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This spring saw the opening of Eataly London, the first UK branch of the chain of Italian marketplaces. After being founded in Italy in 2007, the business has launched everywhere from the US, Japan, France and beyond. Complete with a market holding more than 5,000 Italian and local food products, plus around 2,000 varieties of Italian wine, the London site also has takeaway eateries, dining areas and a cookery school. Coming in at 42,000 square feet, it’s safe to say that Eataly is a fair bit bigger than many of the delis and food halls already selling the best of Italy’s food and drink here in the UK.
And the move is a significant one during a time when imports from the Continent have been hit by the dual challenges of Brexit and Covid-19. Creating a space where Brits can not only enjoy eating the finest Italian food, but also learn to make it themselves, is central to the ethos around Mediterranean family cooking.
From the cosiest delis, packed floor-to-ceiling with exciting, unexplored food and drink, to a sweeping central London behemoth, for any lover of Italian food the joy is in the sharing. Enlightening customers to the finer details of homemade pizza, pasta and everything in between is one of the joys of independent retail, and passion comes to life easily when surrounded by shelves of authentic products.
During a customer’s first foray into fine olive oils all the way through to their trials and errors with Italian home baking, retailers are there to share tried and tested secrets, family tips passed down through the generations and, of course, the best products they can possibly get their hands on.
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