Restaurants

New Houston Food Wonderland Is a Gourmet Foods Paradise — TerraMar Imports Brings All the European Foodstuffs

An Online Market and Warehouse Like No Other

BY // 01.24.23
photography Courtesy TerraMar Imports

If you live to eat and love to cook, there is new Houston food import business you need to know all about. Meet TerraMar Imports. It’s a quickly growing e-commerce website that specializes in European gourmet foods produced in countries dotting the Mediterranean Sea from Spain to Greece, France and Italy. The company initially launched as a small startup simply selling paella kits and equipment, but has grown into much more.

While there is still quite a demand for the myriad paella ingredients, pans and freestanding paella gas burners TerraMar Imports procures, it was acquired by a private investor in the summer of 2021. The investor aims to grow and offer customers, both retail (online) and wholesale (think Central Market) a collection of more than 1,400 international foodstuffs from cold pressed olive oil to jams to the rarified Jamon Iberico. And that’s to name just a few.

“We discovered a void in the marketplace for high-quality artisanal European food products after connecting those purveyors to our growing customer base,” TerraMar Imports president Steve Martin says. “Our procurement specialists travel across Spain, Italy, France and Greece in search of partnerships and exclusive products designed for epicureans who yearn for a taste of Europe in America.”

Housed in an immaculate, climate-controlled 60,000-square-foot warehouse off North Post Oak, Houstonians can shop online, build their own boxes all for themselves, or perhaps gift a friend or colleague and pick them up the next day. As someone who could spend hours in supermarkets like Central Market, Phoenicia and Asian grocery stores perusing the aisles and groaning shelves, I can see myself whittling away a lot of time online putting products in my cart like Frantoio Muraglia’s Italian extra virgin olive oil packaged in a ceramic rainbow striped bottle ($48.85) and the alluring little truffle pearls by Terra del Tuono ($19), delicate orbs filled with a reduction of white truffle.

Pasta fans can find nearly every shape and style of imported pasta imaginable and the sauces to go with them too. The brand Amelia’s and Co. — makers of marinara, basil pesto, Italian vodka sauce and more — is TerraMar Import’s house brand. It is only sold in two places — at Central Market and on TerraMarImports.com.

TerraMar Imports Olive Oil Selections (Photo by Courtesy TerraMar Imports)
The selection of imported olive oils at TerraMar Imports is astonishing. (Courtesy TerraMar Imports)

But TerraMar Imports has more than that.

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Like potato chips? Silly question, of course, you do. I tried Rubio brand’s honey and mustard-flavored chips from Spain ($3.99) and can vouch you can’t stop at just one. (These chips are also available in flavors like roasted chicken with lemon and Iberian ham.) Having guests? Create a charcuterie board with items like eggplant hummus ($8.95) from Spain, slice some salumi from Adagio ($21.45) with varieties like hot soppressata salami and Felina salami, a red wine and garlic salami made in the United States, and finish with pitted Alorena olives ($6.95).

Sweets offered by TerraMar Imports include that Italian holiday favorite Panettone, as well as biscotti and amaretti packed in pretty tins. Breakfast tempting goodies include jams with every imaginable combination of fruits to organic granola, lots of teas for every palate and hot chocolate for the kid in each of us. With more than 1,400 items, I could go on and on but won’t.

Instead, you. can make your own delicious discoveries. The TerraMar Imports warehouse is located at 1234 N. Post Oak. Customers can purchase food stuffs online and opt to have them shipped to their homes or pick them up at the warehouse in-person Mondays through Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm.

There’s a whole food world out there.

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