The Market on Limestone
Address: 2500 Limestone Parkway, Gainesville
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
The produce department’s quality is what started Patty Smith shopping at J & J Foods on Jesse Jewell Parkway 30 years ago.
And it’s what stood out in her visit Wednesday to newly rebranded The Market on Limestone.
“I think the tomato bar is wonderful, the fresh herbs to snip what you want,” said Smith, holding a head of lettuce, olive-blended food item and package of salmon in her hands.
She was part of a throng of shoppers who poured into the store at 2500 Limestone Parkway following a ribbon-cutting ceremony as part of the store’s reopening.
The Market on Limestone blends traditional grocery store items with more local products, fresh foods and healthier options.
“It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are better when they are sourced locally, not shipped from hundreds or thousands of miles away,” President/CEO Darrell Wiley said in the ceremony before the reopening.
“We get beans, melons and tomatoes from farmers in surrounding counties, and our best-selling honey is produced in Gainesville,” he said.
Jaemor Farms provides peaches and strawberries, wines come from Chateau Elan in Braselton and Sweet Acre Farms Winery in Alto. The grocery store just added beer from Left Nut Brewing Co. in Gainesville.
“For us, freshness is an obsession here,” Wiley said. “Our fresh meats are cut and packaged here.”
All the red meat is Certified Angus Beef, “which is the most consistently flavorful and tender beef available anywhere,” he said.
The grocery store also features fresh to-go meals, with the deli offering antibiotic-free Springer Mountain Farms chicken. Springer Mountain Farms is based in Mount Airy.
J & J Foods started considering the changes after the company hired a firm of “professional listeners” last June.
“They listened to people all over the community — to our customers and customers at other grocery stores — and asked, ‘What do you like and what don’t you like about a grocery store?’”
The new offerings are the result, he said.
The Market on Limestone “is a new concept for us,” purchasing director Emily J. Wiley said. “It was really just about listening to our customers and figuring out what they are looking for … so we decided to rebrand the store.”
At the same time, J & J didn’t want a complete makeover.
“I have friends in Atlanta who shop at Sprouts (Farmers Market) or Whole Foods (Market), but they usually (need to) shop somewhere else,” Emily Wiley said.
“If you want to come in and get your organic peanut butter, we have that,” she said. “But if you want to come in to get Cheerios for your kids, we have that too.”
The store’s hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
No changes are being made to the J & J store at 1075 Jesse Jewell Parkway.