Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Specialty grocery store satisfies food cravings


    There is one place in downtown Tuscaloosa where students can be found enjoying a soda after class, customers can purchase meals to bring home for dinner and hundreds of unique foods and beverages line the walls.

    Cravings, a specialty grocery store that carries unique foods, craft beer and wine, is located downtown and seeks to provide Tuscaloosa with a dining and shopping experience. The store opened earlier in the spring of this year and has been serving Tuscaloosa customers ever since.

    Dan Robinson, a Tuscaloosa resident of four years, previously owned a restaurant in New Orleans before deciding to start a new business in a college town. After debating between the University of Alabama and Texas A&M, Robinson made the decision to move to Tuscaloosa and open Cravings in downtown.

    “I wanted to get both students and the working population, and downtown is the hub of independents,” Robinson said. “I like it downtown, and you get to know the owners of a lot of different stores.”

    The store boasts a large variety of foods, candies, beer and wine, with around 200 different wines alone. Wines are available for every budget, from unique low-cost selections to higher-end choices. Additionally, a total of 400 beers will be offered by January.

    “We wanted to do something a little different with beer and wine,” Robinson said. “We have an enormous amount of beer, and we give people the opportunity to try new beer.”

    Also home to a New Orleans fry house, Cravings offers late-night operating hours (open until 10:00 p.m.) and a space for drinking and dining. While beverages take up a large part of the store, all ages are welcome to come and experience a wide variety of other stock as well. New York bagels and lox, homemade marinades and pastas, specialty sodas and candies, meats and quiches are just a few of the items that can be purchased at Cravings.

    “I think we give really good food at an affordable price, and a lot of things you can’t find anywhere else,” Robinson said. “You get to see things you haven’t seen, and, if you’re adventurous, you get to try new things.”

    Cravings’ constant rotations of new stock and its distinct ability to take requests from customers have quickly contributed to a regular customer base of food fans and students alike.

    Annie Parks, a freshman majoring in food and nutrition, likes to study at Cravings because she likes the relaxed atmosphere, but she sticks around for the fresh food that she can’t find anywhere else.

    “My favorite thing about Cravings is that, because it is a specialty foods store, I am always finding different things to try when I go there, and most of their products are things I would not usually check out if I were at a grocery store like Publix or Fresh Market,” Parks said. “I also really like the foods they sell from the counter for breakfast and lunch. I like eating on campus, but sometimes it is nice to have something different.”

    Robinson described Cravings as unique because of its large stock of homemade, not prepared, foods.

    “We offer a really wide variety of different foods, and we give you an opportunity that you won’t find anywhere else,” Robinson said. “It’s not out of a box. It’s not frozen. It’s prepared from scratch.”

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