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Eataly’s Secret Formula: Founder Oscar Farinetti Will Tell You It’s a Peach

We recently had the pleasure of hearing Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti share the secrets of the development of Eataly at the Latam Retail Congress held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  It was one of the more inspiring retail stories we’ve heard in some time, and it perfectly exemplifies the passion for food and life that is evident in their stores.

It also comes on the heels of the opening of their 32nd store around the world, in the Westfield World Trade Center in New York. Additional US locations are scheduled for Boston later this year and Los Angeles in 2017. Farinetti resists calling Eataly a chain, with each individual store reflecting the character of the country and neighborhood. While the original New York Flatiron store features nearly a 50/50 mix of market and foodservice, the World Trade Center location will likely lean more heavily on foodservice, reflecting the clientele of the area.

Farinetti’s passion is evident when he speaks of the origins and aspirations of Eataly. As the headline discloses, his strategy can be condensed down to the image of a peach. At the core, is what he refers to as his “poetic target”. We would call it a mission statement. Farinetti’s aspirations were far greater than building a successful retail store. He wanted to provide employment for the country, celebrate Italy’s diversity and stem the decline of the country by focusing on the incredibly abundant assets around food and wine.  The core of all this, however, was about people and using Eataly to promote and celebrate people.

He then speaks to the many promises that Eataly wanted to deliver. As he describes each, the vision of what Eataly is about truly comes to life.  It’s about creating a wow, teaching customers and celebrating the beauty of the food. By tying product to the producer, it makes the experience more special.

The final product of Eataly is then very easy to imagine. Creating a unique fusion of market place, restaurant and education, seamlessly blended together.

By the way, Farinetti encourages copying just as he encourages taking photos of his presentation. Copying is a form of learning and form of flattery. What can’t be copied, however, is Farinetti’s passion. His zest for life, for reinvention, for celebration must be experienced. And it won’t be easily replicated. And this vibrancy resonates in the Eataly stores, from New York to Chicago to Sau Paulo to Milan and beyond.


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