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Digital delicatessen The Merchant’s Feast launches in Canberra today

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There are few things I love more than gathering with friends and family over good food.

Even better if it’s in an exotic location. Perhaps on the clifftops of Santorini, overlooking the Adriatic Sea or on the cobblestone streets of an Italian piazza.

Ah Europe, my love affair with you is far from over and while we’re separated by this ungodly virus. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again, be lured into your back alleyways by the smell of fresh pizza, the sizzle of a Kransky or the site of four legs of prosciutto hanging in a shop window (true story).

But while it looks as though I won’t be able to comatose myself in a pile of French cheese for quite some time yet, I’ve had to look to alternatives to satisfy my cravings.

And this, my friends, is where I shall introduce you to The Merchant’s Feast—a digital delicatessen offering a range of authentic local and imported European deli products and Mediterranean-style antipasti grazing and panini boxes that can be ordered online and delivered to your front door.

Because if there’s anything this virus has taught me, it’s that:

a) I like avoiding shopping crowds; and
b) Getting stuff delivered to my house, especially my groceries, makes me feel like I’m one heck of an organised woman (when in fact it’s quite the opposite).

If I can now get fresh fruit and veg, or a full Turkish banquet delivered to my house, you better believe I’ll get my freshly sliced prosciutto, cheese and olives delivered here too.

The Merchant’s Feast is the creation of siblings Dom and Marie Vilardi, along with their mother Anne. These second-generation Italians not only know authentic European produce, they also know how to use it to bring their loved ones together, regularly hosting family gatherings of around 100 people made up of just first cousins, aunties and uncles.

“That’s no joke, we really do have over 80 first cousins alone and we’re always gathering together for family dinners consisting of endless antipasti platters made up of authentic produce and homecooked recipes originating from the villages of Italy,” says Marie.

“The next day we often take leftovers to share with our colleagues at work or with our friends and we find that constantly people are blown away by the flavours and the produce they’re trying.”

“So that’s what inspired us to create The Merchant’s Feast—to give people easy access to some of the best, most authentic European produce and use it was a way of bringing loved ones together at a time when we need it most.”

The Merchant’s Feast features both ‘Pantry’ and ‘Grazing Box’ box options on their site, with all produce sliced or cut fresh to order and bread baked fresh daily.

It’s within the Pantry that customers can order all of their deli produce, while the grazing boxes provide a range of Mediterranean-style brunch, lunch and afternoon tea packages perfect for catering all kinds of gatherings from picnics and backyard barbeques to engagements and christenings.

“We’re also just about to launch some special recipe hampers just in time for Christmas, as well as some bespoke grazing board options for larger celebrations,” says Marie.

The Merchant’s Feast distributes weekly from Wednesday to Saturday across Canberra and Queanbeyan, with next day delivery for most orders placed before 1 pm.

To celebrate their opening, this week they are offering a complimentary bottle of wine and freshly baked Ciabatta loaf with every large Grazing Box order.

To find out more or place your order, visit themerchantsfeast.com.au.

Photography: 5 Foot Photography

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