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Gourmet Pantry [Now] Open in Harlem

April 30, 2013
Chai Spice Nut Butter from Big Spoon Roasters

Chai Spice Nut Butter from Big Spoon Roasters

It was bound to happen eventually. And that’s coming from a couple of different fronts. “It” is the new gourmet pantry, Riley/Land, opening in Harlem tomorrow (01 May 2013). Harlem, where you can get fried chicken any time of day or night, but where finding a decent – not nice; just decent – bottle of olive oil is a rarity. “It” is also owner joseph riley land‘s return to a great love of his: finding new, exciting foods and sharing them with the world. This will be a soft launch, with a grand opening to come sometime next month, after Land has launched the e-commerce side of the business as well.

With the proposed Whole Foods coming to Harlem… “sometime” in the future, Citarella closed long ago and Fairway being far, far away, there is a lack of organic, gourmet dry goods and pantry items available to the Central Harlem market. With evolving tastes from the Harlem community – and, all over America, to be honest – thanks to the proliferation of artisanal products, culinary-themed TV shows and the rise of the celebrity chef, it only makes sense that someone should open a store making these products accessible to the citizens of Harlem. Land, who spent years in management with Williams-Sonoma, as well as managing a string of restaurants beforehand, knows a thing or two about the food business and decided to try his hand at it.

“When I initiated this project, I received such great feedback from the vendors. They were all excited to finally be in the Harlem market,” states Land. “I am happy to be bringing new and exciting foods to the neighborhood – my neighborhood – because, like many of my neighbors, I don’t want to have to go to the Upper West Side to shop if I could do it steps from my home.” Land continues, “Brooklyn has been owning the artisanal food market for years. It’s time Harlem residents had a chance to partake as well.”


Riley/Land will appear as a pop up shop in the market section of Astor Row Café [404 Malcolm X Blvd.] for the summer. Customer response will determine what happens after that. Carrying a small assortment of SKUs, the shop will offer staples such as an award-winning Sicilian olive oil, a balsamic vinegar made by three-Michelin star Italian Chef Massimo Bottura, and an award-winning dulce de leche from Buenos Aires. Additionally, Riley/Land will offer some newer products, like yet another award winner, a chocolate confection created by former Hee Haw star Mackenzie Colt, a peanut butter made by hand in Durham, North Carolina and honey harvested in Savannah, Georgia. Stone ground grits from South Carolina, Wasabi peanuts from Virginia, Moravian cookies from North Carolina, olives from France, capers from Spain… with more to come.

Riley/Land is a meticulously curated collection of staples and sundries for the seasoned palate. With a mix of classic favorites and innovative newcomers, food aficionado joseph riley land is putting together the perfect pantry. Coming from a long line of great home cooks, Land learned the art of combining flavors and textures at an early age. He also learned an appreciation of the finest ingredients and developed an impeccable palate that could distinguish the best from the merely good.

A partial listing of products:

Salem Baking Company‘s Moravian Cookies in lemon, orange cranberry & vanilla walnut

Big Spoon Roaster‘s hand-made nut butters, including peanut, peanut cashew and chai spice

Feridies’ Virginia peanuts in salted, wasabi and cajun

Colts Chocolates, with both milk and dark chocolate options

White grits from Palmetto Farms

Self-rising cornmeal and flour from Sunflower Brands

La Salamandra‘s small batch dulce de leche

Pineapple Teriyaki glaze from Rub with Love

… and many more…

************ ADDENDUM ************

Riley/Land opened Wednesday and has been very well-received within the community. Below, a taste of some of the accolades coming in:

#Harlem has a new food oasis thanks to @josephrileyland: @RileyLandPantry.
Please go support them during their opening week! #foodmatters
@RileyLandPantry so happy to have these @salembaking Meyer Lemon cookies
and Cheese Straws in my life!
Caramel cookies w/ sea salt, enrobed in artisan blend chocolate, topped w/ crushed toffee.
Yeah dude! Welcome to Harlem @rileylandpantry
#Harlem! You will love the treats at @RileyLandPantry! located in the Astor Row Cafe
– in my neck of the woods – 130th & Lenox! Stop by!
Had a chance to swing by @AstorRowCafe to check out @RileyLandPantry Wow!
Amazing selection! Post coming soon! #harlem #gourmet #yummy
The most delicious peanut butter I evah had…@rileylandpantry @josephrileyland @bigspooners
UPTOWN GOURMANDS!! visit @RileyLandPantry! located in the Astor Row Cafe – – 130th & Lenox!


FOLLOW Riley/Land on Twitter: @RileyLandPantry

LIKE Riley/Land on Facebook: Riley/Land Gourmet Pantry

CHECK-IN to Riley/Land on Foursquare: Riley/Land [A Gourmet Pantry]

LOVE Riley/Land’s pictures on Instagram: @RileyLandPantry

AND, just as significantly, COME SHOP at Riley/Land: 404 Lenox Ave. (aka Malcolm X Blvd.) at 130th Street in Harlem.


Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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