The world’s first pop-up grocery store is coming to Miami.
Pop Up Grocer is not a typical grocery store, of course. You don’t go there seeking buy-one-get-one boxes of Cheerios, quarts of half-and-half or massive chicken tender subs.
Instead, you shop for brand-new products you’ve never seen before. Cactus chips. Milk made from bananas. Deli slices that are actually beets.
Pop Up Grocer is the brainchild of CEO Emily Schildt, who created the brand in 2019 in New York (there have been three New York pop ups, plus pop ups in Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin, Texas). The idea is simple: Introduce new products made by small companies, most of them vegan or gluten free, to interested consumers in a fun and creative way.
“I find grocery shopping to be delightful when I have time, but that’s really rare,” Schildt says. “In order to actually find products I want, made with better ingredients, maybe those made by small companies who are under represented, I’d have to spend a lot of time scouring a large store to uncover them.”
Pop Up Grocer sells about 400 new products, most of them vegan or gluten free, as opposed to the 40,000 found in your classic neighborhood spot. Miami shoppers can look for unique items like Zora West African chocolate or a chile sampler by Occo and Pop Up Grocer, which features four different pods containing chiles from around the world (and four different levels of heat to go with them).
There are also vegan fish sticks and crab cakes from Good Catch and sparkling water that nourishes your libido (talk about refreshing). You can also try Acid League’s Proxies, a non alcoholic alternative to wine or get your drink on with Sayso cocktail teabags. Yes. Tea bags only they make cocktails like Rosemary Honey Moscow Mule or Skinny Margaritas. It’s a great day to be alive.
Chaz Capobianco, owner of design studio Capoco, and Elizabeth Jaime, a prop stylist and florist, have designed the Miami store, which will also feature fresh baked goods from local baker Fernanda Quintaro, who sells her goods at @nacoooks on Instagram.
A local baker is one of the special features of Pop Up Grocer, Schildt said. The pop ups, which usually last for a month, have in the past featured special events, too, but COVID has tempered that plan somewhat.
Even so, Schildt said, Miami is an ideal place for a Pop Up Grocer.
“There’s a national growing interest in Miami,” she said. “It’s a vibrant metropolis, a unique city with a distinct energy. We do well in cities where there’s a large, creative culture.”
Pop Up Grocer
Where: 171 NW 23rd St., Miami
When: Through Feb. 27
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 .p.m. daily
More information: www.popupgrocer.co