If you’ve got a hankering for just about anything delicious, look for the red awning on the west side of the Old Post Road, and you can’t go wrong. According to local legend, the Bedford Gourmet was founded by Mona Spilo in the heart of Bedford Village nearly 40 years ago with a few cheeses, a dozen baguettes, a hot plate, and the first bagels Bedford had ever seen. Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll still find fabulous cheeses and baguettes to-go, but now you’ll find a whole lot more.
Veteran Bedford Gourmet employees Alex Walsh and Debbie Franzese purchased the shop and catering business in 2010. The duo quickly determined that a move was imminent. “We were past maximum capacity and needed more space and parking for our customers,” says Franzese. So, in 2015, they moved around the corner. “The new location has not changed the way that we do business but has changed how much business we can do.”
The shop, known for its cheeses, paté, caviar, prepared foods, and sweets is always bustling with customers dropping in for last minute takeout dishes. The daily menu runs the gamut from premade wraps and sandwiches, quesadillas, and fresh soups and salads to full-on meals like fresh grilled shrimp, ginger soy salmon, and marinated hangar steak with mushrooms. “Most everything is made on premises, with the exception of a few boutique bakers—Annie, with her decadent cakes, and Liz, the ‘Gluten-free Queen'”—and our daily delivery of Balthazar breads and baked goods,” she continues.
Bedford Gourmet’s customers have evolved palates and tend to want their food seasonal and fresh. “I am an advocate of not over seasoning,” says Head Chef Franzese. “I like to taste the quality and components of each dish, keep it fresh and clean.”
While Franzese leads the culinary efforts in the kitchen, Walsh masterminds the merchandising in the front of the shop. “We are constantly on the lookout for new products,” she explains. “We often observe other gourmet and local food store reps taking pictures of our shelves only to find those same products on theirs. We've embraced it as a compliment; it also keeps us sharp.” With an expanded facility, Bedford Gourmet’s catering arm continues to grow, as well. “We do everything from Houlihan Lawrence's broker open houses to photo shoots to grand, full-catered events,” says Walsh who together with Franzese manages the event planning.
So, what’s Bedford Gourmet’s secret ingredient that keeps customers coming back day after day? “Oh, that’s easy,” says Franzese. “It’s love, compassion, and passion. We really love what we do and how we are a part of this community. We really love and care for our customers and, of course, our amazing staff.”
Bedford Gourmet | 460 Old Post Rd., Bedford, NY 10506 914-234-9409
Photos courtesy of Bedford Gourmet