Plum Market Brings an Organic Alternative to Old Town Chicago

The specialty grocer is the latest to go "local" and compete with big chains for Chicago foodies.

Photo by: Plum Market The private Farmington Hills, Mich., company is owned and operated by third-generation grocers – it’s all in the family. The Old Town store is leasing 27,000 square feet of retail space at street level of a Hines luxury condo development.

This company knows how to throw an opening party, so grab your shopping list and head over to Plum Market Old Town at 1233 N. Wells Street off Division, not too far from that construction near Jewels. On Wednesday, June 26, the doors swing open at 9 a.m., and no, it’s not too early to uncork the Ferrari Italian sparkling wine or bob to Elaine Dame's jazz renditions during the ribbon-cutting. 

Until 11 a.m., coffee is on the house. Plum Market has partnered with Intelligentsia, everyone’s indie favorite, for a new 1,200-square-foot coffee bar at the location. It’s the sixth one in Chicago and worth a trip to check out the La Marzocco Strada EP espresso machine, a honking set piece of design. And don't leave without your Plum Market reusable swag bag stuffed with goodies, a gift to the first 500 people.

But they won’t forget you after the dance; the regular features are as enticing. The popular Michigan-based Zingerman’s Bakehouse delivers fresh handmade pastries, breads, peanut brittle, gelato and fudge daily. If craft beer is your thing, or exotic and rare liquor, you’re covered. The store also provides an apothecary with a significant selection of supplements and carries Green Living products, according to press materials. There's every category of cheese, produce and meats to scout, literally produced in your backyard. Pricing is competitive, but the rewards program is a nice perk.  If you’re not in a hurry, have lunch in the Plum Kitchen. If you're jetting to a meeting, dab some wasabi on carry-out sushi creations by Chef Takashi Yagihashi of Takashi and Slurping Turtle — this is food on the go. 

Chicago is saturated with specialty markets, but there’s always room for another neighborhood grocer, especially one with a nod to local, organic and natural. And we thank the patron saint of parking for the free slots. 

Plum Market, located at 1233 N. Wells St. Grand opening June 26. Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily.

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