While bigger cities such as New York, Nashville and Chicago might be known for their “foodie culture,” smaller cities and suburban towns also come alive with burgeoning food scenes of their own.
Troy, NY, home to independent gourmet retailer Culinary Square, is one of them. According to co-owners Samantha and Carolyn Fagan, Troy has a booming restaurant scene, as well as residents with a love of all things food and drink, has been a boon to business.
“Troy is really up and coming and is definitely a foodie kind of town. We’ve made it a point to cultivate relationships with the local chefs, kitchen workers and bartenders. We do a lot of business with them. And since Troy is such a small community it helps to bring the community closer together,” Samantha Fagan said.
In addition, every Saturday the store attracts customers shopping at one of the most popular local farmer’s markets in the area, which is near the store.
“The farmer’s market has played a lot into what we offer people. They are shopping for fresh vegetables and fresh ingredients at the farmer’s market and they are always coming in looking for gadgets, such as kale strippers, cherry pitters or berry baskets,” said Carolyn Fagan.
And while foodie culture points to what customers are eating, crafting cocktails is a huge part of the trend too, explained Samantha. Therefore the duo makes sure to stock a really good barware section.
“Craft cocktails are really popular here, it goes hand-in-hand with foodie culture. We have customers, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, experimenting with craft cocktails at home and are always coming in asking for supplies. For us, shakers, and specialty glasses are very popular, customers are looking for different products,” she said.
In addition, she stated that thanks to the continued popularity of whiskey-based cocktails at home, ice molds and strainers are also top sellers.