Feature in PhillyMag's Restaurant Club

Check out Good Food Market in the most recent installment of Philly Mag's blog, Restaurant Club! We're featured in a story called "Philly's New Breed of Gourmet Market," along with Green Aisle Grocery in South Philly, as an example of new trend in grocery markets--specialty stores which stock everyday items, typically picked up on a run to the grocery store, as well as tasty imported cheese, gourmet jams and chutneys, and produce from local farms. Thanks a million to Ashley Primis, food editor at PhillyMag for this great story!

Dinner Ideas

Dinner on your mind? Chef Amy just dropped off her debut batch of oh-so-delicious lightly sauced barbecue pulled chicken--grab a bag of rolls, and some greens for a salad and have tonight's meal ready in minutes.

Busy day? Also consider picking up tonight's Table for Two, a complete, delicious dinner for two hungry folks for only $20:

2 turkey shepards pies
1 large kale salad with currants and pine nuts
1 container of homemade apple sauce
2 dinner rolls


2 portabello mushroom caps, stuffed with local spinach and goat's milk feta
1 large kale salad with currants and pine nuts
1 container of homemade apple sauce
1/2 baguette

If you're in a real hurry, call ahead, pay by phone and we'll bring your dinner to your car!*

*help us be a good neighbor and find a legal parking spot...just tell us where you are and we'll find you!

Table for Two at Good Food Market

What's for dinner tonight? If this question plagues you, have no fear--Good Food Market is launching a brand new "Table for Two" dinner deal! For only $20 you'll get a complete, delicious dinner for two hungry people, bagged and ready for you to grab and go. Tonight's combos are:

2 Chicken Pot Pies, made by our fabulous Chef Amy
1 lb. of homemade apple sauce
1 bag of Gourmet Lettuce Mix from local Landisdale Farms
1/2 baguette


2 servings of Martin's Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta, by Chef Amy
1 bag of Gourmet Lettuce Mix from local Landisdale Farms
1/2 lb. Amy's Sauteed Swiss Chard
1/2 baguette

Swing by on your way home tonight!

We would like to invite you to our Grand Opening!

We are very excited to roll out the red carpet and invite you to join us for a month of festivities celebrating our Grand Opening. We have lined up a star-studded array of our finest purveyors, some fantastic musicians and even a cookbook author to tempt your taste buds, expand your mind and rejuvenate your spirits at the beginning of this glorious holiday season. Check back here for frequent additions!
Good Food Market Grand Opening Schedule:
Saturday Nov. 14
Meet Amy, our Good Food Market Chef! (2-3pm)
As seen on Channel 10, come meet the star behind our prepared food showcase. Ask Amy Kunkle questions about holiday catering as well as the challenges of cooking for people with allergies and dietary restrictions.

Everrich Farms (2pm)
Come hear from local farmer Jesse Howe and sample delicious products from his farm in Cedars, PA

DiBruno Brothers
(Saturday & Sunday Nov 15th , 11-4)
Italian imports, cheeses and other delicacies is here for demos and samples!

Monday Nov. 16
Amy's Organics (noon-2pm)
Come and sample new products from Good Food Market’s distributor of natural, organic grocery items. Rumor has it they’ll be sampling pizza and cake!

Saturday Nov. 21
Open House Weekend
The Painted Truffle
Local award-winning chocolatier, Tom Sciascia, of the Painted Truffle presents his beautiful confections and offers a cooking demonstration of his luscious caramels. Come learn how his truffles are made and pick up some treats for your next holiday get-together!

Michelle Lordi (3:30 - 6:30pm)
Listen to the beautiful jazz melodies of local singer/songwriter, Michelle Lordi.

DiBruno Brothers
Theme: Antipasti. Philadelphia’s premier distributor of Italian imports, cheeses and other delicacies returns for more demos and samples!

Bell and Evans
Since 1890, Bell & Evans of Lancaster, PA has been family owned and committed to raising quality chickens in a minimal stress environment with all-natural diets and no antibiotics. Come learn the difference that socially-responsible businesses can make!

Sunday Nov. 22
Open House Weekend Continues
Meet Leslie, the Good Food Market's Pastry Chef!
Chestnut Hill resident and award-winning pastry chef, Leslie McLaughlin will showcase some of her most decadent desserts just in time for the holidays!

Saturday Nov. 28
DiBruno Brothers
Philadelphia’s premier distributor of Italian imports, cheeses and other delicacies returns for more demos and samples!

Saturday Dec. 5
Gesine Bullock-Prado, author of Confections of a Closet Master Baker

Gesine Bullock-Prado, author of the acclaimed memoir Confections of a Closet Master Baker, will be reading selections from her new book and signing copies with some tempting lovelies to whet your appetite!

Chef Amy On Channel 10!

Stay tuned tonight for our very own Chef Amy on Channel 10's 5:00 news. You'll see her baking some gluten-free cupcakes as part of a segment on Celiac Disease. If you'd like to give these delicious treats a try at home, here's the recipe!

Amy’s Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups of organic brown rice flour (Chef Amy prefers Lundberg Farms)
1 cup of organic amaranth flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Add 2 tsp real vanilla extract (Chef Amy prefers frontier)
Add 3/4 cup safflower oil
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 cups of water (can subtitute coffee, rice milk, orange juice if you like)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and mix together until well blended. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes and 2 8" rounds or 1/4 sheet.

Amy’s Chocolate Frosting
2 sticks of unsalted fleishman's margarine (the only dairy free one) - softened
2 tsp real vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
5 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup water
Whip together margarine and vanilla extract. Add cocoa powder and mix again. Add confectioners sugar. Turn mixer to low and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated. Add water and whip until blended.

Unanimous Approval From Chestnut Hill Community Association

Last night, I stood before the Chestnut Hill Community Association and received unanimous support for Good Food Market's variance to sell coffee and gelato and to prepare sandwiches and salads for take-out. It was such a relief.

And now that this small, but excruciatingly painful, hurdle is over, I have this very surprisingly odd emotion bubbling over. I feel lucky. Not that it passed, not that I survived but lucky that I actually had to GO THROUGH this experience. Crazy, huh?!

At first, I was worried it was some sort of perversion or post-traumatic symptoms. Now, I realize I had an opportunity that few ever realize. I had people champion my dream!

How many times have I whined to myself that when the going gets tough, I'm all alone? I think that was my mantra through high school. But here I was, fighting for survival and feeling very insecure when I suddenly looked up and saw this incredible sea of support.

And it kept coming! Friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers in waves of emails, stopping me in the street, attending long heated meetings. This was a long and painful process for me and when I couldn't stand it anymore and couldn't possibly believe anyone else could be expected to stand firm, you were still there. And there were more of you standing there than at the last count.

I hope that everyone gets a chance in their life to experience this feeling of community, of support, of trust. If this is the only success that I have with this venture, it is worth it. This is the golden ring that you strive for when you set off on a crazy adventure like this. I hope I can articulate it to my girls one day.

Interesting Weeks in the Dog Days

We have had such a crazy busy few weeks that writing here seems overwhelming. But, if you are following me here, I'm sure you just can't stand waiting to hear the latest and the greatest so...

The landlord's crew has finally begun the construction of my beautiful "vanilla box" so I can start to plan when my fit-in can take place. My biggest thrill was the pre-existing boarded up skylight holes were replaced with *gasp* beautiful, bright skylights! New insulation on the roof and a watertight seal is also very exciting but not quite as dramatic. They have also begun pouring the new sidewalk with the treewells. I expect that to be spectacular too when its all done.

Most neighbors have been fantastically supportive! The several emails and phone calls of support I receive EACH DAY always help me keep the negative strays in perspective and they allow me some peace.

I have been speaking with so many people who live and work around the shop & they have given me some wonderful suggestions! 1. I never thought about distributing a lunch menu, but of course that makes sense! 2. We will show the nutritional values and calorie count for all our prepared foods and sandwiches on the food labels but also in the aforementioned menu! 3. And Weightwatcher points too!

We are working feverishly to get all the pieces together for a soft opening for friends and family in late August. That's a lot of staffing, equipment buying, menu planning and food, glorious food!

Our prepared food menu survey has one more week before we close and announce our opening menu selection. If you haven't recorded your vote, you may want to do so now: I think that will be my next blog.

Letter to Unhappy Neighbors

I wrote the following letter this morning to the 5 people who signed the petition published in the Chestnut Hill Local this week.  I want to share it here in case others stumble upon my blog.

Dear Respected Neighbor,
I am deeply saddened by the recent discovery of a neighbor group's displeasure about my new business' location.  As one Chestnut Hill neighbor to another, I am writing to try to open a line of communication between us.  As I wrote in my Letter to the Editor of the Local this week, my interests are to provide a service that I believe most of Chestnut Hill value by offering quality foods, responsible business practices and hours of operation that recognize most of us lead extremely busy, stress-filled lives and need sustenance before and after typical working hours.

I really spent a lot of time so that this store was carefully designed to respect my immediate neighbors and to limit noise, traffic, odors and any other unpleasant side effects that may exist in other food business.  

  • I intend to offer food delivery so that people leave their cars at home or don't fill all the parking spaces around the store.  I intend to offer a pedestrian incentive where those that walk will receive free and immediate delivery home by hand or bike.
  • A loading zone already exists in front of this space.  I will use this to offer curbside pick-up to those that pre-order.  Most of this traffic will be the same traffic that drives this street every afternoon to pick up children from school or return home from work.  They will drive slower; they will have an opportunity to become a part of the community; they will respect and appreciate the beauty of this neighborhood that they only view as a blur in the periphery to date.
  • All trash and recycling receptacles are located in the building.  We intend to offer extended recycling for all neighbors and hope that the immediate neighbors take advantage of us to drop off plastics that they cannot recycle at their curb.  We intend to compost our food wastes off-site.  Good Food Market plans to exemplify the most modern and ethical treatment of wastes available.
  • We plan a "wi-fi" lounge in the front of the store as a place where people can meet with each other inside the building and therefore not congregate outside on the sidewalk.  We hope those that wait for the bus can come in from the cold.  We hope neighbors will use this space for meetings, gatherings and socials to grow closer together as a community.
  • In our meetings with distributors and suppliers, we explain that we are a small storefront and can only handle small truck deliveries.  We will not have early morning or late night deliveries.  We are implementing a sophisticated Point-of-Sale system with a bar code scanner so we can check deliveries in as quickly as possible.  
  • We are a small store that uses socially responsible business practices.  That means, I believe the greater good of the community outweighs my own ambitions.  I am terribly disappointed that this group does not understand this about me.  I hope to get to meet each of you personally at some point so that we can get to know each other and respect one another for the contributions we each try to make individually to our community.

Thank you very much for reading this.  I do hope you feel welcome to respond to me directly.

You Are Unbelievable! Yes, You!

I am so completely blown away by the support that you have shown me since the Chestnut Hill Local story ran last week. So many of my friends and neighbors have called, emailed, stopped me in the street to offer words of encouragement, enthusiasm and support. For those of you I know and those of you that I hope to know very soon, thank you!!!!

Please let me share with you here some of the really wonderful comments that you left as you signed up for our mailing list:

I can't wait for your market to open. My wife and I have 2 young boys (2 and 4 months) and this is JUST what we always wanted.

Just checked your site out. Outstanding - I cannot wait for your store to be a part of the Chestnut Hill community!! Kudos to you for your fine taste and green approach.

I'm ready for you. With grown children and a busy career I need more than chinese take out. Good luck, I'll be in.

Very excited about your store .... Your idea about curbside delivery is awesome-best of luck.

I read about your endeavor in the CH Local today and am excited that you will be opening. I was very encouraged seeing the architectural renderings of the space on your website. It appears that you have an appreciation of good design and care about the look and feel of your store. I wish you much success.

Great article, great placement. Impressive! Congratulations!

I was thrilled to read about your upcoming store ... I live in Flourtown but am in Chestnut Hill all the time (my child goes to Springside School) and I grew up in Chestnut Hill too. I love your concept. As a mother of three children, the idea of getting the three of them into and out of the store, coming home and making a delicious dinner - seems overwhelming - you are onto something. Best of luck!

Can't wait for you to open!

Looking forward to shopping at your store.

Congrats on the wonderful article and awesome play Good Food Market got in the Local. I'm so happy for you and wish you the best of luck! Can't wait till it opens!

Mazel Tov & good luck!

Even though I live in Ambler I spend a lot of time in Chestnut Hill as I pick up my grandsons at Chestnut Hill Academy several days a week. Will look forward to the opening of your market, which sounds very exciting and just what the community needs, and will tell my friends about it. Best of luck with it.

This is a GREAT idea. In the UK, where I'm from, there is a similar concept in the Marks & Spencer convenience stores. Their food is delicious, often pre-prepared (chilled or frozen) but rather pricey. You might want to take a look at their. I hate cooking, am useless at it, and yet am for some reason always the one in charge of shopping and putting meals on the table for myself, husband and two young girls. I run out of ideas for nutritious, easy, quick meals fast and we often eat the same thing. I'd love to go organic and support local suppliers but am concerned about breaking the bank doing so. Anything you can do to help me feed my family with healthy, tasty, well-priced food would be GREATLY appreciated!! Good luck. I'll be following your progress.

Looking forward to a new neighborhood store!

The Plans Are Here! The Plans Are Here!

It seems so much more "real" now the plans and drawings are finished. Above, you see the drawing of the storefront. In all fairness, we won't have tables out but I love the airiness.

As you enter the store (through what is now the ugly plastic garage door), you will see just a little bit of style with reclaimed wood partitions and you will sigh, "ahhh, this is not your typical convenience market." Did you know that the first 20 ft of a market is called the "decompression chamber." Well, here it really will be.

This shows the view down the center aisle to the back where the frozen and refrigerated cases are. The deli and prepared foods are to your left and there is more shelving niches carved out of the wall on the right.

Now, you are in the back of the store looking to the front but focusing toward the deli and prepared food wall. They have used corrugated metal and reclaimed wood throughout for a modern, simple look for not much money. Up in the back above the entrance to the store, you'll see the office loft. Again, love the airiness! The wood and beams of the roof are exposed along with the ductwork for that simple, modern and cheap that I asked for. Nowhere in Chestnut Hill will you feel so open and not claustrophobic.

So, there it is. What do you think?

Derby Basket for Chestnut Hill Historical Society

Adam and I had such a fun time at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society's Spring Derby Event last night. We were thrilled to see so much interest in the new store and the gift basket that we donated for the raffle. It was such a fun basket to make with silver-plated mint julep cups and miniature roses, Kentucky honey, bourbon smoked sea salt and spoon bread mixes, and two gorgeous bourbon and chocolate pecan tarts from our local, award-winning pastry chef, Leslie McLaughlin. I got a chance to attach one of my favorite quick recipes for Low Country Shrimp Ettouffee over Spoon Bread with my signature Low Country Piquant Seasoning. It was such a hit and I was so pleased to show it off!

The Chestnut Hill Historical Society does so many wonderful things for the community including the preservation of our historical records, maps and photos and their easement program that protects the Wissahickon watershed and the Fairmount Park in our backyards. It was so exciting to be a part of the festivities that help raise funds for such a great cause in our community. (And I got to wear a really big hat!)

Wrestling with Convenience

I believe in convenience. There is no question about it! I don't have time to waste and I believe that the human race has come so far that we should be streamlining away from every hassle and nuisance. But, I also love economics and I am fascinated by utility maximization and how we measure utility for common goods.

Now, how do I apply that to the store?

Here is a simple (well, actually quite complex) example. We are opening a convenience store. (Yeah!!!) People go to convenience stores everyday and pick up a bottled soda (or a water, or tea or whatever). These drinks have a very high utility to the customer. So much so that they are extremely profitable for the store. I would be crazy not to have them, right? Good for me, good for the customer, no brainer!

Oh, but wait! Not good for the environment, not good for the customer's long term health. See, I loathe plastic soda bottles!

First, they are horrible for the environment. Even if the bottles were recycled by everyone (which they aren't), what about the caps (which definitely aren't)? And even if the bottles were recycled and made into something else, it would be a final destination product (not another bottle, but carpet or a plastic toy) that, inevitably, would end in the dump. Who is that good for?

Then, plastics are horrible for our health. The bottles are made out of chemicals (PET) and hormones (biphenyl-A) that leach out into the beverage and are now being linked to all sorts of cancers. I don't plan to sell cigarettes, so why would I sell carcinogenic bottles?

But would you come to a "convenience store" without beverages? No, of course not. Will you come to a convenience store that only sells fountain beverages in paper cups or that only offers glass and aluminum can sodas? (Recycled glass and aluminum containers take approximately 5% of the energy of creating new and can be recycled over and over). This is a gamble but I am thinking it is one that truly maximizes social utility. I hope Chestnut Hill agrees!

Good Food Market Goes Virtual!

As we prepare for the public announcement of Good Food Market and its opening this summer 2009 in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, I'm setting up this blog so that we can share the latest and greatest new news available! I hope that this can be a place where hungry neighbors can give feedback, find specials and relate to one another over a common love -- GOOD FOOD!