A lot of folks think that this blog is about restaurants, WRONG! it is about good food in general, whether it is in stores, my friends kitchens or my own, bakeries, or restaurants.
I moved in the Severna Park/Pasadena area a year ago. My husband and I used to live in Essex, MD.
One of the main reasons why we decided to move was because there is close to -nothing- in Essex when it comes to food. There are not a lot of choices of good restaurants, grocery stores, etc..
I love cooking, and I have been blessed to have been surrounded by friends that enjoy it as much as I do.
While grocery shopping is a burden for some, I personally LOVE grocery shopping because I see it as an adventure. I prefer grocery shopping than any other type of shopping, any day of the week. When I used to live in Essex, my choices in grocery store were: Mars, Shoppers, Geresbeck’s, and Aldi, and that was it. Guess what the closest store to my house was?? Aldi ! I went to that store -once- because I had to make an emergency run as I needed something for my dinner that night. After I parked the car, I was on my way in and there was a bodyguard at the entrance that fiercely looked at me and made it clear that I needed to turn around. Yep, a giant disgusting cockroach was right in front of the entrance, staring at me, daring me to make a move. I have a phobia of bugs. Needless to say that I can’t tell you what the store look like inside. Off to Mars I went that day (could have been literal since I flew back to my car after the sight of that disgusting thing).
My friend Yvette who has been living in Severna Park for years had told me numerous times about this place she goes to called Victoria’s Fancy foods and that I needed to check it out at some point. Never really made it there since I wasn’t living close to that area.. Until I moved here…….
I checked Victoria’s website (http://victoriasfancyfoods.com/) and the front page caught my attention immediately:
“Local clean foods and fine crafted wine”…..then it says “Our gourmet grocery shop is fashioned after the shops of Paris with wooden floors and chalkboard signs.”
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this was me jumping up and down, cartwheel and all..).
Then it says this: “We take pride in every item we offer to you.” I had to check it out and let me tell you that everything in that description does check out. Why didn’t I move in this area years ago???????????? Between all the restaurants I am discovering, Hawthorne Bakery and Victoria’s, I am not home sick anymore!
Please allow me to introduce you to this lovely lady, Victoria Stagmer, proud owner of this gourmet store:
Victoria is another hard working, dedicated and passionate woman I have the honor to know. She takes customer service to an entire new level and she knows her stuff (and top of it all, she is a certified wine specialist 🙂 ). She told me once that there is nothing in her store that she hasn’t tried. Remember this on her website: “We take pride in every item we offer to you.”?
So let me recap, she offers gourmet food (from fresh pasta to olive oil, from crackers to jams, teas, coffee, spices, cheeses, bread….) and Wine from all over.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yep, I did it again).
Let me take a second and talk about the bread. She gets frozen bread from a bakery in New Jersey (except for the sourdough which is authentic sourdough from LaBrea bakery in San Fransisco): olive bread, rosemary bread, whole grain (my personal favorite because it honestly taste like candy and it’s good for you!) regular bread (and I may be forgetting some). You take it home, you let it thaw for a bit, and stick it in the oven for 15 min at 380 degrees. Voila! fresh awesome bread coming straight out of the oven like you baked it (well you did). Slice it, add to that this wonderful Saint Angel Cheese she carries (that thing can’t just be triple creme, because triple means 3, I would guess a 100!) and top it with nice bottle of wine. That’s dinner for me right there.
She would also give me stuff to sample at home so that she can make a decision on whether she should carry it in her store or not. First of all, I feel very special that she values my opinion, second, I love trying new food! (Victoria: the truffle couscous is amazing!!!!! I tried it last night and it is phenomenal!! carry carry carry!).
I can’t tell you how many times I would call her up and ask her if she could bake a loaf of bread for me and that I would pick it up on my way home from work. I double dog dare you to tell me that you can do that at any other store! She would also give me suggestions for wine pairing depending on what I am having for dinner. Talk about customer service!
Did I mention that I love that store? (and Victoria of course!).
Also, Victoria’s Fancy Foods has an opportunity to relocate into a larger space. She is obligated to her lease in the current location until February 2015 and actively looking for a business that would be interested in sub-letting this space. If you know of anyone, please have them get contact her!!!
Listen people! Go to her store, Follow her on Facebook, on Twitter, sign up for her newsletter, I am personally following this woman everywhere she goes! (sounds like stalking I know..).
So Get Fancy, Get local! and I can guarantee you that you would love that store as much as I do!
Stay hungry friends!