Florio’s an exciting hub for authentic Italian food has recently opened. Alex Florio talks about his new adventure and his love of good food.

My dad opened a hotel and restaurant in 1968 – the same year I was born in Puglia. He insisted on always using the best ingredients, he was never happy with second best. I grew up tasting the most amazing food. In 1996 I started importing food & wine into the UK for distribution to restaurants along the south coast. In those days Italian food in the supermarkets was scarce and low quality. London was the only place where you could buy good Italian products, often at inflated prices.

I always had the idea of opening a retail shop to supply the local community. The idea became a reality over the lockdown when the restaurants were shut, and more people were cooking at home. I thought why not bring to Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, a bit of Italy on a plate…especially as people cannot travel quite as freely anymore. We’ve launched a website so that customers can order over 1,000 products online, from pasta, to cured meats and wine and often at less than supermarket prices. Delivery is free in Portsmouth for orders over £45. Or you are very welcome to visit the shop. The adventure has only just begun, and I feel very excited about the project and the delicacies I am going to discover and offer to customers. – Alex Florio

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