I walked into the Edgewood Shopping Center Kroger last week and was astonished to find this giant cheese shop, smack in the middle of the floor between the bakery and the produce departments. I had received the press release and even had a 20% off coupon delivered to my house, but honestly I thought it was some kind of marketing gimmick - a section of the current cheese department now sponsored by Murray's.
Of course, in part, it is
a gimmick. Any of you who have ever been to the original Murray's, in NYC's West Village, will know that the shop got its reputation as one of the best cheese shops in the world because of its staggering selection of known and obscure cheeses, as well as its knowledgeable staff and quirky feel. The Kroger shops are undoubtedly a way to make money on a brand, without actually mimicking that brand in any real way. While the cheese selection at these new "shops" within Kroger are vastly superior to anything we've seen at standard chain supermarkets before, I didn't see anything here that was unfamiliar to me.
I did see a lot of cheese I would happily eat though. Epoisses, gorgonzola dolce, Robiola, among many more (there must be well over 100 cheeses available) make this a great neighborhood resource. For the truly special stuff, I'll still head to Star Provisions, but for a quick cheese run, my guess is I'll be giving Murray's a fair amount of business.
The Edgewood store is the first in Atlanta to open, but a Sandy Springs Kroger got their Murray's yesterday, with four more metro locations opening between now and mid-November. Five more will open between January and April of 2011. See addresses and opening dates of the 2010 shops below:
1225 Caroline Street, Atlanta (July 25)
227 Sandy Springs Place, Sandy Springs (August 8)
10945 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta (August 15)
6001 Hwy. 20, Sugar Hill (October 7)
1700 Monroe Dr. NE, Atlanta (October 17)
4880 Lower Roswell Rd, Marietta (November 14)