Since Martin Bebbington bought the European Gourmet in 2006, business has expanded. So much so that the store recently moved to a larger space with an indoor dining area, and more room for familiar stock and an expanded product line.
The store's new name reflects the changes: Euro Café, Deli & Grocer.
"Euro Café is a fun place to eat and shop for items that are hard to find," said Bebbington. The store sells gift baskets and provides catering.
Euro Café offers Reuben and Monte Cristo sandwiches, bratwurst, fresh German potato salad, and plum and poppyseed cakes, he said.
"People like our store," he said. Many "enjoy shopping for the foods from their home countries that they cannot find anywhere else."
Bebbington knows how it feels to be away from familiar cultural icons. He came to Brandon from Manchester, England, home of the Manchester United soccer team, his favorite.
"I moved to Florida for the sunshine – a bit rainy in England – as well as a wonderful business opportunity here," he said.
He realizes that, as exciting as life as an expatriate can be, sometimes people long for the familiar. They want to experience the sounds, sights, tastes, smells and textures of things from their native lands.
Euro Café, Deli & Grocer provides a little slice of Europe in Brandon. It is located at 1925A W. Brandon Blvd., four doors down from European Gourmet's former location.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Online shopping is available at www.eurogrocerstore.com.