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1402 W. Grand
Cassie Green asked a focus group for help naming her eco-minded Noble Square grocery store before opening in January 2008, but she needn’t have bothered: Green Grocer is clearly the obvious choice. Most customers don’t realize Green is the owner’s name unless they see her business card; they’re usually busy shopping for River Valley Ranch asparagus, Seedling Farms strawberries, and Genesis Growers arugula, lettuce, spinach, and kale. The shop also carries midwestern grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, bison, and chicken. More than 900 products ranging from Indiana-based LocalFolks Foods condiments to Chicago’s Nice Cream ice cream fill 900 square feet of retail space, and Green hosts weekly tastings, occasional cooking demos, and even a summer barbecue in the parking lot (August 21). There’s even a “Free to a Good Home” bin with veggies not pretty enough to be sold (but more than suitable for eating). You can also look for Green Grocer at the weekend outdoor produce market at the Arboretum in South Barrington. —Anne Spiselman