Daily Table vs. Formaggio? Comparing prices among staples brings results you might expect
Formaggio Kitchen opened its (re)located Huron Village shop Monday at 358 Huron Ave., a sparkling space that offers the amenities of the original 244 Huron Ave. site and more. Making good on a commitment to the neighborhood that it would try to fulfill the services and products Fresh Pond Market had for the village enclave since 1922 (closing three years ago), there are batteries, Band-Aids and aspirin and other grab-and-go home needs in the store – but not, to my eye, some essentials such as toilet paper. There are great cheese and bakery spreads like the speciality food chain became famous for since opening in 1978, plus a beguiling butcher shop station abutted by a small offering of fresh fish (salmon, mostly); a prepared foods and deli/sandwich station has much more room to breathe and show its wares, and the same with the wine, a separate and spacious nook with an open, refrigerated display. The newly laid wooden floor, high ceilings and generous light infusing from high windows add to the regal, fresh and inviting atmosphere.
Fans of Formaggio’s old store will certainly revel in the ample space to navigate without having to tuck into a side nook to let another shopper pass, especially during these Covid times. Neighbors hoping for more of a Fresh Pond Market model with affordability in mind are likely to be disappointed, but this is early in the opening. Tweaks and changes will come with feedback from the community, co-owner Ihsan Gurdal has said.
Grocery and home goods alternatives include a relatively close-by Star Market, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, and options farther away range from a Market Basket in Somerville to H-Mart and the Daily Table in Central Square, which opened in January with a mission of providing fresh, affordable food. We compared costs at Daily Table, the Star on Beacon Street near Porter Square and the new Formaggio locale, selecting five dairy items as similar as possible across the three stores. (Only three items were able to be compared across all three.) Here’s the chart; some figures are an approximation and subject to market fluctuations.
Formaggio does not sell Hood milk, but offers organic options. Daily Table does not sell home goods, just dairy and produce. Whole Foods, Star and Shaws’ and Market Basket provide all-in-one shopping needs stops.