‘A gathering place for foodies’: Gourmet market opens in Boca

Blair Leavall, co-owner of GourmetPhile, a specilaty market that opened recently in Boca Raton, poses with two baskets filled with gourmet goods sold at his Boca Raton shop. (Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — If you’re a fan of fine wines, artisan cheeses and costly, gold-lined tins of caviar, spend a little a time at GourmetPhile, a specialty market that recently opened at Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton.

GourmetPhile is the brainchild of Blair Leavall and his wife, Zhanna, who aimed to amass the most exquisite gourmet goods from countries throughout the world for local one-stop-shoppers.

“We want to become the gathering place for foodies, chefs and lovers of fine foods,” Leavall said. GourmetPhile — which is set up like a small market with sections for cheeses, chocolates and everything in between — opened Nov. 18 in a space near Indian Sapphire Cuisine.

They specialize in the foods you “can’t find at Publix or Whole Foods,” as Leavall puts it. Some of these goods include Kumsi tea leaves from Russia, Scottish and Norwegian Salmon, and European sausages.

A case filled with artisan cheeses curated from countries throughout the world is found in the middle of GourmetPhile, a specialty shop that opened at Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton. Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

A case filled with artisan cheeses curated from countries throughout the world is found in the middle of GourmetPhile, a specialty shop that opened at Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton. Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

In a temperature and humidity-controlled room toward the back of the shop, you’ll find more than 250 curated wines and an extensive chocolate collection.

Shoppers can create gift baskets by selecting different gourmet goods, and the shop will package and design it.

“We noticed a sort of hole in the marketplace (in Boca) for these sort of gourmet goods,” said Leavall, who has lived in Boca Raton for two years now.

But GourmetPhile isn’t reserved for those with a penchant for fine foods, it’s also place to learn about gourmet goods and grow your fondness.

On Tuesday evening, the specialty shop held a caviar tasting, in which a handful of patrons had the chance to taste multiple Petrossian caviars, a French company that sells some of the priciest sturgeon roe (a term for eggs) in the business.

Petrossian caviars and sparkling wine was served during a tasting at GourmetPhile, a specialty market that recently opened in Boca Raton. Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

Petrossian caviars and sparkling wine was served during a tasting at GourmetPhile, a specialty market that recently opened in Boca Raton. (Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

“We want to be a sort of rich venue for people to hang out, learn about these foods and taste them,” Leavall said following the tasting. The shop plans to hold wine, cheese and other similar tastings at least twice per week for a fixed cost depending on the date and foods. They’ll advertise the tastings on their website, www.gourmetphile.com.

At the tastings, GourmetPhile will bring in experts to share tidbits about the different gourmet foods.

Said Leavall: “We want to be the place to go for the best of the best.”