A veritable institution of South Florida-based gourmet fare, Epicure Gourmet Market & Café will celebrate 70 years in business in January 2015.
Opening modestly as a butcher shop on Miami Beach in 1945 by the Thal family, the business has since developed into a renowned purveyor of baked goods, cheese, sommelier-curated wine, gourmet deli food, produce, pasta and fresh seafood under the ownership of the Starkman family, who purchased the company in 1998.
In 2008, they opened their second location in Sunny Isles — this time with a full service restaurant — and about a year ago, a third location in Coral Gables, which introduced even more amenities. Built from the ground up across 24,000 square feet, the Gables location at 4711 Le Jeune Road (305-503-8001) is their most streamlined location, complete with an outdoor patio and a bar serving coffee, juice, wine and beer.
“I can’t tell you what an honor it is that South Floridians and people from all over the world have taken to Epicure and been committed to us for so long,” said Jason Starkman, Epicure owner and CEO. “We are dedicated to keeping up with the traditions and qualities for which we’ve been famous for the past 70 years.”
Presided over by resident chef Hector Morales, Epicure’s deli is legendary among South Florida foodies, producing more than 200 fresh items including their famous matzoh ball soup, turkey meatballs, rice blends and their signature lasagna, as well as a huge assortment of cheese, olives, cured meat, pates, caviar and truffle mousse. Their meat and seafood area boasts a full spectrum of offerings, from beef, poultry and pork, to fresh fish, live main lobster, colossal stone crabs and giant cocktail shrimp.
Customers with a sweet tooth adore their bakery, which creates a plethora of goods including marzipan, cookies, cannolis, éclairs, cakes and tarts.
“The bottom line is that customers know quality and can distinctively taste the difference between run-of-the-mill spiced-up products and high-quality prepared foods made from scratch using only the finest ingredients,” Starkman said.
Epicure has made it even easier for customers to take their celebrated cuisine home, ready to eat. Specialty chef Michael Love’s “Epicure with Love” line specializes in graband- go items made in-house based on his patented recipes. For those wanting to eat healthier at work, they offer lunch box options. Both chefs Love and Morales design holiday dinners, and Epicure provides a bountiful menu of catering platters for events of all types.
The generous floor space and dog-friendly outside patio area of Epicure’s Coral Gables location affords an even greater opportunity to serve their neighborhood through their café, which has full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that suit all tastes, from omelets, smoked salmon platters and soups, to burgers, sandwiches, grilled steak and pasta. Free covered parking also is provided for all customers.
“With us, it’s stress free for and very comfortable for all walks of diners,” Starkman said. “The menu boasts a great variety of different dishes for all times of the day, and if you can’t find something on the menu to eat, head over to the hot line, buy something in the market and sit down with the rest of your party.”
Epicure is currently in the process of opening smaller quick service locations around town to provide customers with prepared food for lunch and dinner in a self service, sit down environment within the next six months.
“As always, we have the same goal: to make Epicure better and continue to keep up the traditions that have made it into a South Florida institution,” Starkman said.
For more information, visit www.epicuremarket.com.