Luci's Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix: What We Bought, What We Skipped and What We're Still Lusting Over

The Spot: Luci's Healthy Marketplace, Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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What We Bought: With a full restaurant and coffee bar inside, there are a lot of choices to make at Luci's Healthy Marketplace. The retro-vibed grocery is easily the cutest, hippest place in town to pick up a slab of organic butter. Although the produce section was pretty small, we weren't too concerned because we went straight for the bakery case anyways. We couldn't decide between a big old frosted cinnamon roll ($3.89) or a lemon bar($2.29)--both baked by Urban Cookies, so we stuck with a cold-brewed toddy ($3.50) to amp up for the shopping ahead.

Some must grab items for summer (yes, summer) snacking are light and healthy Davis Lewis veggie chips ($2.99), Spindrift sparkling juices and ades ($2.49) and finally, AZ Pops' lavender berry lemonade ($2.79). Luci's also has an impressive selection of gluten-free cookies so we tried out a new brand for us, which was also called Lucy's ($5.39) and came in sugar, chocolate chip and oatmeal varieties. Finally, we got pulled in by the cutesy packaging on Barb's Gourmet Beans, so we grabbed some lentils for $4.99.

What We Skipped: Why anyone would ever spend $19.75 for an iPhone case with a brass knuckle style holder on the side is beyond us. We expect that kind of douchebaggery in areas of Scottsdale, but not in uptown. On a different level of self-unawareness, the nearly $16 book "Journey to the Self" is on sale at Luci's. The only self-help we're looking for in our grocery store is the occasional self-checkout lane. All trinkets aside, we just couldn't fathom buying our next find--a honey-flavored agave nectar ($5.99). Sorry to the level 10 vegans, but we love real deal local, raw honey too much to give it up and flavored agave is just no substitute.

What We're Still Lusting Over: Nothing says the temperature will soon be 100 degrees quite like brewing your first pitcher of iced tea at home. The $8.99 canister of iced tea pouches from Republic of Tea make that whole process easy and tasty with Hibiscus Sangria and Lemon Black tea flavors. By the way, did you know the maven of naturally scented cleaning products made candles? We've been using Mrs. Meyer's dish soap for years, but we were giddy to see the same great scents have a candle option too--we'll save our pennies for the $10.99 candle and come back another day.

Our last finds of the day that we left behind were a $4.99 jar of Crofter's Superfruit Spread with geographically specific fruit pairings, such as 'Asia' with whatever yumberries are. We were also excited to find a bottle of celebrity-endorsed Blueprint Juice in their coolers, but we were less excited for the $10.99 price tag. Overall, Luci's Healthy Marketplace gets our seal of approval with good eats, strong coffee and a great selection of high-brow grocery goods.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch