Sardinian deli thinks global and local

Longtime East Village resident Malika Peterson provided this grocery and restaurant proposal. For the business to sell liquor at the Ashland Avenue address, the city would have to end a license moratorium. The East Village Association board will review the proposal at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Leona's, 1936 W. Augusta Blvd.

By Malika Peterson

Buon Gusto, LLC is a new business with a proposed location at 845 N. Ashland in Chicago’s West Town. The store will be an upscale international grocery, delicatessen and cafe with a distinct menu. The facility will include a 16-person-capacity eating area, deli/kitchen with counter and checkout area. and grocery/gift area.

The mission of Buon Gusto, LLC is to provide Chicago, West Town residents and visitors with quality, authentic Sardinian grocery items and prepared foods combined with good service and an atmosphere reminiscent of Old World Sardegna. Our store motto is, "Good Flavor."

The gourmet and specialty food market is booming across the country. Consumers are looking for quality food and a quality shopping experience. Many cities have entire sections dedicated to ethnic foods and culture. West Town's residents and many visitors have expressed the desire for a local gourmet food store.

At the turn of the 21st century, Chicago’s West Town was changing again. An influx of artists, students and other younger "bohemian" populations drew more affluent residents, particularly in the Bucktown, Wicker Park, East Village sections, raising the area’s real-estate values. These new populations are starved for fine ingredients and unique experiences.

By making alliances with local farmers and restaurants, as well as international distributors, Buon Gusto, LLC will give Chicago’s West Town customers a combination of "shopping local" and wide gourmet selections from Sardenia, Italy, previously unavailable in this highly visited area. For residents, Buon Gusto offers a more convenient and appealing option than lugging fancy groceries back from infrequent trips to the suburbs, especially in winter.

Buon Gusto is a family business that began in Milan more than 5 years ago, after the Pibiri family began to import Sardenian products to mainland Italy. Reports suggested that the Sardenian daily diet of a small piece of meat, soup, pasta and a glass and a half of red wine were the secret ingredients to long life. The family business thrived.

With a portion of the Pibiri family having lived in Chicago’s West Town since 1998, it was decided upon research that this would be a great market for expansion into the U.S.

Buon Gusto will offer the following products and services:

Groceries

We will offer high-quality groceries from Sardenia. Groceries will include items that represent the best known and desired foods from this area. Items will include but will not be limited to: sauces, oils, spices, spreads, cheese, meats, pasta, rice, wine and liquors, chocolates, and unique hard-to-find Sardinian desserts and candies.

Gifts

We will work with customers to create custom gift packages for any occasion. Customers will be able to choose from an eclectic assortment of Sardenia-inspired items in a range of sizes and designs. Our small but impressive Sardenia paraphernalia collection will include kitchenware, cookbooks, specialty coffee pots, decorative linens and various small, seasonal, food-related items. Gift packages will also be available in the store and over the Internet.

Delicatessen

To complement our market and showcase our product, Buon Gusto will offer a small selection of freshly prepared items for takeout. All menu items will be prepared fresh each day and the rotating menu will feature sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and bread from local bakeries and restaurants.

Our alliance with local businesses allows us to offer high-quality fresh-baked breads in exchange for co-advertising. These items are not intended as a staple of our overall profit structure, but help us to create a whole-service feeling, without investing in bakers or kitchen equipment.

Based on market research, we believe that up to half our clientele will order soup, a sandwich, salad or pastries with their market selections. Not offering such treats could lose us customers.

We will offer cheese, meats, and olives by the pound as well as fresh squeezed juice available by the cup or quart, coffee and tea.

Events

An alternative to the traditional event venue, Buon Gusto’s unique space will be a perfect place to hold an event. Designed for tranquility and harmony the unique space will be perfect for specialty events. We will also offer the opportunity to taste our product at our specialty event dinners in which all food is prepared using the ingredients and product in the store.

Catering

Buon Gusto will provide catering options. A selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals will be available for customers to pick and choose.

Something extra

As a take-home gift, our customers will enjoy weekly recipes highlighting ingredients and products in the store.

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