Opening one grocer – let alone two – was never part of Andrew McConnell’s plan.
Late last year his Covid pop-up found a permanent home just a few doors down on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. And a new name: Morning Market. But now it has a just-as-charming south-side sibling in Prahran’s East Village.
In a corner store at the intersection of High Street and the tree-lined Grandview Grove, it’s taking the same locally focused (but European-food-market-inspired) approach. You’ll find freshly cut flowers from Monbulk grower Guy McDermott alongside Baker Bleu’s hallowed sourdough and bags of Morning Market’s house blend (by Aussie coffee roaster Single Origin).
In the pantry section, stock up on eggs from Daylesford’s Honest Eggs Co, salty cultured butter from St David’s Dairy and Aussie-grown rice as well as jars of Italian sugo and Spanish Ortiz anchovies. There’s also house-made granola, soba noodles and chickpea miso. It’s a little something like what McConnell has in his own pantry.
“Selfishly, it’s a collection of my favourite things,” he said in a statement. “As well as some special products and produce that can sometimes be hard to find.”
But it’s not all pantry-stocking. Those looking for something ready-to-eat can choose from a few fresh or toasted sangas. There’s a chicken Waldorf ciabatta with a mix of free-range chook, apple, celery, roasted walnuts and mustardy aioli; another with leg ham, molten comté and Dijon mustard; and a salmon melt. A handful of salads – centred around chicken, trout and beetroot – are also available. And sweets-wise you’ll find jaffa-flavoured cakes, flaky escargot pastries, cookies and more.
As in Fitzroy there’s seasonal fruit and veg: rainbow chard, beetroot, pumpkin, apples and plums, for example. In the fridge, find smoked salmon, chorizo and fresh juices. Plus, for speedy meals at home, there’s a selection of heat-and-serve meals as well as popular cuts from Meatsmith.
Later down the track you’ll be able to add a bottle of wine or a sixpack of beer to your basket. Once the liquor licence is approved it’ll also function as a bottle shop, with a booze selection curated by the group’s sommelier and wine buyer, Leanne Altmann.