Introducing The Average Grocer, a new online store offering locally made pantry staples

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“I’ve always had a huge interest in food,” says Bradley Bruni. “I did some chef apprenticeship when I was young. I didn’t understand them – I was in school and obviously wasn’t cut out for life as a chef at 15 or 16, which is good. I’m glad I didn’t do it now… it’s a tough job. And I prefer that personal connection with the guests.

Bruni’s desire to work in a restaurant kitchen may have subsided, but his passion for cooking remains. Aside from working at home in places such as Crack Kitchen (previously) and Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room (currently), Bruni has bottled small batch condiments and other pantry items for himself- even, his friends and even his clients.

These products now form the first line of The Average Grocer, Bruni’s online grocery store that launched today. There is a seven-day fermented hot sauce; a garlic chili oil to ignite your pizza; spicy honey to sprinkle on toast or ice cream; pickles “eat alone at midnight or in a sandwich”; and a “buttery, creamy, salty” miso caramel. “I’m going to make this caramel sauce every now and then because I have a disgusting sweet tooth and I’m going to put it on ice cream,” he says.

According to the website, it is “a dream land of average things done by average people.” It sounds like an under-sale, but it speaks to The Average Grocer’s democratic concept. Bruni wants this to be a space for others to sell their products as well – chef or not.

“I don’t want it to be just an online store, I want it to be more collaborative,” he says. “So I want to work with chefs and some of my friends that I’ve worked with over the years and if they have any ideas they can make them come true and we’ll sell them and they’ll get most of the profit… that’s is just something to bring people together, create things and have fun.

“In the future, we will focus on very limited small deliveries of goods from everyone. It’s a bit of an ode to ordinary people with not-so-average ideas.

There’s also an upcoming recipes section, where community members can submit their own creations. One of the first will be that of Fugazzi’s chef, Ross Maxwell. “We’re talking about making a whole Christmas recipe, or a small series, like a series of breads,” explains Bruni. “Start with a basic sourdough, then move on to Christmas bread. ”

He also wants to sell bottled cocktails and shrubs, made in collaboration with local bartenders. And a bottled batch-brew made from locally roasted coffee.

“I also have personalized, reusable grocery bags on the go, like these woven Coles bags,” explains Bruni. It also plans to introduce a line of products such as t-shirts and tote bags, designed by Kiki Thanou (who is also behind the brilliant and daring marketing materials). “In my everyday life, I am very minimalist, my house is all in light colors, my wardrobe is very basic, but it’s like the [alter ego] part of my brain, ”says Bruni.

theaveragegrocer.com.au

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