You guys know that I love my time with the folks at Jewel-Osco! I recently had the opportunity to go on a store tour with them. Jewel invited me and some of my blogger girlfriends to meet and experience all that Jewel had to offer.
We began our event at the Jewel location on Des Plaines St. in Chicago. This is a green Jewel that actually has vegetation growing on the roof! It has a lovely design and is exceptionally large. They also have one of the new C.K. Grills that Jewel is rolling out. The C.K. Grill is designed to allow you to order restaurant quality food. There is a chef and many cooks, all of whom cater to a huge lunch and dinner rush. Each day they try to bring new and exciting options to the table, like their Bacon & Eggs Pizza (above). They offer catering services in any style you can think of and the head chef made it very clear that all we had to do was ask. (He had just worked out a catering order for Indian Food!) A very cool option for catering your next party at everyday Jewel prices!
The next location that we visited was the Kosher Jewel at Howard and McCormick. This is an amazing store. They have two bakeries, two butcher areas and a Kosher Chinese restaurant inside. Everything is designed so that the kosher families in the area have a place to shop in which they can be sure that kosher rules and laws are being followed. Fascinatingly, Yakov Yarmove (the Corporate Business Manager of Ethnic Marketing and Specialty Foods for SuperValue Inc) said that the store sees the least amount of traffic on Saturday (because it’s Shabbat) and the most amount of traffic in the evenings (after the families with many children have put their kids to bed). It has a very different pattern than any other store in the city, but it flows with what the neighborhood needs. Additionally, the vast majority of the store traffic comes from within a several block radius.
The last location that we visited was the Jewel at Southport and Addision – another very cool looking location with several stories. Here we got to try out the bakery and ice creams. If you haven’t had the Salted Caramel ice cream, you are really missing out! Salty and sweet, you really can’t get enough! And best of all, it is sold at a Jewel location near you.
After this indulgence, we were led upstairs into a large wine and alcohol area. There we got to sample various cheeses, all found at Jewel. My favorite item (and the one that I will soon start having catered for parties) was the stuffed Brie (I wish I’d taken a picture!! Doh!). This is a large Brie wheel that has been cut long-ways and “stuffed” with apricot jam. The top is decorated with various types of berries and you serve it on some toasted bread or crackers. It was a good thing that I was so full or it would have been embarrassing the amount of times I may have gone back to try more! Honestly, this was beautiful, tasty and the perfect touch for a holiday party or gathering. I made a point of asking how to get one and was told that you could speak with the Chef’s Kitchen or cheese counter about placing your order. And I will!
Overall I was very impressed with the variations that Jewel is able to make for it’s customers. This company truly looks at the dynamic in the neighborhood and tries to cater to it. They are attempting to branch out with their C.K. Grill and it’s something I’m definitely interested in trying seeing as they are so close and have competitive prices. And if I didn’t make it clear enough, the next time you are at Jewel, pick up some of the Salted Caramel Ice Cream! You won’t be sorry!