I almost don’t want to write this review. The new Morrisons Market Kitchen on St James Parade is a quirky half-supermarket, half-food court that is so brilliantly easy to use and affordable that I know it will be at the top of the list for any student looking for a quick coffee or to pick up a last-minute dinner. Market Kitchen is so much my cup of tea that part of me wishes it could stay unknown and hidden forever so I can have it all to myself. But that would be unfair to everyone else out there who deserve to know that this place exists.
It would be particularly unfair to the gluten or lactose intolerant. Walking through the Free From aisle, I couldn’t help but notice that it is far bigger than expected for a shop as small as Market Kitchen. Often, when shopping for gluten free food, there isn’t much choice – you can choose between a Genius wholemeal loaf or a Schar ciabatta – but in this store, gluten-free buyers have almost as much choice as everyone else. Having sent a picture of the section to a friend who is both coeliac and lactose intolerant, she remarked that she would expect a Free From section this big with this much choice in a mega-store that feeds an entire town, not a small high street shop like this one.
Market Kitchen has an excellent selection for vegans too. Half the store makes hot food to order. Not only does each fresh food section have a selection of vegan options – most of which are at no extra cost to the buyer – but they have separate ovens and preparation areas to ensure there is no cross-contamination with meat. Even in 2022, it’s rare that you find a place going to these lengths to ensure the least amount of cross-contamination possible and this variety choice without charging the earth.
It’s clear that the staff have put a lot of effort into place. Morrisons Market Kitchen can boast 110 staff, 90% of whom are new to the company, yet the place was running incredibly smoothly. Everything looked neat and organised, everybody looked like they knew what they were doing. Detail had been thought about from the position of the spotlights to the colour of the floor tiles. This level of commitment to the place makes it slightly less surprising that the current manager was commuting to Bath every day from Swansea!
Overall, what I, as a student, look for in a food shop is sustainability and affordability. Morrisons Market Kitchen delivers on both. From a sustainable aspect, they’ve moved away from paper price labels, and now have entirely digital ones. Their bags are recyclable, as are most of their takeaway boxes and cups. They also don’t let any food go to waste, making up Too Good To Go bags twice a day. These bags, as every student should know, are a penny counter’s dream. When tightening the purse strings, Too Good To Go bags are the best way to save money on your shop and avoid food going to waste at the same time. Market Kitchen ensure they are affordable through their meal deals too. Everyone loves a good meal deal, especially when Market Kitchen keep their price at £3.50, 40p cheaper than Tesco.
The only gripe I really have with Market Kitchen is that it’s not closer to my house. But then again, they’re on Deliveroo until 9pm everyday, including Sundays despite closing at 5pm. And, judging by how good their pizza was, I maybe needing that extra walk if I want to fit into my jeans.
Market Kitchen is sure to be a success. Other supermarkets should watch out.