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Fresh and Easy Market?

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Anyone heard about this new market coming to town? There is a location under construction near me at 124th and Shea so I checked out their website. As near as I can tell, they have no stores open yet, but plan to open more than 20 around the valley in the near future. Just wondering who is behind this venture because it seems like they have a big bankroll...

http://www.freshandeasy.com/

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  1. It's owned by Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hohokam

      googling Tesco with "fresh and easy" turned up this CH thread (on the Chains board):

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/427093

    2. Yes, they are opening one near me as well @ 12th and Northern; it looks like they have a lot of work still to complete. I haven't been able to find out too much about them, other than they will be offering easy to prepare meals.

      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepub...

      1. its what is taking over the corner where chez nous was, on 7th ave and indian school.

        but never fear - chez nous is moving to grand ave where fat cats was - about 8th ave and grand...

        2 Replies
        1. re: winedubar

          Do you know when Chez Nous will be reopening? I checked the website and it says "it is just weeks away".

          1. re: sunshineinaz

            word on grand avenue is hopefully in time for dec first fridays

        2. We're also getting one (or more) here in Las Vegas. I imagine it's sorta like Trader Joe's/Whole Foods/Sunflower Market.

          1. I've been waiting rather impatiently for them to announce their opening. I have two coming in near me in East Mesa (Recker/Brown and Main/Ellsworth). The signs are up and everything. I've heard they are supposed to have fresh produce and healthy options (kind of like a Trader Joe's?).

            4 Replies
            1. re: scorpioscuba

              What I've heard is that they will devote relatively high proportion of shelf space to fresh prepared items (kinda sorta like TJ's) and relatively less to frozen items (kinda sorta not like TJ's). But by the time that got to me it was like 3rd- or 4th-hand information from friends in SoCal.

              The only local buzz I've heard was from (alleged) neighborhood activists (allegedly) worried about another off-premise alcohol outlet opening in the neighborhood. I'm skeptical because, I can't imagine that their alcohol sales will be anything compared to the combined sales at the nearby Safeway, Basha's, QT, and Circle Ks.

              1. re: hohokam

                hi hohokam,

                we got the same info. after doing some digging, we found out that there's some conroversy around the union staffing once the stores are complete. im inclined to think the alcohol buzz was misplaced politicking. but thats just me.

                1. re: hohokam

                  Yes, the "neighborhood activists" are in many cases actually representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

                  1. re: silverbear

                    Ah. I wonder if it is like the "Basha's is maybe selling potentially spoiled baby food" phone campaign that the UFCW was conducting over the summer. At any rate, I smelled astroturf and not grassroots.

              2. What makes anyone think that the produce at this place is any fresher than other local chains? Having retired from the grocery industry, I can assure you that is a false assumption. For example, Safeway delivers fresh produce to it's stores every day, not once, twice, or even three times a week, but daily.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Carl S

                  Eh? I think you might be reading between lines that aren't on the screen.

                  I took the reference to "fresh produce" in scorpioscuba's post to mean *unprocessed* fruits and vegetables (i.e., produce that is not canned, frozen, pickled, or otherwise preserved) rather than *recently harvested* produce.

                  1. re: hohokam

                    Sorry about that, but produce in a grocery store is by definition fresh. Fresher means more recently harvested, when talking about produce. Fresh is always best with fruits and vegetables, that's why fresh is an issue. Unprocessed offers nothing in the way of a definition determining freshness.

                    There are local outlets for produce that is not all that fresh. Often these outlets buy "distressed" produce (distressed usually meaning far from fresh, and past it's prime) from companies that have unsold produce. Fleming foods used to sell distressed produce to Southwest Supermarkets when it was available, and Southwest was still in business. Likewise, The Superstition Ranch Market deals in produce that is not considered fresh by most stores, it's past it's prime.

                    I hope that helps.

                2. They've made inroads into CA. My daughter runs in on occasion. They took over a smaller (closed fabric store) location in a local neighborhood. Many comments on the web right now. She says some things she likes - others not so much. I think they're similar to the local TJ's on the other end of town but perhaps more prepared items geared for workers looking to throw a meal together quickly.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Judi0044

                    We're going to go check one out in the next few days. If they have fresh basil of the same quality, and the same price as TJ's, then that will be a good sign.

                    1. re: Carl S

                      I've found the basil comparable to TJ's. Most other herbs such as mint and cilantro I've found to fresher at F&E than at TJ's. F&E stores are very aggressive with their sell-by dates, and is something is within a day or two of that date, it will usually be marked down. I've gotten some pretty good bargains that way.

                      1. re: silverbear

                        Amen, silverbear! I just returned from F & E, with all of my bargains in tow. OK, here goes.......

                        32oz of Guava nectar, (expires 3/31) 75 cents!!!! They also had mango nectar and fresh squeezed OJ, all on sale.

                        1 pint of heavy whipping cream (sell by date 3/30) 77 cents, I grabbed 2.

                        A huge bag (a little bit bigger then the size bagged lettuce comes in ) of still very fresh basil 75 cents (making pesto which I can freeze)

                        1 bag of organic baby carrots, a quarter.

                        And last but not least, a big 1lb chunk of meat lasagna (fresh, not frozen TJ style) for a buck!

                        Most everything is their brand but a saw a couple other bargains that caught my eye.......$1.99 for a 18oz jar of Skippy PB (easily a dollar more at your traditional grocery) 28oz cans of organic whole plum tomatoes for less that a dollar.

                        I love F & E, their markdown prices are unbelievable but their "everyday" prices aren't too shabby either!

                        1. re: silverbear

                          Those half price markdowns are great deals! I get off work between 2 and 4 most days and drive by a F&E on my way home...it's a great time to do grocery shopping as that's when they take the markdowns. Everything I've picked up that's been markdown for date has been very fresh. I bought some tortillas a few weeks back that lasted over a week...I think they were $.70 for a package of 12. This week I picked up a package of lamb loin chops for $5.

                      2. re: Judi0044

                        Expanding on my original post with emphasis on No CA news article I read in the last day or so. Said F&E will now pull back and not open new stores as planned until next year?? A comment was made that they expected revenue from stores in $200,000 range and they were pulling $50,000 instead. Perhaps a sign of the times.

                        1. re: Judi0044

                          According to the AZ Rep, it's more like $170,000 actual revenue versus the 200K target. Still short, but not panic mode.

                          With some tweaking, marketing and word of mouth, they should make that up real quickly. It's still a very young brand - most people I know have never heard of it. Most dont know where they are located.

                          They've got some great deals on wine - maybe they can get some traction from that.

                      3. So glad to see this post. I was glancing through the ad last week, and I saw miso glazed cod. I tend to shy away from prepared or pre-marinated items, but, I was intrigued and wanted to stop in. I've been overwhelmed with school and work and it escpaed my mind. Has anyone tried this or anything similar?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Kam7185

                          A while back, we tried the crab/shrimp stuffed salmon with a chipotle sauce for the glaze (in a separate packet). I ended up using the chipotle sauce to simmer some veggies in as a side dish, and we just grilled the stuffed salmon with some salt & pepper. YUM! My husband is always amazed by the freshness of the fish. Actually, he's cooking salmon from F&E right now!

                          1. re: Kam7185

                            I thought about it, but the fish with a side of sauce is two dollars more than the regular portion of fish, and I can make my own glazes, it's not worth $2, to me.

                            My one big miss with Tesco, so far, is their prepared salsa. Horrible. It's maybe what an English person's idea of salsa is -- but in my view, fresh salsa never contains bell peppers. Bell peppers, chile peppers -- NOT interchangeable. I like the varieties of chips, but I've found some bags to be overseasoned and some under.

                          2. I really like F&E markets and am somewhat anxious for them to hope one nearer to me. I hope you'll try them a few times and figure out what you like.

                            Firstly, don't expect them to be a new option that changes all things. I still go to the big chains, TJs, etc. It's simple part of the new mix.

                            Some of their deals are ho-hum. Some are great. Some products are priced very well. Some are stinkers. I really dont like, for example, their varied selection of tortilla chips. Maybe some do, but I like a neutral chip. On the flip side, their meat dept. seems to have a nice selection. I like their naan bread as well.

                            Bottom line; Nobody does everything great. That said, it's nice to get a new competitor who will stir the market.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: tastyjon

                              I've been to the Chandler location more than a few times now. I love the prepared pizza dough (both white and whole wheat versions) topped with their prepared fresh pesto. I'm also now very much addicted to their lemon sorbet and I've been having good luck with their fresh fish. I've also found a couple bottles of incredibly cheap wine that were drinkable as well.

                              While it's not a grocery store to do all of my shopping, there are enough goodies and bargains to keep me dropping in.

                              1. re: Halophonic

                                I have found a few things @ F & E that I really love: The Pate in the little ramekins.....the olive tapenade and the mango curry chicken.
                                I tend to pick up a few things that I can have on hand to serve w/ a glass of wine if a friend stops by.
                                I am anxious to try more......

                              2. re: tastyjon

                                I think you've hit it right on, jastyjon. I'll be out to CA in ten days and am anxious to see what they have. But you're right, it's nice to get a new competitor in the mix - wish we had one where I live. My daughter is still shopping there as she likes their concept enough to stick with them so far.

                                1. re: Judi0044

                                  Arrived in CA to try the local F&E. Found some good buys some other packaged items way up there. The store is very small and has (to me) a strange mix of items. It's definitely a quick-stop place and some items disappeared that I'd found the previous week. Last week's ad had a $5 coupon that also disappeared in this week's ad. Not a place to do major shopping or 'stock-up' but good for a quick stop now and then.

                                  1. re: Judi0044

                                    Here in AZ the coupons are in the flyers every other week. So maybe next week there will be one again?

                                    they're still also giving coupon books in the stores here...at least they were in April and they've told me they will have them again in May.

                              3. I am really excited for the 32nd and Greenway location to open. I've also heard rumors that they're turning what was previously a CVS on Tatum and Shea into a TJs. Can anyone confirm?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: meleyna

                                  I see on the TJ's site that they have a store planned for the NE corner of Shea and Tatum. Maybe that's it?

                                  http://www.traderjoes.com/Attachments...

                                  1. re: meleyna

                                    The store on 32nd St and Greenway has been open for a while.

                                    My wife likes their Tortilla Soup.

                                    I actually stopped in the other day for a spice I needed for a recipe I was in the process of cooking (not wanting to deal waste a lot of time with a large walk in a grocery store, or waiting in line, etc). and was pleased with the shopping experience (it was quick and easy, and reasonable priced).

                                    I am happy about a new TJ's, which is very close to work. I wish they would put one that could service the North-Central Valley a little better. Like Happy Canyon and I-17 (seems like it would do well there).