Dwyane ButtlerI got a chance to meet up with Pete Luckett of Pete's Frootique at his vineyard and farm outside Wolfville, Nova Scotia, just as blueberries were starting to harvest. Who wouldn't want to spend their time out on there? This month, I got to check another retailer off my bucket list.
Do you have a “bucket list” of stores you want to see? I started last summer with the Pittsford Wegmans, followed by Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati.
These retailers had something in common with Pete’s Frootique, the cover story from this issue:
When you walk in the door, you just “get” it — what makes these stores shine among their peers is easy to see. It’s not the displays piled high. It’s not the carnival-like atmosphere at Jungle Jim’s. It’s the enthusiasm for produce so readily apparent the moment you walk in.
I got the full tour of Pete’s, from its newest store, a small format in a sleepy college town to a bustling urban market catering to the grab-and-go set.
In between visits, I walked the fields at owner Pete Luckett’s current venture: a winery and farm that supplies produce to his stores.
Pete has a passion for food that didn’t stop with selling excellent produce. He’s a tinkerer. He has olive and fig trees growing in boxes so he can move them indoors in the winter to protect them from freezing temperatures. He was on the phone working a deal to import some “fantastic” olives from Spain.
He also cares about people, in a quirky and fun way. His most popular wines are called Phone Box Red and Phone Box White, named for the antique British phone box set up near the winery that Pete has hooked up allowing people to make a phone call free of charge anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Little touches, like the phone box, are what draws people to Pete — and his stores.
See what I mean and read No Ordinary Grocer in this month's issue.