Joburg: The Gourmet Grocer offers new old-style décor and expanded products
The popular Gourmet Grocer in Birdhaven is sporting a décor revamp that has also expanded the neighbourhood store’s space and offerings, as well as its involvement in community-driven initiatives for local causes.
Larry Hodes, owner and restaurateur, says the grocer’s range is constantly growing and adapting, with a ‘something for everyone’ selection of healthy options and decadent treats – and everything in between. The store’s revamped ‘look and feel’ features a lot of wood and authentic, old-style grocer décor that creates a homey ambience, which customers describe as peaceful, tranquil and comfortable.
Hodes’s passion for detail means he’s involved in every new or refreshed aspect of the store, right down to the music that is played, based on his love of great music.
“We’ve been fine-tuning the Gourmet Grocer to be the optimal local grocery shop, deli, restaurant, roastery and coffee shop, bakery, winery, and a great place to meet, since we first opened in May 2020 – when our restaurants closed because of the pandemic. The number of strings to our grocer bow just keeps on growing, our menus adjust to changing needs and seasonal ingredients, and we regularly add new items to our deli,” explains Hodes.
The Gourmet Grocer’s multifaceted offering includes:
- Sunny outdoor restaurant with a must-try-everything menu featuring fresh crushers and smoothies, indulgent milkshakes, burgers, buns & bagels, pasta, glorious mains, toasties, indulgent desserts, coffee, juices, and a lot more
- Specialised grocery store with an interesting range of products and ingredients that are seldom found in mainstream supermarkets
- Deli, which offers specialised cold meats, cheeses, Mediterranean olive selections, hummus, baba ghanoush, felafel, grilled marinated vegetables, and much more
- Home meal replacement options – both fresh and frozen – in generous single and double portions, including soups, lasagnes, vegetarian dishes, lamb casserole, lamb and chicken curries, pasta dishes, vegan cottage pie, tuna bake, and the ever-popular roasted organic chickens basted in chipotle butter and roasted on French-style rotisserie
- Bakery, offering a tempting selection of fresh-baked goods
- Winery, which is fast earning an excellent reputation as a stocker of great craft beers and special, good value and premium wines
- Cofeffe Coffee Bar & Roastery, where they have a large coffee roaster on site and they roast their own Birdhaven blend
- Community-driven initiatives with various charities, including the Angel Network, hosting pay-it-forward drives, collections for artists, and other activities. This, notes Hodes, is an important part of who the Gourmet Grocer is as a business, “We’re an integral and involved part of the wider community.”
Hodes says the Gourmet Grocer was built on small suppliers. When the idea came to him and his wife Annie before Mother’s Day in 2020 to open a store, they contacted their wide network of small suppliers to bring their products to what had been the Voodoo Lily Restaurant and was about to transform into the Gourmet Grocer, the response had been – and continues to be – phenomenal.
As the months have passed, Hodes has been committed to maintaining the support of small local businesses as a key value of the Grocer. “We’re constantly looking for ways to create opportunities for all of us to grow together,” notes Hodes. He says that as he is a business coach in his day job, this has allowed him to help small suppliers with aspects of their business that they might not have the expertise to cope with, or may not have thought about, such as with labelling, packaging, costing, and other aspects that can help them increase their profitability.
The refreshed and expanded Gourmet Grocer is open from:
- 7am to 6pm on Mondays
- 7am to 7.30pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays
- 7am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Customers within 5km of the store can phone their orders in and enjoy free delivery, and with the Curbside Collection service customers place their orders, which are wrapped for easy collection.
For more information on the Gourmet Grocer, visit www.facebook.com/thegourmetgrocersa
Check out their Instagram: @gourmetgrocersa