What makes a truly great neighbourhood delicatessen? Is it the correct balance of local and international cheeses on display in glass panelled refrigerators? Perfectly cured charcuterie? The type of customer service that makes any patron feel like a regular? Decor and displayed pantry supplies that sing both intentional and incidental?
Alex Grenouiller (formerly of Cafe Paci and Penny’s Cheese Shop) set out to accomplish this and more with Marani Deli – a newly opened marketplace in Sydney’s Inner West. Drawing upon his childhood spent in Lyon, France, alongside his partner’s Sicilian heritage, and the pair’s experiences in Georgia, Grenouiller’s mission is to bring the warmth of family, the joy of sharing simple, delicious food, and a strong sense of community to the heart of Newtown.
“We envision Marani Deli as more than a specialty grocer,” says Grenouiller. “It’s a place where quality, nostalgia, and hospitality converge.” Artisanal products from Italy, France, Georgia and Australia (ethically sourced from farmers, chefs, and other industry talent) are a given, but Grenouiller emphasises that the venue is also designed to “provide the community with a place to meet, connect, and always feel welcome.”
A trained chef, Grenouiller relocated to Australia from France in 2010, working his way through esteemed Sydney outposts including Oscillate Wildly, Cafe Paci and the iconic Penny’s Cheese Shop. Marani Deli’s DNA is shaped by his hospitality credentials, alongside his experiences visiting winemakers in Georgia.
“Since our first visit to Georgia back in 2018, the idea to open a unique neighbourhood shop has been brewing”, says Grenouiller (the word ‘Marani’ translates literally to ‘cellar’ in Georgian). In addition to its diverse selection of deli and pantry supplies, Marani Deli will serve daily, small-run takeaway lunch items such as classic baguettes, panini, and deli snacks. In the evenings: wine ‘supra’ nights — one-off events in collaboration with natural winemakers and importers, conceived in the convivial spirit of Parisian caves à manger.
Timely for Christmas gifting needs, Marani’s shelves will also feature the work of local artists such as printer and illustrator Rose Colbeck, ceramics from Chef VS Clay and Claire Ellis and handcrafted wooden boards from Ripple Boards.
Marani Deli is now open from Thursday to Monday at 7-8, 80 Wilson Street, Newtown. maranideli.com.au.