I’m not much of a shopper and I really have no use for “upscale” stores where everything costs three times what it would at JcPenney’s, which is my go-to store for finding clothing and handbags and such. I don’t care about designer names and I don’t think having some guy’s name on the side of a handbag makes it any cuter. I don’t even enjoy looking at over-priced stuff. I walk past all those fancy-looking stores at the mall without even the slightest curiosity about what over-priced treasures they contain.
However, I have to admit to one weakness. I love upscale grocery stores, like Central Market in Mill Creek. Sure, Central Market carries the rather generic Western Family brand but they’re really overpriced on pretty much everything. A carton of eggs costs a $1 more than it does at Haggen, which is another over-priced grocery store in the area. But I love to go there, even just to look.
The produce department is a fruit and veggie paradise.
There are piles and piles of fruits and veggies, all unblemished and without fruit flies swarming around them. They have star fruit, weird kinds of mangoes I’ve never heard of and things like red currants, which I would have no idea what to do with but are beautiful.
Then there’s the bakery! They have a huge selection of cakes, cookies, donuts and scones, some made with organic ingredients and many are gluten-free. And their cakes….
There’s no nasty, overly sweet fake buttercream here. These cakes have truffle frosting and a light whipped cream coating. The yellow cake on the left is a lemon raspberry truffle cake and is the one I insist on having for my birthday. Sure, I feel a little guilty for spending $17.99 on a cake but the raspberry filling and truffle frosting sweep that guilt right away. Birthdays only come around once a year and if I’m going to have a sugar and gluten hangover what I’m eating has to be worth it!
Even the pre-packaged boxes of cookies aren’t your standard chocolate chip made-without-real- butter like other grocery stores.
They’re cute and colorful and made with whole wheat flour. Practically health food!
And speaking of health food, Central Market is the place to go for that. They have a wide variety of healthy items, like beet slaw, nutritious gluten-free flours like teff and pretty much everything else you can think of.
And since it’s Mill Creek (an upscale little city that started with a golf course and country club), they have a huge, expensive wine section.
After the produce section, the department I most drool over is the bulk spice, tea and herb aisle. All those lovely jars lined up like that….
I loathe grocery shopping. I’m usually in a bad mood all day on the day that I have to go to the grocery store. But Central Market? It’s a delight to walk their aisles! However, it’s also dangerous to the budget. Yesterday, I went there for teff flour and ended up spending way too much for far too little. However, I now have a high-quality fish oil that tastes like peaches and mangoes and doesn’t cause fish-oil burps! 🙂