If you love local produce, locally-made beauty products and groceries, and interesting specialty foods, you should head over to Metuchen on Wednesday morning for the grand opening of the first Whole Foods Market in Middlesex County. Festivities start at 8am with a bread breaking ceremony instead of ribbon-cutting. There will be giveaways and special sales all day. The store is at 645 Middlesex Avenue, just a few miles off the Parkway so it’s easy to get to even if you don’t live right in Metuchen. They will be open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm starting Wednesday. I got to tour the store today as a sneak preview and I can’t wait to come back for some real shopping.
The produce section is stocked with lots of items from farms right in New Jersey or upstate New York. It’s amazing to see all the Local signs pointing out where different veggies and fruits are from. Almost the entire mushroom section was locally grown. This is one of my favorite parts of any Whole Foods Market because we’re such mushroom fans. Other grocery stores usually just have white and portobello mushrooms (which are actually the same mushroom, just harvested at different times).
Fruits from Evergreen Orchard Farms in Hamilton Township were given a front and center spot in the front of the store because their Korean pears are so popular. They also have a special variety of Muscat grape that is a new addition to the area.
There’s also a special section of different vegetables and fruits that are specially brought in to introduce customers to new flavors or remind someone of home with produce that’s not normally available in the U.S. I loved all the different kinds of eggplant. They’re gorgeous and I’m intrigued to try them in different recipes.
The bulk area is right near the produce section and another special addition can be found here. Dylan’s Candy Bar has partnered with Whole Foods to make a line of candy that’s got many of the preservatives taken out. Sounds very interesting!
The seafood, meat and cheese sections also have a lot of locally grown and made merchandise. I really love how Whole Foods tries to get as much as possible in their stores from nearby so you get the freshest and best food for yourself and your family.
The Metuchen store also has some products are are made only in Metuchen. Allegro Coffee has a roaster right in the store and they even made a special Metuchen blend. You can get freshly roasted beans or opt for the more economical beans roasted just over the river in NYC. Either way, you’re getting really great coffee from Allegro. They also supply all the coffee bars in Whole Foods Markets which Ed and I both love to buy drinks from while we shop.
The bakery section has a whole lot of gluten free, paleo and vegan treats which they specially brought in for this store. They really went out of their way to include everyone so we can all enjoy some dessert. The vegan and gluten free treats from Papa Ganache in Matawan all looked delicious.
The final stop of my tour was the restaurant right in the store. They chose a Mexican themed cafe called Comida Fresca because they researched the area and thought that this was the cuisine that was the least represented. There are lots of local beers to drink, a margarita and agua fresca menu along with tacos and four different kinds of guacamole. There will be happy hour specials every weekday evening and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Can’t wait to try some of those guacs.
Check out all the pictures from my tour of the Metuchen Whole Foods and make sure you try and stop by tomorrow for all the grand opening sales!
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