The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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s p r i n g 2 0 1 8 | 6 5 WITH SUPERMARKET CONCEPTS expanding to place a more artisanal focus on food and beverage, California-based Bristol Farms continues to be a trendsetter in the category. The grocery retailer's new 25,000-square-foot concept store recently opened in the north- western 'burbs of Los Angeles on the border of Woodland Hills and Calabasas. With private- label foods, specialty deli items, wagyu meats, a global array of cheese, and a smoothie/coffee/ gelato bar, this location of Bristol Farms is a gourmet haven with an architectural aesthetic that emulates an intimate library: It's all wide-aisled, well-lit, low-ceilinged comfort here. As a frequent shopper at this location, I find myself planning for special "me" time with each visit. From the health food items to the handmade desserts, the delectable bakery selections call to me just as much as the fresh seafood, impressive "Butcher's Bonanza" meats, and Tech- nicolor section of produce that exudes a freshness difficult to find elsewhere. Seafood and meat "experts" behind each respective food counter offer advice on meal preparation and seasoning techniques, even demonstrating how they prefer to cook the products (sampling is encouraged!) And as most of the supermarkets are, Bristol Farms is also proud of its private-label products, boasting an array of tomato sauces, olive oils, dried fruits, and chocolates. In the wine and spirits section, I take my time as I peruse each shelf and aisle: A store with- in a store, this is no average grocery selection. Small-production labels expand a customer's grasp of the worldwide arena, but the larger name brands are there in force as well—as they should be—although they're still hand-picked for the upscale customer who shops here. Armed with 20 years of experience in the industry, Wine Manager Erik Moreno lovingly runs this shop inside Bristol Farms. "We're working on bringing edgier products here, with an emphasis on local and craft beverages," he tells The Clever Root. "We want our customers to be able to make their own discoveries." Bristol Farms' full-time chalk artist aims to attract customers to the charming stores-within-the-store, from the sandwich and coffee counters to the fully-stocked bakery. Bristol Farms Wine Manager Erik Moreno with Clever Root Publisher/ Editorial Director Meridith May. ■cr

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