The little shop on the corner
When basketball player Pavel Ermolinskij and two friends spotted a vacant corner shop in the heart of down-town Reykjavík, they jumped at the chance to open a small fish and meat shop. They also sell a range of vegetables, bread, and other products such as rice and spaghetti.
Pavel, who plays for the Icelandic national basketball team and KR in Reykjavík, told Iceland Magazine that it was certainly a big decision, since none of them had ever run a shop before.
“All three of us are great gourmets who just happened upon this lovely space that practically screamed ‘shop on the corner’ at us,” Pavel explains.
The little shop is located on the corner of Bergstaðastræti and Spítalastígur and opened for business on November 1, to the great delight of local residents who have shown the trio much support.
“The customers seem happy to finally have a shop like this in the neighbourhood. Many have told us that they prefer being able to shop locally instead of having to drive to a market. Their encouragement and support means the world to us.”
"The shop is very ‘demand-supply’ oriented: they ask for it, we provide it"
The trio wanted to create a space that, although new and modern, had an old-fashioned vibe about it – the kind that gives the customer the feeling that the shop had been there for sixty years. They spent much time and effort creating the right ambiance and, Pavel says, they are very happy with the results.
Pavel Ermolinskij plays for the Icelandic national basketball team and KR. Photo/Daníel Rúnarsson
At first, the product selection was limited, but has grown considerably as time goes by. Pavel explains that they listen carefully to their customers’ wishes and try to respond to them quickly.
“The first week after we opened we had a lot of clients asking for osso buco. We were quick off the mark and now offer lovely pieces of osso buco that sell like hot cakes. The shop is very ‘demand-supply’ oriented: they ask for it, we provide it. We also work closely with our neighbours at Snaps restaurant up the road and are proud to sell their plokkfiskur (Icelandic fish hash) and other delicious dishes.”
The employees are currently busy getting ready for Christmas and plan to stock up on all the holiday favourites, including twice-smoked leg of lamb – a delicacy all Icelanders love.
“Our meat counter will be chock-full of all the Christmas favourites soon. We’ll also offer catering to private groups – we’ll arrive at the location and cook up a festive storm for people,” he concludes with a smile.
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