Phil Dyer is standing in front of the shelves of his tiny roadside market in San Antonio. Both of us are silent, our heads bowed. We are doing what all devoted food shoppers do: gazing lovingly at jars of olives, mustards, oils, fruited and herbed vinegars, jams, butters, preserves, sauces, relishes, and chutneys.
Of course, these aren’t ordinary jams and mustards that command our rapt attention. These are the very best, hardest-to-find jams and mustards, the kinds of rare and exotic condiments and ingredients one hopes to discover but rarely does, certainly not all on one shelf and not across a four-land highway from a Bun ‘n’ Barrel and next door to a Red Carpet Inn. At Farm to Market, a shopper can buy some of the finest ethnic and gourmet foodstuffs, meats, cheeses, seasonal fruits and vegetables, wines, and baked goods available anywhere in the state. Those who know the heartbreak of driving from supermarket to supermarket in search of specialty items such as Italian Gorgonzola, Swiss chocolate, and Mexican cajeta; simple things like fresh figs, smoked chicken, yard eggs, Texas goat cheese, or the perfect baguette; or even an authentic surprise such as Tuscan rosemary raisin buns or Caravali coffee roasted in Seattle, can know the relief of exploring the fragrant intimate spaces of Farm to Market. “We like it to be a shopping experience, instead of something you have