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Chicago Spotlight: Plum Market


Last Tuesday I was given the opportunity to tour Chicago’s new grocery store, Plum Market. I absolutely love grocery shopping, and had heard wonderful things about Plum Market, so I jumped at the chance for a tour. I knew I was in for an experience when I was emailed asking if their Concierge could give me a tour. Wait? A Concierge? At a grocery store? I had to check this place out. Here is a recap of my tour.

When I arrived at the store I was greeted by Kayla from the Concierge Team. She explained the unique services offered by Plum Market. You can have your groceries delivered for $13, or for $9.99 you can have a personal shopper select your groceries – so you just need to pick them up. The Concierge Team can also work with you to create customized meal plans and profiles around a variety of dietary guidelines. The team is made up of experts who can help you go gluten free, paleo, or get you on the right track with any other dietary plan.


Plum Market is a more upscale grocery store where you can find your everyday essentials along with fancier items. The fancier items include a wide range things like freshly baked bread from Chicago bakeries, Butter nail polish, an impressive selection of cheeses, Stonewall Kitchen jams and cake mixes, Boars Head brand meats, and local craft beers.

One of the most interesting facts about Plum Market is that they have their own in-house sommelier. The sommelier, Madeline, selects the “Mad Picks”, which are recommended wines at different price points. The “steal” wines are about $10, the “deal” wines are around $25, and the “unreal” wines are about $35. After my tour of the store I grabbed the $10 pick and absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic wine at a low price, and I love how the “Mad Picks” takes the guess work out of selecting wine.


Plum Market has one of the most impressive seafood sections I have seen in Chicago. Fresh fish if flown in regularly. They even sell fresh lobster.


Even though Plum Market makes a point to have high quality products that aren’t from the Midwest (like seafood), their focus is to have local items. Most of the price tags in the store list the miles to market. You can see that the produce, beers, many cheeses, and other foods come right from the Midwest. Plus, Plum Market has some products that aren’t available anywhere else in Chicago, like Zingerman cheese.

The store has all the essentials you could need in addition to the speciality items. There is a huge selection of dry bulk foods that are sold by weight. They also sell many different spices by weight, which is perfect if you need just a little bit of an expensive spice for a recipe. They even sell vanilla beans individually.


The pastries at Plum Market come from Chicago Bakeries. For example, the doughnuts come from Glazed and Infused. The bread comes from a few different bakeries, including Red Hen Bakery. There is a rotating schedule, with each bakery making a delivery of fresh bread a couple times a week.


The cakes are from Vanille Patisserie. Aren’t they gorgeous?


There are a few other things that I must mention. Plum Market has its own in-store Intelligentsia Coffee Shop, its own wine bar, a frozen yogurt stand, and a wide selection of foods at the salad bar, hot bar, and pizza bar. I got to taste some of these grab and go items and was truly impressed. The salads included unique choices like corn and bacon salad, chicken caesar pasta salad, and Thai peanut salad. Of course they have more traditional salad bar selections too.

After my tour on Tuesday, I was sold on Plum Market. Then on Friday Plum Market came to the rescue when I couldn’t find fresh Sage at a big chain grocery store. I was in a huge rush on Friday night, so I went to the closest grocery store to buy some basic essentials, including fresh Sage. I consider Sage to be a basic herb that every grocery store should have in stock. Apparently, some grocery stores do not share this view. At that moment, it occurred to me, I should have gone to Plum Market. Not only did they have fresh Sage, it was easy to find. As I browsed through the store an employee actually came up to me, and asked me if they could help me! Seriously, when was the last time that happened to you?!

The great experience at Plum Market continued until I walked out the door with my groceries. Plum Market actually has enough cash registers open! The two times that I have checked at Plum Market I did not have to wait in line. Furthermore, the person working at the checkout didn’t have to ask me what a Shallot is, and then yell across the store to ask what the code for it is. Plum Market has a level of professionalism that is seriously lacking at other stores, which changes the entire experience. Instead of being stressed out because you can’t find what you want and there is no one to help you, you are greeted with knowledgable employees who are eager to help. It is such a game changer, and I hope that Plum Market continues to expand in the Chicago area.

Plum Market is located at 1233 North Wells Street in Chicago’s Old Town.

Lauren Nolan (@lakeshore_lady)

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Plum Market has my heart. It's the only place I grocery shop now!!! I was so excited when it opened a few blocks from me, it got a post on my blog just like this!! Love it :) xo, Lauren at

Lazy Suzan

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Wow that produce section looks fantastic!! I'll have to stop in.

Laura Nash

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

I have heard such great things... Fingers crossed they open one near me soon!


Wednesday 16th of October 2013

This place sounds absolutely amazing!!! I'll have to check it out one day :) Thanks for sharing!