“Quidvis recte factum: quamvis humile praeclarum.”
-Sir Fredrick Henry Royce
Walking in to Dorothy Lane Market, you are greeted with this quote above Boston Stoker, their coffee shop. Translated it means “Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble”. Dorothy Lane seems to use this as their motto. Every employee there is willing to offer suggestions or help you in any way you need. I have never left that store disappointed.
Today, I’d like to take you on a tour of “my Dorothy Lane”. Come along and join me, won’t you?
I live in Springboro, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. Some may call it boring. Some may call it uneventful. Some couldn’t even point it out on a map.
I call it home.
Down the street from my house (literally five minutes away), stands a building with many wonderful treats tucked inside. The Springboro Dorothy Lane is the third and most recent market in a chain of upscale grocery stores opened by Calvin Mayne, who used to sell produce on the corner of Dorothy Lane and Far Hills Avenue as far back as 1948 (hence the name). You can read more about Mr. Mayne’s dream here.
Today, the Springboro store is situated in the center of a slew of shops and restaurants right on one of the main roads in South Dayton: State Route 741. Located a little less than halfway between Springboro and the Dayton Mall, it is the prime location for many South Daytonians to shop.
Upon entering, you see Boston Stoker as I mentioned above. To the left of Boston Stoker is one of the greatest spots in the entire store: the bakery.
They put out several different, freshly made selections each day including (of course) fresh loaves of bread as well as dinner rolls, bagels, muffins, and doughnuts.
They also have a wonderful assortment of pastry items. (Note: I was trying to get as many pictures as possible, but I completely missed a whole section here! I think a customer was in the way. Doh! They have many single serve, premade desserts like tarts, cakes, pies, etc that you can pick up as well as the cupcakes, cookies, and brownies pictured below.)
They also have full versions of many of the single serve items, including one of my favorites: Killer Brownie Cheesecake.
They are famous for their Killer Brownies. I can completely understand why.
One of my favorite things to pick up here is their premade pizza dough. I typically use this when I make Grilled Pizza. This dough freezes beautifully. In fact, one day I came to the store specifically for the Sprouted Grain Pizza Dough and, gasp!, they were OUT. I politely asked the girl behind the counter if they had any more in the back and she promptly produced a hard, frozen ball of dough. “Just let it thaw on the counter for about 45 minutes,” she explained. If you are one who uses a lot of pizza dough, I suggest asking for the frozen stuff. Then you can just pull it out of your own freezer any time you like without having to make a special trip that day!
Continuing down the wall, brings us to the prepared foods section. They have a whole section dedicated to Sushi & Sandwiches. After we bought our current home, I spent a few days painting it before we moved in. When I got hungry, I drove down to the store and picked up a sandwich and a salad. I can vouch for their prepared food. It is scrumptious!
They also provide a whole separate section call The Delicatessen, which houses their entrees, premade salad selections, and it seems the entire line of Boar’s Head deli meats.
Jeff and I often pick up some items from the Deli if we don’t feel like cooking. In fact, we opted to eat Dorothy Lane products as our Anniversary dinner this year!
I tend to buy most, if not all, of my produce at Dorothy Lane because many items are organic or from local farms. Any time I can support local growers, I do! I was trying to shop and blog here so for some reason I only took a picture of the apples as evidence of their fine produce selection. I was trying to get everything and ended up getting less than I desired. Just know that they have a fantastic produce section.
I love when they put little helpful signage up around the store. We can all stand to gain a little food pairing knowledge, right?
Their salad bar is quite extensive. It took me a few times making my own salads to realize those little plastic bottles on top of the bar contain treats like dried cranberries and nuts!
Another thing I really like about Dorothy Lane is their cheese section. What a great selection! And there is almost always a fromager there to suggest a cheese if you are feeling adventurous.
Quite often they have a “Try Me” tray set out as well. Mmm…I love cheese. Though this sample wasn’t as good as some of the other ones they have had in the past.
Dorothy Lane makes there own mozzarella cheese right in this store. Actually, right in the middle of the cheese section!
This mozzarella melts beautifully over the Grilled Pizza I mentioned above.
To go along nicely with the cheese, you can pick up one of their million bottles of wine. They staff a sommelier who is there quite often at night and on the weekends to help you choose your wine. I am definitely not a wine connoisseur (yet) and need all the help I can get!
They offer a fine selection of beers as well!
Along the back wall of the store, they have several other cases you can peruse. These cases include the Fresh Seafood,
the Meat Company, where you can talk to the butchers to get meat suggestions as well as get your knives sharpened (see? Like I said…uber friendly!),
and the prepared meat cases. These include both white meat,
and red meat.
Another great little nugget of goodness to be found at Dorothy Lane is Jack’s Grill.
Basically, you pick out a cut of meat you’d like for dinner out of the Meat Company case and “Jack” will grill it for you while you wait. You can grab some sides at the deli, take them upstairs to dine, and listening to live piano music,
or take them to go and eat at home, as Jeff and I did for our Anniversary Dinner.
Mmm…this reminds me of the smells today coming from the butcher shop. Seared meat, herbs, and spices all wafting towards me as I picked out some organic chicken and beef. My belly is starting to rumble.
Some of the best milk in the area is from a farm in Newport, KY, called Louis Trauth dairy. I discovered this milk at, of all places, work! Walgreens (until a year or so ago) carried Trauth milk in their dairy case. Jeff is a huge lover of milk, but doesn’t care for the Kroger brand. When I’m at Dorothy Lane, I tried to pick some up so he can have a treat. Sometimes he just has to settle for Kroger if I’m not making the trip to Dorothy Lane. You’ll drink it and you’ll like it, sir!
Here, they sell not only Trauth, but many other local farms’ offerings from which to choose. My mother-in-law tried some egg nog from a farm in Wooster, OH, called Hartzler’s Dairy and she swears it’s the best nog she’s ever had. I picked some up last year and I have to agree that, while I’m not a huge fan of nog, it is pretty fantastic. As it’s not quite nog season, I had to settle for a picture of their chocolate milk, which I’d have to assume is quite tasty in itself.
If you keep going along the perimeter, you’ll come to the freezer section. I’m not exactly sure why I love the way their freezer section is laid out, but I do. It is one big room full of yummy, frozen treats instead of several aisles. I think I like it because you can see where everything is instead of having to guess.
Lots of great signs help you find what you’re looking for quickly.
Dorothy Lane, along with making their own bread from scratch as well as many take and eat items, produces several of their own pantry items. My favorite so far is their BBQ sauce.
I am quite picky when it comes to BBQ sauce, having grown up in Tennessee. I don’t like it to be too sweet, but it can’t be sour either. I like a hint of smoke that doesn’t overpower the entire sauce. And it has to be able to stand up to well-seasoned meat without becoming the main attraction. DLM BBQ Sauce is perfect in my opinion. I have on more than one occasion considered buying a case of the stuff. I have also considered giving them out as gifts, but I’m not sure how people would react to that. Well, I know one fellow food who would love any food gifts I’d be willing to hand out, but she’ll remain nameless.
The service here is always extremely quick, especially during busy holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They, unlike some big box stores, staff extra people and try to have all their cash registers going at once so you can get in, get out, and get on with it. When there are several people in line, they almost always open the Customer Service desk with “I can take a small order here!“
The staff will gladly walk your purchases out to your car or, when it’s nasty out, will hold your items while you go get your car and will load them for you so you don’t have to lug your stuff in the snow.
There are so many more facets to this store, I could go on and on and on. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this store. Yes, it is a little pricier than a bigger store like Kroger, but they make up for it in so many ways. If you are in the Dayton area, visit one of the three Dorothy Lanes for a little treat!