Gourmet food stalls at Alaritas are everywhere.
They have their own menu, which is always up-to-date, and are generally full of delicious dishes, especially fresh produce.
But when the family who runs Alarits Gourmet Food Court decided to sell their produce in grocery stores, the family was shocked.
“We thought that was something we had to be afraid of,” says Stephanie Lohner, the executive chef at the restaurant.
“It’s not just about food, it’s about the community.”
The store opened in 2009 and it now sells fresh produce from the garden, as well as organic, grass-fed meat, dairy and seafood.
Alaritans Gourmet Market, a small grocery store, opened this past fall in the same building as the Alaretta market.
The grocery store has been a success, Lohninger says.
It’s gotten to the point where the grocery store is offering a different kind of experience, selling products from around the world and offering fresh produce in bulk.
“The market has been so successful, people have really been enjoying it,” Lohners says.
“They really feel it is a community thing, and it’s a really great place to shop.”
The Alarito family plans to open a second market soon, and have plans for a small, one-story space in the future.
Lohsner says they also plan to add a wine tasting room, as they recently did with a tasting room in the neighborhood.
The family has also started a new food truck that is selling produce in batches, and is in the process of moving its produce to a larger facility.
But for now, they’re staying true to their original vision: “We wanted to be able to have our produce in the store for people to buy, and for people who are hungry,” Lohners says.
The Alarettas have started a GoFundMe page for their new food court.
The restaurant also has a small garden on their property, and plans to plant some of the produce.
Lohns says that’s a big plus, but it’s also something that they are concerned about.
“There’s so much pressure for people just to go to the store,” she says.
If there is an uptick in demand, the Alares will have to make some tough decisions about what they can sell to other customers.
“You know, what can we put on the table that is better than what people are seeing now?”
But the grocery market will help feed the community, and they’re excited to see where it goes.
“This community, this community is so strong, and we know we are so proud of our food, and that’s something that we’re going to take pride in.”