Emerson College alum Talia Glass devised the concept for Brookline’s Allium Market while preparing for a hike. She couldn’t find a spot in Brookline to pick up small-portioned gourmet goodies for a summit picnic, and so, she made one. Allium Market, slated to open in Coolidge Corner this month, offers artisanal specialty items, an enormous selection of domestic and imported cheese and a cafe with coffee and lunch staples.
Though many local makers are featured, like Goodnow Farms Chocolate out of Sudbury, Glass wanted to support small culinary operations all over the world. “We’re celebrating local food on a global level,” she says. One of Glass’s favorite products is Northwest Meadowfoam Honey, an environmentally friendly product with a sweet and smoky taste. “The honey itself tastes like toasted marshmallows, it’s fabulous,” she says.
Cheese is an integral part of the operation. Allium employs three in-house cheesemongers and aims to offer the most extensive selection of imported and domestic cheese in Brookline. Customers can order cheese and charcuterie plates for Christmas through December 17, and for New Years through December 27. These platters are available regardless of the store opening and can be ordered through their website, alliummarket.com.
Glass honed her artisanal food skills at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She hopes to bring some of that midwestern friendliness to Brookline. “I think people will be surprised by the attention to the customer experience,” she says.
Part of this experience is the café, which will serve light bites like spreads, toasts and salads, all made fresh to order in the market’s full-sized industrial kitchen. To quench caffeine cravings, Allium serves Massachusetts based George Howell Coffee. Glass hopes the café will become a meeting ground where locals can have lunch, reconnect and take their time enjoying the extensive food offerings.
In-store guests can find everything from shrubs for cocktail making, tin fish, and an impressive olive oil display, to imported pasta, candies, and spices. There’s also a grab-and-go section for fellow hikers and picnickers looking for pre-packaged goodness.
As the market matures, Glass hopes to offer tastings, cooking classes and other food-centric events. She would also like to partner with Brookline restaurants to supply niche ingredients from around the world.
Glass hopes to open the market’s doors by December 16, but recommends visitors stay tuned on their social media for updates. A former Washington Square resident, Glass believes Coolidge Corner is the perfect spot for a market of this kind.
“Brookline is amazing,” she says. “We feel really embraced by the community.”