Folks in Memphis always seem to be clamoring for more grocery shopping options. We eagerly await the arrival of national chain stores, often wishing now-empty spaces would be filled with other big retailers. The truth is, though, that our city already has some great options for food shopping, places offering locally and regionally made products, fresh produce and naturally raised meats. And, shopping at locally owned markets and buying locally made products keeps money in our community, for the shop owners, the producers, growers and all the businesses they in turn support. Local shopping fosters creativity and entrepreneurship and helps keep Memphis the unique spot we love. Plus, setting a local table fosters a real sense of place — there is nothing better than fresh fruits and vegetables at their absolute peak. That’s why it’s well worth a visit to each of these unique gourmet markets to explore their interesting selections and, of course, to support local!
5 Gourmet Markets in Memphis
387 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 734-2911
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This slick space on South Main is a little treasure trove of staples and unique foods. 387 Pantry owner Josh Conley carefully selects both gourmet goods and essentials for downtown dwellers. Look for cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy and Hanna Farms grits and rye flour. There’s a selection of goods from Porcellino’s, including sandwiches and pastries. 387 also sells the famous Benton’s Bacon, Stumptown Cold Brew coffee and Dr. Beans locally roasted coffee. Check out the selection of cocktail bitters and syrups, and stock up on tasty Shotwell caramels and toffee. Don’t miss the small selection of interesting home goods, like bottle openers and pizza cutters made locally from recycled skateboards. 387 Pantry also hosts special events and tastings, midweek markets with local farmers and serves as a Roots Memphis CSA pickup site.
596 S. Cooper St., Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 453-6880
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Many Midtowners were dismayed to see the demise of Easy Way, but the locally focused Curb Market is a wonderful replacement. The space has been jazzed up and offers a great selection of local produce, locally raised and processed meats and local pantry products. On a recent visit, I picked up fresh chamomile, green garlic, fresh October beans and a variety of young onions. Owner Peter Schutt also owns Winchester Farms, and you’ll find hot dogs and sausages made from his meat prepared by Sweet Grass, cheeses from regional producers and wonderful dairy from JD Country Dairies. There’s a small prepared food counter and a nice selection of items from Porcellino’s, Lakes Catfish and fresh Gulf seafood.
737 Harbor Bend Road, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 526-4772
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Miss Cordelia’s is the very definition of a neighborhood market. Set in the small-town vibe of Mud Island, this handy grocery store features all the staples local residents need, but it’s also a wonderful source for locally made products. The small produce section features some locally grown herbs and micro greens, and the butcher counter now cures its own bacon, offering cuts from local growers. Stock up on wonderful Sweet Magnolia Gelato from Clarksdale, MS, and an array of snacks, including Aunt Lizzie’s Cheese Straws, Wolf River Popcorn, Las Delicias chips, barbecue popcorn from Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous and Delta Pecan nuts. The bakery counter sells housemade pastries, Beneva Mayweather’s famous yeast rolls, Judy Pound Cakes, Made From Scratch Cookies and Carol’s Cheesecake Toffee Brittle. And of course, Cordelia’s Table Café makes great sandwiches and salads to enjoy while there or take them to go.
711 W. Brookhaven Circle, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 762-6656
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Porcellino’s definitely has the meats, from their own Brookhaven blend ground beef for burgers to huge Claybrook Farms tomahawk steaks. They produce some wonderful charcuterie (my current obsession is noisette, a French-style walnut salami), and the wide selection of fresh sausages is perfect for grilling season. The cold case stocks housemade hot sauces, pastas, gravies and rolls of delicious slice-and-bake cookie dough. You’ll also find Shotwell Candies, Hanna Farms flours and grains, Flo’s Homemade Goodness jams and relishes, Wolf River Popcorn and Relevant Roasters coffee. Stop by for breakfast or lunch, and leave with a bag of grocery goodies.
540 S. Mendenhall, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 766-9922
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Lucchesi’s has been filling our pasta and pizza needs in Memphis for years, and sometimes faced with all those cases of delicious prepared foods, it’s easy to overlook the pantry selections on offer. You’ll find locally milled grits and polenta from Grit Girl, the creative flavors of Sweet Magnolia Gelato and amazing bacon and country ham from Benton’s Smokehouse in East Tennessee. And don’t forget the Italian imports — olive oils, capers, vinegars and more.
Get out and support each of these local businesses, which bring the freshest, most delicious flavors to Memphis!
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