Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Frolic--British Foods in the USA: Who Says it's Difficult to Find British Foods in the Western USA Market Region? Your Guide is Here

On May 11, we published this piece about Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market adding 250 new items to its 61 small-format, convenience-oriented grocery stores currently operating in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, including that the grocer plans to add a number of authentic British food and grocery products in the stores.

In part, the adding of the 250 new items, including the British food and grocery items, is in response to consumers saying they want more product variety in the stores, along with customers (and expats) who said they can't find many British food items in California, Arizona and Nevada stores.

The fact is, there are numerous supermarkets, online grocers and British foods stores that sell a wide-variety of British-made food and grocery products, along with foods from other parts of the United Kingdom like Ireland, in California, the Phoenix, Arizona Metropolitan and East-West Valley regions, and the Las Vegas Metro area, where Fresh & Easy's 61 stores are located.

For example, in Southern California, the upscale supermarket chain Bristol Farms (which is now owned by SuperValu, Inc., offers a fairly good selection of British food and grocery products, as well as many produced in Ireland and elsewhere in the UK.

Another multi-store upscale chain, Gelsons, also has decent selections of British foods in most of its stores.

Additionally, Safeway-owned Von's Pavillions, the retailer's upscale food store banner with locations throughout Southern California, sells made-in-Britian food and grocery products in its stores. Some stores have better selections of the UK-produced food and grocery items than others, it all depends on the location and size of the store.

An independent specialty supermarket, Vincente Foods in Brentwood near Los Angeles, also sells a strong selection of British food and grocery products.

Bristol Farms is a major retail participate in the once a year 'Foods From Britain' promotion held by the Foods From Britain trade group in the U.S. These events are designed to showcase British foods and include expanded selections of British food and grocery items in the stores, food tastings, special events and other promotional activities sponsored by the the UK trade group in the U.S. and the participating stores.

Macy's Department stores throughout California also sell selections of British-produced food and grocery products in its "The Cellar" specialty foods departments. They even hold a once a year British Foods promotion in which they bring in additional items from the UK, as well as hold promotions and tastings of British food products, offer drawings for trips to the Uk and other related promotional activities.

Cost Plus World Market, which is headquartered in Oakland in Northern California, and has stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and most other states in the U.S., also carries British Food and grocery items, including lots of confections, teas and other products.

There's even a British Foods online specialty store based in Southern California called British Expat Shop. Not only can you buy British foods from their website and have the goods delivered to your door, the online store also offers various British-made non-foods items as well. View the Expat Shop website here.

For consumers located anywhere in the U.S.--including California, Arizona and Nevada where Fresh & Easy stores are located--who want a huge selection of British foods and related goods without even leaving their computer, there's The online British grocer carries a huge inventory of made in the UK items, from common favorites to specialty niche items. Delivery is anywhere in the USA. View the British Home Market online store here.

Members of the Fresh & Easy Buzz team have ordered from the British Home Market online store before, and say the service and delivery went off without a hitch.

There also are numerous other online British grocery stores that deliver. These include: Jollygrub, the British Corner Shop, British Delights USA, My English Pantry and a number of others.
There also are a number of independent British foods stores in Southern California.

One popular British specialty store is the British Food Shop at 27601 Forbes Road #19 in Laguna Nigel, in Orange County. As you can see by viewing the store's website here, it offers a wide variety of British Foods, along with tea pots, gifts and other goodies from the UK.

The city of Santa Monica, just a few miles west of Los Angeles, has two British Foods specialty stores, Yeo Old Kings Head and The Continental Shop. In addition to a huge selection of British food and grocery items, The Continental Shop sells all things British: non-foods, tea pots, books and gifts. It even has a British travel service.

In the Southern California Desert region--Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, La Quinta and other cities nearby--the multi-store upscale Jensens' Fine Foods specialty grocery stores offer numerous British food and grocery items, along with Irish foods and other international groceries.

There are even more British Foods specialty shops in Southern California that offer strong selections of foods, drinks and non-foods items from the UK. For a list of a number of other British Foods specialty stores in Southern California click here

Northern California

Just like Southern California, Northern California has numerous supermarkets and specialty stores which sell a wide-variety of British food products.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, upscale, multi-store independent grocer Mollie Stones sells lots of UK-produced foods in its stores. Some of the grocer's larger specialty supermarkets even have full sections dedicated to foods from Britain and other parts of the UK.

Another multi-store upscale independent in the Bay Area, Andronico's Markets, also sells a decent selection of British food and grocery products, although it's stores' selection isn't as good as Mollie Stone's is in the category.

Lunardi's, another multi-store upscale independent also merchandises numerous British food and grocery products in its stores, which are located throughout the Bay Area. Draeger's, with three gourmet supermarkets in the region also stocks a wide variety of British foods, as does indpendent Cal Mart in San Francisco, and two-store Cosentino's in the San Jose region.

And, of course, the Cost Plus World Market stores, which are numerous in Northern California, offer British foods, often more than in other parts of the U.S because of the region's demographics and higher than U.S. average British and Irish expat population.

Northern California also is home to numerous specialty stores which sell nothing but foods from Britain and other parts of the UK.

One of those stores is the very popular San Francisco British Foods store called, "You Say Tomato." The store's welcoming sign is pictured at left.

For a peek at what San Francisco's "You Say Tomato" British foods store offers take a look here. Also view the store's website here.

"You Say Tomato," located in the city's Polk Street Neighborhood, is owned by a British expat named David Kidd. The store sells lots of British foods, including dry grocery, refrigerated and frozen, plus other goodies. By the way, if you go in the store and pronounce tomato (toe-mah-toe) rather than (toe-ma-toe), don't be surprised if its owner gives you a taste of something from his homeland for free.

Other British foods stores in the San Francisco Bay Area include: British American Imports, in San Francisco; British Food Center, in Campbell near San Jose; British Grocery Shop, in the East Bay Area city of Pleasanton; and a number of others. For the addresses, phone numbers and websites of the above mentioned British food stores, along with a number of others, click here.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. in California, Arizona and Nevada also carries a number of UK-produced natural, organic and specialty foods items, such as Prince Charles' own Duchy Originals organic foods line. Many of the Northern California Whole Foods stores have larger selections than those in other parts of the U.S.


British foods can be found in Arizona as well.

A.J's Fine Foods, an upscale specialty grocery chain owned by Bashas, offers a fairly decent selection of British food products, along with other food and grocery items from the UK, such as Irish goods. AJ's has over a dozen stores, mostly located in the Phoenix-Scottsdale Metropolitan region.

Speaking of Scottsdale, there's a British Foods specialty store, British Gourmet, at 7901 E. Thomas Road #105, in the Arizona city which runs right into Phoenix. British Gourmet offers a solid selection of British food, grocery and non-foods products.

Another popular British Foods store in Arizona, which also offers authentic British prepared foods and teas to eat and drink on the premises, is the Tudor Rose in Tucson. It's at 2029 South Craycroft in the city.

Of course, the Cost Plus World Market stores in Arizona sell British foods, as the stores in California do.

Whole Foods' stores in the Phoenix Metro region also offer some natural, organic and specialty foods items from the UK, as mentioned earlier. Trader Joe's stores do as well.

And, of course, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is in the process of adding British foods items to its stores in Arizona, along with in California and Nevada, so that will be another venue for British food and grocery items--among the many you now know are out there.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Metro region has a number of stores which also offer a wide variety of foods from Britain.

Among these stores include: European Specialty Foods, 3711 Industrial Road in Las Vegas; British Foods Incorporated, 3375 South Decatour Blvd. #11, Las Vegas (this store offers a huge selection of British food and grocery products, along with lots of British non-foods items); Taste Specialty Food, 3945 W. Reno Avenue #E, Las Vegas; International Market, 5000 South Decatour Blvd, Las Vegas, and Watkins Foods & Specialty Items, also in Las Vegas (702) 324-3758.

Cost Plus World Market, some Vons supermarkets and the Whole Foods store in Las Vegas also offer assorted British food and grocery items.

The Special Relationship

As British Prime Ministers and American Presidents from Churchill and FDR and Thatcher and Reagan, to Bush and Brown, have all said, the U.S. and Great Britain have that "special relationship."

That special relationship extends to British-produced food and grocery products being available at numerous food stores in the United States, ranging from upscale and specialty supermarkets and online sites like those we've pointed out., to the independent British food stores we've listed, along with many others not listed.

There are plenty of stores in the Western U.S. states of California, Arizona and Nevada offering British food, grocery and even non-food products and goods for sale, as you can see from reading this piece. And what can't be found in those stores, which isn't much, can be ordered online from the various websites we've described in this story, along with many others we didn't even list for space reasons.

Further, if and when Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market goes through with adding its additional British food and grocery items, that will add numerous other stores to the long list of brick-and mortar and online stores we've described, where Western USA consumers living in California, Arizona and Nevada can buy made-in-Britain foods and other goods.

The selling of British food and grocery products in the USA, including in California, Arizona and Nevada, is far from an un-mined niche.

We've listed about one-third of the various venues where British foods are available. The British specialty foods stores and general supermarkets we list in this piece however are the best stores in each of the regions in terms of the selections of British food and grocery products available.

About the only British food item you probably won't be able to find in the various combined stores described in this story is a good, top-quality Spotted Dick. But then, word is that's even hard to find these days in Britain. However, you can buy Heinz made-in-the-UK brand Spotted Dick in many of the stores outlined in this piece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the tips on the British food shops in SoCal. I live in the area and didn't know these stores were available. Also the online sites. They look like offer lots of products.