Although I love the idea of cooking healthy, organic food, some days I only make it as far as whatever fits in the microwave, leaving me and my family eating far too much frozen mac and cheese. When I see a farmer’s market, I worry how much time and money it will take to prepare all the food that ends up sitting in the refrigerator. But other times, like today,
when I visit Double L market, I realize it’s not so hard to cook healthy, real food.
In fact, it can be fun. And you might be even learn something.
Since the last time
Lloyd has been busy working with local farmers to source an ever-changing array of meats, fish, chicken, dairy and specialty items
like sauces, olive oil, honey and bread. Together with his business partner Michael, their unique way of finding the freshest locally grown food and bringing the community together is pure poetry.
“Real fresh food,” Lloyd explains, “almost cooks itself, meaning it needs very little to enhance its natural taste.”
After telling me about the happy cows he’s met during one of his recent visits to a family dairy farm upstate, he shows me the latest happenings in the store. First, is the grass fed meat and pork, along with free range chicken. From Moe’s third generation chicken growers to pork from Newhall Farms in Redding,VT,
Lloyd knows all his sources personally
. And here’s his latest fish tale: the salmon literally swims here from
Seafood Specialties in Boston,
owned by his friend Chris, a former Westporter. Whether wild or low density farmed, Lloyd gets whatever is in season.
“Nothing frozen, sitting in a warehouse. Ever,” he explains.
The price of the fish may be a bit higher than some of the nearby stores, but it’s not too bad given the quality and taste. Other items are actually priced below the competition, ending the misconception that locally grown and organic has to be more expensive than the big chain markets.
While browsing around the store, listening to music, he showed me
Oscar’s fresh eggs, aptly called "Just Layed."
“Such a nice friend, Oscar. He exchanged seven dozen of these eggs for some of my melons. Now that’s a deal.”
But it’s more than just bartering. Lloyd offers local farmers and gardeners the opportunity to market their homegrown products on a wider scale. In fact, Lloyd helped his friend and herb farmer Sal Gilbertie launch his Petite Edibles, and is bringing attention to a
new line of German breads and pretzel rolls called Whole G,
as well as raw honey by his friend
Robert Sabre, known as the Beekeeper
. The local mojo doesn’t stop there.
He’s also got local granola, grains and beans,
A1 organically certified, the highest quality organic you can get. But while he prefers local, he acknowledges you cannot always get it in the Northeast during winter. So when he can’t find it nearby, organic produce from Mexico or spinach and kale from his brother’s farm in Texas fills in the gaps just fine. And in a few weeks, he tells me, his friend Jen from Maryland will be driving up to deliver her sweet heirloom tomatoes. In summertime, the situation changes and the store usually has more local gardeners sourcing for them.
Dietary restrictions, anyone?
As the mother of a child who cannot eat any wheat products, I was happy to hear he will
soon be carrying homemade gluten free cookies
and other items. For my vegan husband, I was also relieved to find some interesting veggie burgers. From local sourcing to whole food cooking, Lloyd says his goal here is simply to educate the community about good food and its connection to people. He is grateful to be in Westport to enjoy such educated and curious customers, who are always willing to try new things and stay healthy. Perfect job choice for someone who studied poetry in college.
Between the reclaimed art on the shelves to the poetic musings on the chalkboard, it’s the unique small batch items and local stories that make the trip here worthwhile. Now I understand what fresh really means, sort of like why a rose is a rose.
, 730 Post Road East, Westport; 203-557-4705.
[Photography courtesy of