We’ve been longtime fans of the delicious, health-conscious menu at Café Clover in the West Village, so we couldn’t be more excited to check out the restaurant’s neighboring luxury bodega, Clover Grocery. Clover Grocery just opened its doors this week and we’re already writing out our shopping list. The store is not only beautifully designed and stocked with some of our favorite local products, but it’s also planned to double as a chic event space. We got the chance to sit down with the genius behind the café and store, Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, who gave us the 411 on his plans for Clover Grocery. Here’s what he told us:
We’re huge fans of Cafe Clover and we love the idea of a health-focused grocery store in the West Village area. How did you come up with the idea for Clover Grocery?
Health food stores can be overwhelming, even for the educated and health-aware consumer. We wanted to create a shop that had a highly curated, edited selection of the best healthful offerings and specialty items. And like at Cafe Clover, we wanted to allow our customers to have that experience in a beautiful setting.
Rumor has it Clover Grocery is actually a grocery store and an event space. Can you expand on that unique combination?
Yes! Part of the fun of owning a restaurant is being the last one there with all of your friends at night, when you can play whatever music you want, you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else at the restaurant, and so on. I wanted to create that vibe for private events at the Grocery — where our guests get to take over this bustling market by day and turn it into their private dining room by night. The central market table at Clover Grocery extends at night for dinners up to 20 people, and our chef works with our private event clients to create a custom menu highlighting the best of Cafe Clover and Clover Grocery.
What was the inspiration behind the store’s beautiful design?
Cafe Clover’s design is such a specific, beautiful, Santa Monica-meets-Sag Harbor look that I love, but I never wanted any two “Clover” spaces to feel the same, so we brought on designer Andre Mellone to help dream up what a Clover store should look like. We didn’t want it to feel rustic, we wanted it to feel crisp and cool. We drew on European patisseries and cafeterias of the 20s/30s/40s for inspiration, and the kitchen at Villa Necchi in Milan was a rather specific inspiration for its curvilinear millwork, square tiles, and elevated aesthetic.
Can we expect some of our favorite items from Cafe Clover to be sold in the store? (Thinking about those seed crisp appetizers!)
Yes! Seed crackers and the tips to go along with it, salads and salad dressings, sauces like kale parsley pestos and sugar-free marinara, and much more! We’re also offering bottles of our house-made milks like almond, cashew, macadamia nut and split pea, as well as our coconut sugar and coconut dulce de leche, date sugar, and other pantry staples. We also have a selection of our fresh house-made pastas that we serve at Cafe Clover (quinoa tagliatelle, chickpea spaghetti, teff papardelle) that you can now make at home.
We heard that in addition to the seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients, there will also be a beauty product and supplement section of the store. What can we expect to see there?
The beauty and supplement section is really a curated list of our favorite products – items that we love, that have a cult following, etc. We carry Linné for skincare, body products by Bamford, two fragrances – Andree Putman and Comme des Garcon, Morihata Binchotan charcoal products, Agent Nateur deodorant, L. condoms, and a few other special products.
On the supplement side we sell Stamba, a superfood blend, Sun Potion, Moon Juice, Anima Mundi, Shaman Shack, Vital Proteins, and more to come.
One thing we’re super excited about is the superfood infused waters and tonics. Can you list a couple beverages we can expect to see?
We have a great selection of infused waters, tonics, blended coffee and matcha, and more. We’re doing activated charcoal lemonade, cucumber rose water lemongrass water, turmeric limeade, green juice, beet juice, cinnamon detox water, and more. For the blended coffees, we have things like Cordyceps Coffee with Four Sigmatic cordyceps, coconut oil, molasses, and a choice of milk; and matchas like Beauty Matcha with oconut oil, Lucuma, Tocotrienols, Raw honey, collagen peptides.
How do you want people to feel when they walk into Clover Grocery?
I want them to feel happy! We’re offering a selection of things that are great for the body and mind. You can come hang out there all day, pop-in and pick up a gift, grab dinner for friends, or just have a matcha. It is a tiny store but it can be a lot of things to a lot of people. Its aesthetically calming and the lighting is soothing, so hopefully people will feel very zen.
What’s your favorite product you’ll be selling at the store?
I know I should talk about a food product…and I hate to go too hippie here, but I have to say the Remix Clove intention candles. They’re the same concept as a traditional prayer candle, but have embedded calcite and clove essential oil to bring you prosperity. We just lit one for the opening!