Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Fresh Market and Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

Yet another long overdue post. I really did not know what I was getting into with adding video. However, I always knew that once I had kicked off this blog it was definitely a feature that I wanted to incorporate. Sometimes we just know that we want something but don’t realize what goes into it, especially the hard work that goes into it as well as the time. For myself, it’s mostly a timing thing. It will take some time as I juggle, balance and gain better resources. But as the president of an old banking institution that I used to work for years back would say “You gotta use what brung ya to the game”; put simply you have to use what you have. One of the hardest things for me to do is step out of my comfort zone, yet one of the easiest things for me to do is just be myself. The day we went to The Fresh Market at Wiregrass I decided to step out of my comfort zone and film our very first footage for our food and travel “vlog” to supplement our blog. I learned alot, it will be a continuous learning experience. I am sure the videos will get even better with time. Based on observing our interactions during our make shift recording I have decided on a few things I may invest in like a monopod and tripod. 

As for the main topic at hand, The Fresh Market itself. We attended The Fresh Market at The Shops At Wiregrass on October 18th for the first time. We loved it! The more we explore and venture out down here, we find places, things, and experiences that remind us of home while also making us feel more at home here. With November coming up at the time, I was already disappointed that we wouldn’t be attending The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show back home in D.C. Despite not having as many kitchen gadgets for sale The Fresh Market came quite close though somewhat better. An open air foodie’s paradise especially for the healthy foodies out there; as well as those who like to indulge. The warm weather and having plenty of space to spread out made this event better. The warm weather meant no freezing your behind off in November D.C. weather as you make the long trek to and from whatever was available for parking. Which usually isn’t anything close to the venue. I figured the lack of kitchen gadgets for sale was okay because that’s what the onsite Williams and Sonoma store was for. 

Overall, it’s brilliant. The Shops at Wiregrass is a very nice open air mall. Family oriented and very aesthetically pleasing shopping venue that already has the steady and heavy foot traffic in place. Therefore, if you vend the traffic is definitely there! As a vendor I have done more than my fair share of events that don’t pan out in that department so just thought that I would share that is definitely not an issue here. They shut down the main boulevard that goes through the mall and align the vendor tents right outside and along the shops. There was lot of fresh produce and fresh herbs. There were holistic herbal, natural remedies and products to  promote healthy eating and living. I made sure to get some kale and string beans. It was hard for me to stay away from the plants but I managed. I also purchased some Summer peach tea from the Urban Tea Gardens. Which led to a later purchase of a tea infuser (which by the way are hard to find in some of your regular chain stores I was surprised). The teas had very rich aromas that would just draw you in. The fall aromas reminded me of the real fall season as it is likely occurring back home, cool weather with red orange and yellow leaves the whole nine. 

I purchased and olive tapenade with blue cheese from Joy’s Gourmet to include with my antipasto. The olive tapenade was so flavorful and rich with olive oil, garlic and blue cheese chunky and creamy with just a small bit of bite to it. They had a chipotle mayo dressing that we really liked as well. The chipotle mayo was very robust in flavor with a perfect balance of heat from the vinegar based chipotle pepper blend used and would be a great condiment for sandwiches. 

The live music gave the event a bit of ambiance. There were a myriad of cuisines available from Mediterranean, Thai, Vegan, New England style seafood (ie: lobster rolls, clam chowder), Greek, Italian, and Caribbean. It was a great experience and event. Now that we know what the event is about and that it occurs monthly, we will definitely be back again. If you are a foodie and ever in the burbs of Tampa (Wesley Chapel) be sure to check out The Fresh Market at The Shops At Wiregrass, you definitely will not be disappointed.

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