At the beginning of June, a friend and I took a trip to Pittsburgh, PA. I know. Not the most glamorous place to travel. Did we go to Ikea? No. A concert? Sporting event? Nope. So why Pittsburgh??
It was all because of this man. Duff. As in Chef Duff Goldman from Food Network’s Ace of Cakes. He made an appearance at a Giant Eagle Market District store on Saturday, June 6th. And being the cake-0bsessed, Food-Network-addicted people that we are, we drove out to see him talk, take our picture with him, and have him sign a few autographs. How frequently does that opportunity come up? Not often! So we hopped at the chance while we could. And it just so happens that after the Duff event we took some shots of Giant Eagle ‘s Market District store (the Bethel Park location, just FYI). So first, I’m going to start you off with a very rough bubble plan (i.e. not to scale whatsoever) so you get a basic idea of store layout.
We came in the secondary entrance on the right. This was the waiting area for Duff, where we hung out for a few hours (positive side note: the staff was extremely attentive and friendly). It’s normally an enclosed patio. Directly inside the store from our enclosed patio area was the coffee bar and indoor seating area. The coffee bar sold the usual Market District coffee but also sold lattes and other fancy things.
Just beyond the cafe was the bakery to your left (to entice you to buy a muffin to accompany your coffee), and prepared foods to your right. They dressed their prepared foods area up quite a bit. It was theme-y, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say I enjoyed it. It definitely made it a better experience. Somehow you felt like you were getting better quality items and had more trust in your purchase decisions. The cheese shop was my favorite. For those of us who can’t travel to a quaint little shop in New York or somewhere in Europe, this will do (for now).
The event space/demonstration kitchen was right next to the Meat & Seafood area. My favorite thing about this part of the store was the handy food “Tips & Hints” scattered throughout the space.
Clever tone of voice signage was placed throughout the environment…
…an interesting candy area, complete with a chocolate-goody-making-station. The jars were a nice touch, especially the small hand-written labels tied with twine.
The promotional signage in the fresh foods areas was hand-written on chipboard-type material, to add to the “authentic, local” vibe.
And last but not least, a shot of the aisle wayfinding signage. If you click through the photo gallery, you’ll see that there are actually two or three different colors used for the item signs, which identified the area of the store (for instance, a less saturated, more natural green was used for the natural foods area).
There you have it! A relatively mundane-seeming trip was actually pretty eventful. Since we don’t have a Giant Eagle Market District store in Columbus, it was exciting from a foodie’s perspective.
Please check out the photo gallery here.
Featured Image: © 2010 Google, Map Data © 2010 Google. Inset image property of Chute Gerdeman.