As you approach Spring Street Grocer, you’re greeted by a neon sign and open-air counter serving fresh juice, coffee and gelato. Reminiscent of Rome’s famous San Crispino, the gelati and sorbetti are housed in pozzetti (refrigerated wells with stainless steel lids to keep out air and light).
But there’s more to Spring Street Grocer than gelato. Inside, you’ll find everything from artisan pasta and dried legumes to cured meats, fresh vegetables, rustic bread and Italian chocolate.
At lunchtime, the sandwich bar offers panini with fillings like roasted suckling pig and watercress, or there are gourmet take-home dinners, like duck curry.
Further whetting the appetites of Melbourne’s foodies is the soon-to-open ‘cheese cave’ (affineur), which will be used for ageing and ripening and will offer quality Australian and international cheeses.
We spoke to Anthony Femia, Spring Street Grocer’s cheesemonger, about what’s in store.
How did you become a cheesemonger?
Funnily enough, it started when I was studying Applied Finance. I’d been working in a local deli and one day was put in charge of the cheese counter. I fell in love with the flavours, complexities and the ability to offer great customer experiences. I immersed myself in all things cheese and haven’t looked back since.
Tell us more about the affineur?
It should be opening mid-winter and will showcase Australian farmhouse cheeses, as well as a hand-picked international selection. I believe the cellar will change our industry for the better and while working with local farms, improve the quality of their cheeses too.
Besides the fromage factor, what makes this such an exciting addition to Melbourne?
Definitely the gelateria, with its hand-churned gelati and sorbetti in ever-changing flavours, but also the fact that there’s a place you can get seasonal organic produce, pantry essentials and beautiful take-home meals.
What would you like to see more of in Melbourne’s food scene?
I’d like to see more of an emphasis on local, regional and seasonal produce because Victoria has such an amazing agricultural selection.
What are your five favourite in-store products?
Too many to choose! Let’s say: the Amedei chocolate range, Seriously Green juice, Wonder Snacks bourbon and bacon popcorn, Elgaar Farm biodynamic unhomogenised milk and lastly, our gelato.
Spring Street Grocer is open 7 days a week at 157 Spring Street, Melbourne.