Katie Lianez / Lantern reporter
The locally-owned specialty Hills Market, recently opened its second location on Grant Avenue in downtown Columbus to accompany its Worthington store.
As a loyal Kroger shopper who sometimes strays for the occasional fling with Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I decided to check out this new local grocer.
It was a sensory overload as soon as I walked in. Immediately in front of the doors there is a large produce section featuring locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Directly behind that, almost forcing you to choose, is a bakery filled with gourmet cupcakes, massive brownies, pies, cakes and bread from local bakeries.
There is also a fresh salad bar for $7.99 a pound and a deli featuring meats from around Ohio. For those who are looking to stop in for a quick lunch, there is a dine-in area set off from the rest of the grocery in which customers can sit and enjoy a quiet meal.
The Hills Market carries a wide range of goods in the store. You can find local favorites like Columbus Brewing Company beers and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams right next to your standard bag of Doritos. The store also sports a wide selection of wines and various domestic, import, craft and Ohio-brewed beers.
The atmosphere at the Hills Market is friendly and vibrant. Employees, while busy stocking the new store, were happy to answer questions and there was even a wine sampling going on in the middle of the day during the week.
For the average college student, this is the place to go when your parents come to visit and will fork out a few extra bucks for your groceries. The prices were high, even for a specialty grocer. For a simple comparison, a six-pack of Hills Own water – the store’s brand – was a whopping $4.49, a far cry from the 24-pack of water we are used to buying for around $3 at Kroger.
Another issue was parking. I went in the middle of the day, not quite peak hours since most people are at work, and the small, free lot at the south entrance was already full. However, you can park on the north side for $3 and still be close to the entrance if you can’t score a spot in the main lot.
I give the Hills Market a B+ and would recommend it to foodies looking to find some new specialty items to add to their shopping lists.
The new Hills Market is located at 95 N. Grant Ave.