‘Touch of Class’ at Gardners Market

By Kimberly Porter….

Dony Ponce (left) and Nidia Mallen at Gardners Market wine tasting event.

A taste of roquefort with a vintage rose accompanied by a Strauss overture was the February attraction at South Miami’s landmark gourmet food palace.

“We’re trying to build even better personal relationships with our customers in the area,” explained Lance Frazier, Gardners Market’s new store manager who has begun monthly complimentary tasting events.

Hosted the third Friday of each month, Gardners now stays open two hours beyond its regular eight o’clock closing until 10 p.m., allowing extra time for customers to visit a variety of fruit and cheese tasting stations.

An added touch of class in February: sushi appetizers and a chocolate fountain dip, followed by hand-rolled cigars as special sale item.

Topping off the evening: security guard Armando Soberanes playing his violin to lend a Continental air as wine merchants served samples and chatted about vintage years.

The monthly tasting events are designed to show patrons that Gardners is a “cozy, friendly intimate environment, and an educated customer is a good customer,” said Frazier.  “Plus, it’s fun. Last month, we had a band outside,”

Vendors at the February 18 event included Dony Ponce with Ty Ku sake, making fresh blueberry, strawberry and cotton candy sake martinis. Nadia Mallen represented Opici Wine Company.

Frazier emphasized that the Market is also a “great choice for fresh salads and sandwiches at lunchtime,” all with fixings made fresh daily at Gardners Market in Palmetto Bay and delivered to its four locations.

All products offered at Gardners’ monthly tasting events can be purchased in any of its area locations, he noted.

Among the newest members of the Red Sunset Merchant’s Association of South Miami, Frazier said “We hope to make a bigger footprint in our community.”

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1 Comment on "‘Touch of Class’ at Gardners Market"

  1. Working_wonder | March 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply

    What a great local business working hard to differentiate itself from their "big box" competitors.  The big guys simply can't provide the same freshness in their products or the same local atmosphere as a grocer like Gardner's can.  "Think globally act locally!"

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