Today I was sitting in my little office at work. I had already fed Gidget the guinea pig and checked the voicemail. There was no one online to talk to and the mail hadn't come yet. I had finished the evals I was working on yesterday and was waiting for an eleven o'clock phone appointment to discuss the changes to our Bylaws with Felicia Dudek. And I was craving a chocolate muffin. Those huge ones that are solid chocolate and have chocolate chips. I just really wanted one.
So I racked through my brain trying to figure out where I could get one nearby. I knew they had them at Panera but that was a ten minute drive and I didn't care that much. I couldn't go to Great Harvest Bread Co. because I worked there for about 6 months when I was a junior in high school and I never ever want to go back. It would just be really awkward to talk with those people. So even though its mostly turned over there is still the fear that I would run into Rachel, the owner, and that is an experience I perfer to avoid. And then I remembered Sunset Foods.
Sunset Foods is a neighborhood grocer. Its something you might see in the movies. But its a little more elite. It has all the basics plus everything organic you could dream of. Its the vegan's heaven. Its versatile. You can get steak or potato chips. And both taste amazing. The help is great. There are people everywhere ready to assist customers. The food is fresh, the lines are short, and the experience is pleasant. However, Sunset Foods isn't quite inexpensive. Sunset closes at 8 every evening, and is only open a few hours on Sundays. Sunset Foods has four stores on the North Shore. Each attracts the same Chicago suburbia clientele with BMWs, diamond rings, and daycare. And everyone loves Sunset.
I decided to go to Sunset. I know they have an extensive bakery and besides they have a new store. While I was gone this semester Sunset moved across the street to the facility they have been building for a year. The Northbrook Sunset had outgrown its little end of the Northbrook Shopping Plaza strip mall and had the funding for the new building. Everyone was excited for it and I was dissapointed that I would miss it. And I haven't seen the new store since I've been home.
The trip there took a little longer than I thought. First, I encountered a freight train (quite the common occurance around here, especially at 10:30 in the morning) and had to turn around to take the road that goes under the tracks. Then on Cherry, I got stuck behind some old people (another common occurance in Northbrook, especially at 10:30 in morning) that were going about as fast as Homer. Behind me was another old guy, who was irritated at the speed, he would have perferred at least the speed limit. So he was riding my tail. It all made me smile. Then I saw that they have put in a new stop sign in the Shopping Plaza area because of Sunset's move. Very wise. Even the poles are red, you definately can't miss the signs. So I parked my car and proceeded into the store (after counting the change on the console to make sure I could afford this muffin). And the new store is beautiful. I was so happy for all of the Sunset employees. It reminded me of a young couple getting their first apartment or something. Rosa, the bakery lady, was just glowing. The ceilings were high and the store was huge. The isles weren't cramped anymore. The produce and meat sections weren't overlapping. Everyone had their own space and everyone just looked comfortable and happy. Sunset Foods was finally in a building it belonged in. There were tangerine slices at the entrance as well as a free coffee bar. There were probably fourty people in the store when I was there and the majority of them were employees. Gloria, a check out lady, was still there. Jesus, a bagger, was still there. The whole experience made me happy.
However, they did not have the chocolate muffins. I had to settle for a chocolate chip muffin. Rosa apologized as if it were her fault. It was endearing. Gloria took my nickels and dimes and smiled at my pajama pants. I told Jesus I didn't need a bag. And I proceeded back out to my car, back to my work, and back to Felicia Dudek. The Bylaws are changing, the phone is ringing, and Gidget keeps making noises.