After what seemed like an eternity, Real Naked Food finally opened its doors in Wicker Park late last week, adding a more natural, organic-leaning grocery store to the neighborhood. The 2,000 square-foot space carries many local products and has a deli that serves smoothies and wheat grass, a prepared-foods section with many vegan options and an area with organic produce.
"I wanted to make my store inviting; people feel at home," said owner Lauren Yucan, a trained nurse who also did medical sales. "I wanted to give the feel of a European-type of market."
Because of space constraints and, as Yucan said, a lack of really good products, the inventory is really focused. Yucan sources the best products she can find and helps customers understand why certain things are better for them than other food produced on a mass scale. "We don't need 20 brands of rice when there's only two that are really good," she said.
Real Naked Food also encourages people to be environmentally aware by promoting its BYOC, or bring your own container, program to pack up product from their extensive dry food section. Yucan also works with Rose's Bakery for gluten-free products and features Crumb Baked Goods and Better Life cleaning products, which can be purchased in bulk. The store will soon carry 1,000 SKUs, including better-known brands like Organic Valley, Kilgus Farms, Kashi, Frontera salsa, River Valley Ranch and Co-op Sauces. And if you forget your bag, you can borrow one of their re-usable container because, well, that's what good neighbors do.