Monday, December 3, 2012 , Updated 12:44 p.m., January 15, 2013
UPDATED: “Indoor farmers market” Green Grocer opens on Greenville Avenue in January
Think of it as a health-conscious grocery store with good beer and wine.
DALLAS The health nuts in East Dallas may have a new one-stop food shop when Green Grocer opens its doors mid-January on Greenville Avenue.
[UPDATE: Green Grocer will officially open January 26.]
It's located a few blocks south of Mockingbird Lane on Greenville Avenue. The natural and organic market will sell an array of produce and quality meats and seafood from local farmers as well as harbor an extensive selection of beer and wine. When it comes to eating right — in terms of both personal health and environmental impact — co-owner Cassie Green refuses to take half measures.
“Our goal is to provide the most sustainable and best tasting food we can,” said Green, a self-proclaimed label-reading freak, in a recent interview. “People know we’ve done all the research so they can just come shop.”
Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Green served as district manager of five ALDI grocery stores in St. Louis. She learned a passion for food later, however, when she read This Organic Life by Joan Gussow and began to think about food in a new way.
As a business owner, Green is amiable, having spent many years dedicated to customer service. As an advocate, however, she is brash -- unafraid to educate consumers on controversial growing tactics such as the use of chemicals. She calls the term free-range "a load of [expletive]." She plans on going to every farm and plot of land that Green Grocer will partner with to make sure the conditions meet her standards of quality.
“This is extremely important when it comes to animals,” said Green, who predominantly eats vegetables and consumes meat about once a month. “I need to make sure that, while [the animals] are alive, they have lived a life healthily, stress-free, and in line with our values.”
Green Grocer at Penrose and Greenville will be the company’s second location, albeit first in the South. In 2008, Green and her husband Gary opened the flagship in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. When stocking that store, the Greens culminated “local products” from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. "Local" by definition for the Dallas market generally refers to crops from Texas, Green said, although she plans on recruiting partners in the region to provide non-seasonal items.
Green Grocer plans to integrate neighborhood businesses selling bread from Empire Baking Company, homemade mustard and sausages from the foodies at The Grape, and even produce from local elementary school gardens. The grocer’s co-ownership with Artizone.com will also help proliferate the concept into the local community, Green said.
The concept is most easily described as an indoor farmers market with good beer and wine. But Green attests that the new grocer is more than just a place to buy food; it’s a place to cultivate awareness.
“So much of what we enjoy doing is educating people and starting an intelligent conversation about food,” Green said.
The company is currently hiring both part-time and full-time “food nerds” to work the cash registers, prepare ready-made meals in the kitchen, stock the shelves of the organic deli counter and, above all, answer questions for consumers. Green wants her employees to be personal shoppers for amateur cooks and conscious eaters alike.
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