A-LIST – March 2014
By Katy Kelleher
Eating well isn’t just about dining out. White tablecloths and hand-lettered menus all have their place, but there is something so special about sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal in the familiar four walls of home. Great ingredients are always essential, and when it comes to freshness, nothing beats buying local. To help you find your foodie sweet spot, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite specialty markets. Independently owned and expertly stocked, these nine shops will keep your bellies (and pantries) full.
01 Good Food Store | Bethel
Whether you’re looking for someone to cater your wedding, or just a place to grab a hot cup of soup on the way to Sunday River, Good Food Store has it covered. Owners David Nivus and Heather Hale-Nivus have converted a picturesque white farmhouse into a food-lover’s paradise, complete with a wonderful selection of wines and beers, prepared food, and organic produce. A true community shop, the Good Food Store also sponsors annual “Turkey Tuesday” events at the Bethel Food Pantry.
02 The Market Basket | Rockport
From the moment you step inside, The Market Basket offers a feast for the eyes and the palate. Delicious, unctuous pâtés and sweet, flaky pastries sit atop the counter, while peanut butter balls beckon from behind glass. Brightly painted walls lend a cheerful feel to this rural store, as does the chalkboard menus touting the day’s entrée specials and fresh-baked breads.
03 Rosemont Bakery | Portland
Although generally thought of as a Portland institution, Rosemont has four locations: three in Portland and one in Yarmouth. But it doesn’t matter which one you patronize, because the commitment to supporting local farmers and serving perfectly prepared foods shines through in every purchase. And while Maine’s green seasons may be rather short, Rosemont still manages to serve up great local produce even in the depths of winter.
04 Bow Street Market | Freeport
When it comes to great cuts of meat, Bow Street is hard to top. The butcher shop boasts the widest selection of Pineland Farms beef in Maine, alongside ready-to-cook house-made sausage, stuffed chicken, and meatballs. Vegetarians will find plenty to love as well, thanks to the store’s grocery, produce, and beverage sections. There’s even a nice gluten free area, for those who have special dietary needs.
“The first time I walked into Bow Street Market I had an audible reaction—my mouth literally dropped open and the word ‘WOW!’ popped out. This was a slight embarrassment, but the red face was well worth it because the market is truly a wow place. They have an incredibly diverse (and potentially liver damaging) of spirits and wines, including a wine room and wine concierge on hand to answer any questions. And the store is purposely laid out to make sure you cross paths with and bump into your neighbors. They have made a big space feel warm and welcoming.” – Chris Kast
05 Belfast Co-Op | Belfast
In a town rich with great dining and shopping options, the Belfast Co-op stands out as a community center. Along the wall, flyers hang promoting everything from yoga classes to guitar lessons. The friendly staff is happy to show visitors around the well-stocked shelves. After you grab some spicy dumplings from the deli, head over to the cafe to people watch.
06 Stonewall Kitchen | York
The familiar logo on their jellies, jams, preserves, and mustards can be spotted in upscale stores nationwide, but there’s nothing quite like visiting the flagship location. The company store stocks all the Stonewall Kitchen products you could want, and the cafe offers deli items, baked goods, and beverages for immediate consumption. Every so often, the store allows a first taste of their new products, but sampling while shopping is always encouraged.
07 Forage Market | Lewiston
New York may be famous for their bagels, but Forage Market gives even the best Big Apple joint a run for their money. Fresh-baked daily, the wood-fired bagels have cultivated quite a following. With a lunch menu filled with gourmet sandwiches (including a grilled cheese special that changes weekly) and to-go options like soups and gumbos, it’s possible to eat every meal at Forage.
08 Browne Trading Co. | Portland
We’ve never before considered having caviar delivered straight to our doors, but Browne Trading Co. makes it possible. Specializing in seafood (both fresh and smoked) and delicious wines, it’s a must-visit before any dinner party. Browne Trading Co. just so happens to provide seafood to some of the top restaurants in the world, including Daniel Le Bernardin, the French Laundry, and Per Se, so casual shoppers are in very good company. And with responsible seafood sourcing, what’s good for your taste buds can also be good for the ecosystem.
09 Megunticook Market | Camden
Located just a mile and a half from downtown Camden, this sunny yellow building houses a wonderful selection of pantry items, alongside local wines, meats, fish, and produce. Cheeky names like the Mt. Battie and Millville Delight entice customers to taste Megunticook’s made-to-order deli sandwiches, which come packed tall with meat and other fixings. If you want to try a true Maine staple, order the Italian sub with its signature pickles, peppers, and olives.
“The chicken salad sandwich at Megunticook Market is in my opinion far superior to even mom’s. We like to eat in their riverside parking lot on the tailgate of our truck, and we are never alone. It’s a great tailgating picnic spot.” – Mali Welch