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Entrepreneurs Grind

Daniel Soares, CEO of Alimentari Flâneur Is Promoting Food, Culture, and Love

The week’s episode of The Tartare Project hosted by Phil Toronto welcomes Daniel Soares, founder of Alimentari Flâneur. Soares, a fourth-generation Balducci, was inspired to open Alimentari Flâneur after a six-week pop-up project in Little Italy during the summer of 2019 that offered an assortment of rare fruits and vegetables alongside a selection of pastas, cheeses, and oils.

Now, over a year later, Alimentari Flâneur (whose name is a mixture of Italian and French) is thriving as Soares continues to expand upon his pop-up experiment with an even larger array of uncommon products that aren’t available at your average supermarket. A quick glance at the company’s Instagram page will instantly show you Soares’ detailed approach and the hard work put behind his business, as well as how Alimentari Flâneur prides themselves on being a place where their customers can experience food, love, and culture all in one place.

During the course of their 30-minute conversation, Toronto and Soares discussed the brand’s history, he inspiration behind Alimentari Flâneur, and what Soares hopes to build with his company. “Alimentari Flâneur is really about connecting people to the intimacy of everyday. I started this produce market a few months ago, and I wanted to connect people to the intimacy of shopping in a charming curated market that serves seasonal fresh produce, while also giving the simplicity of enjoying the traditional shopping experience. The third and most important thing is the closeness and connection at the store. Whether it’s meeting me, or bringing your produce home and sharing a meal with your family, it’s about understanding that there is a real intentionality and connection happening.”

Admitting that he mispronounced Alimentari Flâneur prior to their interview, Toronto and Soares launched into a spirited conversation about authenticity. While Italian and French cultures may be different, they do have some similarities, including their genuine approach to life and relationships. That very approach is something that Soares carries with him not just when it comes to building his company, but within his everyday life as well. “As far as the brand is concerned, to some people that approach may come off as a bit pretentious,” says Soares as he explains to Toronto the environment he tries to create when people visit his market. “Some people may find it intimidating, but the beauty of that is when you come to the store and discover things like Black Garlic or Lucy Glo Red Fresh Apples, and you think ‘Oh wow this is so weird—I’ve only seen this at really high-end restaurants,’ I’ll be walking the store with you and you’ll see that this is really an indication to discover things together.”

Toronto and Soares continue to chat, discussing Soares childhood and how he viewed education, having entrepreneurial parents, traveling to Europe for the first time and how it changed his life, and the lessons learned from his first business venture—which was an attempt to sell clothes through being able to click on Instagram pictures. Naturally the conversation headed  towards the beginning chapters of Alimentari Flâneur, as Toronto asks Soares the idea behind selling obscure produce. “I’ve had a weird career and life so far—After I failed my app I told my parents that I didn’t want to go back to NYU and that I wanted to become an entrepreneur. They told me to try out real estate since I loved finance, math, and people.” Soares goes on to recap his real estate days, and how his experiences with closing a record sale eventually led to him owning his own market. “Every single choice I’ve made since the day that I closed on that sale, has been to really understand how to build a sustainable retail business.”

Be sure to check out the full interview above to learn more about Soares and Alimentari Flâneur. You can follow the company on Instagram.

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