As well as a bakery, cafe and gourmet supermarket, he is hoping that Bocconcino, located close to Surin Plaza, will be a little slice of Italy in Phuket; a community centre for locals and tourists alike.
“These places are very popular in Italy,” explains Chef Alessandro, “An Italian’s day will usually start off in a deli.
“He’ll pop in for a croissant and coffee and then go to work or business.
“Perhaps they’ll return to buy some freshly baked bread, and come back for espresso breaks throughout the day.”
Almost everything in the deli is Italian; the wines, coffees, cold cuts, biscuits and groceries.
Many of the items have especially poignant memories for Chef Alessandro.
“All of the selections here were things I had in my Italian childhood. We have lots of treats that can only be enjoyed here.I get emotional when I see the products,” he says.
Alessandro believes that deli shopping is steeped in a tradition that has worked for many years.
“Actually these stores are becoming popular again in Italy.
“The delis offer a personal intimate shopping experience as opposed to the very mechanical and impersonal experience of large supermarkets. They are dying out and so people are returning to places like these.”
Fresh bread is cooked on premises each and every day, and fresh baguettes and pastries are available throughout the day. Bocconcino also does breakfast, lunch, and a large selection of Antipasti, insalate, pasta and soup selections and various types of panini sandwiches to choose from.
Bocconcino already has an established clientèle of coffee drinkers, diners and shoppers. Chef Alessandro can be found there most mornings and afternoons, returning home for a brief break before going to work at his Italian restaurant, Acqua.
In April of this year, Acqua featured in the Tatler 2012 guide, scoring a maximum 10 out of 10 for its food, the only Italian restaurant in Thailand, and the only restaurant of any type in Phuket, to do so.
Bocconcino, Surin main road, 8/71 Moo 3, Cherng Talay, 076-386-531
acquarestaurantphuket.com. Open daily 9am-6pm.