Step inside the old-world, new-way store elevating your weekly Central Market shopping experience.
The new Marino Meat and Food Store is a level-up for Adelaide
Before we begin our interview about the new-look Marino Macelleria e Mercato, Riccardo Marino issues CityMag with a correction.
“Ma-ché-leria,” he says, catching our pronunciation of the new Italian word appearing above his family’s name on their new shop signage in the Adelaide Central Market.
“It’s almost opposite to English in that way, where ‘c’s make a ‘ch’ sound instead of a ‘kuh’ sound, and ‘ch’ in Italian words makes a ‘kuh’ sound instead of a ‘shuh’ sound,” he adds.
Two-hundred and fifty individual leaves of 24ct gold were bought and adhered to the shopfront windows, encasing one of the finest examples of retail in the 5000 postcode. The gold glints in the day and night when you walk by, as it reflects different light sources, sparkling – it catches your eye.
“Tristan [Kerr] has done an incredible job,” says Riccardo of the hand-painted and hand-made signs totalling ten if you include the giant light box over the Market-side entrance to the shop (slide 08 above).
“To be honest, I wanted to change the shop as soon as I took over from my parents but we simply couldn’t close the store back then,” says Riccardo.
All up the shop re-fit has taken five weeks with interiors designed by Matiya Marovich of Sans-Arc Studio and graphic identity by Tristan Kerr of Uppercase Studio. And Riccardo makes special mention of Johnny Caminiti, owner of Adelaide Carpentry and Trades who “brought the store to life” as the project builder for whom nothing was too much trouble.
The typeface – squat and without serifs – pairs perfectly with the checkered tiles, sturdy timber shelves and sharp, glass cabinets (from Italy) that divide the ‘butcher’ business from the ‘food’ business at Marino.
“Macelleria e Mercato is as close as we could come to translating ‘meat and food store’,” says Riccardo. “Macelleria means butcher in Italian.”
Sitting with Riccardo and his mother Marilena Marino and wife Katrina, the story of this long-awaited refurbishment spills out of the family with all the pride and care you would expect from a family that still proudly traces its roots back to Abruzzo on the boot-shaped peninsula that was once at the centre of the world.
The project has been delivered by Riccardo and Katrina, says Marino matriarch, Marilena. She raises her eyebrows when her son begins to remember the day this project really began; two-and-a-half years ago when Katrina was going into labour.
“I was in the bank signing the transfer to take over a shop in Croydon and Katrina was going into labour,” says Riccardo.
“What do they say? Murphy’s Law?” laughs Katrina.
The Central Markets shop has been its own labour of love, requiring the family business to close for five weeks while works commenced. The Croydon Marino Meat Store was an essential step, Riccardo says, in realising his dream of refreshing the Central Market store. It allowed Marino to maintain their wholesale business of supply meat to some of Adelaide’s best restaurants and it also allowed some Central Market customers to keep up consumption of Marino’s special ‘spirali’ sausages.
“But, you know what?” Riccardo says. “If I had of changed the store back then – when I took over – I wouldn’t have done what we have today.
“I’ve learnt so much in those years, I’ve discovered people like Matiya and Tristan and I’ve travelled.
“I visited a place – Eataly – and it was just incredible. This store is a combination of many stores I’ve seen around the world and I’m really happy with the result.”
Aside from a refreshed brand identity and new-look interior, the new Marino Meat and Food Store features a fresh pasta bar, where shoppers can browse and purchase different styles of freshly made pasta ranging from gnocchi to orecchiette each day.
You needn’t be sceptical about a butcher preparing your pasta because Ruby Rose Cucina chef, Davide Bruna will be on site each day overseeing the operation.
The shop format has changed too, with the dog-leg on its southern side being removed in favour of a ‘split’ shop, which separates the butchers from the customers. A new (and expensive, we guess) dry-ageing fridge has been installed facing Gouger Street, and Riccardo explains a new service Marino is offering.
“Customers can buy a large steak and store it with us in the fridge,” he says. “This way they can try their steak at four weeks, six weeks and so on – to get an idea of the difference in taste and texture.”
Join Famiglia Marino this Saturday 21 September for a fiesta with Italian music and much food to celebrate the launch of their new-look shop. There’ll be FREE canolli. More details here.
The most important feature of the shop – as it’s always been – is still the family bond at the centre of its operation.
“I couldn’t have done this project without my wife Katrina’s support, she got me through,” says Riccardo. “There were definitely days when I wanted to scrap the gold signage or felt like we couldn’t afford this or that feature but Katrina just kept me on course.”
“I just knew,” says Katrina with the warm and knowing smile we see on so many people partnered up with entrepreneurs, “that Riccardo’s vision would work and we just needed to stay on track and not deviate you know?”
“I knew it would feel and look like this when it was completed,” says Katrina. “It’s perfect.”