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Eataly Elevates Food Retail, Tastes Success. What's Next?

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This story appears in the November 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The tourists stream in one after the other, converging from all directions. You can tell they’re tourists not only by the cameras and the clothes—sweat-soaked T-shirts, faded polo shirts and drab sundresses no fashionable New Yorker would dream of wearing—but also by the goggle-eyed amazement on their faces as they drink the place in. It’s almost as if they’ve stepped out of the Flatiron District and into another country. 

Almost, but not quite. This is Eataly, the upscale food retailer and eatery that’s extending the tenets and traditions of Italian cuisine to all corners of the globe. The 50,000-square-foot New York store transports the dizzying sensory delights of an old-world Italian marketplace to the largest central business district in the U.S., with a multitude of gourmet meats, cheeses, pastas, breads, produce and desserts, all artfully arranged and presented for maximum mouthwatering appeal. Many products originate from the source in Italy, others come from suppliers and vendor partners in the U.S., some are made fresh daily in-house—and all capture the essence of la dolce vita. 

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