The chalkboards hanging above the Main Market Co-op’s deli case display the words of summer: salads and sandwiches. The case itself holds the food. Packaged meats and peppered steak strips sit alongside bowls of quinoa beet salad, raw kale and goji berry salad, and sandwiches loaded with beets, cheese, ham, roast beef and pretty much anything you could want stuffed between two thick-sliced pieces of bread.
According to cook Emily Epley, the build-your-own sandwiches are a best seller. But it’s difficult to enter the store and not go for the chef-built ham-and-cheese with a twist. Epley first made the sandwich while working at a food co-op in Bellingham. Fortunately, when she arrived in Spokane she brought the recipe with her. Red onions are marinated in vinegar, allspice and cloves. The concoction tops thick-sliced Applegate ham and provides a tangy, spicy twist to a traditional lunch. The deli staff is encouraged to experiment with new ideas and recipes. A pear, cranberry and cream-cheese panini will be on the menu in the coming weeks.
The appearance of cranberries and pears and slow disappearance of cucumbers and tomatoes brings the realization that summer is nearing an end. Soon a chill will hit the air, cold sandwiches will hit the panini press and the Main Market’s scratch-made soup selection will take on greater meaning and urgency. It’s ready for the occasion.
Main Market was recently approved by the NCGA (National Cooperative Grocers Association), becoming eligible for more funding. That means more options for members and the public. Items like roasted potatoes and other root vegetables, lentil salads, butternut squash quinoa and other autumnal selections will be available this fall at the new 13-by-4-foot self-serve salad bar, to be located alongside the checkout area. The original deli case still will hold Applegate meats and additional salads and sandwiches, many of which will be available as grab-and-go items to cut down on wait times. That’s good news for those who work in the area and for students returning to downtown’s Riverpoint Campus.
Main Market Co-op • 44 West Main Ave. • Mon-Sat, 8 am-8 pm; Sun, 10 am-6 pm • mainmarket.coop • 458-COOP (2667)