With this month’s opening of two new grocery stores in town, the community has fallen back into a sort of grocery store equilibrium. Valli Produce, which opened July 22 in Evanston Plaza, and Whole Foods Green Bay, which opened July 29 at 2748 Green Bay Road, fill the final spaces left when Dominick’s owners claimed that they could make more money by vacating Chicago.
One could play a fine game of “Remember when?” just reminiscing about where Dominick’s stores used to be: at Central and Crawford (now a CVS pharmacy), near Maple and Church (now Bravo, Uncle Dan’s, Cost Plus and Cinemark Theatres), South Boulevard at Chicago Avenue (now town homes), as well as the two places now filled with grocery carts, eager shoppers, pantry staples fruits and vegetables. A bonus would go to those who remember Whole Foods’ precursor, Fresh Fields, which fed and pampered Evanstonians more than 20 years ago at the corner of Emerson Street and Ridge Avenue.
We welcome the two newest additions to Evanston’s stable of grocery stores. Chains and independents, mega-stores and convenience stores – and through most of the fall the farmers’ markets – make a mosaic of food offerings here. There are no-frills food stores, high-end ones and middle-of-the-road (dare we say, “middle-of- the-aisle”?) ones; places for last-minute pickups and places that have practically everything for a formal dinner.
An important thing is that this array is found here in our community. There is little need to shop for food outside of Evanston, dropping sales tax revenues into the coffers of other towns. There are enough opportunities here to put wholesome food on the table.
Just remember, after tomorrow, don’t expect to take it home in the store’s plastic bags.