Hyde Park Produce opened its doors on Wednesday, Jan. 23rd in the Kimbark Plaza -- in the space (Otto and) I like to call Mr. G's but in its most recent incarnation was actually the Co-Op Express.
The banner over the deli at the new Hyde Park Produce proclaims Welcome...to our Dream!, and a lot of love has clearly gone into this store. It's orderly, it's clean, and it's well-stocked. There are seemingly dozens of employees buzzing around like bees, and smiling ear to ear at the customers, nearly giddy with pride. It's a sight to behold.
It was difficult for me to take a photo there, because the store was quite crowded, and I didn't feel right posting a snapshot of innocent bystanders.
The store feels spacious, and it's well laid out. There is, of course, a ton of produce. But there's also a deli counter with a variety of desserts, pre-made salads, and side-dishes. There are two small refrigerated meat cases in the back of the store, with fresh chicken, fish, and beef. There are freezers with frozen vegetables, pizzas, and ice creams. There's a dairy section with organic milks, cheeses, eggs, and yogurt. There's a shelf for artisanal bread (Labriola), but it was a little sparse today. And there are about three "grocery" aisles (pastas, jams, kosher items, canned goods, imported foods, bottled water). You can get almost anything you need here (other than paper goods, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, which you can get at CVS or Walgreens.)
As with the "old" Hyde Park Produce, I saw some spottiness in the freshness department. The bok choy was dead today. There were wilted heads of lettuce. The asparagus had dried and shriveled. And before you get your hopes up about doing all of your shopping there, I thought the prices for grocery items were high. A bottle of San Pellegrino is $3.79. Bonne Maman jams are $4.99 -- more than a dollar higher than University Market. A block of Mozzarella is $5.08. A 34 oz. bottle of Colivata extra virgin olive oil is $19.99.
In fact, here are some impulse purchases I made (granted, I have expensive taste), and the total came to $45.71.
I am looking forward to seeing if those San Marzano Italian tomatoes are as good as the delightful imported brand that I buy at Costco.
And just to whet your appetite for more progress...
Here's what Treasure Island promises us, among other things, in their Message to the Hyde Park Community: a "bountiful" salad bar; a full-service butcher (with dry-aged meats) and fish monger; "homemade" prepared foods; imported cheeses, pates, and prosciutto; artisan breads; made-to-order floral arrangements; and an extensive catering menu.
From the Hyde Park Herald we learn TI will have even more (did I hear the magic words "Belgian Chocolate case?"), including a sushi bar, a juice bar, a conventional and organic salad bar, and an ice cream bar. Who knew you do could all that with 35,000 square feet?
If it's true: deep sigh.