multiple locations and online
The Straub Family
St. Louis, Missouri
Headquartered in St. Louis, Straub's specializes in "gifts of good eating," so we thought they'd be an appropriate store to cover right now. They've been around since 1901, and they remain a family-owned business. If you're looking for local treats, like Bissinger's caramels or Switzer's licorice, this is the place to go.
They also have their own line of products, and my personal favorite is the Peppermint Bark ($12). Available seasonally, it's a treat that layers dark and white chocolate flavored with peppermint oil and decorated with peppermint chips.
The produce is of high quality, the meat selection is pricey but good, and the bakery is full of delicious breads, cookies, and cakes. Straub's is a gourmet grocer, so you can expect the prices to be higher than you'd pay at a bigger chain store, but the selection is also more specialized and the quality is carefully vetted.
While there are four brick and mortar locations that have been around for years (in Webster Groves, the Central West End, Clayton, and Town & Country), the online shop — which launched in 2006 — is what's really given Straub's a broader reputation outside of St. Louis. Amazon.com listed them as a top holiday seller of 2009, and About.com lists the store in their Best Places to Buy Gourmet Foods Online.
Any first-hand reviews of Straub's? Add them in the comments.