For the third in our series of French Fancies, Localiiz takes an exclusive peek at Home Flavour, the Hong Kong hub of high-quality French food and ingredients – all specially imported or rustled up onsite by a pair of skilled French chefs.
Home Flavour is a French food haven in the heart of Sheung Wan, bursting with all things yummy and European. As well as fresh groceries that can be bought in-store or delivered to your doorstep, the business also offers catering for private parties and weddings. On top of all that, Home Flavour opens its doors as an all-day delicatessen, giving hungry Hong Kongers a place to enjoy a comforting taste of home.
It is clear Marc Lassiaz puts his heart and soul into Home Flavour as he swiftly jumps to his feet to serve famished customers piling into his store. The process is the same for everyone: he delicately prepares their order while engaging in short but sweet conversation, usually in French. His manner is clear testament to the fact that a job can be enjoyable if you’re truly passionate about what you do.
Having always nurtured a love of food, Marc learned the skills and techniques of gastronomy by observing other French masters creating magic in the kitchen. He enjoys everything about cooking good food: the thought and dedication put into a dish, the wafts of appetising aromas it conjures, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Marc enjoys food from all over the world, so much that he struggles to pick his favourite cuisine. “I like all types of food, but with Western food I’d rather have something with a little cheese,” says the typical Frenchman!
Food, however, was not Marc’s first calling. Moving from Paris to Hong Kong in 1999, Marc’s first job in the Fragrant Habour was as an engineer. After meeting his Indian wife and starting a family here, he soon decided it was time to pursue his passion.
Marc and his business partner opened Home Flavour in 2010 after noticing the absence of affordable European food in the city’s supermarkets. “My partner was telling me if you buy the food from restaurant suppliers it’s much cheaper than the imported goods sold at supermarkets. We realised there was a market for European products at a decent price,” says Marc.
Stressing that Home Flavour is not a gourmet shop, Marc says he prefers to see the business as a local grocery store, where customers will pop in to pick up a baguette and a piece of cheese on their way home. “The gourmet food market in Hong Kong is much more difficult. Many people are already doing that and I don’t think we could survive in that market,” says Marc.
All Home Flavour goods are either freshly imported all the way from France or produced from scratch by the onsite staff. “We choose the goods depending on what people like, as we know what is popular and which products work,” says Marc. Home Flavour is also set to introduce a dinner menu in September, bringing full course evening meals to the small and cosy deli. Bon appetit!