As neighbors have recently strolled by the Eastmoreland Grocery and Market, they've seen the historic Eastmoreland store take on a new external look, with blue tiles below the windows, and terracotta paint.
But many will find the changes inside the store even more remarkable. New owners Pat and Colleen Mendola - only the fourth set of owners for the store since it first opened in 1924 - have updated its look and feel.
Reopening as 'e.moreland market and KITCHEN' on January 24th, the Mendolas promised the store would again be stocked with fresh, local produce.
'We'll have a full line of meats; all the best cuts of beef, chicken, pork. Butchering is my forte. [Former owner] Gary Christenson and I used the same meat supplier for 12 years. And, we'll feature sausage by Fred deCarlo, the local artisan from the Moreland Farmer's Market. Eventually, we'll make some specialty sausages.'
The market will feature daily deliveries of fresh-baked Grand Central Bakery breads, and specialty baked goods from local artisan producers Finials and Two Tarts. And, they're stocking 'real' bagels from Kettleman Bagels. Shelves are being stocked with pantry staples, as well as high-quality ingredients for culinary enthusiasts.
Mediterranean influenced café fare
Shoppers certainly won't find day-old weenies rolling on an electric grill, or stale convenience-store sandwiches!
Using the gleaming new commercial kitchen they've installed, and the experience gained from running the Tuscany Grill for a dozen years, the Mendolas will be offering Mediterranean-influenced meals and entrees. Patrons can enjoy their gourmet offerings in the newly-created café space, or take ready-to-serve meals to go.
'Simply put,' Pat stated, 'we like feeding people. That's what we do. We like using the finest ingredients to make really good food that's prepared very well.'
Colleen gave us a sample of one of their dishes, Bocadillo Tortilla Espanola. We, and all of the workmen in the store, agreed that this savory menu item will certainly become a favorite.
'It's thinly sliced potatoes, cooked with onion,' Pat explained. 'The potatoes have to be sliced just right, and the ratio of the ingredients has to be exact. Then, we mix this with eggs and fry it in a pan.'
The couple plans to start by offering four or five entrees daily, including slow-roasted chicken, their special meat sauce - and fresh mozzarella every morning.
Additionally, the café will have a full espresso machine. Customers can sip their morning latte at the new counter, or sitting at tables.
Specialty grocery offerings
Patrons will notice a second deli case, filled with premium cheeses and cold cuts, as well as daily house-made salads, and a selection of imported olives and peppers.
And, shoppers will discover gourmet Italian and Spanish products, many of which are unavailable elsewhere.
'You'll find our prices are very competitive,' Colleen added. 'We've been pricing all of the area's markets. For the same quality products, our prices will be a little lower.'
'e.moreland market and KITCHEN' is located at 3616 S.E. Knapp Street. They're open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, and Saturday from 8 till 8. For more information, visit online: www.emorelandkitchen.com.