My obsession with Eately was already apparent even I was living in the U.S. When Joey and I were in New York for a family vacation, we were lucky enough to stay only a few blocks away from the Eately there and we made several visits. Then again when I went to Chicago with my friend Brianna, I insisted on a trip to Eately. Why the obsession? Because Eately is a shrine to the fine art of Italian food. Not only does Eately offer every kind of pasta, cheese, ham, and pesto variety known to man but Eately also offers a variety of dining options within the store.
Prior to living in Rome, I thought that the New York Eately store was huge! But in Rome, Eately opened their largest store yet in 2012. Four stories of all things Italian, it is easy to be entirely overwhelmed. Fortunately, Eately very clearly groups together the different types of products they have on offer. The first floor includes chocolates, sweets, kitchen utensils, fruits, veggies, yogurts, cereals, books, and bath and body products. On the second floor you can find meats, cheeses, olive oils, and pastas. The third floor includes more restaurants and everything you haven’t already found on the first two floors. The fourth floor has the nicest restaurant and classrooms for cooking courses. This place is huge!
One could spend hours browsing each of the different sections of Eately. The store in Rome is located directly next to the Ostinese train station in Testacchio, which makes perfect sense because of all of the culinary creativity and young population in this neighborhood. I assumed that all Italians love Eately, but according to my research this is not correct. Many older Italians think it overly commercializes and over generalizes Italian food. They would prefer to shop at their neighborhood grocer as they always have instead of shopping in a big supermarket. However, the Rome store is always full of shoppers and people dining at the various restaurants, so it seems as though Eately has managed to capture and adequate market share in this neighborhood.