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February 28, 2024

Boutique Italian ceramics store opens in Adelaide Arcade

Specialising in authentic Italian ceramics, this new shop aims to trigger or make fond memories of sitting around the family dinner table.

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  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera
  • First picture L—R: Pasqui D’Aloia and Rose Caporaso

Pasqui D’Aloia feels that she and her parents “grew up together”.

She recalls her most memorable younger years around the dinner table with her mum’s fresh cooking and a garden in their backyard filled with fresh ingredients.


Unica & Co
Shop 19, Adelaide Arcade, Adelaide 5000
Tue—Thu: 9:30am ’til 3:30pm
Friday: 10am ’til 7pm
Saturday: 10am ’til 3:30pm


“When mum and dad came to Australia [from Italy], they were pretty much on their own. It was just them two being young, married, with a child and then two others, myself and my younger sister — and they didn’t have any family here,” Pasqui says.

“They didn’t know how to speak English, so we used to teach them because we were going to school, so we could teach them words and how to say things.

“[At] the shops mum was trying to buy chocolate, she didn’t know how to say it, and [my sister] Rose was crying because that’s all she wanted.

“Little things like that [we would] sit around and help each other.”

Pasqui and Rose at Unica & Co


Pasqui, along with her sister Rose Caporaso, opened Unica & Co in the Adelaide Arcade yesterday in a Renew Adelaide space, which was previously The Museum of Storytelling.

The Italian ceramics store specialises in handmade and hand-painted items — just as they remembered their crockery at home when they were young.

“Everything for us always happened around the dinner table or the lunch table,” Pasqui says. “It was always filled with beautifully homemade food, and lots of laughter, lots of craziness, very, very loud, even though we’re only a family of five.

“And so for us, it was about well, how do we bring this to everybody? How does everyone get a piece of this?

“That’s how it all started. We just wanted to bring a piece of what we grew up with loved and shared together to the rest of the world.”

This inspired Unica & Co to launch as an online business in August of 2022, as they wanted to “really focus on items that are for sharing”. Pasqui says the brands stocked at Unica & Co’s first brick-and-mortar will highlight the “authentic-ness” of Italian tropes.

“So really working with boutique artisans who we knew could work alongside us and had the same values as what Unica had: about family, about offering quality products, and really having a story behind the products that we sourced,” Pasqui says.

These brands range from names like Bitossi and Crita Ceramiche. But Sicilian brand Ceramiche De Simone, which is Pasqui’s favourite, highlights the ethos of Unica & Co and is the first brand they stocked.

“So they take the inspiration from artists like [Henri] Matisse and they use that inspiration to paint a lot of people on their plates,” Pasqui says.

“Ceramiche De Simone… had it in sizes that was really going to work for sharing: the larger platters, 45-centimetre bowls.

“The biggest stuff that we knew [because]… it’s got to be big. We’re making big, big pastas, you know?! We’ve got lots of pasta here!”

The work of De Simone


The pair can find unique brands that are true to Italy’s culture from Adelaide. Pasqui credits Rose’s talents as Unica & Co’s buyer and says she “has got such a good eye for beautiful products”.

“It’s a very, very good artistic eye and she just scours and searches in every platform you can — whether it’s a magazine, whether it’s online, Insta, web. She does a lot of research to find specific suppliers,” Pasqui says.

“So now she’s got a bit more of a relationship with them, she can start talking about other opportunities, and other artisans that they might work with that might do things a little bit differently.”

When deciding what items to stock, Pasqui says a range of questions come into play, especially considering the quality of each item and how they can safely arrive in Adelaide.

“We’ve got to import all this stuff in, so it can be quite costly,” she says.

“We really need to think about that combination of how much is someone going to love it? And what are they willing to pay for it?

“Sometimes it’s like, you know what, we can’t get the really big one, but we can get the smaller one and everyone gets that flavour of it and it’s still affordable.”

They also sell hand towels! The top one is a Unica & Co custom-design


Pasqui says she wants the products to be the main feature of the store so opted for a “minimalist” look including white displays. They want produce like parsley and basil to scent the store to trigger fond memories.

“Sometimes I’ll go to Mum’s on a Sunday morning and she’ll be making the pasta sauce, you can smell it down the street. You pull up in the driveway [and] you can just smell it through the window,” Pasqui says.

“So Rose are I were talking about that [and said] we need that smell — we need to have that smell in the shop.

“Because when you get that smell it smells divine. So it’s all about bringing all those beautiful smells that can be memories to the shop.”

Unica & Co is located at Shop 19, Adelaide Arcade, Adelaide and is open from Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30am until 3:30pm, Friday from 10am until 7pm and Saturday from 10am until 3:30pm.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

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