Despaña Brand Foods, the Queens-based importer and manufacturer of Spanish food products, is branching out with a new Manhattan store opening today on the eastern edge of Soho.
The company, which has been in the business of importing and producing Spanish specialties for 35 years, is a major wholesale supplier to New York City restaurants, including Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, and Daniel. Four years ago, owners Marcos and Angelica Intriago opened a tiny retail shop in Jackson Heights (previously featured here). "We found that more and more people were getting interested in our products," Ms. Intriago told me. "But, we just didn't have the kind of space to do what we wanted to do there."
The bright new 1,500 square foot space, awash in sunlight, carries a wide range of imported Spanish products, including Serrano ham, olive oils, vinegars, and cheeses, along with specialty items like honeys from the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Calasparra rice, a super-absorbent short grain rice that is perfect for paella. Despaña’s own line of house-made chorizo and morcilla, blood pudding, are available, along with imported dry-cured chorizo and lomo, dry-cured pork loin.
If you find your appetite growing while perusing the shop, you can bite into bocadillos, small sandwiches stuffed with cured meats and cheeses. There are also plans for a regular series of in-store tastings of the shop's products.
"You can find Spanish ingredients in gourmet stores, but you can’t find them all in one place," says Ms. Intriago. "Now, this will be your best bet for all of the special things people crave from Spain."
Despaña, 408 Broome Street, between Lafayette Street and Cleveland Place (212.219.5050).