Orchard Fresh Opening
On Monday, April 15, specialty food market Orchard Fresh will celebrate the grand opening of its first location in Western New York, located at 4050 North Buffalo Road in Orchard Park, N.Y. At 18,000 square feet, Orchard Fresh boasts a unique combination of upscale and gourmet foods with a focus on natural and organic, a strong emphasis on the health-conscious consumer, and food items sourced locally and globally. They offer a plethora of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, not only in the packaged food or produce sections, but in their carry-out offerings as well. Western New York-based Tops Friendly Markets has created and is supporting this store.
On Saturday, April 13, my husband and I attended the preview event for Orchard Fresh. We were welcomed by many of the store’s employees, including a produce manager, Allison, who showed us around each department. As with any new store opening, there was definitely a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air, but Allison’s descriptive tidbits regarding product offerings really enhanced my experience. It’s always enjoyable to understand more about why certain decisions are made regarding carrying organic produce and sourcing local.
In the produce section, variety is evident: from dozens of kinds of potatoes in a tidy presentation to three different kinds of eggplant to less common fruit, such as dragon fruit, the shelves were brimming. I asked about the ability to carry local produce, and there are plans in place to receive heirloom tomatoes and summer squash from local farms, corn from Eden in fall, and more. The produce department has fresh juices and fresh cut fruit daily. Allison told me, they strive for “as fresh market as possible.”
The seafood department touts fresh fish flown in daily, including live crayfish, jumbo wild shrimp and Hawaiian sashimi grade fish. The meat section has an intriguing variety of options, including your typically American grass fed and organic beef, pork, chicken and such, as well as more unusual proteins, such as elk and ostrich. Orchard Fresh also offers house made sausage.
The bakery section offers dozens of types of bread, and sweets, including cakes, cookies, muffins and pastries. The bulk coffee and bulk tea section had a couple dozen types each, including some such as macadamia nut and marshmallow chocolate. My husband was quite scared of the latter, and I can attest it smelled like candy. If that’s your thing (outrageously sweet tasting/semi-artificially enhanced coffee), you’ll be thrilled. For those who would rather not, they’ve got you covered too.
The cheese section is rather impressive. Tightly packed with easily 100 options, it has something for everyone, and almost everything for a cheese lover. We sampled a lovely aged Beemster from The Netherlands and Sartori’s Merlot BellaVitano, a soft, creamy Italian cheese that’s truly enhanced with merlot. The only thing lacking were raw milk varieties.
Nearby you’ll find a large selection of oils, including many olive oils, and vinegars. There are also several kinds of salt, including options like Himalayan Pink and some handy kitchen tools and products, such as a salt grater. There were also nut crackers, Le Creuset mugs and other foodie favorites that make great gift goodies too.
The frozen food cases range from Lake Effect ice cream to 10 different kinds of edamame options and Indian meals. Furthermore, there is a great little section with safer, healthier and more organic pet products, including many dog treats. There’s a tiny, but solid aisle of cleaning products and personal hygiene products with brands such as Alba Botanica, Hugo Naturals and more.
Rounding out the offerings is a selection of craft beers. An Ommegang Belgian style beer tasting took place while we were there, and the Ommegang representative shared details about each beer as happy shoppers sipped sample after sample.
Make a special trip to Orchard Fresh soon, and if you live nearby, this may easily become your new regular grocery store!
Note, if you shop there this week, you’re helping the community to boot — Orchard Fresh has committed to donating a percentage of opening week’s sales to seven local non-profit agencies that will all be in attendance to celebrate the grand opening of the store.