Midtown finally has its own grocery store with the opening of The Market at Commonplace. No, it’s not a full-size grocer, but operating partner Eric Berumen, consulting partner Chris Castro, and consulting cheese monger Gersende Cazaux have put together a solid inventory of staples and specialty items.
“We focused on a combination of fun and practical items – including value brands,” Castro said. “You can definitely get everything you need for a meal in here, and we have some surprises, too.”
As of opening day, the market is working with about a dozen Oklahoma-based producers, and Berumen said they hope to add to those relationships moving forward. “We’ll assess as we go along, but we’ve been focused on getting open, so as we see what we’ll need, we’ll develop those local relationships. We also have a suggestion box right up front, so if customers know of local producers they’d like to see here, we’ll happily reach out.”
Among the local producers are Petal Pushers Farms and Circleculture Farm, both of which grow fresh flowers. Customers can find plants from Plant Wisdom, coffee from Sincerely Coffee Roasters (including a custom house roast), pasta from Della Terra, and sparkling water and olive oil from Oil Tree. Vanessa House and Stonecloud beers will be well represented, too, as will producers from Tulsa, like American Solera’s beer and Cirque Coffee.
“We have tiers in several categories,” Castro said. “So for example we’ll have three price points on coffee. We want this to be a store where anyone can shop.”
One of the points of emphasis is going to be Berumen’s wine selection. He’s a certified sommelier with decades of experience, and he’s bringing his expertise to The Market. Each month a winery or winemaker (Broc Cellars for the first month) will be featured on the center island in the wine section, and the racks are cleverly divided into categories: The OGs, Best in Class, Made by Her, Dinner Party, and Glug Glug.
“Most of our wines are under $40,” Berumen said, “and we added the categories to help people make a selection.”
The categories are very smart and mostly intuitive for wine lovers. The OGs will feature names like Ostertag, Gobelsburg, Raventos and Eyrie – names with long pedigrees and a very high standard of quality. Best in Class features his “best pick for its price point” selections.
“Basically, I think the wines are the best representative choice given the region, varietal, or style at its price available locally,” Berumen said.
Important to all the partners is the Made by Her section, which focuses on female winemakers, a category that is regularly underrepresented in the industry. Names like Brianne Day and Anne-Sophie Dubois aren’t household names yet, but they should be, and Berumen intends to do his part. The other two sections feature versatile, interesting food wines, and the “chill it and kill it” selections associated with the terms “glug glug” or (the original French) “glou glou.”
Castro is overseeing an in-house kitchen that will create grab ‘n’ go offerings each day, including burritos and baguette sandwiches – the baguettes come from Lee’s bakery in the Asian District. The front counter will have sliced deli meats, Cazaux’s cheese selections, and chicken and steaks to cook at home.
“We’ll look at expanding these selections, too, as we go forward,” Castro said. “We thinks we’ve got a great inventory to start, though.”
The Market at Commonplace will be open 7:30 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday, and 8 am to 6 pm on Sundays. It’s located on the southeast corner of the Edge Apartments complex in Midtown.