Sunrise Fresh Market on Milwaukee Avenue

What’s in a name?

Monday’s Gapers Block: Drive Thru article, “Goya or Bust,” mistakenly referred to Sunrise Fresh Market at 2722 N. Milwaukee Avenue by its old name of Tianguis. Tianguis is still the name on the awning, but it’s been Sunrise Fresh Market — as the banner sign above the awning says — for over a year now.

The article also refers to the store formerly known as Tianguis as a bodega. I suppose that depends on your definition of a bodega. I think of a bodega as the well-stocked corner store in the city. Besides not being literally on a corner, Sunrise is far more than a corner store. Despite folks clamoring for a grocery store in the neighborhood, we have one right on Milwaukee Avenue in Sunrise Fresh Market (and Tony’s is another over on Fullerton Avenue). In calling it a bodega, the Gapers Block piece reinforces the myth that we lack grocery stores in the neighborhood. No, Sunrise does not have the selection that you might find at one of the big corporate grocery stores in the city, but, unless you’re dedicated to particular brands, you can do a good portion of your grocery shopping at Sunrise.

I came to that realization just recently myself. Earlier this year I had a temporary neighbor from Paris, France. I didn’t get to know her very well during her short stay here, but I feel confident that she was what you would call a foodie as she worked for a French specialty cheese company. If you’ve ever been to Paris, France, Europe, or any number of cities around the world, you realize that the rest of the world grocery shops differently than you and I. We stock up; they shop daily for freshness.

I saw my Parisian neighbor shopping daily at Sunrise Fresh Market. I figured if she could find something to eat there daily, I could find enough groceries to stock my refrigerator and cupboards for the week. And I generally can. They have a good selection of fresh produce and a surprising meat and deli counter too.

You wouldn’t know it from the outside though. All of the windows are covered in signs, so that you cannot see into the store, and the entrance appears dirty and a bit worse for wear. But please try to get past that and venture into the store. I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Rethinking the bodega

In fairness, my Webster’s does include another definition for bodega: “a store specializing in Hispanic groceries.” And that definition fits with a main point of information the Gapers Block author raises: that Sunrise carries a plethora of Goya products, including the Goya smoked chorizo sausages that are key to the included recipe for arroz con chorizo. In fact, all the ingredients in the recipe are available at Sunrise. A good excuse to try out the store in a limited capacity, no?

Whatever your definition of bodega, Neighbors Project (see Blogroll in right column) has been behind them all the way. There’s an exemplary San Francisco bodega, Red Sea Market, highlighted, and they’ve crafted a Bodega Party in a Box to help us take full advantage of the
ubiquitous corner store. Sales of the Bodega Party in a Box fund other Neighbors Projects projects, like working toward the synergy of the availability of fresh produce in the corner store and the demand for fresh produce from neighborhood shoppers.

You can read more about the Food & Liquor project, as it’s called, and the Bodega Party in a Box in a recent Next American City Daily Report, “Rethinking the Bodega.”

Scene in Logan Square:

Welcome home reception for Olympian Larry Langowski (see One World One Dream indeed) on Friday, September 26, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Heavenly Gelato & Ice Cream Café, 2662 N. Sawyer Avenue.


One Response to Sunrise Fresh Market on Milwaukee Avenue

  1. Carter says:

    We hit the-store-formerly-known-as-Tianguis weekly, definitely a great store, maybe just in need of a facelift (or some advertising in the neighborhood).

    Really great blog, Lynn – one question, it was rumored a year or so ago that the Tianguis owner owned the whole building/block and was looking to tear it down to put up new condos – I’m guessing the name shift of the grocery store means this is no longer a plan?

    Carter: I’m not sure, but I suspect the block would still be for sale for the right price and circumstances (i.e. zoning?), but Cafe con Leche in the adjoining building to the south is also expanding into the storefront just south of it. ~ Lynn

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