Food Shop Fun: Brightvale Fruits
Welcome, to Food Shop Fun. What is Food Shop Fun, you ask? It is a series of articles in the Neopian Times where I, Josh, review food shops outside of Neopia Central. Today, I will travel to the land of knowledge to taste some of the best berries around. Yes, I’m going to Brightvale Fruits.
Brightvale Fruits is located at the entrance of Brightvale, so it is the first thing you see when entering this beautiful land. The shop’s setting couldn’t be better. It is built in a field of flowers right beside a fresh stream. You can’t miss it.
Brightvale Fruits is a relatively new shop. It was only opened six years back, but was instantly adopted by the citizens of Brightvale. The story of its founding started about twenty years ago when a young Acara living on a fruit farm noticed how difficult it was to buy and sell fruit. If one wanted to earn a living in this trade, you would have to travel all the way to Merifoods in Meridell or try to sell your harvest door-to-door. Buying fruit was even harder. First you would have to travel around looking for a fruit farmer, hope he had what you’re looking for, and then wait for it to get ripe. Because of this, the little Acara wanted to open a fruit shop to make it easier on everybody.
Right when I entered Brightvale, the sight of this homely shop met my eyes. It was not very big, but quite big enough. The building was painted light blue and surrounded by small stones. A yellow arch led to sturdy wooden door. There were only two windows, but they were both quite beautiful. On the roof there were transfixed sculptures in the shapes of fruits such as grapes and apples. The shop was built in a field of flowers beside a gurgling stream. If that doesn’t get customers in, I don’t know what will.
At the back of the restaurant, there is a medium-sized orchard and a huge garden full of fruits. The inside was pretty plain. There were simple wooden walls with a light blue ceiling and base boards. Wooden shelves and bins ran around the length of Brightvale Fruits, filled to the brim with (you guessed it) fruit. It was quite crowded with shoppers, but somehow, the shop keeper had time to help each customer.
Since I couldn’t have a four-course meal with just fruit, I decided to walk around the store and snack on whatever looked tasty. First, I thought I’d start off with a Fresh Skeem Fruit Salad and a glass of Magenorb Juice. The salad was definitely fresh and fruity, but the juice could have been better. The first sip I took tasted way too sweet, the second sip was extremely sour, but the third was perfect. I don’t see how people pay over 14,000 for it, though. To get the sour taste out of my mouth, I bit into a big, juicy Jipple Pear. It was absolutely fantastic. It tasted like a much juicier, more flavorful form of your average pear.
After having a few more of those, I tried the famous Passionberry. Though the shell was a little hard to get off, it was worth it. If you have ever had raspberry kiwi juice, then you know what the Passionberry tastes like. I even got to keep the colorful shell as a souvenir. As I was strolling around the store again, I spotted the unusual Sroom Fruit, I knew I had to try it. The fruit didn’t have a specific flavor, but it was very good. The only way I can describe it is that it was crunchy and hardy. Finally, before I left, I had to try the Grilled Shishkafruit. It was another delicious fruit, but a little over cooked.
Unlike many food shops, the prices here varied greatly. Some fruits I thought were extremely overpriced; whereas, some fruits that were delicious, were also very cheap. A good example is this: I had to pay 14,429 neopoints for one glass of Magenorb Juice, but I only paid 288 for a Cocorot. In conclusion, you could have a meal fit for a king for only a few neopoints, or a meal of the same quality for thousands of neopoints more.
After I had eaten my fill and the shop had closed, Sophia the store clerk found some time for an interview. Here’s how it went:
Sophia: Okay, now I have time to talk.
Me: Great! First off, I heard that you grew up on a berry farm. That wouldn’t be the Pick Your Own farm would it?
Sophia: The very same.
Me: So, you’re not from Brightvale, you’re from Meridell?
Sophia: That’s correct. I was raised in Meridell, but I moved to Brightvale seven years ago.
Me: I saw you had an orchard and a garden in the back, but that couldn’t possibly supply all your fruits.
Sophia: No, there are three other farms that send in berries, but I make sure they are the very best before I put them up for sale.
Me: I don’t suppose King Hagan ever dines here?
Sophia: Oh yes, he comes here quite regularly to pick out the best fruit. Like he always says,” The wise man does the jobs that he can do himself, but gets the help of others for those jobs that he cannot do.” That just means that his servants never pick out the right berries.
Me: Does King Skarl come?
Sophia: No, he doesn’t like coming to Brightvale, but e does get some berries delivered to his castle. As long as we are on kings, King Altador once ate here.
Me: Wow, you must be pretty popular. And lastly, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Sophia: In my opinion, the only things better than berries are books.
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I will give Brightvale Fruits a 10/10. The shop is beautiful, the owner is nice, the prices are good, and the food is excellent. Some of the berries weren’t very good, but that’s just how that fruit tastes. All of the fruit was perfectly ripe. I hope this shop lasts for many years to come.