The day I discovered the existence of Harts Local Grocers was when a co-worker came back from lunch all excited as he told me all about it. According to him it was the coolest store ever, with a funky look and awesomely cool employees that help you find any of the groceries they sell from local companies in the Rochester, New York area. As soon as he explained this new place to me I had to check it out seeing that he showed tons of enthusiasm in his eyes while telling me how great is was.
I loved the idea of a new grocery store opening up in the Downtown Rochester, New York district because the whole area reeks with emptiness and desperation. Since the Midtown Plaza was torn down with a lack of planning and the Sibley Building neglected and left in ruins Downtown Rochester, New York was very far away from what it was back in it’s glory days.
Many people would argue by saying that a lot of the old buildings like Sibley Square and other old historic industrial buildings have been revamped by adding expensive lofts but without shopping there’s no way that they are ever going to revive little Downtown Rochester, New York. This was all very exciting news and I couldn’t wait to go check it out for myself. When lunch time came I walked down Richmond Street, down an old abandoned brick path to 10 Winthrop Street. At one time this old building was the home to a car repair shop until the owner decided to retire and sold it to a couple who was looking to open a store in Rochester, New York. Obviously, after looking for a city that would match the idea they had for a specialty store they decided on Rochester, New York or they would have just passed right on by.
Harts offers hope to Downtown Rochester, New York
If this was the beginning of great things to come to the Rochester, New York area I was all for it because I missed the days then I was growing up, how busy and alive the whole area was. There were clothing stores and restaurants everywhere and you could barely walk down the street without bumping into someone. Every week I would beg my mom to bring me downtown to get me some hot cocoa and a grilled cheese sandwich at McCrory’s department store right across the street from the now gone, Midtown Plaza. The day they knocked down Midtown plaza known as the first indoor mall built in the United States a lot of people felt like a part of them died with it. No more would the kids be able to ride the monorail through magic mountain or watch the Clocks Of The World chime from across the plaza.
For once it was great to see something brought here instead of being demolished leaving nothing but empty lots that would sit vacated for many years to come. Upon walking into Harts Local Grocers the place looked hardly recognizable compared to the last time I saw it. It no longer looked like a car repair shop but instead a very inviting and unique grocery store. They completely gutted the whole place out and added many great details to the look and layout to the store without destroying the buildings old character. They exposed the old brick walls that make you feel like you are back in the late eighteen hundreds along with the huge crude steel beams that hold the whole second floor in place. I also like the new modern windows that they put in to allow lots of sunlight to enter the comfortable sitting area that you can eat at after ordering your food at the cafe and grill section.
Harts offers delicious foods hot off the grill
After smelling the food that was cooking in the grill section I could no longer resist and had to head over to try it out. Grilled foods is one of the few weaknesses that I have and before long I was sitting at the table devouring a delicious burger and the best fries that I’ve ever had in the Rochester, New York area in my life. The burger was extra well done because I don’t like to see any red at all, and the fries were nice and crispy just the way I like them, and being a huge coffee fan I had to get a cup that also.
Harts carries hard to find items from the local vendors
With my gut bursting with satisfaction and a little time left over I decided to go look around and see what type of groceries they carried. Immediately I could see as I walked through multiple isles that this was a completely different store than I was use to. The items they stock are mostly from local food manufacturers that are based right here in good old Rochester, New York. At first it all seemed very overwhelming because I never heard of most of the foods that they have and knew noting about them. Never before had I seen so many products that were gluten free or contained only natural ingredients, lacking the artificial flavors or preservatives. They even had extra sharp cheese in almost limited varieties that was aged up to over a year.
Harts has great customer service
Of course there was no way I could find all this incredible stuff without the help of the very friendly and knowledgeable Harts staff. I was once looking for an item and before I could even ask, a young man came over and offered his assistance. He took his time to make sure I found everything that I was looking for and explained the products in detail whenever I asked any questions. It was at this point that I realized that my co-worker was right about everything he told me about this new and amazing grocery store. As time went on I noticed myself going back to Harts Local Grocers more and more until I became a regular. All the staff came to know me by name and would greet me with smiles on their faces upon entering the store. A few of the staff have become very good friends of mine and they always make me feel wanted and comfortable whenever I’m there eating or shopping with my family and friends.
On many occasions a group of us containing family and friends will sit for hours talking and having a good time at the Harts food area, drinking cup after cup of coffee. Occasionally I’ll bang into a few people I know and we’ll catch up on what’s going on with our lives. The atmosphere is fun and inviting and it makes us want to stick around and have a great time. There has never been a time that I’ve felt unwelcome going to Harts Local Grocers and I’m glad that we have this incredible store with awesome staff and great local products that are from right here in Rochester, New York.
And let’s not forget the time I won a Citizen folding bike from Harts Local Grocers and the very reason why I own a Brompton folding bicycle to this day, but we’ll save that for another time.