One of my favorite things about living in Leucadia is having a market like Just Peachy available seven days a week for either quick stops for some produce, a pie, or take some time and peruse the aisles for something new and exotic from their international offerings.
More often than not my visit will be via bicycle because it just seems like it makes the experience that much more special. I mean really, how often in these days of mega-chain markets located in non-bike friendly areas can you actually pull this off?
It’s a good thing and actually reminds me of small neighborhood markets in urban areas like New York City or Chicago.
I’ve written about owner Amir Movassat when he opened Peachy’s Market & Grill on El Camino Real, which is another gem of a restaurant, and market that you should be aware of as well. It’s an international market as well but they also serve authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine plus a wider selection of produce, beverages, spices and pantry staples.
I made a couple of visits there in the past and loved what he has going on. I should note that Peachy’s Market & Grill is available for carryout orders and should be added to your list of places for that.
But let’s get back to the coast and Just Peachy. Another fun reason to go is the always-eclectic variety of customers that frequent the store.
On a recent series of visits that mix was on full display with some upscale beachy neighborhood folks, surfer/skater types, a dreadlocked Rastafarian wannabe, some business types picking up stuff after work, and a few power moms who looked as though they did their weekly shopping there.
It’s the mix of folks that drew me to Leucadia in the first place and what makes Just Peachy worth supporting to ensure it is not torn down and replaced with another work share space.
What it is with the proliferation of those places anyway? Sorry, but it just seems like they are as prevalent as yoga studios in Encinitas these days and it’s just an odd phenomenon. I thought that’s what coffee shops and libraries were for.
Let’s get back to just peachy though and it’s somewhat exotic assortment of offerings. Produce dominates and they have a really nice selection of organic fruits and veggies many of which are on display outside, which gives Peachy the feel of a Midwest farm stand as well.
I counted half a dozen types of olives ranging from standard to some varieties that were new to me.
The more I wandered the aisles of Peachy, it became clear that besides the produce, this is the perfect place to stock up on non-perishable food that would stock a pantry nicely.
Pouches, boxes, cans, jars and bags of hummus, tabouli, pasta, sauces, mustards, lentils, Masa Harina (look that one up), Pho, Pad Thai just to name a few plus a half dozen varieties of cooking oils. With that, my shopping cart filled up quickly and my pantry is now an international marketplace of delight.
I’ve found myself utilizing Just Peachy as my go-to for quick staples like milk, eggs, bacon and a wide variety of juices but more often than not those stops have me indulging a Julian Pie or some fabulous Chuao Chocolate. I’ve also found that because they carry some very good pita bread I’ve been toasting that up on a regular basis and serving it with some of their fabulous hummus or just as a side of bread with many of their flavorful heat and serve meals.
Independent markets like Just Peachy are rare birds these days, especially along the rapidly transforming Coast Highway corridor in Leucadia. Peachy represents the character of the area and provides an experience that should be savored and supported by the community.
For locals, it’s a no brainer to add to your shopping mix and for commuters driving through Leucadia along I-5, I’d like to suggest you take a detour once a week along Coast Highway and stop in. It’s a worthwhile experience and there is a good chance you will be expanding your culinary horizons in the process.
Just Peachy can be found at 1354 N. Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia or www.justpeachymarket.com
Coast News Lick the Plate columnist David Boylan is celebrating 10 years and 500 columns with the Coast News in 2019! His feature covers the ever expanding North County culinary scene that includes restaurants, culinary personalities, trends, observations, tributes and his popular takeover column where area businesses, bands or teams contribute to the column. Lick the Plate has also been a popular radio show for the past eight years in San Diego on 100.7 KFMB, and on stations in Detroit, Michigan, Windsor Ontario and Traverse City, Michigan. Besides the column and radio show, David runs Tatonka Digital & Analog, a boutique marketing agency headquartered in Oceanside, California. Reach him with show suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lick-the-plate.com