With representation in USA, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Turkey and Dubai. Eataly has become a world wide name for food lovers. The Rome store opened in 2012 and has been likened to a food based IKEA. This is predominately due to its location in a building originally designed as a rail terminal for the 1990 Football World Cup, which was subsequently abandoned and overrun for nearly 20 years. The aim of Eataly is to demonstrate how high quality produce can be available to all. The founder Oscar Fairnetti collaborated with slow food producers to open the first store in Turin, with the aim of bringing reasonable prices through direct relationships between producer and distributor.
The Rome store sells over 14,000 products, from over 2000 producers and is 4 times bigger than the New York store. Inside the 4 trading levels are 23 restaurants, a cookery school, fishmongers, groceries, a butchers and the most stunning fruit and vegetable display. There is a continual list of events and activities from cookery demonstrations, pastry making courses and wine tasting, to a weekly children’s summer camp throughout the school holidays.
Each month a guest Italian chef takes control of one of the restaurants, to highlight their specific local flavours and recipes. This and the continual events, demonstration and theatre of the store ensures it attracts locals, tourists and residents from Rome, beyond its initial catchment. However, I would recommend taking a taxi as its location is by no means central. If Rome is an example of what to expect from the rumoured London store, I for one can’t wait.