First Look: Longfellow Market

Longfellow seemingly has it all. It's home to Leviticus Tattoo, Merlin's Rest, our favorite head shop GM Tobacco, the always-entertaining Denny's, and, of course, the Mississippi River. In recent years, a handful of new restaurants (like Sonora Grill and Parka) opened in the neighborhood, increasing its hot-spot status. But what about quality grocery stores? Sure, there's Rainbow, Cub Foods, and Target, and Seward Co-op is just a stone's throw away for most, but the neighborhood has long been lacking a small, independent grocer.

Enter Longfellow Market, located on Lake Street between 38th and 39th Avenues. The bright, naturally lit store opened three weeks ago and has already attracted a sizable neighborhood clientele. On Wednesday, we stopped by to take a look for ourselves.

See also: Sonora Grill flourishes in Longfellow

At first glance, Longfellow Market is like a smaller version of Lunds, but two things set Longfellow Market apart: the lower prices and the enthusiastic willingness of staff to find exactly what you need. If they don't have it, they'll either find it or make it for you.

Longfellow Market offers a variety of specialty items, as well as pantry and household staples, like cleaning and pet supplies. The produce selection is small, but fresh and beautifully arranged. The shelves are neatly organized and a number of dried fruits, grains, and nuts are available in bulk. A staff member is always around to make sure you're finding what you're looking for, but not to an overbearing extent. Longfellow Market doesn't have a bakery, but a number of quality pastries, breads, and cakes are available.

The market offers standard items like Heinz ketchup and Hamburger Helper, in addition to specialty items like hot sauces you've never heard of and fresh dog treats, conveniently located in the meat department. Best of all, the chicken is roasted right at the deli counter, the bacon is smoked in back, and a number of sides, salads, and sausages are made in-store.

According to a deli counter employee, Longfellow Market's goal is to prepare all of their ready-made items in-store. Though they're not there yet, the few salads and sides they currently prepare in-house (like chicken and cashew salad with fresh grapes and celery) are so tasty, you can bet we'll be stopping by to stock up before our next summer barbeque. Customers are encouraged to inform employees of additional homemade items they'd like to see in the store.

Longfellow Market fills a neighborhood void. It's the friendly, locally owned, and affordable grocer Longfellow has been waiting for.

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