I'm not sure how long the Chelsea Market on Main Street in downtown Chelsea has been in business, but the New Chelsea Market has only been in business for 12 weeks, already with plans for expansion. It's still a full service grocery with meat, fish, cheese and bakery counters along with a large selection of beer, wine, and coffee and some produce and grocery staples.
New owner Kevin Riley is working on providing local products and he walked me around the store showing me all the things he's carrying that are made in Michigan, most in our area! He's not carrying much that's grown in Michigan, but it sounds like that may change. He's looking for farmers and vendors to come to him.
I was impressed at the big rack of Michigan wines that is on display at the front of the store. Kevin says they taste all the wines and only carry ones that they like - many that they get specially from upstate wineries that don't sell through distributors. He's currently got a selection from Brys Estate, Mawby, Peninsula Cellars, Black Star and Shady Lane wineries among others.
Right next to the wine is a huge selection (maybe 10 or 12) of Ann Arbor-roasted Mighty Good Coffees by the bean. Kevin also likes a brand of coffee called Kicking Horse from Montana - he carries it because one of his customers thinks it's the best coffee on the planet. And he serves free cups of the Kicking Horse brand for people coming in to try. I thought it was pretty good coffee, but I think he should set up a taste test with Mighty Good. The Bronx Boys black and whites and rugelach are right next to the coffee samples. Coincidence?
Also in the bakery department, New Chelsea Market sells Zingerman's bread and baguettes. The tarts, cupcakes and brownies are from Deda's Bakery and they looked pretty yummy. Right next to the pastries was a big case with Joseph Schmidt truffles - which seemed a little odd. Why not Sweet Gem chocolates? Or Tammy's Truffles?
Since Michigan has hundreds of microbreweries, there could also have been more Michigan beer in the beer case, but I was very happy to see B.'s new favorite award-winning Jolly Pumpkin beer, made in Dexter, in both the six pack and the big 40 oz. bottles.
I was also happy to see the excellent tortilla chips from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory. I didn't realize that they're also making their own salsa fresca now. The salsa was sitting in the case right next to the biggest surprise of the tour - Sincerely Silvio's Sicilian Sauce. I didn't realize Silvio was making sauce for sale! Since Silvio's is probably my favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor, it's not like me to miss out on news like this. It reminded me that it's been a few weeks since I've been in and I really could use one of Silvio's fabulous potato pizzas about now.