Thursday, September 21, 2006

M: RIP Larry's, 1967-2006

Back to food again... Larry's Markets, our local grocery store, declared bankruptcy earlier this year and didn't quite make it out the same. Most of the stores have been sold off to real estate companies, and our store will be turned into a GI Joe's (what appears to be a sporting goods/outdoor retail/army surplus store) in the near future. It's really quite a shame, as Larry's was truly a local business and had a great selection of organic and gormet foods right up next to the old Chef Boyardee favorites (yes, I have a soft spot for the beef ravioli - it's something of a comfort food for me, I am reluctant to admit). They had locally raised chicken and beef, rbST-free milk, fresh local produce, and yummy bread. We've been shopping there since we moved out to Kirkland, and now I feel a bit lost.

So, the question is now, where to shop? The truth is, I'm a picky grocery store snob, attempting to be socially responsible with my food choices. I want rbST-free milk, but I don't want to have to pay $6 for organic. I want local produce. I want one shopping trip where I can buy Rosemary Diamante bread from the Essential Baking Company, eggs from chickens raised in Yelm, organic blueberries, and Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. Is this too much to ask? Apparently so.

Whole Foods is one answer, but it's tricky to keep the costs down there. The new store in Redmond is an amazing experience, with a produce department to fall in love with, but all of their chicken comes from California. Don't even get me started on the myth about Rosie the happy organic cage-free chicken. And there are still a lot of things wrong with the big industrial organic ideals that Whole Foods is bringing to the table. (And I can't get my beef ravioli there.)

PCC? The new Central Market in Mill Creek is fabulous, but it's a good 20 minutes away. Houghton Market? Red Apple? Any suggestions?

PS... One day overdue and counting... We'll keep you updated.

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