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5.3 miles

Mercato Italiano Bridport

Ilaria is a native of Verona, graduating from the University of Parma with a degree in Science of Gastronomy, her career in food has taken her from the farms that produce Monte Veronese DOP, to working with legendary retailers and wholesalers including La Cave Fromage and Gastronomica ltd, supplying the finest Italian restaurants in London, like Locanda Locatelli and L’Anima.

Ilaria Padovani

She has also worked with food journalist Davide Paolini for Gastronauta, mentioned in Dino Joannides’s book Semplice and recently has collaborated with Italian food writer Anna del Conte.

Ilaria relocated to Bridport, Dorset in 2013 and established Mercato Italiano, supplying the finest formaggi e salumi to customers via a weekly market stall in Bridport and food events in the west of England, as well as curating courses for restaurants. She has established a loyal customer base in the south west, and supplies a growing number of restaurants with both wholesale ingredients and her knowledge of the best producers.

Mercato Italiano was established as a weekly market stall supplying high quality cured meats and cheeses to the general public directly imported by Ilaria using her Italian produce contacts. This expanded out to include tasting experiences and food festivals.

Trading now in Bridport Market twice a week and Axminster Market on a weekly basis, Popular produce include Gorgonzola Dolce, of which, Mercato Italiano is the only importer from this particular producer in the UK. Almost 10 years on the market her stall is as much a Bridport staple as it is an authentic Italian experience.

Ilaria’s professional relationships with Italian producers and her skill of finding the highest quality produce led her to expand the Mercato Italiano business, supplying UK restaurants and cafes as a wholesale supplier with the best Italian ingredients imported directly by Mercato Italiano. Mercato Italiano is still the only business in the South West of England importing directly from Italian producers.

Ilaria lives and trades in our local town of Bridport enhancing it with her knowledge and passion for good food and the finest authentic ingredients, which she shares with a big smile and generosity.

We are so blessed to have her as a supplier here at Modbury Farm shop and feel her stories of how and why she chooses her ingredients are so full of Lensomy (unconditional love) and passion that she is definitely living her purpose. Her mission in her own words is to bring to the the South West the best!

After moving to her current location Unit 3B Dreadnought Trading Estate, closer into town, Ilaria realised that they had the capacity to be able to offer customers, who have been buying their produce for nearly ten years, the ability to experience authentic Napoletana pizza,.

With some of the best coffee in town, panini, platters and much more she has created a funky warehouse trattoria vibe in the middle of an Industrial estate.

Even though she supplied quality ingredients to great restaurants, Ilaria felt she should put her mark on the industry by creating the Mercato Italiano Pizzeria & Café focusing on quality, simplicity, family and friends.

Always Lensomy xxx

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