Finally! Fresh Fanatic, an organic grocery store, will open in the long-empty retail space inside the Chocolate Factory building in Wallabout.
CHB got a sneak preview of the space on Wednesday morning as the groceries were being arranged on the shelves.
Owner Andrew Goldin lives in the building and has a degree in hospitality management. That experience, combined with world travel to many of the globe's best markets, led to the unique experience that is to be Fresh Fanatic. Goldin says that the store will eventually boast an impressive range of international foods - Thai, Japanese and even Russian. They've already ordered bread from Germany.
Fresh and organic it will be, but Goldin promises it will be much less expensive than Whole Foods. He also promises the most reasonable prices on prepared foods in the tri-state region.
Goldin's hospitality background has certainly influenced the store's features. Already planned are a fresh pasta counter, sushi bar and an on-site nutritionist. A seafood counter will feature a tank of live fish that can be killed and cleaned on-site by staff (lobster, crab and possibly tuna is planned for now). Digital menu boards will display food facts throughout the store, and fresh produce, meat and a gigantic cheese dept round out the offerings.
I saw a little bit of everything going onto the shelves: organic, vegan, gluten-free and regular run-of-the-mill products as well.
The store will also sell garden plants and offer a 24-hour coffee window.
I am really excited to see how this place turns out. Will it really be affordable? Will the prepared food really be the best in the tri-state area? If you live in Wallabout, you are in for a treat. (Or at the very least, a very unique shopping experience!)
As for me, I will probably stick to my little Associated on Waverly for my day-to-day grocery needs. (A coworker and neighbor wondered aloud this morning if FF would be able to beat the 15-limes-for-a-dollar Associated special.) But if this place is a mini-Fairway with great service, I will be making regular stops.
Soft Opening: today or tomorrow Grand Opening: Tuesday, August 18
Fresh Fanatic 275 Park Ave @ Washington www.freshfanatic.com