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Grocery store openings: 2014 and beyond

Clothing shopping or grocery shopping? It’s a choice between “sales” and free samples, hours in dressing rooms or a quick trip to the market and the remaining time spent in bed. Either way you’re in your underwear, but only one of those situations involves a delicious snack. In my opinion, the decision is clear. To my fellow grocery enthusiasts and those simply looking to expand their produce horizons, keep an eye out for these exciting new options, which are slated to open within a year.

H-Mart

This Asian grocery chain is projected to open in Central Square (where Harvard Co-op and Clear Conscious Café currently reside) this spring. H-Mart will sell all manner of sauces, spices, baked goods, noodles and snacks. The store will also contain a produce section and will be home to various purveyors including Sapporo Ramen, Go Go Curry, and Paris Baguette.

 

Daily Table

America wastes a ridiculous amount of food – the equivalent of $165 billion a year, according to NPR. How do we manage to trash over a third of our food? The problem can, at least in part, be attributed to our arguably flawed understandings of when food spoils. It may come as a surprise that labels like “sell-by,” “best before,” and “enjoy by” often pertain more to manufacturing than consumer safety; though these dates are typically not indicative of an item’s expiration, shoppers often interpret them as such. Consequently, we mistakenly discard tons of edible food. Daily Table is former Trader Joe’s president Doug Rauch’s means of addressing this problem. The grocery store will sell items that are slightly past their sell-by dates (but still entirely fit for consumption) at discounted prices. The store will also have a section for prepared foods, a healthier and competitively priced alternative to fast food. The store’s opening in Dorchester (expected January 2015) is somewhat controversial. Some find the concept of marketing “expired” food to low-income customers objectionable in and of itself. In addition, some critics suggest that The Daily Table will compete with and negatively affect food banks. Proponents counter that whereas food banks mainly deal in non-perishable goods, Daily Table will work in large part to repurpose past-date produce. They also appeal to common sense: if we continue to waste $165 billion a year, there’s clearly enough re-directable food to go around. Controversy aside, Daily Table has the potential to be an excellent resource for the cash-strapped student.

 

Boston Public Market

The Boston Public Market Association, which organizes a variety of seasonal, open-air farmers markets (you may be familiar with those at City Hall and Copley Square), is opening a year-round, indoor market early next year. The Boston Public Market will be conveniently located at 136 Blackstone Street, a 28,000-square-foot venue across the street from the Haymarket T stop. The gargantuan venue will host about 40 local vendors whose stands will offer produce, meat, fish, cheese, flowers, prepared foods, and other miscellaneous goods. The Market will also house a large demonstration kitchen and, in collaboration with the Friedman School of Nutrition and like institutions, will host public cooking classes. Demonstration topics may include children’s nutrition, eating on a budget, and meat/poultry/fish preparation. In the meantime, there will be a spring market in the plaza out front – all the more reason to get hyped!

Alison Sikowitz

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