There are brands that are built over time and there are brands that seem to spring up, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus’ head. Alimentari Flâneur is the latter. The brainchild of Daniel Emilio Soares, Alimentari Flâneur takes the traditional green market and turns it into a low-paced, romantic spot that is one part shop and two parts experience.
Soares was made for this, you could say. It’s in his blood. He’s descended from a line of grocers, mongers, and specialty food purveyors through his family’s connection to the food retail institution, Balducci’s. As a fourth-generation family member, Soares has the ability to look with foresight at his family’s brand while looking to create his own way in the niche food space that he seems to be creating before our eyes.
Alimentari Flâneur has the appeal of a European market while having a bit of the decadence of a bygone New York underground scene (just take a look at their Instagram to find mountains of caviar, figs piled high, and courgette flowers as the harbinger of warmer days). During Soares’ trips abroad, he gained a special appreciation for the old world-style of retail, including the community-centric aspect of local produce and farmers markets. With this inspiration in mind, he forewent his real estate career and followed his passion: bringing a specialized produce market to the New York City area, offering customers the ability to taste – really taste – what quality produce could be.
The philosophy of the store is in its name. Alimentari being Italian for food, grocery, or a grocer’s market and flâneur being a French word for idle strolling, an appreciation for life. Together, they act as bookends for the very ethos of a brand that’s built not on throwing everything and the kitchen sink into your shopping cart, but guiding you through a new world through each of your five senses.
With that, its success has been achieved through inviting various swaths of people into the World According to Soares. Its pop-up model has allowed for Soares to place his mark on spots around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and this summer in Long Island. As Vogue reports, Alimentari Flâneur will be coming to Amagansett’s Suzie Kondi. What Soares will source is a mystery at this time – given the seasonality of produce and his eye for aesthetics, but we are sure to be making a trip out East Hampton soon.