As Caviar and Bananas builds out its retail space near the newly opened Aloft Hotel in downtown Greenville, new details of the gourmet market and café are emerging.
Owners Margaret Furniss and her husband, Kris Furniss, plan a May 2016 opening. Margaret Furniss recently sat down with UBJ to discuss plans for the new store.
The concept for Caviar and Bananas began in 2008 when the couple opened the first Charleston location. Instead of opening a restaurant and being tied to it 24 hours a day, they decided a gourmet kitchen concept would give them the lifestyle they wanted. They liked the Charleston area and relocated from New York.
Today the Furnisses have two locations in the Charleston area (a third is in progress at the Charleston airport). Furniss said they decided on the expansion to Greenville because they want to remain “very involved” in the operation, and it’s within driving distance to Charleston. Also, Greenville is “hitting its stride” and the location at ONE downtown felt like a good pedestrian area, she said. Future plans include expanding into additional secondary markets throughout the South.
In the Caviar and Bananas Greenville location, expect to see a lot of prepared foods and grab-and-go items. We do “really good food from scratch, every day,” said Furniss. “It’s like having five different restaurants wrapped into one.” Sandwiches, salads, artisanal cheeses, chocolates, caviar (of course) and charcuterie are some of the items that will be available. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will also be served along with a weekend brunch. A bar area will serve as an espresso bar by day and a wine bar by night.
Furniss said the store also plans to host five or six special events per year. Vegan dinners and wine tastings are just a couple of ideas so far. Caviar and Bananas also plans to offer delivery, gift baskets and catering.
Caviar and Bananas will also have a curated retail section, similar to a European market, which will feature “the best of the best, from ordinary to extraordinary.” Expect to see items like specialty crackers and spreads, pastas, coffees and more. “We’re taking what we learned in Charleston and will be bringing it to Greenville,” Furniss said.
Hiring is underway now for managers and chefs. Furniss said she plans to employ approximately 45 people in Greenville.