High-end English Market coming soon
A new grocery store is coming to the heart of Hamilton this summer.
Entrepreneur Fabio Iannone plans to open The English Market on the lower level of the Washington Mall in mid-June.
He started the business to give Bermudians more fresh food options.
“The English Market will be a grocery store more on the high-end with fresh meats, seafood, vegetables, and fruits fresh, local and imported,” Mr Iannone said. “There will be a nice selection of wine and liquors.”
There will also be a hot and cold buffet, a soup and salad bar, pastries, coffee and sandwiches.
“It won’t be all English products,” he said. “It will also be European and American, but mostly European.”
Mr Iannone was previously a partner at the Beluga Bar also in the Washington Mall.
“One day I was coming to work,” he said. “I was thinking about the empty space where the food court used to be in the Washington Mall. I was thinking the Washington Mall is the only mall I have been to that does not have a grocery store in it.”
He sold his shares in Beluga Bar and started planning a grocery store. He thought the location in the Washington Mall was a good one. He envisioned office workers stopping by for their groceries after work.
“Instead of getting in their cars and getting stuck in traffic before going to the grocery store, they can walk in, spend 15 to 20 minutes shopping, and then head home,” he said. “They can park at City Hall. We will have bag packers to help them take their groceries to their car and bring the cart back.”
His inspiration was the English Market in Cork, Ireland where he used to work.
“The English Market in Cork is an actual market with everything in it,” he said. “There is a lot of meat and everything comes from everywhere in the world, Italy, India, England.”
He thought the name would work in Bermuda, because Bermuda is a British colony and has a lot of English expatriates.
Mr Iannone is originally from Calabria, Italy and has always worked in the food and hospitality industry.
“Back in Italy most of my family owns restaurants and a hotel,” he said. “I have worked in a restaurant since I was a kid. I have always been in hospitality.”
He came to Bermuda in 2008 to work for MEF Ltd.
Mr Iannone did not feel nervous starting his new business venture in the middle of a pandemic.
“People have to eat,” he said. “If I was going to open another restaurant, there would be a problem. There are all these restrictions now, and you have to have outdoor dining available. When we went to lockdown the first time, only the grocery stores were open.”
He said during lockdown there are restrictions on how many customers can enter the grocery store, but the grocery store is always busy.
He was also confident about being able to obtain his fresh products.
“My meat will come from the United States,” he said. “My fresh fish will come from Bermuda or the US.”
He recently received planning approval and plans to move ahead with renovations to the space when the current lockdown lifts.
“A lot of the equipment I need is on the way,” he said. "There is not much to build, but we will need some equipment for plumbing, duct work and walls.”
Mr Iannone said the new supermarket will provide 15 new jobs for Bermudians.
He plans to be very hands-on when it opens.
“I have an assistant and people helping me, but at the beginning I want to take care of it,” he said. “I have a vision of how it is supposed to be. I want everything to work the way I envision it.”
For more information see them on Facebook @TheEnglishMarket, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 536-0685