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Life in the Hampton's: Food Rules

Everything you thought about when it comes to the Hampton's is true. And then some.

Yes, there are huge estates. If you can believe, there is even one estate that stands at 100,000 sq. ft. There are many estates but you can't see them because the overgrown trees hide them well.

Yes, there is the beach. The Atlantic is alive and well and offers miles and miles of beachfront for those that can afford it.

Yes, there are the farms. More farms that you can imagine each providing amazing produce and scenery.

Yes, there are the quaint towns. Little shops, big shops, little restaurants, big restaurants with plenty of outdoor relaxation.

But more than anything, there are the markets. Not markets like we know them such as Kroger, Whole Foods, or Meijer (yes, there is one really big store called King Kullen that has more inventory than 3 Kroger's combined).

The markets range in size from a two car garage and upwards. Based on my best calculations, here are the types of markets available:

1. Cheese 2. Wine 3. Fish and meat 4. Prepared meals 5. Appetizer 6. Dessert 7. Bread 8. Produce (farm stands in season)

Now mind you, most markets sell more than a single category. But if you demand the absolute best, you can actually visit 8 different types of markets to complete your shopping list. And more amazing is the fact that these markets are all within a few miles of each other AND that there are multiple markets for each category.

Needless to say, competition is fierce. So you may ask, what makes one market better than another? The best thoughts I can come up with include: environment, quality, freshness, taste, uniqueness, relationship, variety, consistency.

One thought was not included in the list: Price. If the market excels in the other categories, price doesn't matter. Sure you can't charge $10 for a loaf of bread but if you charge $5, $6 or $7, it doesn't make a difference.

What do you think the markets would look like if price was #1 or #2?

There wouldn't be any markets. You would have Kroger, Meijer and other chains.

Personally, I love the markets. They are owned by people like you and me, not corporate America. They care about their business and their customers. They provide a service that people want.

In a way, independent salons are not that different than independent markets. Competition is still fierce, but when you factor out price, passion blooms.

Now how about a slice of warm homemade blueberry pie with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a homemade chocolate brownie on the side? Yum!

Happy Monday!

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