Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park (4050 N. Buffalo Road) is the newest addition to our Western NY grocery scene. I was anxious to get there when I read that their emphasis is on organic foods, with a lot of attention to specialty diets like gluten-free.
It’s really a beautiful store and reminded me a lot of Whole Foods I have visited. There’s a great produce section and lots of new and fun options in seafood (live crayfish and fresh fish flown in from Hawaii daily) and meats (fresh bison and frozen elk, camel, and buffalo).
There is a take out section, but I could not find anything specifically gluten free there – they make pizzas, salads and sandwiches. Some of the salads would qualify, but I was really hoping for some GF pizza! There’s a nice selection of cheeses and some fun areas of the store such as infused oils and varieties of sea salts. There was a display of local Alethea’s candies and chocolate popcorn.
I was pleased to see an aisle labeled “gluten free,” but disappointed to find it had a very small selection of baking mixes, flours, and crackers. As we explored the store, I discovered more GF foods tucked into other aisles. Some of these items have colored shelf tags indicating they are GF, but others don’t, so it’s very hard to find things. There is a selection of pasta (which was no better than Wegman’s), some cookies (including Tate’s GF which was new to me), crackers, cereals, snack food, etc. Some of these items were new to me, but not many. GF soy sauce was tucked into the Asian section without a tag.
In frozen foods, there is a case of Vin Chet baked goods (the largest selection I’ve seen in a store – much more than Dash’s carries) and a selection of Udi’s and Van’s products, which were not any better than Wegman’s sections. I did snag some Glutino bagels. I’ve bought Glutino products before but never their bagels.
Overall, I would say this is a great place to go if you’re tired of the same-old, same-old things at your neighborhood store. It’s also just fun to walk through a new store and explore the different foods they carry (cactus leaves, anyone?). I would recommend walking up and down each aisle to look for the GF items in each aisle. They need to be more consistent with their labeling so that we can find GF foods more easily without having to read every box or package. I’m glad they are conscious of GF needs, and I hope the store will learn to label their shelves better. We did suggest this to a manager while there, so there’s hope!