Gourmet Italian deli in Shanghai

Gourmet Italian deli in Shanghai

A father-daughter team imports delicious Italian products as well as their native passion for food
gourmet Italian products
Adriano and Alessia Vettore stand at the ready to convert more local foodies to Italian fare.

Adriano and Alessia Vettore love what they do for a living. At Gourmet Fine Italian Food & Wine by SDM, you see it in the way the father and daughter owners talk about food -- the importance of first-pressed Italian olive oil, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano and Venetian grappa.

"This is how we do our business," explains Adriano lifting a bottle of golden olive oil. "The customers come, they try a product and then they buy it. If they don’t like it, we say ‘OK, let’s open something else up!'”

Educating the masses

60 percent of our clients are locals. But most of the time, they don’t know much about Italian food.— Alessia Vettore

After opening a number of Casa Rinaldi outlets throughout Asia, the Vettores decided it was time to venture out on their own. They picked a good time to open 'Gourmet,' as their deli commonly known. Italian cuisine is sweeping Shanghai, with new Italian cafes and restaurants seemingly opening up each month.

The owners happily open jars of antipasti and bottles of wine for customers to sample. Alessia educates customers on which shape of pasta to use with the variety of ready-to-eat sauces for sale and reminds novices to add some of the boiled pasta water to the sauce.

"How else do people know what you are selling?” says Alessia. “Sixty percent of our clients are locals. But most of the time, they don’t know much about Italian food.”

Both Vettores agonize over the lack of Italian variety in Shanghai.

“At the new [Italian] places here, the menus are the same," moans Adriano. "There is Bolognaise on every menu. The chefs don’t see that Italian food is always evolving. It’s not just pizza and Bolognaise sauce!”

Southern comfort

gourmet Italian productsAt 'Gourmet,' you don't have to try it to buy it.

Most of the products the Vettores import are from southern Italy. “That is where all the best food is produced,” insists Adriano.

“From us in the north (near Venice), you get the wines," adds Alessia. "And grappa.”

Due to restrictive licensing regulations, it’s not always simple to import quality products into China. Adriano and Alessia travel to Italy several times a year to find exceptional products they can bring back to Shanghai. Even with the costs of travel, licenses, shipping and re-labeling, Gourmet's prices are reasonable.

“We just want to sell the best Italian products," says Adriano. "It is a one-to-one relationship with the customer, and we like it that way.”

Getting there

Gourmet Fine Italian Food & Wine by SDM
No. 2, Lane 131, Yongfu Lu 永福131弄2号
Hours: 9am-9pm
+86 21 6437 2052, gourmet@sdmfood.com.cn