Natoora, the independent grocer and supplier, has opened its first café concept incorporating a traceable, seasonal food menu.
The Natoora Counter has been introduced at the company fifth retail store, which opened this week on Elgin Crescent in Notting Hill.
The venue has 15 covers – four outside and 11 indoors.
Mary Coote, head of brand, told MCA, the concept could prove a template for others but it was not planning to retrofit its four other shops.
“It is very likely we will open more cafes if this works, Coote said.
Natoora describes the menu as “radically seasonal and completely traceable”.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch, using only ingredients Natoora sources through its own supply chain, it says.
Items include Raffaele’s tomatoes, chickpeas, turmeric houmous; Grilled tormbeta courgette, Suffolk quinoa, labne; Manzo di pozza, creamed tropea onion, pickle; and egg, hot-smoked salmon, kraut.
All aspects of the food preparation area and kitchen are visible to the public.
The unit operates from 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 7pm on Sunday and Bank Holidays. It serves breakfast, lunch, coffee and snacks from a menu that changes daily.
Natoora says both the Counter’s menu and produce range adapt to the natural shifts in flavour that happen every day with dishes that capture the crossover between each season, pairing, for example, the last of the English asparagus with peak season Plattone Beans from Campania.
The business started life as an online Farmers Market at the turn of the century, connecting customers food artisans.
Today it supplies more than a thousand restaurants in London, Paris and New York with seasonal and traceable produce.
Natoora says the idea behind the café is to encourage customers to know where their food comes from and to understand the impact they can have on the way food is farmed and supplied.