The grand opening is Saturday, but shoppers have already begun grazing at Sweet Clover Market in the Essex Shoppes and Cinema on Route 15, right across from the movie theater. The new grocery is not a health food store, says staff member Suzanne Boyajian. Rather, Sweet Clover describes itself as a local market that is intent on supporting Vermont farmers and artisanal food producers. Most products will travel fewer than 100 miles to get there, but if an important item isnt available within that radius, they will try to find it within 200 miles, and so on.
The local focus is evident when you check out whats on the shelves, but the inventory also looks pretty gourmet. Epicureans can find jars of roasted chestnuts and La Tourangelle Roasted Hazelnut Oil. Raw fooders will dig the French Celtic sea salt, the raw cider vinegar and the bottles of Braggs Liquid Aminos.
For carnivores, like Boyajian, the butcher will be cutting local meat to customers specifications at the yet-to-come deli-and-meat section. Produce, bulk foods and teas, and frozen and refrigerated items will all be available in the next few weeks. For now you can pick up dry goods such as pasta, crackers and soup, Seventh Generation paper products, and a few choice toiletries from Alba, Avalon Organic and Kiss My Face.
Sweet Clover is a cozy space with light wooden shelves and copper checkout counters, a couple of comfy chairs in one front corner, and a noshing nook in another. While theres not enough room for a full, take-out bar, patrons can hang out and chow down on Nutty Stephs granola, or warm up some heat & eat Rajma Masala Red Kidney Bean Curry in the available microwave. Check out the Sweet Clover website at http://www.sweetclovermarket.com for more info on the philosophy behind the markets products and the pricing.