More than six years ago, two brothers dove into their savings and maxed out their credit cards to follow their passion and share it with the people around them.
“There was a demand for a store specializing in this (local and organic) kind of food, and we thought if we don’t do it, someone else will do it,” said Adam Erace, co-owner of Green Aisle Grocery.
For only occupying 260 square feet of space – smaller than the size of a typical one-car garage – Green Aisle Grocery has had a big presence in Philadelphia, and it all started on East Passyunk.
In November 2009, the Erace Brothers, Andrew and Adam, opened their first local and organic grocery store in South Philadelphia. Since then, they have been able to expand and open two more stores, in Graduate Hospital and Fishtown. They have also been able to start making their own products to be sold in the stores.
“The biggest change for us has probably been the expansion of the product line,” said Erace. “It’s a really great way for us to be zero-waste.”
The Green Aisle product line includes homemade preserves, tomato sauces, pickles, nut butters, syrups, kimchi, various prepared food and much more. Erace estimated that 15 percent of the products sold in the stores are made by the brothers.
“The core of what we do, which is provide delicious local food to people and try to forge personal connections with our customers, that’s what we’ve done since day one and what we still try to do,” Erace said.
Stephanie Saracini, a frequent customer and neighbor of Green Aisle, said she loves coming into the store with friends.
“We come in every once in a while to look around,” said Saracini. “It’s nice to have something like this so close to me, within walking distance. I love the unique variety of products.”
– Text and photos by Abigail Durey