MELBOURNE: The Food Repository, a new online store that puts small, artisanal producers in the spotlight, is opening a three-month pop-up store on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy from Saturday 25th February 2017.
The pop-up store is a big move for The Food Repository, which only opened its doors on 15th November 2016. Now, after the success of her first three months of operation, owner-operator Joni Marcelis is trialling a bricks and mortar presence to show more people what The Food Repository is all about – bringing small-batch, artisanal food producers to the high street.
“We’ve been blown away by the response from our customers, and we’re excited to meet them in person,” says Ms Marcelis. “They like the fact they no longer need to hunt all over the countryside to find the small-batch, artisanal producers they love. Now, they can support them by finding all their favourite staple food items in the one place, at The Food Repository.”
Hailing from Belgium, Ms Marcelis moved to Australia four years ago for a finance role but ended up falling in love with the Australian way of life, and our food. The Food Repository was born out of her desire to share our national obsession with delicious food made by small businesses who only use real, raw ingredients, such as Four Pillars Gin and their marmalades and Mingle Seasoning.
“The quality of food available in Australia is amazing,” says Ms Marcelis. “You can see how the global move towards local food production has had such a big impact here. People are much more conscious of the ingredients used. And they don’t want to spend hours reading the product labels of mass-produced food to work out what’s in them and where they’re from.”
Ms Marcelis handpicks each item stocked by The Food Repository for its sustainable production methods and delicious, natural ingredients. While she has put an emphasis on catering to a range of dietary requirements in her store, it’s also the place to find some more indulgent items, such as Konomi Chocolate Matcha or Wondersnack Co Bourbon & Bacon Popcorn.
“They each deserve their place among the protein balls and superfoods,” says Ms Marcelis, delighted by what might otherwise seem like opposites. “It may seem obvious, but I believe food just tastes better and is better for us when made in small batches, with love, care, attention – and most importantly – the best available ingredients.”
Among one of the latest products to grace the shelves of her pop-up store are the exquisite chocolates from Melbourne chocolatier Monsieur Truffe. So how does this Australian chocolate compare to the famous chocolate of her homeland, Belgium?
“Monsieur Truffe? No comparison,” smiles Ms Marcelis. “This is better, in just so many ways.”
The Food Repository pop-up store is at 346 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. In keeping with the small, local business theme it’s styled with the help of Alison Thomsitt from Kotiin Interiors.
The pop-up store’s grand opening is on Saturday 25th February 2017, which includes a smorgasbord of free samples and locally-made Kombucha on tap. The store is open seven days a week until Mother’s Day, Sunday 14th May 2017, and continues to be open 24/7 at foodrepository.com.au.