Getting food delivered nowadays is quicker than ever. Just a few taps on your smartphone and presto, your food is on the way to your door. But efficiency and speed don’t always mean that delivered food will be healthy. There are people who still opt for the good, old-fashioned way of food preparation – from shopping for the best-quality ingredients and products, to cooking them at home – for many lifestyle reasons: to save costs, reduce waste consumption, and to be more active in an age of convenience.
I regularly do market runs because of those reasons. There are a couple of local supermarkets in my neighborhood, but getting what I need can be a challenge because of the language barrier. So more often than not, I source out my cooking essentials at Jenny Lou’s, where I can get imported items that I’m familiar with or have used back home. I can get hard-to-find ingredients for my Christmas fruit salad recipe there, like premium and unprocessed cheddar cheese and condensed milk (which always go out of stock at local stores).
This popular grocery chain has been a go-to for expats since 1993. And just in time for their 25th anniversary this year, they’ve launched Jenny Lou’s Green, their concept store that integrates a cafe, healthy bakery and make-to-order food area into their sprawling supermarket. The first such concept, nestled in the embassy district in Liangmaqiao, was opened in late October 2018.
“[It] promotes a green lifestyle, so some of the goods and ready-to-eat food are specially selected and healthy,” says Lu Qi, CEO and son of founders Lu Xudong and Wang Jianping. “I want to make customers feel at ease. You can take some snacks here, do mobile work, chat with friends or just enjoy a cup of coffee.”
Longtime Beijing resident Hwa Wu, who’s been a patron since the 2000’s, said Jenny Lou’s has been attuned to customer interests ever since it opened. While almost anything, including last-minute Christmas items, can be bought on Taobao, Wu said Jenny Lou’s is a “tried, true, and convenient resource.”
“Over the years, they have increased and changed their offerings to match customer demands. During holiday seasons, there are a lot of specialty items such as candies and decorations but certain items can run out. When I am busy baking or hosting, I run to Jenny’s to pick up last-minute items,” Wu added.
For Beijing expat, Pearl Ling, who considers Jenny Lou’s stores to be shopping comfort zones, the Green concept is a welcome development. “I’ve been a longtime customer of Jenny Lou’s, and their new store gives me a feeling that they’re taking care of their patrons.”
This expat-popular brand has also attracted many Chinese who are pursuing higher living standards, so Lu Qi says they will embrace modern lifestyles and offer more services for both their foreign and local customers in the form of other sub-concepts: the Jenny Lou’s Express convenience store and the Jenny Lou’s Lifestyle comprehensive leisure zone, both of which will be launched in the next few years.
Jenny Lou’s Green (World Profit Center)
Building 3, World Profit Center, 16 Tianze Road, Chaoyang District. 朝阳区天泽路16号院润世中心3座婕妮璐（润世中心）店 (6413 1959)
Photos: Courtesy of Jenny Lou’s