Manoli has tapped into something great with her store: nothing less than the rebirth of good local shopping. When was the last time you went to Total Wine and ran a few neighbors and friends and your shopping trip morphed into conversation, drinks, and a small feast prepared by the owner? Really? Never?
Even if you're not in the mood to spend a couple of hours there, Manoli's store is within easy walking or biking distance of thousands of homes. If you pared a big grocery store's selection of wines and cheeses down past the Krafts and the Yellowtails, you'd find Manoli's selection to be larger and more diverse- quite a feat for such a small, tidy place.
When that new Harris Teeter goes up next year, I dare you to introduce yourself to the wine or cheese dept manager(s). Ask if they'll make you up a special gift basket or bring in some real camembert. See if they'll pour you a taste of their new favorite or offer to whip out a quick arrugula salad with lemon and octopus. Then, if you haven't already, go visit Manoli's little store. I'm sure you'll be as pleased as I have been.
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