THESE DAYS YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE the house to stock up on groceries. Whether it’s local supermarkets offering delivery service, or national companies like Amazon and Shipt, or boxed meal services such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, plenty of companies let our fingers do the shopping. But there are some items for which we are still willing to get in the car and drive to get: Those special foods that elevate meals above the ordinary. In its “10 Food Trends That Will Shape 2018” article, Forbes magazine’s top two trends are “mindfulness” and the need for “tactile” experience. In short, this means we are more aware of the body-mind connection and how the food we eat affects that. As such, we pay more attention to what is in our food and where it comes from and, secondarily, in an effort not to waste food, we want to make sure what we buy is something we really want to eat.That’s where the tactile piece comes in: Using our senses when selecting food is far more gratifying than opening a cardboard box filled with pre-selected items.
Nowhere is this more evident than DeRomo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant, a 25,000-square-foot establishment at Promenade at Bonita Bay. DeRomo’s will hold its fourth anniversary bash 12-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, to celebrate.
How popular is it?
“Every 14 days in season we fill up the equivalent of Yankee Stadium with the number of people who come through the doors,” owner Francis Cuomo says proudly.
That’s 54,251 people.
That’s likely owing to the fact that its various departments and 250 employees offer freshly baked ciabatta and baguettes, cassata cakes and tiramisu, house prepared items such as lasagna, risotto and chicken parmigiana, calzones, hot and cold deli sandwiches, cheeses, wines, fresh fish and seafood, fresh meats, produce and gift baskets.
Mr. Cuomo says he “wanted to bring things you couldn’t get elsewhere. Freshness and the ambience is what counts, the services, all the products tie in. We’ve created an ambience that’s warm and inviting. It’s the little Italy of the Bronx in Southwest Florida.”
A transplanted New Yorker, he brought his family’s recipes to the store, including the mozzarella made on premises. The items served as charcuterie come from Italy, to which he travels at least a couple of times a year to secure exclusive agreements for products like the DeRomo branded olive oils and wines.
Specialty market
>> DeRomo’s Gourmet Market, Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S. Bay Drive, Bonita Springs; 325-3583;