Back on December 1st, a new type of grocery store held its official soft opening in Cedar Rapids. Vytyl, located at 365 Edgewood Rd NW, is a Mediterranean-inspired store that offers "a wide array of local and imported foods in an inclusive, customer-focused environment." The website says that their main goal is to "foster an understanding of different cultures and traditions through food, encouraging a sense of discovery."

Vytyl's logo may look similar to the Hy-Vee logo, but the grocery store is not associated with the chain in any way. Ahmed Almarfadi is the Founder & CEO of the business, which offers a variety of grocery, produce, frozen, bakery, and deli items, as well as fresh halal meat. Everything at the deli counter is locally prepared, and most of the items can be sampled before you make your purchase. Options include "Grilled Kofta, Shish Kebab, Shish Tawook, Shawarma, Grilled Chicken, Malfouf, Kushari, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Falafel, Zigni, Agashe, and so much more!" Folks on the Cedar Rapids Area Support Local Facebook page recommend the pita bread, olives, Kunafa, Baklava, and the Bulgarian feta cheese. Rumor has it, there will also be a restaurant inside the store in the near future!

Vytyl is located in the Edgewood Plaza, which is also home to Planet Fitness, Subway, Dollar General, and NutriSport & Smoothie. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, you can check out the official website HERE or follow Vytyl on Facebook HERE. Happy shopping!

The ABCs of Iowa

I know Iowa may not be the most popular state to visit, but we still have plenty to offer! Using countless article, websites, lists, and maps, we put together a list of some of Iowa's best and biggest events, venues, and attractions using every letter of the alphabet (which wasn't easy)! Unfortunately, we couldn't include EVERY awesome place in the state (there aren't enough letters!), but here are our Iowa ABCs:

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