Gluten-free grocery shopping is getting a glow-up.
Agata & Valentina, the family-owned grocer known for offering Italian specialties, prepared foods and everyday essentials since 1993, is expanding with a gluten-free new store on the Upper East Side. Located at 1513 First Avenue (on the corner of 79th Street), across the street from its flagship store, the 2,000-square-foot store will focus on gluten-free, vegan, organic and dairy-free products.
The new Agata & Valentina will feature both freshly prepared foods and packaged products. The prepared foods departments will include a pizza counter with an in-house pizza oven, freshly made pasta, house-made pastries, and gluten-free renditions of Agata & Valentina’s top-selling prepared dishes. All of the food that is prepared in-house will be gluten-free, ensuring no risk of contamination.
Agata & Valentina hopes to take the stress out of shopping with dietary restrictions in mind, so products in the store will be clearly labeled as gluten-free, vegan, organic, or dairy-free.
Similar to the original Agata & Valentina store, the cappuccino bar at the entrance of the store will also offer seating where customers can enjoy coffee, prepared foods or wine at window-facing counters.
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Agata Musco and Valentina Musco Puleo, the mother-daughter duo behind the eponymous store, struggled to find authentic Italian products after Valentina stopped eating gluten. Still, they were determined to find culturally relevant, authentic gluten-free foods, leading to the idea to open a store highly accommodating to those with dietary restrictions and food allergies.
“We wanted to give people in the community with dietary restrictions a place where they feel comfortable and have more organized options. At most regular grocery stores you just have to take what you can get in terms of gluten-free products and foods,” says owner Valentina. “The new store will also make it easier for people who aren’t gluten-free to shop for a family member or friend who is gluten-free and give them a chance to discover new healthy products."
The grocery store opens on Thursday, April 14 and will be open daily from 8am-9pm.