Shop ‘n’ nosh
In 2007, The National Provisioner reported that “retailers are going beyond pre-packaged staples” to “appeal to weekend foodies and hurried shoppers picking up dinner on the way home from work. … Why are grocery stores acting like, well, restaurants?” the author asked. “Quite simply, they are trying to recapture business that was lost to restaurants over the past 10 years.”
It’s a movement that’s accelerated to the point where Andrew Sessa, writing in the November issue of Food & Wine, noted that “forward-thinking supermarkets are turning themselves into full-on dining and drinking establishments” — a trend observable not only in foodforward cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, and Manhattan, but also here in Santa Fe, where Whole Foods opened the
Piñon Pub — a restaurant-bar within the market — in the Cerrillos Road store in 2015. A redesign completed just this past month further expanded the space allotted to prepared foods.
But this is the City Different, and a quick survey finds that some local entrepreneurs are turning the groceryas-restaurant trend back on itself by creating eateries that also include strong, personally curated retail shops. Greg Menke opened The Beestro (101 W. Marcy St.), specializing in breakfast and lunch to go, in 2012, expanding into retail late last year with The Hive Market (101 W. Marcy St. #5), which offers prepared foods, crafts, and gift baskets. The
Root Cellar, a gastropub serving beer, wine, and mead that opened this winter under the market, adds a more traditional sit-down restaurant to the mix. All three Marcy Street businesses reflect Menke’s passion for local, sustainable food, bees, honey, and honey-based products.
Josh Gerwin, chef-owner of Dr. Field Goods Kitchen, expanded the restaurant’s footprint with Dr. Field Goods
Butcher Shop and Bakery (2860-B-5 Cerrillos Road). The retail space makes the locally and regionally sourced meats served in the restaurant — as well as the shop’s selection of deli sandwiches and a few local craft beers — available to home cooks. Bone broth, fresh lard, and tallow candles also reflect Gerwin’s commitment to using every bit of the animal.
At Modern General (637 Cerrillos Road), the retail arm of Erin Wade’s Vinaigrette, “tools for a better life” on sale include everything from a copy of Carl Jung’s Red Book to whisk brooms and freshly hand-milled wheat. Shovels, picks, and other garden implements demonstrate the owner’s interest in organic farming, and the fresh, locally grown produce that underpins the restaurant’s salad-based, light and healthy menu.
Bodega Prime (1291-A San Felipe Ave.), which chefowner Noela Figueroa opened this past summer, was a restaurant-retail hybrid from the start. It’s a successful sitdown breakfast and lunch spot, a grab ‘n’ go deli, a bakery, and a place to buy house-made condiments — such as chutneys, ketchups, dressing, conservas, and relishes — to make home-cooked meals more interesting and flavorful. The shop also offers a selection of environmentally friendly home goods made of wood, cotton, stainless steel, glass — even walnut shells.
Do four restaurant-retail shops signal a new trend — or just a Santa Fe preference for food that’s as personal as it is sustainable? It may take another decade to find out.
The Beestro’s chef Greg Menkes