Monday 28 January 2008

Little "Fresh" at This Market's Toilet

The Fresh Market
5000 Dr. Phillips Boulevard
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

A little hard to find, because of the many culinary distractions found here. Still, the easiest way around it is to head for the cashiers. Go past them and, while facing the front of the building, head right. You'll come to a small hallway just past the line of registers, in which you'll find a manager's office and -- ironically enough -- the bathrooms. Gives new meaning to the term "throne room," don't you think?

What's it like?

Fresh Market is a competitor of Whole Foods. It offers high-end gourmet foods at somewhat elevated prices (you pay for the quality, to so speak) and features aisle upon aisle of high-quality foods, from breads to veggies to baked goods, to name a few. The deli and meat and fish counters are supreme, rivaled only by Whole Foods and some small specialty butchers in Orlando.

The place itself is neat and well-maintained, offering visitors plenty of culinary distractions to temp them while they are here. However the bathrooms, at least upon my visit, were anything but that. The small "one bagger" was covered with trash and water and held a funky odor to it -- a strange mix of urine and trash, it seemed like. Not quite what I was expecting from such an "upscale" store.

More so, I was also surprised by the small quarters available here. If you think about it, this is essentially a supermarket, and it caters to a lot of people and has a lot of employees -- shouldn't it provide more spacious facilities that can accommodate more than one person at a time?

Furthermore, the facilities themselves are nothing special: Sterile brown tile on the walls, rust-colored tiled on the ground. White porcelain sink and toilet, and a hand drier and a towel dispenser. Nothing I haven't seen at an above-average gas station, really. How disappointing. Who knew you'd get more comfortable services from Publix (albeit not by much)?

Marks out of 10:

4. It's serviceable, sure, but as with our recent visit to Bed Bath and Beyond, you expect something better than this from an upscale locale. The fact that it smelled bad and was pretty dirty dropped the score even further.

Comments to the Management:

Some upscale additions would be welcome, or even some gourmet-minded decor. A place like this makes us feel elite when we enter, so why shouldn't we feel elite when we're doing our business here. Other than that, the place needs to be monitored more closely, to ensure consistent cleanliness, and to cut the smell quotient some. Yuck.

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