to shop at Whole Foods or Robert’s over Winn Dixie. It just feels good to be in there. Winn Dixie, whenever I rarely shop there, I just feel like I wanna get outta there as quickly as possible.

So yes, it feels good to be in a Fresh Market. Looks nice, inviting, items well-placed and enticing, nice decor and really friendly and helpful people.

I talked to the produce guy who told me that Whole Foods has a lot more organic produce and that Fresh Market carries about 60% organic and the rest conventional. That’s fine, I can live with that. Not that I always buy organic since I do most of my shopping at Robert’s which has limited organic.

One thing that surprised me was at the table where they were giving out little demitasse coffee samples they had only non-dairy creamer. Huh? I would’ve thought they would at least have real cream available.

I also noticed that on their pies, I like to read ingredients, they all contained hydrogenated oil. This makes me wonder: if they feel it’s OK to put hydrogenated oils in their pies then you wonder what other kinds of unhealthful ingredients are being used in their prepared foods. One thing you can count on with Whole Foods is that they never use these kinds of ingredients in anything they prepare, nor do they allow them in their pre-packaged or canned goods.

And prices? Well, you don’t go here if you want to save money. I noticed their Abita beer is more expensive here than Robert’s but about the same as at Whole Foods. Overall their prices are in the high end of supermarkets along the same line as Whole Foods. I did noticed that they have a lot more different olive oils than any place I’ve been to in the city, they even have olive oil from Spain which is hard to find.

Overall, I think it’s great that a successful southern food chain has taken over the Bultman building. They seem to take a lot more care in their presentation than even, I would say, Whole Foods. Nice decor and good presentation makes for a very pleasant shopping experience. Also, they seem to be able to capitalize on the feeling of bounty with their produce well lit and over flowing with what seems to be quality produce. Upstairs in their wine department they’ve provided a little cafe-like area where you can sit, relax, talk, and read.

If they keep up appearances and sell quality food I suspect New Orleans Fresh Market will be in business there for a long time. I just hope that someday they’ll get the message and eliminate inferior and unhealthful ingredients like hydrogenated oil.

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