Coop has opened a concept store called Fooby in Lausanne. It is a premium foodmarket based on Coop’s culinary online platform of the same name.
Online platform in physical form
Lausanne’s former Kursaal theatre has been redeveloped into an equally theatrical food market: it now houses Fooby, a new concept that was based on the recipe sharing platform that Coop founded in 2017. The platform is now ‘translated’ into a physical hotspot for foodies, spanning two stories. The concept store focuses fully on experience and gives central spot to tasting, smelling and experiencing. Several chefs prepare meals on the spot, based on recipes from Fooby’s online platform.
The aim is to fill 70 % of the product range with sustainable products, preferring local produce. “If you are looking for a specific ingredient or a meal with that little bit of extra, we want you to find it here”, CEO Joos Rutter says. To cater for the culinary demanding audience, Coop has started its own private label Fooby for coffee, fruit juice, jam and other specialities.
Certain non-food products can also be found in Fooby: a range of kitchen products and cookbooks, for example. The store also features blurring, as it includes a juice bar, coffee bar and food corner to consume on the spot. The plan is to also organise events, such as workshops and demonstrations. The Fooby platform works together with a number of food bloggers, who can also help create extra value.
Long and arduous road
Coop wants the store to be a concept store only, without explicit plans for expansion. The chain calls this store just a test, without plans to roll it out as a separate chain, but rather to test certain elements that can be used elsewhere. Prime candidate for that appears to be the Fooby label of products, sources say.
The fact that Coop is not very eager to open more Fooby stores, may have something to do with the difficult start to the store’s opening. The renovation works in the Kursaal, which was used as a cinema until 2006, already started in 2016 but lasted three years. Rutter admits the project has given him some grey hairs and that the reconciling the different visions of architects, foodies and store builders was a long and arduous process.