Over 100 years ago, Five Bistro chef-owner Anthony Devoti’s great-grandfather operated a wholesale grocery in St. Louis. Devoti recently stumbled across a circa-1930 photo of his grandfather, Bart, leaning against the grocery’s truck, emblazoned with the company name: J. Devoti Grocery.
Long known for his focus on growing and serving his own produce at Five Bistro, it was natural for Devoti to begin selling items from his garden as well as artisan food-and-drink products. He opened a small retail space in the front room of the bistro, named for the old Devoti family business.
The room is filled with shelves and tables of freshly baked breads (think brioche, focaccia and sourdough wheat baguettes), housemade preserves and pickles, house-baked treats (cookies, macarons and more), as well as local coffee, truffle sea salt, olive oils, seasonings, sauces, natural cleaning products and, of course, produce from the garden. There’s also a selection of small-production wines and local beers.
“It’s completely a boutique shop,” Devoti says. “There was no need to reinvent the wheel and compete against what already exists. We’re a dinner-service place, and this is an outlet for really awesome produce and products from others, as well as what we grow in our garden and make in the kitchen.” J. Devoti Grocery is open Tuesday through Friday during dinner service, as well as during lunch on Saturday, where the chef’s famous burger is a must-try.
Three Must-Buys at J. Devoti Grocery
| 1 | Pickles, jams and preserves are big sellers, available year round in seasonal flavors such as green-tomato or green-bean pickles and blackberry, strawberry or peach jam.
| 2 | “Those flew out around the holidays,” says Devoti of the cutting boards his father, Joe, makes and sells at J. Devoti, which are available in various sizes and types of wood. Joe is a woodworker who also made the tables, counter and wine storage in the shop, as well as all the dining tables at the bistro.
| 3 | “We do brioche, focaccia, French boule and a naturally leavened sourdough wheat baguette, as well as olive bread, occasionally,” says Devoti on the housemade breads for sale. “It’s the same brioche on the popular Saturday burger and the baguettes that are served tableside.”
J. Devoti Grocery, 5100 Daggett Ave., The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.773.5553, fivebistro.com/shop_2.php