Most of us have a go-to grocery store — our weekly, or in some cases daily, stop. Budget, location, and lifestyle all play a role in where we chose to shop. Like many Nor'Westerners, I favor local and organic product, so I typically gravitate towards the PCC in Edmonds, because it’s close to my house and fulfills most of my needs. But when it comes to things like mayonnaise, for example, I just can’t seem to get on the canola bandwagon. It’s just not right if it’s not Best Foods! When it's time to restock the mayo, I head across the street to the QFC to get my big-brand fix. (Same goes for Coke: Do note it’s not called a “rum and cola.”)
Now let's talk convenience: There are times when I have really needed someone to bring the groceries to me — luckily, my local Safeway delivers. Those of you who live on the Eastside have an option of which I am utterly jealous: Your Local Market. Located in the old Safeway building in downtown Bellevue, at 410 Bellevue Way N.E., this relatively new store (opened in November, 2011) aims to deliver the best of all grocery worlds.
A little bit of everything
For those of us trying to cut down on "food miles," YLM is a blessing. As you shop the aisles of Your Local Market, keep an eye out for their tags to find products grown, produced, or sourced from within a 400-mile radius of the store. It’s not hard — the tags are everywhere. They carry well-known local favorites such as Bob’s Red Mill, Cascadian Farm, Nature’s Path, and Organic Valley. Your Local Market also sources local producers, from farms to specialty food sellers. What makes Your Local Market unique is that they also sell big-brand essentials like Advil, Best Foods, Charmin, Coke, and Clorox. The selection isn’t huge, but I think that’s a good thing. They’ve done a great job curating a mix of products, and the store isn’t so huge that you need to plan half a day to traverse from one end to the other. It has that small, hometown grocer feel and a friendly staff to get you in and out in a jiffy. Parking is plentiful and the location is easy to get to.
Good to Go
Curbside service. In a hurry or wearing your pajama bottoms and house slippers? No problem! Order online and swing by to pick up your grub curbside. Yes, they will bring out your groceries and put them in your car, so no one will see those adorable pink fuzzy bunny slippers.
Delivery. For a flat rate of $4.95 (and a minimum grocery order of $35), Your Local Market delivers to the following ZIP codes: 98004, 98005, and 98039. Slippers are definitely okay, but at least put on a robe! They also offer an early-morning delivery option —your items arrive on your doorstep with the birds (prior to 6 a.m.), with frozen and refrigerated items nestled lovingly in temperature-controlled containers. Just leave the containers outside for pickup within 24 hours — how cool is that?
Catering. Even if you hail from elsewhere, you can still take advantage of Your Local Market's catering services, featuring delivery and pickup services. They deliver from I-90 to Kirkland on the Eastside and from SODO to Northgate in Seattle, and delivery is free on all orders over $30.00. And here's a fun perk for administrative and executive assistants out there: Your Local Market sweetens the deal when you order lunch in for the team. Place an online order of $60.00 or more, enter promo code FREEADMIN at checkout, and you get to select one lunchbox — for yourself! — with their compliments.
Nibbles and bites
Your Local Market prides itself on providing fresh, flavorful, and nutritious foods. I understand that kids can pick out a free piece of fruit each time they go in, but I didn’t have my kiddos with me. It was clear during my visit that the YLM staff certainly wants you to love what you buy — any of their hot dish and deli items are up for grabs if you’d like to taste a sample before you choose. Not easy to choose, by the way! I was there early in the morning so their outside BBQ wasn’t open yet, but the open prep area was bustling with preparations to put out the day’s offerings. I’ll definitely stop by the next time I’m in Bellevue, because it smelled divine. I grabbed a few of their dips and I’ve already sampled them — great flavors.
Keeping it real
I was truly impressed by the helpful staff. I was greeted with a smile and asked if I needed help finding anything by more than one person as I wandered the aisles. But it wasn’t in that pushy, spray-you-with-cologne kind of way. When I picked out three of their in–house sausages to try — maple bacon, bacon and pineapple, and a chicken cordon bleu — the butcher asked me if I liked spice. When I said I did, he threw in one of the pork habanero sausages at no charge. Clearly he has pride in his product, as he took the time to explain how he grinds the spices in a food mill before adding the peppers. All I can say is that my kitchen smells fantastic right now, and dinner is going to be goooood.
Loyal to locals
Your Local Market isn't just about stocking local products — serving local folks is just as important. If you can get there on a regular basis, make sure to sign up for their Loyalty Club program. Customers who spend up to $500 in the store receive a 1% rebate, and customers who spend more than $500 earn a 2% rebate. Not bad!
Each month, Your Local Market hosts a Friday Fest to benefit a local group or charity. From 5-8 p.m. they turn up the music, provide free wine, beer, and food tastings, hold a silent auction and offer door prizes. March Friday Fest is coming up this Friday, 3/16, and the beneficiary is Children’s Response Center — a program of Harborview Medical Center that provides emergency services for assaulted and traumatized children. The store hopes to raise over $10,000 by donating 10% of Friday’s online and in-store sales. As an added bonus, Sabra Ricci, chef to the stars and longtime astrologer will be there signing her delightful new cookbook Lobster for Leos, Cookies for Capricorns: An Astrology Lover's Cookbook. Swing by to pick up a signed copy and meet the chef!
ParentMap contributing writer Emily Metcalfe Smith lives in Edmonds, is fond of bacon, and spends an inordinate amount of time in grocery stores.