Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crate & Barrel Pop Up Store in Crossgates

Every so often, I get invited to a store opening. Not sure why I am extended the offer, but I try to go when I can make it. This morning, I was invited to preview the Crate & Barrel shop opening today in Crossgates. The store is called The Tree Lot and is next door to Williams Sonoma at the JC Penny and Pottery Barn end of the mall.

This place is seriously decked out for the holiday season and I actually appreciate them not opening before Halloween.


 At the front of the store, there is a little photo opportunity area complete with some props.

Now this shop isn't exactly what I think of when I think about Crate & Barrel. I think about their Boston store (which has apparently moved out of Copley Plaza since my last visit years ago). There where tons of kitchen gadgets, plates, glassware, pots, pans...basically a food nuts dream. But this store isn't trying to be that and there is no way they would be able to fit that kind of store in this space. This place is more about holiday entertaining and gifts. Want some holiday themed serving dishes, they've got them. Fancy glass ornaments, tons of them. And mixed in with the holiday gifts are a few things that are still gifts, but not necessarily only holiday gifts.

This is the first year Crate and Barrel is trying out the concept. I suspect the store will be packed in December. The Tree Lot opens today at 10 and will be open until December 31.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Cost of a Thanksgiving Turkey

I get email from Farmie Market. Never bought anything from them, but I poke around their site once in awhile. The last time I looked at the site the were advertising nitrate free bacon. I sent in an inquiry to see if it was actually nitrate free (most things labeled nitrate free or no nitrates added have nitrates in the form of celery salt). The reply indicated that this bacon was in fact nitrate free. The ingredient list was pork, water, sea salt and brown sugar. The downside to this bacon was that it priced out at $18 a pound. A little to steep for me. I'd post a link to the bacon but it is currently sold out so the price wasn't too steep for everyone.

Yesterday, I got an email from Farmie Market outlining the true cost of raising a pastured turkey. Here it is.

It basically says that a farmer has $53 plus labor into a farm raised turkey. These turkeys are selling for $6.25 a pound and are delivered frozen. At that price, and 18 pound turkey costs $112. That just seems excessive to me. While it is true that meat labeling has become increasingly deceptive - organic, natural, and humane all have USDA definitions that don't necessarily match Webster's - The Co Op is selling  Local, Natural, Pasture Raised turkeys from Misty Knolls at $2.99 a pound. If you want to add organic from Jaindl it is $4.99 a pound. Comparing these farms isn't apples to apples especially with vague definitions of "pastured." Certainly a farmer needs to make a profit, but the price of a turkey breaking $100 just seems high. Although they must not be too high for everyone. They sold out last year.