marqt opening soon near Leidseplein

marqt is a new type of supermarket that focuses on selling fresh and tasty food. It has gotten a lot of attention in the press and many of us have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the first store. From well-informed sources I have now heard that the first shop will open on Overtoom, near Leidseplein, in December.

The focus of traditional supermarkets like Albert Heijn is clearly on convenience (“new extended expiration date!”) and price (“price permanently reduced on another 3000 products”). And the recent trend towards biological food has been shamelessly exploited by above supermarkets and chains like De Natuurwinkel to offer food that is not much better but definitely more expensive.

I buy most of my groceries from the turkish store on the corner. Why? Because it’s *good* – good as in tasty; good as in fresh, savory ingredients that make all the difference in cooking; good as in flavors coming from fruits, vegetables, meat, spices and herbs rather than from some mass-produced ready-mix. In Amsterdam, every saturday morning, thousands of people flock to Noordermarkt for exactly the same reason. So I must not be the only one…

What is the secret behind *good* food? The Slow Food movement has seen substantial success in promoting *good* food. Slow Food was founded in 1989 to “counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world”. Slow Food members consider themselves “co-producers, not consumers”.

marqt’s concept is to focus on local products rather than mass production; to employ personnel that loves food and is knowlegeable about it rather than students in pursuit of extra cash; and to partner with the producers through revenue sharing.

I am sold and cannot give it a try as soon as the first marqt opens its doors to the lucky co-producers of Amsterdam!

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