Posted: 08/09/2016

Eataly founder opens Italian street market in south London

Mercato Metropolitano
New street market business, Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle, south-east London

One of the founders of Italian-American chain Eataly officially opens his new street market business, Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle, south-east London, this month.

The opening comes hard on the heels of Selfridges confirming to FFD that its proposed joint venture with Eataly had fallen through.

Mercato Metropolitano founder Andrea Rasca said his business had taken a 45,000 sq ft site on an initial two-year lease and that it revolved around small-scale farmers, local producers and community groups.

Rasca, who established Mercato Metropolitano in Italy last year, said its ethos is to use “only the best quality foods” and to cut out the middle men to bring producers directly in contact with consumers.

Mercato Metropolitano

“We first opened our doors in Porta Genova in Milan and we welcomed over 2.5 million visitors in four months,” he said. “We knew then that this new food retail format, the opposite to the big food retailers, was something that people wanted and needed. So we decided then to take it around the world, and began looking for a space in London.”

Rasca told FFD he was in talks over a couple of other locations in London. He added: “We’d certainly look to try something out in the north of the UK, either Manchester or even Glasgow”.

It has just signed a deal in Tokyo where it will be opening towards the end of the year.

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