The Adriatic Pantry’s Gourmet, Small-Batch Goods

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Lovingly hand-picked local Croatian gourmet goods are worth unearthing at Zoran Svetličić and Belle Shafer’s online store.

By Thompson Wong

You ask: what is food for the soul? We answer: good company accompanied by truffles, cheese, figs, olive oil, salt, booze and charcuterie. And why settle for the usual supermarket variety when you can now order the finest local Croatian gourmet products available at the click of a button?

Zoran Svetličić and Belle Shafer inhabit a space all Singaporeans can surely appreciate: artisanal gourmet products offered at reasonable prices. The husband-wife duo began The Adriatic Pantry to connect buyers with natural food finds from the Mediterranean country of Croatia, part of the Adriatic region in Europe.

On the Adriatic Pantry’s website, the two gush over the six families that supply their produce. The passionate foodies pride themselves on only selling food made by farmers they know personally, and that they love to eat themselves.

We’re constantly surprised at how sophisticated the palates of kids are in Singapore. They almost always gravitate to stronger, more mature flavors than even their parents!

Belle & Zoran: Hot and heavy! We believe food tastes better when you know where it comes from and who makes it.

B&Z: Supply and demand. There is simply more access to traditional European food through travel and trade. Asians, and Singaporeans in particular, are adventurous eaters and know how to recognize quality. Once you spend a summer on the Mediterranean and have real high-quality cheese drizzled in top-grade olive oil, you can’t go back to industrial products.

B&Z: We go to the Adriatic quarterly to visit our family producers and seek out new products to test in Singapore. For example, during our February trip, we brought back an exceptional smoked salt and vinegar made from maraschino cherries, and Illyrian cheese made from a traditional 5,000-year-old method!

B&Z: Helping people eat more good stuff! We want to connect people with healthy, natural food and the families that make it.

We attract foodies with a worldly mindset. It’s a really broad cross-section of Singaporeans and expats. We’re constantly surprised at how sophisticated the palates of kids are in Singapore. They almost always gravitate to stronger, more mature flavours than even their parents.

B&Z: Our blockbusters are Tartufata, a great truffle spread with a mix of Istrian black summer truffles, button mushrooms and black olives. Pag sheep cheese, packed with the aromas of Pag Island, and just named best European sheep cheese at the World Cheese Awards in San Sebastian in November. Lastly, we have Istrian olive oil, voted the best olive oil producing region in the world by industry bible Flos Olei two years running.

B&Z: Seeing people’s eyes light up when they taste truffles or great olive oil for the first time. And how much cheese we’ve sold to French people!

    1. Adriatic Pantry stands for… natural, artisanal, award-winning food made by sustainable family producers.
    2. The Adriatic sea is… crystal clear, historic, spectacular!
    3. If I did not start Adriatic Pantry… someone else would have!
    4. Singapore’s gourmet food scene is… young but promising!

Images by The Adriatic Pantry.
Visit The Adriatic Pantry for more information.