Bottega da Verri
Two hearts and an (Italian)
workshop in Provence
Xavier Verri, together with his partner Marion, have opened a gourmet food and pastry shop in France with the aim of bringing the authentic flavours of the Bel Paese to Aix-en-Provence.
The meeting with Marion was bewildering. Because at the heart of Xavier Verri's entrepreneurial idea there is a splendid love story. It was, in fact, his girlfriend who gave a whole new kind of input to the shop that her companion had inherited. Marion, skilful and able, had been working as a cook since she was 16 in one of the restaurants owned by her family in Switzerland, where they met five years ago. Today, she is 29 and he is 31, and together they manage Bottega Da Verri, a gourmet food and pastry shop that brings authentic Italian flavours to Aix-en-Provence. "From the great love we both had for Tuscany - my parents work in Arezzo - we got the idea of opening an Italian shop where you could find meats and cheeses, hot dishes such as lasagne, eggplant, pasta, and pizza, but also traditional desserts such as torta della nonna and chocolate caprese.”
"You can come to us for a take-away meal or you can put together your own plate to eat in 15 minutes, enjoying a variety of Italian cuisine of the highest quality.” In Bottega Da Verri you can find buffalo mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and scamorza, which are all gourmet foods for French customers.
"A little secret of our success,” reveals Xavier, “is also that we have chosen almost all young Italians to work with us. Behind the counter and serving in the dining room there are two from Turin, a Milanese and a Florentine. They have great enthusiasm and an all-Italian smile. It is important that customers hear our language to make them understand that the relationship with food in Italy is really authentic.”
What led to their choice to collaborate with Aba Arredamenti to define the style of the shop? “Aba was a long-standing knowledge I had through my parents,” Xavier explains. "When I returned to Italy a few years ago - I usually go back every three months - I had the opportunity to meet the two Giaccherini brothers and we started this extraordinary adventure together. There was a need to create a 'welcoming' space for the customer who enters and wants to choose the products displayed in the counters and showcases. That's why Massimo Giaccherini has designed a tailor-made solution based on our ideas and dreams. We have arranged the two counters in such a way that they have well-defined spaces for specific products, with seating and some tables around them where you can stop to eat your meal. The two counters are divided into sweets, savouries and delicatessen, so as to make choosing easier.”
"Wasn't looking for something extremely modern which would dominate the design. I preferred something middle-of-the-road that could evoke Tuscany and, at the same time, be very welcoming and soothing."
The warm and bright colours of blue and red dominate with reassuring wood and strong marble alternating around the spaces. "I wasn't looking for something extremely modern which would dominate the design,” Xavier reflects. “I preferred something middle-of-the-road that could evoke Tuscany and, at the same time, be very welcoming and soothing."
Our first space was entrusted to Aba Arredamenti’s aesthetic touch about three years ago. Recently, we have opened a new shop selling fresh pasta which was also designed and furnished by the company from Arezzo. It is a great success, most of all for its very particular setting, 25 square meters large, that includes a workshop and a sales point for both fresh and cooked pasta which is very important for the quality of the product. "In total we'll have 3 shops,” Xavier explains. “We're also expanding our business into the catering sector and then we'll open a kind of workshop. Now there are 10 people working in the shop, but we are hiring new staff specifically to better manage the catering service.”
In order to keep the Italian flavour and atmosphere of his workshop alive, Xavier must always draw from his Italian life and he is happy to return whenever he can, going to visit friends and colleagues scattered between Arezzo, Cortona and Florence. Some of them have also started interesting projects, such as the production of homemade ice cream, with a typical ice cream cart located just outside the shop.
› Bottega Da Verri | Gastronomia | Aix-en-Provence
› Bottega Da Verri | Pastificio | Aix-en-Provence
WORK IN PROGRESS
› Ristorante Da Verri | Aix-en-Provence