Let's be honest. Many of us have gone at least once to a grocery store in Savannah to pick up something that the grocery stores here don't carry. Before you run to call Soundoff admonishing me as a turncoat, there is a seasoning made by a Florida based company that I can only find in Savannah. Near and dear to my heart, but no one here carries it, and my requests have fallen on ears of store managers who are unable to get their parent companies to stock it.
So, we have griped that we have to go Savannah to purchase our beloved "unusual" food items, and, boy wouldn't it be nice if they were sold here. I am happy to report that a new specialty market of sorts has opened in Statesboro intending to fill that need.
Christopher's to Go, an adjunct of Christopher's Restaurant in the Midtown Retail Plaza on South Main, is prepared to fill your gourmet food order, both with pre-prepared food items from their restaurant kitchen as well as gourmet type specialty foods.
Stephen Campbell, owner and executive chef of Christopher's, said there is no reason to travel east anymore.
"You tell us what food items you have to leave Statesboro to purchase, and we will do our very best to get them in here," Campbell said. "We have placed a suggestion box right by the front door. We want to fill this niche, because we really think it exists and there is a need."
When I visited Christopher's to Go this past Friday, they were busy filling the shelves on their first official day open. I did not see the store fully stocked, but I will do my best to give you a brief description.
Let me say up front that I think they are being very reasonable in their approach. It is a small store, but packed with what I would call "high demand gourmet." One side of the store is a deli selling only Boar's Head Meat. The other side has coolers holding prepared foods - salads, dips, sandwiches - as well as cheeses, marinated meats, precut vegetables for stir fry and things of that nature.
From roasted red pepper dip to homemade red salsa and green tomatillo salsa, "Soup" as Campbell is fondly referred to, has put the Christopher's restaurant stamp on a number of items in the store including homemade trail mix and seasoned nuts.
Some of the items in the store include a nice selection of high end olive oils and fine balsamic vinegars, as well as soup bases. If you are a Food Network junkie, you will love this store.
"Don't forget, this is as much of a prepared food take out store as it is a gourmet foods store," Campbell said. "In addition to our lunch type items, we will have casseroles including lasagna and chicken parmesan ready for sale next week. Instead of cooking one night, just come by here and pick up a casserole to go."On your way out, hit the suggestion box. If it saves me from going to Savannah and leaving my money in Chatham County, I am all for it.