I used to say, “I will never move to the suburbs.” After renting apartments in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago for several years, Mike and I reached a point where we felt ready to buy a place. Naturally, we started to look in the city first. It didn’t take us long to realize that for what we could afford, the space would be more limiting than the apartments we were renting. So, reluctantly, we ventured out to the suburbs to “just look.”
Long story short, we bought our first house in Downers Grove in December of 2012, which in my early perception, seemed like it would take several days to get to by car. I can’t really pin point the exact moment I changed my tune about living in the suburbs, but I do remember the first time Mike and I went into Standard Market. We had just looked at several open houses and before heading back to the city, we decided to get some groceries to bring home with us. I remember thinking, “Wow, the suburbs actually have markets like THIS?” (And, I was excited about how easy it was to simply park the car… for free.) It was one of the many moments when I started to realize that I may have been a little harsh in my initial judgement of the Chicago suburbs.
Standard Market is beautiful. It’s one of those markets where you walk in and can’t help but want to walk around. I often go in there for photo shoot inspiration. Everything is fresh and colorful and full of delicious smells. It’s not just another grocery store. It has three different restaurants too, Standard Grill, Standard Tacos & Margaritas and The Cube, which is their specialty beer and wine bar that also has its very own temperature controlled cheese cave for aging cheeses from local creameries. They are located in Westmont, IL and Naperville, IL. There’s even a Standard Grill restaurant in Lincoln Park in Chicago.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2016, when Trisha from 3rd Coast PR contacted me to shoot Standard Market’s newest cheese cave (located in Countryside, IL) for an article to be featured in Edible Chicago. I was so excited! This was one of those opportunities where it felt like the stars aligned for me as a food photographer.
Not only would I have the opportunity to shoot for Standard Market, a place that had helped open my eyes to the many food opportunities out in the suburbs, but my work would also be featured in a seasonal magazine that I had been wanting to work with since 2013. And, let’s not forget this project was all about cheese. Win, win, win.
The new cheese cave is huge and they will be busy stocking the shelves with cedar planks full of wheels of cheese for the next few months. We had to wear hair nets, face masks, full-body aprons and special boots while exploring the cave. Needless to say, it was one of the most interesting photo shoots I have been on and it was such an honor to work with Ann Flood from Edible Chicago, David Rogers, Alyssa Stone and Dan Flavin from Standard Market and Trisha Teckenbrock from 3rd Coast PR on this feature. It’s said that good things come to those who wait, but perhaps good things come to those who move to the suburbs.
Cheers and Happy Friday! I’ll be enjoying happy hour in The Cube at Standard Market tonight with a glass of wine and, of course, cheese.
Have a great weekend!
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.