Today I was on a mission to run about 1,000 errands in one trip. I have a car for a few weeks thanks to a friend who left town and needed someone to car sit (not actually a thing, but I am borrowing her car). I had to drive out a little bit farther than I would normally go to run errands because I needed to pick up a package from a UPS store about 10 miles from my apartment. But boy am I glad I had to drive out that way because on the way there I spotted a little produce stand that I heard about a few months ago and really wanted to visit.
On my way back into town (as if 10 miles away is so far “out of town”), I stopped at Opa Robby’s Market to see what goodies I could find. I entered the adorable produce stand to find a woman with a little girl, who I learned was her granddaughter. After a brief and entirely pleasant chat with the woman and her granddaughter (who was precious and very excited about not going back to school until 2014), I browsed the large selection of yummy produce.
I was so pleased to see signs indicating where the items were from. It was such a treat to get local produce from a permanent produce stand instead of a weekly farmer’s market. Of course, I love farmer’s markets, but there is something more reliable about a stand like Opa Robby’s Market and I am proud to live in a city that hosts such an establishment.
The decor was perfectly adorable. It made me feel like I was at one of those kitchy roadside shops in North Georgia.
After a quick look around, I decided on some lemons, sweet potatoes, and one tomato. I walked up to the register and noticed that Opa Robby’s offered even more than produce–there were homemade jellies and breads and all sorts of things I didn’t need. I made a mental note of all the items there to remember for when I need to get a gift for someone. When the woman came to ring up my purchases, she noticed my tomato and asked if it was from the “bruised basket” or not. I turned around to see a “1/2 Off” sign above a basket of slightly bruised tomatoes. I went ahead and picked out a “bruised” tomato. But, just to be clear, this tomato was barely bruised. The chain grocery stores sell even worse quality for full price, so this was practically a steal.
For $3.53, I walked away with some yummy produce and warm fuzzies in my heart. The market is so pleasant to shop at and it has almost everything you would find at a chain grocery store. The difference is that at Opa Robby’s I knew exactly where my produce came from. In fact, the owner mentioned a few farms by name and could probably tell me where every item in the store came from. The prices at Opa Robby’s Market are more than reasonable. It actually makes me question how they stay in business (though I am sure they are getting a lot of support from the community). I must encourage anyone living close to Opa Robby’s to check it out. If you’re looking for flawless customer service, a pleasant shopping experience, local produce, and a good bang for your buck, Opa Robby’s Market is the place for you. Check out their Facebook page for more photos and information about their selection!
And for those of you who don’t live in little Athens, Georgia, there is still a way for you to get involved. Seek out local produce stands and farmer’s markets to use as alternatives to the produce sections of large, chain grocery stores. You’ll get a better experience and you’ll likely find more delicious substitutes to the mass-produced items that grocery stores often purchase. Good luck searching for your go-to produce stand or market. Let me know what you find!