Hi! Welcome to qui, my grocery, my website, my savoury world. My name is Grazia, woman, mother and foodie behind qui. qui is a story about unconditional love for Italy, quality, food, traditions and people. qui is a story about sharing passions, and this is how it started.
qui – short name that stays for “Qualité Italienne” (Italian Quality), but also for “who” in French and “here” in Italian, was born in Brussels in 2015 to retail high quality Italian ingredients on the international grocery market. Why that?
Well, I was and still I am deeply convinced that the culinary heritage of my Country is an enriching pleasure that asks to be shared: either with friends around a table or at home by ourselves, I felt it was something too unique to be kept just for Italians in our sunny motherland. To me, it had to spread its love worldwide.
Before beginning with my adventure, I’ve been observing this enchanting world for years, following its dynamics with the enthusiasm of a charmed child. Italians know what they eat, and are mad about traditions. They have a singular and ancestral passion for food, which is clearly translated in all daily practices that make the pleasures of the table the renown art it actually is: they talk a lot about food, they opt for high-quality products and, yet more important, when it comes to regional excellences and provenance of ingredients it is always something they care a lot. And so do I.
My passion brought me to discover the many local food artisans, producers and suppliers that make my Country so special, culinary rich and diversified. Some of them seem to hide themselves on purpose, to make their tasty treasure an even more precious one. This is something that mostly happens in rural regions like Apulia, the beautiful land I come from.
It’s in Ceglie Messapica that I was indeed born a few decades ago before moving to the North for my studies (Piacenza) and my financial work (Milan). Then it was time for me to move abroad: my future was in Brussels, next to Roberto, the man I love, and our three lively children, Sofia, Filippo and Elena. At the age of 40 I realised I was ready to quit my professional life, follow my dreams and transform my passion for food into my future work: qui was born.
When I became expatriate and Italy was a two-hours flight from home, I understood that those excellent food ingredients that now I was missing were even more important than what I thought: they were the secret behind all traditional recipes I was grown with, the magic that made the difference in my dishes and added a savoury yet healthy touch to all my life.
Now, two years after that intuition, I share my precious treasures with my customers while paying a particular attention to the quality of all ingredients I retail, to the proximity with regional artisans, their secrets and know-how, as well as to the stories about traditions, people and places moved by and around food.
qui is a story, true, but is also a desire: the one to (re)discover together my beautiful Country and share with you those unique emotions and tastes Italy can spread in all its regions, with all its different yet genuine love.
This post is also available in: FR