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Plum Market #2 Woos Ann Arbor
By Huda Metti :: Tuesday, March 4, 2008 :: 40420 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance

Michigan, USA- In a little less than a few years, brothers Matt and Marc Jonna have added their second specialty gorcery store Plum Market in Ann Arbor.  Ann Arbor residents have fast filled the isles of the high-end grocery store. 

"We can't wait for Plum Market to become an active part of the unique community that is Ann Arbor," says co-founder Matthew Jonna. "We're looking forward to creating an environment where friends and neighbors can shop, share and just generally have a great experience."

The upscale grocer's 28,000 square feet in the Maple Village Shopping Center takes up most of the space of what was once the Foxtown movie theater.  This is the grocer's second location. Its first is in Bloomfield Township. There are also plans for one in downtown Royal Oak in the second phase of the Main North Lofts development and future ones throughout Metro Detroit.

The independent supermarket sees an opportunity to break into the lucrative Ann Arbor market for natural, organic and specialty foods, even though the city already has a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and smaller independents like Produce Station. The key is those supermarkets are located on the southwest side of town while the Plum Market is at the corner of North Maple Road and Dexter Avenue on the city's northwest side. Their closest competitor is the recently expanded local stalwart, Arbor Farms.

The opening also serves as a homecoming for the Jonna family, which founded the Merchant of Vino store on the city's northeast side. Matthew Jonna and brother/Plum Market co-founder Marc Jonna are the third generation of grocers in their family.

The grand opening featured a ribbon cutting/bread breaking, along with special treats for the first 100 guests, a wide variety of product demonstrations and raffles. The store will be a full-service grocery store, featuring high-quality meat, seafood and produce, along with a large wine selection and restaurant-caliber prepared foods. A full-service pharmacy will also be on hand.

The growing success is simple. Says Matt, “We have set out to create a grocery experience like no other. We believe that choice is paramount, and our product selection reflects that.” Mixing the very best in natural, organic, specialty and local products, the aisles are filled with inviting aromas and unexpected delights.

Having learned the art of merchandising from their father during the Merchant of Vino days, every detail has been attended to and produce is the perfect example of their craft. All of your senses are aroused when you enter the produce department. Depending on the season, it is the perfume of strawberries or the fragrance of ripe peaches or the crisp clean scent of fresh lettuces and greens.

Under the direction of brother Marc, Plum Market’s produce buyers are down at the terminal in the wee hours of the morning, picking the fruits and vegetables that will grace the display tables. Impeccable freshness, incomparable quality—Plum Market will accept nothing less. And their commitment to locally produced foodstuffs is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the Produce Department. Michigan growers are highlighted and showcased, and Michigan grown fruits and vegetables are given prominence in the department. "As soon as it is in season, for as long as it is in season, you can find the best that Michigan has to offer at Plum Market," he says.

The store also boasts a full-service meat and seafood department, featuring the finest in fresh caught fish as well as premium Piedmontese beef, all natural poultry and Duroc heirloom pork, over 200 fine cheeses, including Artisan varieties like Neal’s Yard and burrata air-shipped from Italy.

Pressed for time? The prepared food department offers restaurant quality entrees as well as classic comfort food. Finishing touches come courtesy of the bakery case—filled with tortes, tarts and mini-pastries. And of course, there is wine. Marc’s 25 years of experience have served him well, and the Plum Market wine cellar is truly extraordinary.

This is not your neighborhood supermarket. It is much, much more. In short, Plum Market and the Jonnas want nothing less than to revolutionize the way American family shops for food.