Green Grocer

Two former Napa chefs are stocking their new eatery, Green Grocer in Windsor, almost exclusively with food caught or harvested within 150 miles. Joe and Susanna Rueter opened the gourmet market in late July 2008 with 95% of their inventory coming from local sources. Currently they're working with folks like Gary Blasi, Sayre, Amstrong, Golden Nectar and Bernier Farms. Joe almost apologies for the fact that some of his pork is from 167 miles away. And the coffee (duh) isn't local, but its fair-trade. You get the idea.

Surrounded on all sides by dairies, farms, sea and orchards,
the newish idea of only eating foods produced within 150 miles of where
we live seems like a gimme.
It’s an experiment popularized a few
years ago by a group called “Locavores” and is gaining steam with the
carbon-footprint set.
So, okay, 150 miles from most of Sonoma
County encompasses everything south to Modesto and Watsonville (just
barely); east to Placerville and north to about Red Bluff (but
encompassing the bounty of Mendocino). It excludes much of the Central
Valley’s produce and cattle, any seafood caught much north of Ukiah
(Oregon, Washington) and well, the rest of the world. Where we get
stuff like coffee, salt, tuna and the list goes on. Oh. Hmmm. It takes more than a village to feed a village, it seems.

But two former Napa chefs are stocking their new eatery, Green Grocer in Windsor, almost exclusively with food caught or harvested within 150 miles.
Joe and Susanna Rueter opened the gourmet market in late July 2008 with
95% of their inventory coming from local sources. Currently they’re
working with folks like Gary Blasi, Sayre, Amstrong,
Golden Nectar and Bernier Farms. Joe almost apologies for the fact that
some of his pork is from 167 miles away. And the coffee (duh) isn’t
local, but its fair-trade. You get the idea.
But just being local isn’t the wow-factor here. Joe is a former French Laundry alum. His wife, Susanna worked in the kitchens of Auberge du Soleil. Their “take out” dinners include dishes like beef with seared foie gras and blackberry sauce. Joe makes his own terrines, ages his own meats and hawks burritos with duck confit for breakfast. For lunch, grilled panini of local ham, salumi and jack cheese (the Cubano) and fresh corn chowder. The menu changes up depending on what’s fresh and in season. Susanna bakes fresh berry and peach pies and tarts daily. Their lemonade is infused with rosemary.

You can see how “deli” doesn’t quite explain the concept.

young couple are still settling into the shop — the wine area is still
in development, as are weekly classes (tentatively set for Monday
nights, but call ahead for details) and an area for cookware. Their
enthusiasm, however, is catching. Windsor locals are fixtures at
lunchtime, trying out Joe’s daily specials and chatting him up about
what’s for dinner. So far, they haven’t been disappointed.

Local is good. Delicious and local is even better.

Grocer, 434 Emily Rose Circle, Windsor Town Green, 707.837.81138:30am –
8:30pm Monday – Saturday & 8:30am – 6pm on Sunday.

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2 thoughts on “Green Grocer

  1. The first time in was just to look around since we had just eaten lunch. When we walked in we were blasted with the smell of burnt toast. It was a lovely day and I wondered why the door wasn’t open. There was no rush, only 2 people in and the help were just talking. The 2nd time was just a couple weeks ago to do some Christmas shopping. The place was very clean and well stocked with several tables filled. Upon grabbing some items for purchase I ended up standing at the counter for over 5 minutes while 2 employees talked with a couple about a variety of subjects. It was obvious that I needed to be wrung up and they kept on talking. I was taken back by this. One of them could have bowed out of the conversation and wrung up my purchase. Living in Windsor and believing in supporting small business I will go back and hope for a better experience. Their menu looked interesting.

  2. Posted By: Shea & George (28/09/2008 4:34:30 PM)
    Comment: Unbelievable. Affordable. Local. Organic. Fair Trade. Great people. DELICIOUS BREAKFASTS!!! Free cooking tips!! Could we be more blessed???
    Posted By: WindsorLocal (05/08/2008 10:50:46 AM)
    Comment: We have been in the the shop and deli so many times since it has moved in. They have improved so much on service and friendliness. They were just overwhelmed at first! We have had many of there products and have been pleased with each one! This is just what Windsor needed and we could not be happier that someone has finally taken the chance to open such a high quality local store in Windsor! Thanks for all of your hard work and great service! Not to mention amazing food!
    Posted By: Jack L (05/08/2008 10:42:55 AM)
    Comment: Their coffee, by the way, is from Flying Goat (one of the best coffee roasters anywhere) and is organic and Fair Trade. Coffee, as I understand it, only grows in between the two tropics so obviously can’t be local. You can, however, insist on organic, Fair Trade and/or direct relationships between roaster and farmer which, from what I’ve read, Is Flying Goat’s model. We’re very luck in this county!
    Posted By: windsorman (01/08/2008 5:13:28 PM)
    Comment: A sincere thank you to the wonderful people opening this place! Don’t listen to the negative comments, we love you and we love what you are doing! It is so hard to be in the food business, I applaud you and loved your cooking and I know many more who agree with me!
    Posted By: Local Windorites (30/07/2008 7:21:49 PM)
    Comment: My husband and I were there on Sunday after the farmers market. We bought some wonderful cheese, a grass fed steak and other items. We also stayed and had a WONDERFUL breakfast. My husband had the french toast with blackberries, I had the breakfast burrito and we shared a drink. Everything was great and the total was less then $14 dollars for breakfast. Can’t beat that anywhere. We’ll be back again.
    Posted By: A Neighbor (30/07/2008 4:28:42 PM)
    Comment: We live in the TGV and love this new addition to the neighborhood. The owners are a little overwhelmed at times but ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The idea of local food/produce is a good one. For those who complain about some of the food looking old, try Safeway.
    Posted By: Jesse (30/07/2008 2:45:03 PM)
    Comment: The Green Grocer has veal AND foie gras? Woo hoo! Count me in. Humane is nice, but delicious is better.
    Posted By: J M (30/07/2008 12:51:07 PM)
    Comment: A green grocer sounds fantastic and about time. Yet foie gras is a force fed goose who had a metal pipe regularly shoved down its throat to make it fat before killed. If the store serves veal, was the calf raised in a tight space with no fresh air nor ability to walk? Were any of the animals humanely raised or killed? What kind of feed did the animals eat? Were the animals given any hormones? We wonder why we have more human diseases. We only need to know about the food we consume to know why. If an animal was given hormones, you are eating the hormones in the meat. We are what we eat..literally. Can we have a green and humane grocer?
    Posted By: Kate (30/07/2008 7:04:05 AM)
    Comment: Count me in as UNimpressed BUT I did feel that they are just starting out and need time…store looked dirty,deli case food looked old& unappealing,as others have said-no greeting by staff, little help, sandwich I bought wasn’t worth the price-very so so…I’ll give it some time and try again.I think the idea is great.
    Posted By: B & B (29/07/2008 5:30:08 PM)
    Comment: We’ve been to the Green Grocer many times now and have thoroughly enjoyed everything we’ve gotten there. Joe and Susanna have always been friendly, helpfull and accommodating to us…we’re glad to have them as part of the Windsor community! If it was easy, everybody would be opening one….
    Posted By: Helen/Hawk (29/07/2008 11:24:31 AM)
    Comment: Haven’t been in yet. But reading the comments, I can’t help but think about the problems w/ a store purely locally grown stuff. I mean, my garden isn’t producing yet…..won’t for awhile. Doesn’t mean one’s standard’s shouldn’t be high, of course not. BUT we can’t expect the same amount of bounty that we find in “regular” groceries. Part of the year, it’d be overflowing (coming up) but even those folks at farmers markets: some of them come quite a ways to get here. So, we should also check our assumptions while checking out a concept store like this one.
    Posted By: L.N. (29/07/2008 9:32:21 AM)
    Comment: RICHARD – Although my first experience was a little disappointing I did say that I LOVED what they are doing and wouldn’t give up on them this early in the game. All feed back is good feed back and if you’re that concerned with other people’s opinions then don’t read the comments.
    Posted By: Kathryn (28/07/2008 10:06:57 PM)
    Comment: RICHARD – I said the FOOD WAS GREAT!! If they do not know they have poor customer service and do not greet people and they need to clean there store how will they ever know?
    Posted By: The other Susan (28/07/2008 7:38:42 PM)
    Comment: My husband and I have been through there a few times. Please give them a chance to see what the locals will like and purchase. Sorry to say, but it’s a crap shoot to open a business in Windsor. I love what they are doing, and have not been disapppointed with their products. One Sunday we were looking for fresh mozzarella and there was none in the deli case. Joe checked their deli and found a really lovely piece that he sold us for a song and it was so delicious. We will continue to patronize their store, applaud their efforts, and hope that the “locals” can appreciate the products as much as we do.
    Posted By: Perry (28/07/2008 5:04:15 PM)
    Comment: Was in last week w/ my son and received excellent food along with awesome customer service from Joe & Susanna. Took a 1/2 peach pie home for dessert with friends and it flat out rocked! The meat case is presented very nicely and a great deal of thought has went into all aspects of it. In all ways excellent! I hope they are here to stay.
    Posted By: Richard (28/07/2008 4:52:00 PM)
    Comment: Boris,Susan,Kathryn,L.N. Your comments are out of sorts. Sometimes thinking or speaking out loud is the wrong thing to do. Why would you be so negative about the best thing that has happened in Windsor in along time. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all!!! It is not your place to place judgement for all to see. What’s in it for you? One has got to wonder.
    Posted By: Molly (28/07/2008 4:20:59 PM)
    Comment: I have not tried anything that was not excellent from the Green Grocer. Wish you both success. And thank you for supporting our town and local vendors. YOU ROCK!!!
    Posted By: finian (28/07/2008 3:36:31 PM)
    Comment: If you see a problem spot especially in a new store, you are doing the owners a favor by gently pointing out. Eating seasonally and locally is a good thing — help them succeed.
    Posted By: L.N. (28/07/2008 3:20:38 PM)
    Comment: Was there two weeks ago and not really impressed. The people were not friendly and no one greeted us when we walked in. It was really quite and a bit strange. I paid $8.50 for a sandwich that was just ok; I think that is kind of steep. I do however like the concept and love that it supports everything local so I won’t give up on them quite yet.
    Posted By: Boris (28/07/2008 2:36:23 PM)
    Comment: Well, under impressed with their produce section, incomplete and some showing items that should have been pulled. Deli sandwiches seem ok, person behind the counter was overwhelmed, I just have a problem with some one who makes your sandwich and answers the phone. Hopefully the rooter-sewerman didn’t just use the phone……..maybe it just needs some time to iron out the wrinkles, I hope!
    Posted By: Kathryn (28/07/2008 1:46:35 PM)
    Comment: GREAT FOOD!! Store needs some TLC. They need to greet the people walking in, saw lots of peole walking out maybe they were unsure what type of place this was.
    Posted By: Vince (28/07/2008 1:04:02 PM)
    Comment: What a great idea. It’s really difficult to shop with a social conscious sometimes. It’s nice to have everything in one spot and know you’re doing the right thing for your local economy and for the planet. I hope we get something like that in SR too.
    Posted By: Bethany Browning (28/07/2008 12:39:12 PM)
    Comment: I live right next to the Green Grocer and have thoroughly enjoyed every single thing purchased there. In fact I plan my family’s meals around Joe and Susanna’s recommendations. Great fresh food, astoundingly low prices on cheese and other dairy, AND they’ll cook your entree for you. Welcome to the neighborhood! George, Dante, Tazio and I are delighted you are here!
    Posted By: Teena (28/07/2008 12:36:40 PM)
    Comment: Absolutely love this place. Food is very good and prices are also very reasonable. Have been in several times and also taken friends. Will shop there again and again.
    Posted By: jill (28/07/2008 12:17:42 PM)
    Comment: I have been in the store several times and have been quite impressed. The breakfast burrito was excellent and so was the beet salad with Arugula and truffle oil. Yes I can say the store can still use a little work but you have to feel out your clintele before you know what the right products are to bring in. Keep up the good work and this is one Windsor resident who will continue to support locally.
    Posted By: danielle (28/07/2008 12:11:41 PM)
    Comment: Love this place. My husband and I got fresh salmon, fresh veggies and some homemade cookies for under $20. GREAT PLACE. LOVE IT! Will go back soon
    Posted By: susan (28/07/2008 11:50:22 AM)
    Comment: went in there last Sat. Produce looked like it was from a week ago farmers market. Withered and old. Moldy eggplant. The cold/deli case looked very sloppy and food looked old. Seven dollors for a bottle of BBQ sause? Both of us walked out and commented on how it needed a manager with good eyes.

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