We’ve got mountains. We’ve got college sports teams. We’ve got water parks. Sometimes it seems like Utah Valley has it all. But there are still a few holes in Utah Valley’s perfection. Here are five businesses we’d be happy to see in the valley.
1. Gourmet groceries
Macey’s and Harmons are nice, but the true foodie lusts after Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Looking for curry paste? What about truffle oil? Or squid ink pasta? You’re better off heading to Salt Lake City or the world wide web for those ingredients. While Utah Valley has no shortage of ordinary grocery markets, we wouldn’t mind more variety when it comes to natural and organic foods, gluten- and dairy-free options, and high-end gourmet ingredients.
“When we need a specialty item, it’s nice to run to the store. But there are a number of things we just aren’t able to get here,” says Mary Crafts of award-winning catering company Culinary Crafts. “Trader Joe’s has unique items at very affordable prices, and Whole Foods is a great source for natural eating and healthier cuisine. Not to mention the specialty gourmet shops like Caputos — they have an amazing selection of cheese and salami you cannot find anywhere else. I would love to see a high-end grocery store come to Utah Valley — even just a tiny one.”
2. Wheels when you want them
While Provo and Orem aren’t exactly hubs for urban living, they do host a healthy population of carless students. Where is Zipcar when you need it? Zipcar brought the car-sharing idea from Europe more than a decade ago, and now more than 150 U.S. cities rely on its services for temporary wheels.
3. Latest looks
Provo and Salt Lake City both made GQ’s list of the top 40 worst dressed cities in America (Provo was fifteenth — yikes!). Socks with sandals, ill-fitting short-sleeved white dress shirts, unshapely cargo pants — don’t pretend you haven’t noticed them. Sounds like Utah Valley could use a few new shopping destinations. Nordstrom, we miss you!
4. Up, up and away
The Salt Lake City airport isn’t that far, but it’d sure be nice to have more flight options from the Provo Airport. Hey Allegiant, what about those of us who want to fly somewhere other than Arizona and California?
5. Earth-friendly eating
Provo and Orem have proven that they can hang with any big city’s restaurant scene. (Thank you, Communal and Bombay House.) But we wouldn’t mind a few fast-casual options that emphasize sustainability. The East Coast has the wildly popular Shake Shack, with vegetarian-fed and humanely raised natural beef, and electric usage offset through wind power and renewable energy. Even the restaurants themselves are constructed from recycled and sustainable materials. Our neighbors to the north in Salt Lake County are blessed with not one, but three Chipotle locations. Chipotle focuses on “food with integrity,” meaning organic, local produce and ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.