I’ve been working on this post for quite sometime and have finally come to the conclusion that it needs to be broken up into two parts. Otherwise it was way too long and I don’t want my dear readers to have to sift through a novel of a post. Therefore, my experience with the new Market District at Kingsdale is going to be explained in two parts. The first will talk about the event I attended and the second will talk more in-depth about the store and what it has to offer our city of Columbus, Ohio.
I was contacted by Donna, who is head of online marketing at Giant Eagle, inviting me to attend the Grand Opening event of the new Market District. I had heard a few rumblings about this store coming to Ohio a little over the summer but really didn’t think much about it. When I was contacted about the grand opening, I was more than excited to get a chance to see the store firsthand on opening day and to be considered a VIP guest!
The itinerary was jam packed and lasted the majority of the day. I was surprised by that and was wondering how that would work but they did keep us busy all day!
I arrived at the store at 9am and was greeted right away by Donna. She offered to treat me to a drink while we waited for the other bloggers to arrive.
We headed upstairs to the new dining area and into a small conference room. I met up with the other bloggers that were in attendance.
Lisa from Restaurant Widow
Becke from Columbus Foodie
Wendy from Celiacs in the House
Each link is to their recap of the event.
They had breakfast waiting for us upstairs but since I had a huge bowl of oats before leaving, I passed on breakfast. It looked amazing though, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, bagels, and donuts. Wendy asked if there were any Gluten-Free bagels and they went in search to find her one. Not only did they find some, but they heated them up in the pizza oven for her.
They made sure to change gloves, use a different paddle, and place it on foil while it toasted.
During breakfast, us bloggers chatted a bit about blogging and of course food because we all love food!
Once breakfast passed, we were taken downstairs, through the produce section and over to the new demo kitchen. There a stage was set up for the press event about the grand opening.
I had never been to a press event before so it was interesting to see those sitting in the audience and all the cameras in the background recording everything for news bits later in the day. After some of the big wigs from Giant Eagle spoke, Ted Strickland, the Governor gave a speech about the new store and the jobs it brought to Central Ohio.
After Gov. Strickland, next up was one of Columbus’s biggest fans.
I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Yes, Adam Richman has been to Columbus many times and considers it one of his favorite cities. He gave a speech about the new store and the amazing amount of food and opportunities it is bringing with it.
After Adam spoke there was the official ribbon cutting ceremony and then the media event was over. We were taken back upstairs to the conference area and got a chance to have a small chat with Mr. Richman before he was ushered off for his other duties of the day. He was very nice, very chatty, and extremely down to earth. I was impressed, honestly.
Once Adam was off, we were given gift cards and told to have whatever we wanted for lunch. I wanted to attack the salad bar!
I had a salad and also a smoothie from the smoothie/juice bar. Not many grocery stores have a juice bar and I was extremely happy to see such an offering! I created my own juice with:
- Orange and pineapple juice
- Banana and peaches
- Organic yogurt
It was tasty and hit the spot with my nice fresh salad.
We got a chance to chat some more during lunch and were able to chat with the marketing group as well. They are all about embracing local resources and talking with locals to get feedback on how to make the store the best it can be. That is a reassuring thing to know because when a company wants to connect with the community, the community is more willing to support and stand by it.
After lunch, we were given an in-depth tour of the entire store by Market District’s head chef, John Gruver. He walked us through the store giving us the rundown on the foods that the store provides, not only in the prepared foods section but also throughout the store.
He was such a trooper taking on four food bloggers full of questions about everything! We walked around that store probably for at least an hour and a half learning, asking, and chatting. Plus the store is huge so it takes quite some time to get through it!
After our tour, our time at the store was over. While I was waiting for Scott to pick me up, I browsed the wine and beer section. I took pictures and I made notes of beers I would like to try in the future. I’m sure people thought I was a bit odd standing there with my notebook!
The marketing folks made sure we didn’t leave empty-handed though, and gave us a nice swag bag on our way out!
It was a long day but I had a blast and I’m happy to have gotten a chance to see and learn about the store first hand.
Stay tuned for an OHC tour of the store!
Disclaimer: Market District invited me to the event, fed me, and provided me with a goodie bag. I was not paid or compensated for this review. My opinion is my own.