10 reasons to love the new Pete's Fruit Market in Bronzeville
Having operated his first Wisconsin Pete's Fruit Market grocery store – which began life as a market before being enclosed so it could operate year-round – on Union Street at Greenfield Avenue on the near South Side since 1992, Greek immigrant Pete Tsitiridis yesterday cut the ribbon on his new location.
The store, at 2303 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., at North Avenue, has a high-profile location in Bronzeville. About 35 people are employed at the nearly 14,000-square foot, full-service grocery store.
We stopped in to check it out and here's what we found:
Food desert has become a loaded term for some, but there's no denying that the neighborhood around King and North didn't have a solid grocery shopping option nearby before Pete's opened yesterday. Whether or not you like the term "food desert," Pete's is definitely a food oasis.
Five ears of delicious corn for a buck is definitely a sweet deal.
3. Fresh fruit and veg
Pete's stocks a full range of greens, peppers, tomatoes, grapes, onions, bananas and everything else you'd expect from a grocery store.
4. Specialty produce
In addition, there are some items, like the prickly pears you see here, that you won't likely find at Aldi or a corner store, or even in some full-service grocery stores.
A nice big basket of limes allows you to make a killer guac and and vodka tonics for all your friends simultaneously.
There's shrimp, there's a variety of fish – including the giant buffalo fish you can see pictured below – and there are these big oysters at a buck-39 a pop. Of course, there's also a meat counter.
7. Jamaican soda
Real Jamaican sodas from Desnoes & Geddes, brewers of Dragon Stout and Red Stripe? Yes, please. Especially the pineapple ginger and kola champagne. On the shelf below the same flavors are available in two-liter bottles, too.
8. Bimbollos and Pinguinos
Why have Hostess cupcakes when you can have Pinguinos? Why settle for hamburger buns when you can rock the Bimbollos? Pete's has a variety of imported gems throughout the store.
Yes, there are also aisles of your standard, everyday groceries, from pickles to vinegars to oils. A customer could do pretty much all his or her shopping here.
10. Smiling, helpful staff
Everyone I encountered working in the store was affable and smiling. Let's face it, that's a major selling point. Who wants to shop in a place where the staff are glum and miserable?
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