Grocery shopping is back in vogue this time with a particular focus on the gourmet grocer where hard-to-find ingredients and speciality brands is the name of the game. In the past eight months, we’ve counted four new establishments popping up on the scene, adding to the list of household names like Providore and Little Farms, drawing customers in with their hip interiors and focus on fresh produce.
In December 2020, Alimentari General Store set up camp in the hip Joo Chiat area, stocking artisanal produce from all around Italy. Bootle’s, a grocer featuring numerous organic products and an in-house farm & kitchen, also joined the party that month with its outpost at Havelock Road.
Plant-based eatery and grocery concept store Green Common was launched in January this year, supplying all things vegan and vegetarian. Then came East Coast Grocers, which popped up in April and boasts a robust network of over 300 suppliers.
“There is a charm in shopping at such independent speciality stores, which often stock products not available in regular supermarkets,” observes Abbie Stavroff, Alimentari General Store’s marketing & communications manager. “A large supermarket chain would most likely never stock coffee from a boutique roaster in a small town in Tuscany.”
Cindy Henwood, co-founder of e-retailer Limwood Gourmet, adds that more people are becoming conscious of where their food comes from. This boosts the popularity of gourmet grocers, who are open about the producers they work with.
“Just as the farm-to-table concept took off years ago, we are seeing an increasing number of consumers who are more curious and knowledgeable about quality artisanal produce and the heritage and provenance of these producers,” she says.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up six gourmet grocers to check out, as well as the speciality items to put on your shopping list.