The high end grocery store, Erewhon, opened its doors in Venice this morning in the old Samy's Camera location, and judging from the lines for the valet parking off Venice Boulevard (Yes - valet service to grocery shop in Venice ... sigh ...), it's already a hit with the locals - who may or not BE locals, because I didn't recognize anyone.
The place is impressive - like a nicer Whole Foods. The prices match, but in this case, I have to kind of get it, because the quality is so high. Super high. Like one of the most beautiful produce sections I've ever seen, with all the colors of the rainbow represented by the gorgeous fruits and vegetables.
Speaking of rainbows, there was even a Unicorn in there for opening day, slinging her organic chocolate. That made me feel a little better about having a kind of chain come to the neighborhood - like at least it's still a little weird in there. AND I'd way rather have a kind of chain selling super healthy and mindful product than any b.s. corporate retail store. You pick your battles ...
I spoke to the "Managing Director" of the place, and he was pretty cool, and clearly eager to please the neighborhood, imploring us to always feel free to approach him with comments, questions, complaints, requests ... seeming actually interested in the feedback from residents of the surrounding area. Which is nice, and a refreshing change from all the businesses that just come in and try to railroad their own ways through without pause to consider how it might affect Venice and its People.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to love walking a block over to get the finest possible ingredients for even the most impromptu meal. I'm also pretty sure my shelves are still going to be mainly filled by Ralph's and our Venice Farmer's Market, because as nice as this place is, it does cost an arm and a leg. There is a beautiful flower section in the front, where a little bouquet with lilacs (my hometown springtime favorite) was $46.00. The prepared stuff is super delicious looking, but also super spendy. So there you go. It's great. but you're gonna pay top dollar. But life is short (but probably not AS short, when you treat your body and life in this top shelf style).
So ... welcome to the neighborhood, Erewhon Market! I'll see you sometimes.
Erewhon Market is now open at 585 Venice Boulevard.