Corporate grocery stores are fine, usually carrying a pretty decent selection of products depending on their size. If there’s a local grocery store in your neighborhood though, it’s always such a good deed to support it. You might end up paying a little bit more, but your produce will probably be fresher, you’ll be able to get products that aren’t available to you in the chain stores, and you’ll be supporting families and vital members of the community. Here are some of our favorite indie grocery stores in the OC.
Mother’s Market and Kitchen
This is a retailer of organic groceries, and they also have many supplements that are hard to find elsewhere. There are a couple of different locations, one of which has a restaurant. The freshness of the meat, fish, and fruits and veggies is not to be equaled. The deli also has a delicious hot food bar, a salad bar, and places to sit and put your feet up for a few minutes. The employees also seem happy to be there, which is the real difference between an indie store and most of the big corporate ones.
Pacific Ranch Market
On East Chapman Avenue in Orange, this gem of a market carries prime cuts of meat, fresh sushi, and it has a massive aisle of wines and spirits, a full-service bakery, and so much more. They’ve been in business for thirty years, and they pride themselves on being more than a conventional grocery store. If you live in the area, it would be foolish to even think of going anywhere else, but this place is worth traveling a fair distance to patronize. If you’ve got a big dinner planned, this is the place to go for all the freshest ingredients.
Irvine Ranch Market
In Back Bay Center on Irvine Avenue in Costa Mesa, this is a one-stop shop for beer, cheese, wine, chips, jerky, and lots of other essentials and snack foods. The staff in the meat and fish department are a very merry crew, glad to give you advice on barbecues and any other events that you’re hosting. There’s lots of organic food, and their hot food bar is also one of the best. You can also call ahead and place an order, and they’ll have it ready for you when you arrive.
These are only three of the many indie stores you can find in the OC. Support your neighborhood institutions, and keep them in business. You’ll feel good about yourself, and you’ll also have the best ingredients for your kitchen and table.