Day 10: Downtown Glen Ellyn Shopping
Today was a good day. Got to hang out with my sister for a while which is a rare treat.
My sister is a chef and culinary instructor, and she was in need of Indian spices. Spice & Rice is the real deal for any Indian ingredients you may need. The owner is extremely helpful and found all of the spices she requested, even recommended others that were better quality or flavor. Since I didn’t know what she was making & I only had a list, he said it was no problem to bring any of them back if she preferred seeds over powders. If you aren’t already using garam masala in any of your dishes, go pick some up! They’re a family run business and incredibly friendly. Don’t expect much from their website, their true business is in their store.
After picking up the spices, my sister and I met at the new Blackberry Market. Barely a month old and the place was packed. The line for sandwiches & salads was almost to the door, but it did move quickly. I opted for the bakery line and had the best blueberry muffin I’ve ever had. I was hoping for more “market,” but there were a few things for sale: organic cotton tea towels, condiments, and a gorgeous recycled sari table runner- definitely out of my price range at $95. Food prices were more in line with Panera, but certainly looked more delicious. Based on customer’s comments, the food is fantastic. Looking forward to going back to try a meal, and picking up a few muffins for the road!
On to Marcel’s Culinary Experience. If you’re looking for a special gift for someone who’s happiest in the kitchen, this is the spot. The store is beautiful, ample space for all of the culinary classes, and they carry some unique items you won’t find at Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table; I love the Chamba bowls. But, unless money is no object, it’s not for everyday shopping. Even at 40% off it’s expensive. Gorgeous, high-quality, and great for browsing. I have tried a couple of classes though & they’re fantastic: entertaining, educational, and include wine or beer!
For the most part, shopping in this town is spendy, but you can find some good sales. M & Em’s (adorable kids clothes & a nice selection of women’s wear) is one of my daughter’s favorite stores. Aside from clothes they have fun gifts, jewelry, and basically everything that makes 11 year old girls happy. Score on the sale rack, fleecy pj pants for $5 (from $20) and a cute top for myself. I asked if I could exchange sale items if they didn’t fit my daughter, I received an emphatic no. Another sales person questioned the owner(?) if I couldn’t just exchange for size- I was slightly worried the woman was going to lose her job from the death stare she received.
Last stop, AliKat. I love boutique stores, hate sterotypical sales clerks. I received a once-over look, and no hello. I normally would have left right then, but I was curious how long it would take for someone to say hello- 4 1/2 minutes- from a different sales person. As I left I overheard the clerks discussing how slow business was. Hmmm.