While in New Jersey, I got the chance to go shopping at Delicious Orchards with my cousin Brennan who is just about to graduate from high school.
It was like being at Disneyland for me, with the array of organic foods, delicacies and treats spaced strategically around the store.
Upon entering, there was the usual display of beautiful flowers and plants, and the bakery products and breads. It was not your typical bread aisle, but composed of healthy breads made by the bakery in house. I quickly walked by till I got to the rest of the store, which was peeking my curiosity.
Delicious Orchards is unlike a regular grocery store in that there are no aisles. More than three quarters of the store is produce – every type of fruit, and vegetable imaginable in season, along with rows of nuts, and seeds.
The inviting space was organic and free flowing – very similar to an open air market – where one could mingle and give thought to how one would nourish themselves.
There were cases of various foods spaced throughout the floor plan like organic, grass-fed cheeses, organic yogurts, teas, coffee, baking necessities (Bob’s Red Mill organic flours, spices, etc.), dark chocolate, and cases of wild fish, and some prepared food for purchase.
I did not find much of a scent of processed foods in a box, except a few healthy whole-wheat crackers. It made me long for the day’s of the old Mrs. Gooch’s.
The only comparable store in Los Angeles is Sprouts, which is now opening a new store in West Los Angeles. Although not as gourmet as this store, Sprouts has a similar feel and look and avoids the commercialese of other health food stores. The Santa Monica Cooportunity also has a similar feel, but not nearly as beautiful and inviting.
Brennan had finished checking out our food, and I was still inside longing to linger, but time was running out for our family gathering to begin. Being in that store felt very familiar and made me want to return to Colts Neck, New Jersey just to shop there. Later I found out from my Mother she took me there frequently as a little girl.
Remember your life is not a dress rehearsal. Healthy shopping and eating is of the essence if you want to avoid health ramifications. Finding a pleasant and inviting place to shop can be beneficial to your health and eating experience since it’s not too late to start your health plan now.