Look out Wegmans, there’s a new grocery store in town. Literally, it’s right downtown, only a three minute walk from the Eastman Living Center.
Welcome to Hart’s, the East End’s local grocer. The store just opened in August and we’re so glad they did. For you local and natural foodies out there, a walk around their various departments, from Bulk to Beer to Wellness, will make you feel like a kid in an (all natural) candy store.
Location: 10 Winthrop Street, Rochester, NY 14607
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun 7am to 9pm
I sat down for a chat with Hart’s Communications Supervisor, Trevor Eckart, to talk about what the store can offer both River Campus and Eastman students alike.
Nina Listro: What brought about the idea of putting a Hart’s in the East End?
Trevor Eckart: Hart’s started as a grocery store in Rochester in the late 1800s. At one point there were 140 locations just in the city. It disappeared in the 1960s and was bought out by other stores, so when the team was looking to bring a grocery store to the area they saw this name and thought it would be a great legacy to bring back. The East End was considered a “food desert” since there were no grocery stores within a certain number of miles so they thought this would be a great place.
NL: Is this the only Hart’s in Rochester?
TE: Yes, it is.
NL: What are some products that are more unique to Hart’s?
TE: We have a lot of local products. A typical grocery store is about 2-4% local products while we’re about 20%. You’ll find products like Hedonist Chocolate and Pittsford Dairy here.
NL: Why buy locally?
TE: You’re helping to reduce the time spent shipping and the money stays in the local economy.
NL: What does Hart’s pride itself on?
TE: Customer Service by far. We really try to go the extra mile to please our customers.
NL: Is there a membership or anything?
TE: We have the Hart’s Rewards Card. You gain points with every purchase and you can redeem those points for in-store items and Hart’s merchandise.
NL: Are there benefits for students?
TE: Yes! All U of R students get 10% off every purchase.
NL: Why should students shop at Hart’s rather than another grocery store?
TE: We have a great prepared foods department where everything is made from scratch. All the ingredients are local and it’s very affordable. We’re also downtown where there’s a lot of stuff to do and the bus stops at Eastman, which is right around the corner.
NL: What’s your favorite thing about the store?
TE: Definitely the prepared food section.
NL: Do you have a favorite menu item?
TE: I love our breakfast sandwiches. We have something called the Savory Danish, which is a cheese danish filled with melted cheddar cheese, a fried egg, caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. It’s also only $3.95.
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