I went into D’Vine Taste yesterday, where I buy challah, Lebanese olive oil, cheese, olives and various condiments, nd learned that they are downsizing by vacating one of the two storefronts they occupy.
It was back in 2005 when D’Vine Taste expanded into what was at the time a one dollar store next door. Now they’re going back to the shop’s original size. Indeed, they are survivors. The Lebanese siblings who own the shop will do whatever is necessary to continue selling delicious food to Park Slope locals.
For many years, D’vine Taste has been Park Slope’s middle-eastern answer to Zabars (minus the lox and bagels). At one time, it was practically the only place in Park Slope where you could get gourmet cheeses, sliced meats, pate, cornichons, a huge selection of olive oil and beers.
It’s always been a great source of middle Eastern specialties: pita bread, tabouli, babaganoush, spinach pie, and halvah They also have a great selection of spices, dried fruits and nuts sold by the pound.
Back in 2005, they expanded, I believe, to gird against the onslaught of sophisticated emporiums like Blue Apron and Union Market as they entered the Park Slope foodie landscape.
At the time Whole Foods, Fairway, and Trader Joe’s didn’t exist in Brooklyn. Yet. We’re still waiting for Whole Foods.
It was probably a financial risk for D’vine Taste to take on such a large space. Interestingly, they are now able to fit everything into the single storefront.
Is it crowded? You bet it is. But as I joked with one of the owners, it’ll be cozy.
D’Vine Taste is a classic old time Seventh Avenue establishment: quirky, idiosyncratic, eccentric. They do it their way. It’s not the most convenient place to shop or the most comprehensive but we love it because it’s ours.
In 2005 I wondered if they’d survive the coming of the large, customer oriented giants. The answer is a resounding yes. Their ability to stay agile and flexible when the chips are down speaks volumes about their willingness to change with the times.
But it’s their love of the food they sell that really keeps them in the game and in the hearts of their neighborhood customers.