We have lots of small farms and ranches making Austin this weird mish mash of city and farm. One second I will be driving by Old Navy and the next I am at a stop light by a small ranch. In east Austin there is this place called Boggy Creek Farm it’s owned by one of my friend’s grandparents and it’s protected as a historical landmark. When I was little we would go out there and pick strawberries, and when a tornado hit Austin in 2001 we pitched in to help clean up the farm. It’s little farms like Boggy Creek that make Austin’s groceries so good.
In fact, it was Austin farms like Boggy Creek that provided Whole Foods with its first produce. I didn’t grow up with the overly priced corporate Whole Foods stores that most people around the world are familiar with today. I remember a Whole Foods that resembled the Brighter Day here in Savannah. It smelled of homemade soap, fresh tomatoes leafs, paper bags, and powdered vitamins. The people who worked there were genuine hippies with dreads locks, long skirts, and you half expected them to be walking around the story barefoot. That store was in downtown Austin next to Book People.
Years ago that Whole Foods store moved across the street to a one square block many story building. Leaving one floor to groceries, above that is a playground on the roof patio and from there you can find their offices. In its place across the street you can find an Anthropologie and REI.
Whole Foods might have changed in price range since I was little, but it means I can go almost anywhere and find something from home. Even with Whole Foods everywhere I still miss Austin Grocery stores. If only Savannah had an H.E.B! My options in Savannah are either: Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, Target, or Lucky’s Market which resembles a Sprouts back home. When I go to Kroger for produce they either don’t have it or it goes bad supper supper fast. Once I bought celery that looked fine but when I got home it took off a piece it had been rotting from the inside. Also, Kroger’s meat does not scream quality. Sometimes the beef won’t even have a date on it. What’s more disappointing is that I found most of the food in the downtown Savannah Kroger is a little more expensive than Target prices.
I want H.E.B were I get lots of variety for a low price. I want Central Market where as a kid I would put a quarter in the piggy bank on the table get a banana, and a free balloon. I always like walking down their butcher aisle. Surf on the left and turf on the right. The scales of fresh fish shining and the smell of cold ice in the air. I miss not worrying about the quality of meat and having the option to go to a farmer’s market on any given day. It makes a big difference when you know the people giving you the food cares about the food.