Fans of Olio's famous egg salad will soon be able to get it on the go: Chef and restaurateur Ben Poremba announced this week he's opening AO&Co., a specialty market and coffee and tea shop, in Botanical Heights in January.
The name (which comes from the names of Poremba's children, Aviv, Omri and Cossette) was originally announced in 2016 for a Jewish deli concept, but Poremba says AO&Co. will be more of a brand umbrella: The market will sell private-label olive oil, Olio's egg salad and hummus and more under the AO&Co. moniker.
"There could very well be a deli someday under that name," he says.
AO&Co. is partnering with Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co. on a coffee and tea program (emphasis on the tea side), with trendy ingredients like CBD oil, activated charcoal and wheatgrass. You'll also find prepared foods (like the aforementioned egg salad) alongside quality ingredients and condiments such as cheese, salami, vinegars and olive oil.
Poremba also plans to offer retail wine, beer and spirits, plus items like kitchen towels, soap and tea cups – not to mention a selection of 90 premium cigars.
The space is currently under construction; Poremba describes it as clean and modern with rustic and industrial elements. AO&Co. is also partnering with David Richardson of David Kent Richardson Interiors to offer a selection of antiques like vintage ashtrays and tea cups.
At AO&Co., expect to find favorites from across Bengelina Hospitality Group for sale, including fresh tortillas from Nixta and cookie dough from La Patisserie Chouquette.
"It's a small space – 1,200 square feet – but it will have kind of an old-school general store/bodega [feel] with artisan-made goods," he says. "I want people to come in and feel like it's been there for a long time."
AO&Co., 1641 Tower Grove Ave., Botanical Heights, bengelina.com