“Foodie.” “Foodnik.” “Gourmand.” Call it what you will, but a lifelong fixation with all-things-edible leaves me fully at peace with any of these monikers, despite the visceral reaction they may create for some. Accordingly, “normal” friends wanting some kind of magical inside-information ask me this question all the time: Where do you grocery shop?
They expect me to say Marczyk Fine Foods, Oliver’s Meat Market, Whole Foods Market, Savory Spice Shop, Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers, the Boulder County farmers’ market, my own backyard, or any number of ethnic spots. All of those are indeed favorite places, but more often than not I don’t have the time (nor limitless dollars) to be darting across town making one stop for produce, another for dairy, a third for protein, a fourth for galangal root, a fifth for unadulterated snack foods, and a sixth for household goods like paper towels. That kind of itinerary is a beloved holiday ritual. When it comes to everyday, however, I’m lucky to have a rare hour alone to spend racing around a single grocery store with a shopping cart (instead of a stroller overflowing with two toddlers and whatever they are grabbing off the shelves).
Where do I grocery shop most days of the year? King Soopers.
The Colorado company (owned by Cincinnati’s Kroger but locally operated) has been committed to in-state products since long before it was fashionable; and the list of state-grown, -raised, or -made items I find there is notably deeper (nearly 2,000 Colorado SKUs) than the offerings at Denver’s other supermarkets.
I’ve found Nita Crisp crackers and Noosa yogurt from the Fort Collins area. I’ve purchased Boulder County’s Evol burritos, Justin’s peanut butter, Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy cheese, and Chocolove chocolate. I’ve come home with Denver-based 34 Degrees crackers, MM Local applesauce, Women’s Bean Project soup beans, Spinelli’s Market pasta sauce, and Teatulia tea. My kitchen is home to coffee from Minturn’s Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea and my husband’s after-work garage fridge holds numerous jars of Littleton’s TRU Pickles and Louisville’s White Girl Salsa, which we use with chips from Henderson’s La Favorita Foods—all purchased from King Soopers. His adjacent grilling freezer houses chorizo and Italian sausage from Louisville’s Boulder Sausage and chicken from Englewood-based Red Bird chicken, all of which come not from the butcher to whom I’m loyal for rare cuts, game, and heritage turkeys, but out of the meat cases at this supermarket. And while Colorado produce season is beginning to wind down, I just found Greeley-grown carrots; beets and kale from Brighton; potatoes from Monte Vista; and a sweet onion from Eaton at King Soopers this week.
Don’t get me wrong, I happily stock up on items from a variety of specialty grocers anytime I find myself in their part of town, but I’m also proud to frequent such a locally-committed superstore. The Colorado products on offer at King Soopers aren’t the only thing that’s lightening my carbon footprint. So too is the gasoline I’m saving by not bouncing all over town for things that can be found right down the street.