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Produce Galore - Columbia Closing

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personalchef Mar 11, 2008 12:43 PM

I was very sad to learn that Produce Galore in Columbia is closing as of Friday. I went there today to pick up lunch, and the place was already looking pretty bare. They will be missed.

  1. m
    mdfoodlover Mar 18, 2008 07:56 AM

    I first heard about PG roughly 2 years ago. When I first went in, I was impressed with the extent of their hot prepared foods section. Unfortunately for me, my wife won't buy anything from a cafeteria style open food setting, and really discourages me from doing so. Her fear of catching a sickness, be it legit or not, has influenced me in my dining choices as well.

    I did buy a few pastries that were underwhelming at best.
    More recently I returned in hopes of some good healthy produce, post heart attack of 9/30/07. I bought some decent apples of 2 variety, but nothing else in the produce department looked very good to me.
    I wish there was a truly exceptional produce place convenient to Columbia / Clarksville / Highland area. There just does not seem to be anything that comes even close to Fresh Fields in Silver Spring quality.
    As a newly heart healthy diet conscience shopper, I am so dissatisfied with local markets offerings.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mdfoodlover
      j
      Jason1 Mar 18, 2008 08:15 AM

      While not having quite the selection of Whole Foods, have you at least tried Roots in Columbia/Clarksville?

      1. re: Jason1
        m
        mdfoodlover Mar 18, 2008 12:23 PM

        I have shopped there, and also the newer Roots on Georgia south of Olney. They both have some OK produce, but no better than Giant or Safeway in my opinion.

        I used to buy really good produce from Good Earth in Olney. Nowadays the produce there seems to have become 3rd or 4th priority behind trendy snacks, gifts, flowers, etc.

        Does anyone remember the original Serio's on the Pike near White Flint? That was great way back when.

    2. c
      cocoagirl Mar 17, 2008 05:59 AM

      I loved Produce Galore when I worked at the Rouse Company back in the 90's. We would practically eat lunch in there with all the samples. And the food bar was great. Where else could a girl watching her weight get a smidge of apple crisp or macaroni and cheese. The food was always good- unlike many other places that have prepared food where the food is not that good

      1. Bob W Mar 16, 2008 07:56 PM

        There was an article on this in the WaPo (Friday or Saturday I think). Apparently the closing of the aged Giant in the Wilde Lake shopping center across the parking lot from Produce Galore is what really sent them down the tubes. The traffic just wasn't there. But the bleeding had already begun as chains began to invade Columbia.

        I have some good memories of Produce Galore from my brief residence in Harpers Choice, but that was 1990-1991, an eon ago in the world of retail food.

        1. m
          MGOOD21228 Mar 16, 2008 10:21 AM

          Good Riddance! In fact, the produce was second rate. And the service was horrendous. Any request by a customer was greeted as an annoyance. The cashiers were rude, but that owner was worse. Unless he knew you, you were treated terribly.
          The traffic may have lessened, but these people did nothing by way of selection or service to save their business. Classic, old school "better than the stupid customer approach"
          Close and stay closed!

          1. m
            MrsWheatie Mar 15, 2008 02:08 PM

            I think TJs was the final nail in their coffin. Hopefully they will but in a new grocery store since the David's Natural food store has its own niche. Article in Wash Post.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MrsWheatie
              h
              Hal Laurent Mar 15, 2008 05:14 PM

              If "TJs" is Trader Joes, I'm amazed! The only Trader Joes I've ever been to (in Newport News Virginia) had a terrible produce section.

              1. re: Hal Laurent
                h
                hon Mar 15, 2008 06:15 PM

                The Trader Joes in Columbia (really, it's the outskirts of Columbia) is no where near Produce Galore.

                1. re: hon
                  m
                  MDicecreamguy Mar 15, 2008 06:55 PM

                  I really don't see a whole lot of similarity to Produce Galore and Trader Joes. THe attractions at Produce Galore were(----I guess I should use the past tense since they just closed) the salad and hot food bar, the fresh deli with prepared foods, the Hot HOme Made soup bar which featured 5 unique Home Made soups which changed every day and the baked goods ( from varios local bakeries). I love Trader Joes, but its just not a similar operation to Produce Galore

              2. re: MrsWheatie
                m
                MrsWheatie Mar 16, 2008 08:38 AM

                There is a lot of redundancy in the specialty market arena. David's Natural has doubled to tripled its size (in same center), Roots opened in Clarksville a few miles away, Lotte Plaza is not far, and Safeway and Giant got into the game. They all offer fresh to organic produce, prepared foods and pantry items to varying degrees of quality. Produce was one of the first to offer prepared foods and yummy soups. But that wasn't enough to compete. I will miss their breads, soups and salads, and it being a local business in the chain heavy burg of Columbia.

              3. m
                MDicecreamguy Mar 11, 2008 08:29 PM

                WOW....I'm shocked !

                Produce Galore has been an original Columbia culinary institution for many years.
                Definitely the best variety of Home Made soups in the Baltimore-Washington area
                Does anyone know if new owners are taking over?
                I live in Owings Mills and usually make Produce galore a destination when I'm in the area.
                I will miss them !

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