16 Dec Article written by Mary Ergul
Food, one of the few universal necessities, has the power to unite and please a lot of people; however, the myriad of directions food can go in – breakfast versus brunch, pre made casserole versus made from scratch, sausage versus bacon – can divide households. Opa Robby’s Market can mitigate all those differences. Painted neon green donning scarecrows and glass bottle sculptures out front makes it hard to miss but many actually do. Well, stop missing Opa Robby’s Market, just stop it. The reason Opa’s can satisfy so many people is it culminates the best of farmers markets, general stores, and lunch stops.
Founded by husband and wife, Opa’s entire foundation built upon the idea of a community market. Even the name Opa Robby’s means Grandfather Robby’s, appropriate since the place feels like the kitchen of your craftiest grandparent. The door is open (figuratively and literally) so shoppers can enjoy the beautiful weather while browsing the kitschy store. One side of the store hosts arrays of vegetables, fruits, and herbs lining baskets and refrigerator shelves.
Although Opa’s does sell Dole strawberries from time to time, the majority of produce comes locally and organic; skinny amethyst eggplants, purple sweet potatoes, many types of apples . . . all wait to be picked for this week’s dinner. There are fabulous present ideas lying in the dozens of jars of salsa, pickled vegetables, sorghum, dressing, dips, and more. None of these come from a Hidden Valley or Unilever owned corporation but Oma Gobby tacking flavors from bacon salsa to blackberry chipotle sauce; German for grandmother, Oma is the product of co-founder Susan Rigby’s love and development.
Each refrigerator houses its own special trove. Pick your poison from 1000 Faces cold-brew coffee, kombucha, cider, or housemade flavored lemonades. You can easily forget preparing dinner for at least a month when you find the casseroles and soups – meaty chilis, mac ‘n’ cheese, sauteed mushrooms, potato leek soup, beans and peas all the ways your grandma made them, and dozens more. In a back corner lies a refrigerator dedicated to meat. No Perdue here but chicken drumsticks, porks, and flavored sausages a-plenty. Between all the beverages, jars, meats, and produce lie exquisite nut oils, pestos, Luna breads, and baked goods. With a kid’s corner rumbling with toys and games, it makes perusing even easier.
Actually, Opa Robby’s Market tries to make the daunting task of grocery hunting as easy, economical, and local as possible – especially Wednesdays and Sundays. On Wonderful Wednesday or Saving Sundays, shoppers can go solo or team up to select a minimum of $40 in produce and receive $15 off their total including one casserole, soup, or pumpkin. If this store seems overwhelming, it is, but in the best possible way. It remains incredibly difficult no matter how seasoned of a veteran you become to keep a visit shorter than fifteen minutes.
A departure from corporate distribution chains, Opa Robby’s Market is more than a means to an end, but stands as a community market that can satisfy all buyers and eaters.
Article compliments of The Broad Collective