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Feb 23, 2009 05:45 AM

Scared about Salem

We are relocating from metro Boston to Salem and I am wondering about basic foodie questions. Is there really no Wholefoods or Trader Joes? Is there a cheese shop or a food coop? I read the 2008 posts about restaurants and feel a little sad. Where do people buy groceries? Apprehensively waiting a response.

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  1. Salem Oregon right? Ouch. So sorry to hear it. What a dump, as Bette Davis would have said. Be very afraid.
    You'll have to come up to Portland to shop.
    New Seasons is a local chain and much better than either of those. Not in Salem though.
    Also don't miss our farmers' market, opening for the season in a month.
    On the bright side: you are close to the dining and wineries of pinot country.

    1. Whole Paycheck and TJs are a short jaunt up the freeway. LifeSource Natural foods on Commercial gets a good deal of my business.

      A year-round farmers market is at

      and expands to Wednesdays most of the year.

      There's no need to spend gas and traffic frustration when you can shop locally. Personally, I avoid Portland traffic and attitudes as much as I can.

      Eugene has a great variety of natural stores, a TJs, and a great, friendly atmosphere as well, if you really feel the need to drive.

      Give me a holler when you get here, and I'll be happy to help out!

      1. Boston to Salem is going to be a huge transition in so many ways. Hopefully, you are interested in leaving city life behind and embracing the benefits of living in a smaller community. I moved from Chicago to Bellingham in the '80s, but it was by choice ... to make a change and flee city life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. If I need the city, I drive to Seattle or Vancouver but I don't want to live in either of those places.

        Keep an open mind when you arrive in your new city and forget about people who have nothing but blanket criticisms. I have never lived in Salem, but spent a few days there with my family and enjoyed it. We found plenty of fine restaurants (check out Marco Polo and breakfast at Busick Court) and a great chocolate shop, fun coffee house, and other things. Somehow I've managed to live my life without a Whole Foods (and gladly, so) and until recently without a TJs in my city. Of course, we have an awesome Co-op so that helped a lot. But, we also have plenty of other great grocery stores and I'm guessing you'll find something in Salem, too.

        Good luck with your move.

        1. Oh, good grief, you're not going to starve! Salem isn't a metropolis, but it's not exactly a one horse town, either. It's in the Willamette Valley, a fertile farming area, so local produce should be readily available. There is a seasonal farmer's market, but regular groceries stock at least some locally grown fruits and vegetables. A quick websearch turned up a natural foods market:

          There are also a lot of good local wines to try and Oregon produces some wonderful cheese as well. Unfortunately, I haven't lived in Salem for 25 years, so any personal recollections would be woefully out of date...(I usually shopped at Roth's for groceries, as I recall), but I think I'm safe in recommending a quick jaunt down I-5 to Albany for Novak's Hungarian restaurant. It's the restaurant I miss the most.

          1. And we have a new French Restaurant: , which I visited for the first time last night (will write a separate review) that's just fantasic.

            A creperie is set to open soon, also.