Featuring scented wallpaper, Mario Batali, and a monogram pizza oven.
The first thing you notice when you walk into STORY’s new concept store in Chelsea, called Fresh, are the colors. The floor is carpeted with green faux-grass. A neon yellow sign announcing the new theme, hangs on the wall. There’s a table piled with ripe red tomatoes to one side, and another lined with shiny green apples in front of you. Claudia Pearson, who illustrated the new book Drawing Food, created a mural featuring recipes from Mario Batali and Jack’s Wife Freda, on the far right wall. A pencil case in the shape of smiling watermelon greets you on a smaller table. Cucumber-scented Jonathan Adler candles are stacked on a shelf. The store is a visual feast, but it's focused on food-related products. There isn't too much for sale at Fresh that's actually edible.
Inspired by the grocery offerings on Jet.com – an online service that delivers everything from food, medicine, and pet supplies – STORY partnered with the company to create the Fresh store. This is STORY’s first concept store – or “living magazine,” as STORY’s president Rachel Shechtman calls her creation – that deals with food (though this is their 34th installation at their Chelsea location; other themes have included well-being and tech), and Jet.com’s first offline enterprise of any kind.
What food is available at the store (some jars of pickles and nuts, for instance) is sourced directly from Jet, which boasts “unattended” delivery, meaning no one needs to be home to receive the food.
Fresh is separated into three sections to optimize the Story-Jet.com vision: Fresh Taste, Fresh Finds, and Fresh for All.
Maya Jankelowitz of Jack’s Wife Freda and Mario Batali curated the Fresh Taste section, which Shechtman explains, is ingredient driven. There are avocado spoon rests, tomato facemasks, orange and chamomile hand cream – all kinds of charming, beautifully crafted products you didn’t know you needed – alongside bowls of produce. For this section, Tasty – the Youtube recipe series you’ve probably seen all over your Facebook feed – created a cookbook exclusive to the store.
STORY and Jet teamed up with a couple more artists for the Fresh for All section:
The handbag designer Charlotte Olympia designed a Lucite clutch topped with a bunch of bananas for Fresh, while beauty guru Bobbi Brown, author of a new book of recipes and fitness tips called Beauty from the Inside Out, curated her own table – packed with jars of coconut and avocado oil – in the back of the store, as well an accompanying fridge, that will be filled with a rotating series of ingredients she picked from the book.
“The one thing we all have in common is that we eat, but just because we eat doesn’t mean we’re foodies or we like to cook,” Shechtman says of the collaborations. “Maybe people like beauty. We wanted to include as many people as possible.”
The store will host a series of events, too: Mario Batali will make an appearance at the store on May 23rd, and Refinery29’s co-founder Christine Barberich will chat with Bobbi Brown on June 6th, as well as many others.
The store is worth a peak just to see the elegantly curated assortment of food-adjacent products STORY, Jet, and their collaborators created and picked out – but to be honest, the Willy Wonka-esque scratch-and-sniff cherry-scented wall paper hidden in a back corner is worth the trip to Chelsea all by itself.
STORY’s Fresh store opens to the public tomorrow, May 10th, and will be open until Father’s Day.