Tag Archives: grocery-stores

Freshy’s Now Open

If you’ve been following the comments on our earlier post you’ll know that Freshy’s is now open for business. I stopped in for some halibut (delicious) and to chat with the owner, Bryce.

The crab tank at Freshy’s.

There are a number of tanks with live seafood and some steaks, fillets and prepared foods (mmmm ceviche).  There are big plans in the works too. Freshy’s is applying for a liquor license to sell bottles of wine and Bryce is thinking about bringing in some organic vegetables and fresh bread. “We don’t want to be a grocery store, but we want to be a place you can stop and get everything you need for dinner.”

Window art courtesy Bryce’s daughter.

Apparently business is going fine so far. Bryce said they’ve been averaging about 70 customers per day, up to 100 on one day. It’s mostly a North Island crowd, with some South Island and Bellevue thrown in. He hasn’t done any real  advertising yet.

Happy to have you open and good luck!

Fresh, Local Fish on Mercer Island: Score!

That’s what I was thinking as I talked with Bryce, owner of Freshy’s seafood market. Imagine Mutual Fish, but with sustainable, locally grown seafood, and right here on Mercer Island.

Freshy’s is opening at the old 76 Union gas station at 76th and 24th (thanks for the tip, Bill*) on North Island. The planned opening is around July 20th.

According to Bryce, they’re following the Monterey Bay sustainability standard and are planning to identify local fishermen where possible. Mostly they source from the Willapa Bay. They’ll have about 3,000 gallons of live tank fish including crab, prawns, and crawfish.

Why Mercer Island? Bryce said, “We looked at several locations. The area is starved for fresh seafood.” They plan to serve Mercer Island and the greater East Side, and also looked at Woodinville and Redmond as possible locations. Mercer Island downtown is a great location for commuters coming home over I-90. And as Bryce talked, I imagined how I would change my own commute to pick up tasty salmon and halibut.

The man who would bring us better dinners.

Between this and the farmers’ market, Mercer Island is getting downright culinary. Note to entrepreneurs: we still need an independent bakery/ coffee shop here.

Last word from Bryce: “Directly from the dock to Mercer Island.”

* Bill is the source of 75-85% of new information in this blog lately, according to my best estimate.

Feeling a Little Insecure About Amazon Fresh’s Intentions

Changes are afoot in Amazon fresh. They’ve got an online survey to see where they go next. But that’s not news for Mercer Islanders, as we were the pilot market for the Fresh.


Mercer Island was the Fresh’s first love. No, we’re not jealous it’s expanding. Well, maybe a little. Photo: amish.patel.

The real news is buried at the end of the story. Residents of the new neighborhood– most likely it’ll be Ballard– will have to be Amazon Prime members.

This is probably not good news for us Fresh customers. I can see only two reasons why they’d do this:

  1. They’re trying to increase adoption of Amazon Prime. But that’s odd, because grocery delivery must work better at scale. 3 deliveries per block must be better than making deliveries to a handful of Prime customers. Prime isn’t even profitable as a program by itself, it’s a bet that Prime customers will give Amazon more share of wallet. So why cut off non-Prime customers who would order anyway?
  2. Amazon is migrating Amazon Fresh to just plain Amazon, which already delivers dry goods. You can even get a subscription to your favorite cat food. If this is true, we’d lose all the refrigerated items- fresh produce, ice cream, guacamole.

Both options would would basically kill the Fresh as we know it. Today, I can (and do) order at night to have vegetables delivered the next day for dinner. With delivery of dry goods only, I’d still end up making all those annoying stops at the grocery store.


Photo: leff.

I love seeing those light green trucks driving around the Island, and even more I love seeing my groceries on my doorstep when I get home. But Amazon Fresh is still a test program, and it could go away any time. Amazon Fresh, don’t leave us to the mercy of Mercer Island grocery stores!

Bonus link: Seattle Daily Photo catches the Fresh in the act.

UPDATE as of 1/16: Techflash says Ravenna edged out Ballard. Savvy grocery customers, those Ravennans. Welcome to the Fresh club!

First Mercer Island Farmers Market Sells Out

We were in town this weekend after all, and stopped by to see the long-awaited, first Mercer Island Farmers Market. The street was full,

and the cupcakes and clams were sold out when we got there:

Laureen Lapitan and her Pure Passion cupcakes, all sold out.

No more clams either.

In abundance, and not sold out, were flowers:

And there was music too.

Two musicians warming up; they sounded great.

And plenty of organic food:

Mmm- beef – pork- poultry- eggs.

but the only food available for immediate eating was some pizza, and it came with a long line. Likewise, the root beer stand had a long line. There could have been more stands altogether. This was a pretty modest market, and if the attendance at the first market is an indication, it could be two or three times as big.


What about the prices? Well, when you add the words “organic” and “Mercer Island” together, you’re in for some pretty steep prices. But they weren’t as bad as I had feared.

And it’s a producer/ grower-only farmers market- I hope that means the prices keep the small farms profitable. There’s something strange about having a few companies control our country’s entire food supply, no? And it’s nice to see that farms can still beat developers in parts of Puget Sound.

Thanks for the toil

Thanks to all whose hard work put this together- I’ll turn it over to Ken Glass, who commented on an earlier post with this:

Kudos to all the hard work by all the folks who envisioned and created the Farmers Market. I know a few of these folks and am so impressed with their vision, their hard work and their selfless commitment to making this a reality:

Maria Ackley
Nannette Bassett
Tanya Bednarski
Allison Campbell Schwartz
Cecilia Finnigan
Jason King
Tracy Landsman
Marcia Mellinger
Tamae Moriyasu
Lisa Odegard
Callie Ridolfi
Julie Sarkissian

Thanks for the info, Ken. I’ll start looking out for our own statue of Lenin.

You can read more and see the full list of vendors at the Mercer Island Farmers Market website.

Mercer Island Farmers Market Update

In this blog I’ve previously asked– well, begged without shame— for a Mercer Island Farmers’ Market. Thanks to a group of active neighbors, plans are moving along. Here are the details, or download this document for more:

Location: North End Mercerdale Park on SE 32nd Street between 77th and 78th Ave SE
Period of Operation: August 10 through September 28 (may be extended into October)
Hours and Day: Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm

Tasty cheese, pretty flowers: what we have to look forward to with a farmers’ market.

The Mercer Island Community Fund put in some “seed” money- heh, heh. Thanks to Callie Ridolfi, the leader of the citizens’ group, who provided this information. Apparently they’re still working on things like traffic and waste services.

We’ll pay more than we would at QFC, but it’ll be local and fresh.

Amazon Fresh, Don’t Leave Us to the Mercy of Mercer Island Grocery Stores

Photo credit: Flickr.

A friend noted that the Amazon Fresh pickup station in Kirkland was shuttered one day a few weeks ago. In this letter The Fresh confirms that its pickup stations are discontinued:

“In order to meet the considerable demands of the expansion of the home-delivery portion of our business, we are shifting our team’s efforts to focus on this area. As a result, starting on 15 February 2008, we will no longer be offering the AmazonFresh Pick-up service.”

Amazon Fresh’s home page says:

“Pre-Dawn, Doorstep, and Attended delivery options are available for neighborhoods in the following zip codes: 98004, 98005*, 98006*, 98007, 98008, 98033, 98039, 98040, 98102, 98109, 98112*, 98116, 98118*, 98119, 98122*, 98126, 98136, 98144*. (*Limited coverage)”

The best Mercer Island grocery store
Not discontinued. Photo credit: Flickr.

Don’t leave the 98040, Fresh! We’ll be stuck with the Mercer Island QFCs, doomed to the irony of standing in line longer to pay more for groceries.

Let me take a break from begging to note other news for addicts like us:

  • The letter hints at more local and organic products, nice since there’s no farmers market on Mercer Island.
  • Totes now nest, which is handy if like us you forget to put them out a couple of times and end up with seven of the suckers. In case the concept is difficult, Amazon Fresh includes a helpful diagram (credit: Amazon Fresh site): How the Totes Stack

Full disclosure: a friend works at Amazon Fresh, but that’s not the source of my devotion. I was skeptical until I tried the service.

Amazon Fresh TotesTotes, we’ll leave you out for pickup, but come back soon.

Photo credit: Flickr.

Mercer Island Grocery Stores: You’ve Got To Be Kidding

When we moved to Mercer Island, I was a little disappointed with the grocery stores. Two QFCs, and a hidden Albertson’s. Albertson’s isn’t a great grocery store. Sometimes I even have trouble finding the food in there.

My disappointment has slowly turned into a permanent feeling of dismay, and yes, claustrophobia. Of course it’s a lovely place, but when you’re in the middle of an island, you’ll probably pay way to much for a lime ($0.79? really?) than drive 25 minutes to and from the store. Yes, you can choose QFC North or QFC South, but there’s no reasonable alternative to QFC- it owns Mercer Island.

Take, friends, the case of a delicious meal from Thai Kitchen. If you haven’t tried these yet, I highly recommend them. The product to the far left is coconut milk, and it cost $2.88 at QFC. Delicious

Richard Sprague has been reporting on a farmers’ market forming in Mercer Island. Bring on the locally grown, free-range and hormone free chickens! I’d shop there, even though I’ve been to enough to know that the prices will probably be higher, not lower, than the local grocery store.

Anyway, back to the present. Mercer Island does have a white knight:
Amazon Fresh
Yes, Amazon, that Pac-Med-habitating, low-price-setting, picking and packing hometown wonder, which first got Fresh on Mercer Island. Amazon Fresh delivers, and they charge $1.66 for the same coconut milk.

Until we get the happy chickens and the expensive honey in our own Mercer Island farmers market, we’ll be shopping at Costco and Amazon Fresh.

BREAKING UPDATE: If you like a slice of lime with your Thai food (I highly recommend it), you’ll find a lime for $0.89 at QFC vs. $0.39 at Amazon Fresh. Somebody call the CNN Situation Room.