Last week the newest Market District opened in the Township of Pine and it was quite the celebration. My husband and I were lucky enough to get some behind the scene interviews and tours and meet people that made the Grand Opening Happen! We met up with Executive Chef John Gruver in the Cafe and he presented us with a behind-the-scenes look at each different facet of the store from prepared Hot Foods, to the Dairy with fresh new organic milk. An educated consumer is the best consumer. The more we learned about the Market District the more impressed we became with the intricacy of all the details, planning and foods offered. Learning about each department and what each department in the store has to offer raises the bar of what we can prepare, serve and use when feeding our family or entertaining guests.
I’d like to begin with the notion of entertaining guests and utilizing the Market District for such preparation. I do not know why I did not know this before, but the Market District has an Event Planner that delivers for every and any occasion. The department boasts the ability to help you plan your menu, how much to buy for your crowd, to the flower arrangements you should have present, absolutely OUTSTANDING! The service is not just limited to delivery – if you want food, for your dinner, call ahead, place the order, and it will be waiting for you, on time. Dinner picked up and ready, just excellent. Time is money!
While we are discussing food prepared at Market District, I would like to share with you that Market District provided us with a wonderful lunch that day, not a predetermined menu, but an open menu, where my husband and I chose whatever we wanted. A few items we enjoyed were homemade pizza, and hoagie(well my husband did ) and a vegetarian sandwich, all prepared to perfection. We ordered our food from the Sub Shop. The proper sandwich names were BIG AL(ham, cappicola and salami) and The Fun Guy (Grilled Portabella with roasted red peppers) If we had to choose again, we would choose the same.
The crust on the pizza was excellent, with just the right texture. Here is something for all of you, pizza dough is available for purchase! I think this is outstanding because I love making homemade food but making pizza dough is not always in my time budget, so frugality often equates to time spent, spend it well! Imagine the possibilities, homemade dough and pizza stations at home with the kids having a great night in made with a bit of time-saving materials from out.!
The prepared food self serve is HUGE, and that does not quite describe it, from homemade mashed potatoes to meatloaf, to egg rolls, pot stickers, and stir fry vegetables. Imagine being able to grab food on the run, keeping the choices healthy and diverse with the ability to serve everyone in your house with just one stop! Imagine the Market District prepared foods section! Think BIG.
Executive Chef John Gruver explained that the Deli has new house-made deli meats. What this translates to is the meats are roasted in the Market District Kitchen and they are unprocessed and natural meaning a healthier alternative to the basic lunch meats. Market District offers Oven-Roasted Turkey, Smoked Turkey, Roast Beef, Pastrami and Corned Beef all fashioned in this manner.
As we passed through the bakery we walked into The Confectionery counter which was so appealing that I wanted to jump right into the case and eat one of everything! The case has many flavors of truffles in it, is surrounded by a large basket of HUGE CHUNK Rice Krispy Treats, and has a tray in it of hand-dipped , multi-flavor, chocolate covered pretzels. (these are done right there in this location) A treat for the eyes, as well as the mouth! I do believe I gained weight just looking:)
The store has a HUGE Cheese and cured meats department(Charcuterie), along with homemade pasta(taking only seconds to warm, in rolling warm water-pot to table time, minimal!), as well as Fresh Mozzarella. This was something that we got to sample, WARM. Delicious, and you need to try it. If you are a person who loves antipasti, this department has you covered from the extensive olive selection to the fresh sopresatas and cheese selection. There are so many cuts of cheese that we could have spent a few hours just perusing the cheese and procured meat section, but we had to move on.
We visited the seafood department and viewed a full-size Bronzino on an iced down cart, and viewed fresh lobsters, crab cakes, scallops, etc.. The meat department has fresh buffalo burgers, fresh ground venison, grass-fed beef, rabbit(domestic) and grass-fed beef lean strip steaks and if you don’t know what recipe you would use these cuts of meat in, they have you covered with recipes as well.
I could go on and on about what we saw, but I think the one most progressive pieces of information we walked away with is how empowered the Market District Staff is. This is something which you may or may not be aware of, but we found this interesting. Executive Chef John Gruver explained to us, that if we wanted to try something(and not just today b/c it was the grand opening) but any day, all we had to do was communicate this to the staff member of that department and they would make it happen. Now of course I am not advocating going around trying things you never intend to buy, but perhaps, you see a prepared crab cake and it costs $9 and you wonder if you are really going to be happy with that purchase, ask! Try!. The staff will accommodate. We learned about a staff member who had complied with another customers wants for trying a particular piece of produce, and in the middle of the produce section they broke the piece open and tried it. What this does is broaden the staff’s knowledge and absolutely makes the Market District deliver extraordinaire customer service to all of its clientele. Consumer education makes a difference. If you know this policy is available and you really have been debating a prepared food, lunch meat, cheese, you now know that you are WELCOME to find out if it is RIGHT for you.
Bulk foods make the Market District the Market District. The bulk section offers: fresh honey agave, nuts, steel-cut oats, udon noodles, fresh cookie crystals for decorating, as well as fresh-dried Chili Peppers and dried-mushrooms. This section is incredible and needs to be seen, and smelled in order to fully enjoy. We stopped and smelled fresh organic coffee in bulk and at the end of the day we also received a few bags to try! So far we have tried the Organic French Roast and our review is ROBUST, Fresh and everything that first cup of coffee should.
While I am ending this particular piece, I have so much more to share with you. Having a family with very diverse palates and a schedule that is go go go, we rely on Market District to provide us with high quality, excellent tasting foods that allow us to do one-stop shopping. Knowing that we can order ahead, takes even more of the daily challenge out of our life. Save Time, get the luxury foods that your family craves and I will see you Township of Pine Market District!
I was provided insider’s access as a guest to Market District and behind the scenes look as a member of the media. All thoughts and images are my own as I lavishly live life out loud.