Global Gourmet Grocers
Gourmands on the go who don’t have time to dine at a restaurant need look no further than the grocery aisle for their next foodie fix. Finding fabulous store-bought food is increasingly easier thanks to a plethora of boutique grocers, like City’Super in Asia, and gourmet markets, like Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town, South Africa, which have followed in the footsteps of famous gourmet grocers like Harrods and Fauchon.
While each of these iconic food shops stocks a dizzying array of food staples, many offer prepared meals and snacks-on-the-go, offering an affordable alternative to travelers who want a speedy splurge without the hassle of cooking or dining out.
Jones the grocer: The flagship Sydney store in the heart of Woollahra stocks gourmet food products that were once only available to restaurants. Jones the grocer has Sydney’s first and largest walk-in cheese room, a temperature- and humidity-controlled room specifically designed to allow the cheeses to naturally ripen to their peak.
Jones the grocer, which has outposts in Australia, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, sells an exclusive range of private label gourmet products and international artisan produced products, most of which are free of additives and preservatives. Products include premium tea leaves, luxury chocolates, artisan crackers, and handmade pasta sauce. What you see on the shelf is also served in the store’s café, which has a long communal table for customers to try the store's goodies before they buy them.
jones the grocer's stocks hard to find items. Flickr / Avlxyz
Oliver’s The Delicatessen: Since 1981, Oliver’s The Delicatessen has been bringing global goods to Hong Kong. Most of the supermarket’s carefully curated collection of gourmet food, chilled produce, and wines is exclusive to Hong Kong and can only be bought from the Prince’s Building in Central. The store provides many to-go options for those wanting to picnic on The Peak.
Harrods: Founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1834, Harrods was originally a single room from where a mix of groceries, perfumes, and stationary was sold. Today, dapper doorman dressed in the department store’s signature green welcome shoppers to the opulent, marble-floored food halls, which are just one small part of the mainly clothing retailer’s space.
The colossal food halls are an overwhelming homage to food fit for a glutton’s feast. Wandering around the impressively presented displays of epicurean delights — both Harrods brand and from the world’s finest purveyors — is just as much fun as sampling the range of meats, cheeses, wines, biscuits, chocolates, pastries, and teas. Harrods even has wine tasting rooms and pet-friendly pastries.
Fauchon: Fauchon has always specialized in contemporary luxury food. The iconic Parisian shop began with Auguste Fauchon, who moved to Paris in 1880 and set up a cart at Place de la Madeleine, where he sold fruits and vegetables from the best orchards and farms in France. In 1886, he opened his first store in the same location, selling a wider range of the best French produce, including a cellar of the finest wines and champagnes, chocolates, biscuits, homemade preserves, and pastries. The madeleines soon became an example of French gastronomy at its best.
Fauchon stocks iconic confections. Flickr / Rui-Ornelas
Fauchon’s windows, full of exotic foodstuffs from around the world, delight shoppers who come for the seasonal pastries and deli creations and stock up on fine grocery confections like sweet and savory biscuits, foie gras, spices, vinegars, terrines, candied chestnuts, chocolates, champagnes, and wines.
In addition to its Parisian stores accented in bright pink, Fauchon has a flagship store in Beijing and a boutique market at Hong Kong International Airport. Its branded products are also sold in 41 countries.
Dean & Deluca: The inspiration behind Dean & Deluca came from the travels of Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca, who searched the world to find artisan-produced foods that they enjoyed. They decided to put them all in one place — a turn-of-the-century-style food emporium on the corner of Broadway and Prince in New York’s SoHo. When the shop opened in 1977, many of the foods on the shop's stainless-steel shelves had never been seen in America before. Today, Dean & Deluca sells meat, fish, baked goods, cheese, candy and coffee, wines, and high-end kitchenware along with a range of ready-to-eat meals and snacks.
Dean & Deluca's first shop is in New York's SoHo. Flickr / Mastermaq
Dean & Deluca has 14 stores in Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Kan., Napa Valley, Calif., and international locations in Bangkok, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Nagoya, Seoul, and Tokyo. Turkey will soon have its own Dean & Deluca, which is slated to open this year.