Charm City Cook: Happy Hampden Grocery Shoppers

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So, finally. It’s so exciting. Big stuff. After months and months of speculation, uncertainty and driving out of the neighborhood for a nicer option, Hampden has a nice, clean, well-stocked grocery store, Giant at Greenspring Towers. Okay, no one knows it as Greenspring Towers…we might know it as:

41st Street Shopping Center…
Where the Dunkin Donuts is…
Where there used to be a Blockbuster…
Oh! The old Super ma’Fresh…
The place where that dude would sometimes play his saxophone.

Whatever you call the location, I think most of the people who’ve visited the store would call it bright, clean, stocked (oh, Fresh & Greens…you were so sad) and staffed by some really happy people. I attended the soft opening this past Thursday night with a friend and it was such a scene! There was even a red carpet, hon. Apparently, they opened at 12:45pm instead of the scheduled 5:00pm start because people were lined up to get in. Lined up to get in. That is pretty funny, even for my quirkly little ‘hood.

I went back on Saturday morning to shop and I have never been greeted, helped or directed at a store this much in my entire life. And I have to say, it’s nice to see some of the old Super Fresh employees (I was a loyal Super Fresh shopper), as well as, of course, folks from the Rotunda Giant. I was never a fan of that Giant. To me, it was dirty and definitely cramped. And the parking – ugh. The little tiny lot in the front and then in the back…you had to walk through the “Hall of Mirrors” to get to the grocery store. So not fun. I do hope that the developers can get back on track and bring us that “boutique” grocery store we keep hoping for…say it with me: Trader Joe’s…Trader Joe’s…Trader Joe’s!

I also must give a shout out to the nice folks at the Baltimore Food Co-op as a great shopping option for folks looking for an excellent selection of organic and local deliciousness – I especially like the fresh (warm!) tortillas on Saturdays and the bulk foods room. Check it out when you’re in the city.

Now, important stuff:  Since I had a nickname for my old Super ma’Fresh, I need one for the new Giant. One of my coworkers some twenty years ago used to call the Rotunda Giant, The Big. As in, “I’m going to The Big – does anyone want anything?” I’m thinking The Big or maybe The Bigness.

Have you been to the new store yet? Like it? What would you like to see happen at the Rotunda?
Do tell…

Read more at charmcitycook.

Amy Langrehr

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