The Best Grocery Store in Town

By Bella Dally-Steele

For a family of seven, the weekly shopping trip is an intricately choreographed dance that paints the entire town. In Madison, WI, it’s: Woodman’s Market for cheap staples; Costco for oversized tubs of chicken salad and jugs of orange juice; Trader Joe’s for baking supplies; and Brennan’s for aged cheeses and, in the summer, still-ripening peaches trucked in from Idaho.

I stopped tagging along on my mother’s grocery shopping trips long ago. When I visit home now, it is only Brennan’s, the peerless cheese, meat, and fruit market of my town that manages to tempt me. Throughout my childhood, the market inhabited a low and sprawling ranch-style shop one neighborhood over. Its automatic sliding doors belched hair-raising cool air, even in the dead of Wisconsin winter. But summer is the better time to go, anyway.

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