01 April 2021, 07:00 AM
  • If Italian culture was to be summed up in one word, ‘amore’ could well be it.
What indie retailers can learn from Italian culture

Passion for food and drink runs through the veins of Italians, and British shoppers have fallen hook, line and sinker for la dolce vita. Is it any wonder? From lovingly told tales of centuries-old recipes borne in sun-drenched cucinas, then passed through the generations to land on our delicatessen counters and tables, Italians’ adoration for their country’s produce rings through.

As independent retailers and ambassadors of the fine food trade, our role is similarly ambassadorial. We relish the opportunity to regale customers with the stories behind the products we sell, knowing that a conscientious and food-loving shopper will be made just as inspired (and hungry) as we are when this knowledge is shared.

While Covid and Brexit may in some cases be treading on toes in terms of bringing Italian produce to the British consumer, the good news is that we can learn from its culture when it comes to sharing our love of food and drink.

While sampling is off the menu, we can still communicate with customers over the counter about the story behind the products we’re selling to them, enthuse about the potential dishes they could make with them and pass on our excitement.

We can also take a leaf out of the Italians’ book by deep-diving into the produce and culinary history of our own region of the British Isles. If your local area is famed for its potatoes, watercress or celery, be a champion of it.

Also, if you get the opportunity, explore the traditional recipes created in your region that might have fallen out of favour. While some of these may have dropped in popularity due to changing tastes, some may be ripe for reinvention and celebration.

The Italians are famed for the signature dishes and the recipes which vary from region to region; by championing local produce and being a destination for food lovers to explore it, you can bring a touch of amore to your establishment.

Are you passionate about Italian food and drink? If so we would love to hear from you – get in touch via courtney.goldsmith@aceville.co.uk.