Contributor Kaylee Sciacca visited the family-owned-and-operated Bulldega Urban Market grocery store in the heart of downtown Durham.
Above, the logo of Bulldega Urban Market in Durham. Photo courtesy of Bulldega’s Instagram.
This post is part of an occasional series on places and activities you must try in the Triangle. Read the first post, on bouldering at Progression Climbing, here.
Located across from City Hall (and neighbors with foodie favorites Bagel Bar, Pompieri Pizza and Dos Perros), Bulldega Urban Market is a small family-owned-and-operated grocery store with a driving value of “healthy, sustainable eating at accessible prices.”
Part of Bulldega’s food selection includes prepackaged food from local restaurants including Toast Paninoteca and Saladelia Cafe (right). Photos by Kaylee Sciacca.
Bulldega opened its doors in May 2016, inviting the community in to experience unique features like their living herb wall (cut by the customer and sold by weight) and the specially curated beer, wine, and cider room with tastings every Friday night. Dividing the two sides of the store is shelving stocked with dry goods and packaged snacks, including an impressive gluten-free selection.
The store has more than 50 local suppliers listed on their website, making good on their claim to “provide access to local produce and humanely raised meat, along with those everyday household items that you can’t live without.” This dedication to quality, combined with their friendly, knowledgeable staff has made them incredibly popular and earned them a spot in Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle 2017 as “Best New Business in Durham County.”
Like some major grocery chains, Bulldega offers a loyalty program to its customers, where every dollar spent in store becomes a point. When you reach 100 points (or dollars spent), you get a $5 off reward. They also have a email subscription list that lets shoppers know about weekly specials and new items as well as general store updates.
I had heard of Bulldega last year through mutual friends who own local businesses (including Blue Whistler Farm, who has supplied the market with duck and rabbit), but I hadn’t had a chance to visit until this summer. When I found out that the store was within walking distance of my summer internship, I knew that I had to check it out for myself.
Photo by Kaylee Sciacca.
Since I was always visiting on the go, my three favorite things I’ve purchased from Bulldega (pictured above) are kind of uninteresting: Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda, Salem Baking Company (based out of Winston-Salem) Ginger Spice Moravian Cookies and fruit Mentos. To be fair, I haven’t been able to find any of the diet Dr. Brown’s flavors anywhere but Bulldega, and the Moravian cookies are like Christmas warmth in a can … and made in-state, so they’re sort of interesting. As for the the Mentos, well … I just enjoy having candy to nosh on.
If I had to sum the store up in one sentence, I would say that Bulldega Urban Market is a small market with a large selection. Even though I didn’t try out most of what the store had to offer — too young for the aforementioned alcohol selection and not in need of non-prepackaged food — there were a lot of items from both local and national companies that I can see myself coming back to buy. While it’s not a major priority of mine, my experience with Bulldega has encouraged me to continue shopping local.
College Town does not receive any form of compensation for the above review.