An Abundance of Choices at Roots

So, here’s the thing about moving to Maryland and cutting down on spending to accommodate a shrunken salary and a higher cost of living: IT’S REALLY HARD. Not because I’m tempted to purchase an all new wardrobe or anything, but because MD is just too vegan-friendly! Case in point: Roots market.

S and I had been shopping at Wegmans (pleasantly vegan-friendly!) and Trader Joe’s since we arrived, but a couple nights ago we decided to check out Roots. We went to the Clarksville location, which is right by Great Sage (where, coincidentally, S’s mom had taken us out to dinner a few nights before (and where I ate THE MOST AMAZING peanut butter cookie ice cream with hot fudge. OMG I am still dreaming about it.)). They don’t call that shopping plaza “Conscious Corner” for nothin’ — I just about died at Roots. It’s a vegan’s dream come true!

First there was the wall crammed full of vegan-friendly prepared products — I’m talkin’ eggless tofu salad, potato salad, wraps, sandwiches, and the like.

Shelves stocked with containers of prepared foods.

Wall o’ food.

And then there was the crazy-big selection of Beyond Meat products, like BBQ chicken and curried chicken salad. Holy crap! We couldn’t resist picking up a small container of the regular chicken salad. I was wary, but intrigued. (My verdict? Eek! Too meaty! But definitely a good option every so often to mix up my meals.)

Many Beyond Meat products in plastic containers.

Not meat!

Then there was the bakery. I now feel like the ultimate small-town girl for getting so excited about the Madison Whole Foods carrying a couple of Chicago Diner cakes. Roots puts that selection to shame. For starters, Roots carries products from Sticky Fingers, the famous vegan bakery in D.C. That’s dangerous, y’all. I happened to be in D.C. last weekend to meet up with a friend who happened to have a conference there, and S and I just happened to pass Sticky Fingers on our way to meet her, so we just happened to have breakfast there. We also just happened to pass it on the way back to the metro, so we had to get desserts for the road. Ahem. My point is, Sticky Fingers has some seriously delicious baked goods, and they are available at Roots. S and I caved and bought a three-pack of the most delicious vegan brownies I’ve ever tasted. No lie. They’re seriously the Holy Grail of brownies; no need for me to continue my search for the best brownie recipe when I have easy access to these babies!

A shelf stocked with Sticky Fingers brownies and cookies.

Sweets galore.

Beyond the cache of Sticky Fingers sweets, Roots carries their own store-brand baked goods, many of which are vegan. And by “many,” I mean “most.” They had a WHOLE FREAKING DISPLAY of vegan cookies, cupcakes, and bars. And there were scones and muffins elsewhere in the store!

Packages of vegan pistachio cupcakes with abundant green frosting.

Sorry for the focus issues — I was using S’s iPhone and I’m a novice iPhone photo-taker.

We didn’t buy any of Roots’ baked goods on this trip, but I can attest that they’re yummy — at work last week, we had a department meeting with catered breakfast-y baked goods. My organization serves only vegan foods on its premises, so for the first time in my professional career I could take advantage of free food. I indulged in a pecan sandie cookie and an amazingly rich fruit tart with a creamy coconut base. I didn’t know where they’d come from at the time, but then I saw both items at Roots and figured it out.

So, to summarize, S and I spent more than we should have on novelty vegan goods at Roots, and I’m both frightened and delighted that there’s a Roots location near the condo we’ll be renting starting next month. My wallet is cringing already!

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