Thursday morning I was up bright and early so I could drive to Solon, Ohio to visit the brand new Giant Eagle Market District and, of course, hang out with Chef Michael Symon. (Pssss. There’s still time to enter the giveaway on that post and maybe win a signed copy of his book Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers!) Market District is a growing brand — you’ve probably noticed the Market District labels on foods at Giant Eagle, but there are only seven Market District store locations and all are either in Pennsylvania or here in Ohio.
The first thing I have to tell you about Market District is that it is huge. Gargantuan. Enormous. Vast. Brobdingnagian. (I may have whipped out my Thesaurus for this part. That last one can be traced to Gulliver’s Travels.) I’m talking 100,000 square feet of yummy gourmet goodness.
So big, in fact, that when shoppers were first entering the store they were handing out maps.
What makes Market District distinct, among other things, is that it’s more than just a grocery store. They have the market section of the store, but they also have the cafe section which features things you’d expect, like salad and hot food bars, prepared foods you can take home, a bakery, and a variety of daily soups.
But they also have vendors you might not expect, like pizza and burger stations, gelato, sushi, and even an antipasti bar.
|Look at all those olives!|
The idea is that they are more than just a market where you get in, grab what you need, and get out. Instead this is a grocery store aimed at foodies who appreciate quality, seasonal ingredients, love to cook, and want a more high-end market experience while still shopping with a brand they are familiar with, like Giant Eagle. You can earn FuelPerks shopping at Market District (in fact, the Solon store has a GetGo right outside, which worked out well ’cause I needed gas before heading back to work and had some FuelPerks on my card) and the website has multiple options for signing up for coupons and getting alerted to Giant Eagle’s weekly specials.
With the cafe, this also means getting to eat some fantastic foods before or after your grocery shopping or even just popping in for lunch on the weekend. They even have the most fabulous seating area up on the second level.
|Can I just move this into my dining room, please?|
Which is just perfect because the first rule of grocery stores is never go shopping while hungry. So, y’know, grab a quick bite before heading into the store. They also have a mini coffee shop and even a bar. (Like I said, this is not your average grocery store.)
Of course, while it might not be your average grocery store, it is still a grocery store, so we can’t forget that part. I mean, seriously, just look at how bright and beautiful that produce section is. So fresh and colorful!
They also have a pretty impressive bulk foods area.
Yeah. I may need to go back to take a closer look at those baking bins….
Then, of course, y’know, are all the aisles full of foods you’d expect from a grocery store. (Not only did I find PB2 there, but they had the chocolate version, too! I’ve only ever seen that online.) There’s also a Health, Beauty and Wellness section along with a Drive-Thru Pharmacy.
The prices are comparable with a regular Giant Eagle and, as mentioned, you can earn FuelPerks shopping there and earn discounts using your Giant Eagle Advantage Card. So, Market District is essentially your neighborhood Giant Eagle with just a little more oomph added in.
Tomorrow is your last day to enter my bacon flavored Symon Says giveaway to win a signed copy of Chef Michael Symon’s cookbook Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Eaters!
Love from the ashes,