In the Mercato Centrale is hidden one of Florence’s outstanding gastronomic jewels, a real temple not to be missed by those who love and enjoy the best Italian and foreign cuisine.
The Baroni family, Alessandro and Paola, and their staff – people with a lifetime experience of cheese and cured meats ? have successfully created a unique shopping space that is the meeting point of different cultures, traditions and human stories. There the rich Florentine tradition coexists harmoniously with other, non-Tuscan flavours, and local housewives coexist in harmony with Japanese visitors. People who are serious about flavour will love this shop. Long years, experience, efforts and determination have helped Alessandro and Paola to see their dream come true.Respect for tradition and the past will always be one of the secrets of Florence’s wonderful Tuscan culture and, of course, of this shop. This is why, before the Baroni and their staff welcome you with a smile, a little bit of history is in order…
It all began around 1912-1915 when an old Florentine family, the Arduini, opened a large (indeed, by the standards of the time, a very large) “pizzicheria” inside Florence’s Mercato Centrale.In this grocery store, one of Mr Arduini’s assistants was Lido Oculisti who, after marrying Anna Borghini, took over the shop in 1945 and ran it very successfully with the help of his family until the 1970s.
In these years Mr Gino Baroni developed an interest in this historic shop and its success of over fifty years. Mr Baroni, Alessandro’s father, dealt in groceries and was one of the most important suppliers to the Oculisti family, and a great friend of Mr Lido, the mastermind of the shop.Eventually they reached an agreement in 1974: Mr Baroni succeeded in buying the shop, and he had no intention to interfere in such a perfectly functioning mechanism.The staff was kept and the shop did not undergo any dramatic transformations. It simply got better. It was first restored in 1982-1983 and started to take on its present appearance. Old members of staff gradually began to retire. In 1985 Alessandro Baroni and Paola Prini (not yet married) started to work in the shop, and in 1989 took it over from the Famiglia Baroni, setting out on their journey to discover the best and most carefully selected products to offer to their customers. And so this brief narrative has taken us up to the present. The only thing left to say is that in July 2000 the shop was redecorated once again, and this time it was completely renovated, enlarged and refurnished. This last effort is yet another incentive for the Baroni to keep improving constantly their offer of the best and most selected products.