Plum Market, Avalon, and Great Food

Plum Market is not your average specialty food store. But then again,the Jonna family is not your average family. Starting with a single party store in suburban Detroit, the Jonna family built a highly successful wine and specialty grocery business in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor: the Merchant of Vino stores. In 1997, when Ann and Jackie started Avalon Breads, the Merchant of Vino store in Troy was one of it's first customers. "I remember dropping off bread when we barely had packaging" recalls Victor. "From day 1, the bread flew off the shelf. We always enjoyed working with the Jonna family and their clientele has always appreciated Avalon products"

Jonna brothers Marc and Matt Jonna honed their retail and grocer skills the old-fashioned way: working with their family business in the 90's. They continued the family legacy when they launched Plum Markets just five years ago. With highly successful stores in West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills and Ann Arbor, Plum Market has already become one of the grocery industry's finest and fastest growing businesses.

The customer experience exceeds expectations from the first step. Plum's almost surreal "feng shui" is both exciting and calming, making it an ideal shopping experience. The scale of the stores is small for 21st century standards (15,000-30,000 square feet), creating an almost homey environment. Yet the vast selection is anything but down-to-earth. From it's amazing prepared food selection to it's wonderful array of local, organic and sustainably-produced goods, Plum has something for everyone. The produce, meat, grocery and of course wine departments are literally brimming with premier products, displayed with a modern sensibility that can feel more art gallery than grocery store. Even their bath products, fresh flowers and home goods scream good taste!

From the start, Marc and Matt expressed a commitment to supporting local businesses at their new venture. Before they opened their doors, the Jonnas approached Avalon to feature Avalon's products in Plum's bakery. Over the past 5 years, the Avalon brand has grown alongside the Plum brand. Now all three Plum bakeries feature not only Avalon breads but Avalon's sweets as well, emphasizing the popular vegan line. Avalon's blueberry muffins have somewhat of a cult following amongst the Plum clientele, especially in the Bloomfield Hills store. Plum customers buy Avalon sea salt chocolate chip cookies by the dozen, literally.

Avalon has become a huge fan Plum Market's amazing team and their commitment to quality and sustainability. The staff is both knowledgeable about baked goods in general and dedicated to supporting Avalon and other local bakeries. You can find a full selection Avalon's packaged breads in the bakery aisle and an impressive array of Avalon's fresh sweets behind the bakery counter. Avalon drivers deliver before dawn, while the Plum staff are stocking the racks and preparing displays with the eye for detail that makes the Jonna model work.

Now along with the fresh bread and sweets you can get at Plum everyday you can also get your VOB passports filled out by the stickers now being found on breads at all three locations. As the passport is stamped, you can earn unique Avalon VOB "shwag" and also enter a drawing for the first ever Underground VOB Food Tour, featuring the fantastic local restaurants that offer Avalon breads.. More information can be found here. What better way to reward customers of one of the best locally sourced grocery stores in the metro area than to show them some of the best restaurants in the area as well?

***Update***

This weekend only, 14th-17th there will be double sticker days for the VOB passports! West Bloomfield on Saturday, Bloomfield Hills Sunday, and Ann Arbor.  Get to your closest Plum for tastings and stickers for amazing prizes

Please leave your favorite stories of Avalon, Plum, or any other thoughts in the comments below.

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