Tasted & Tested
When you're browsing at Market Hall Foods (formerly known as The Pasta Shop), you can be sure that every product you see has been given the stamp of approval from our buyers. We've tasted every product that earns a spot on our shelves and every product is there for a reason. Our mission is to bring you the best, most honest foods from around the world and right here in the Bay Area. When appropriate, we buy local or organic or artisanal, but we don't limit our selections to those - we understand that not all producers have the means to bring food to market that meets these criteria. What we do is promise to carry a variety of the best foods from the best sources and bring them to you with our knowledge and expertise.
We like to think that the pantry is where all good food begins. Whether you're adding spice to a tagine or vinegar to a salad, a well-stocked pantry ensures you'll always be able to take your food to new places.
Tradition Meets Innovation
Our buyers have traveled extensively to find the newest and hottest ingredients, but it's those traditional foods about which we've just begun learning that interest us most. We're more interested in a pasta from Puglia, made for centuries, that's made from wheat that's been burnt before threshing than we are in the next super-fruit flavored yogurt.
Our choices are made based on a whole set of considerations, but here's a brief checklist we use:
- Taste - is it delicious?
- Clean - is it free of unneccessary preservatives, coloring agents or junk?
- Value - we don't look for the lowest-priced items, but we want to give you value. We look for the best example of any product in its price.
- Provenance - where does it come from? If it is traditionally made in Morocco, we'll try to find one from there.
- Packaging - is it over-packaged? Usually they're hiding something if that's the case.
- Local - if it's made in our foodshed, we want to bring it to you.
We're always learning and hope to bring you along for the ride.
We're not simply a retailer - after 30 years in the specialty food business, we've built relationships with producers of incredible products all over the world. As an importer, we have access to products that are not available anywhere else in the U.S. We import small-production, artisanal products from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
By working directly with the producers, we're not only bringing exclusive products to our customers, but we're also giving the producers an opportunity to get their products to a wider market. Small producers need to be able to reach the international market to survive in a modern global economy.
The Wilson family, owners of Market Hall, are from New Zealand and so it's no surprise that we have an array of products from this food paradise in the South Pacific. They produce great items like honey, extra virgin olive oil, confections and beautiful fruit-based products like cheese condiments and syrups.
While some of the products we import may be available elsewhere in the U.S., we think it's important to go straight to the source whenever possible. One of Italy's most esteemed chocolatiers, Venchi, is a great example. We've been working with Venchi for many years now and, while the chocolate importing business is a perilous one, we're committed to bringing their best products to our customers.