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The Wine Press in Brookline adds essentials and specialty foods, filling a void left by Whole Foods

A selection of spreads and condiments at The Wine Press.

The closing of a Whole Foods Market on Beacon Street in Brookline presented an opportunity for Aaron and Jyoti Mehta, the owners of The Wine Press next door. “People kept sticking their heads in asking if we sell milk,” says Aaron. As the weeks passed, the couple ruminated about adding milk, eggs, and the staples neighbors regularly ran in to grab at the Whole Foods. So the Mehtas took a crack at it, and on the 11th anniversary of owning the wine and spirits shop, they opened a modest market within the store, stocking racks and coolers with basic groceries plus harder-to-find specialty foods. “We don’t have a grocery store background, we just buy what we like,” says Aaron. They scout for niche items and take requests from customers. “Our two worlds are colliding,” Jyoti says. “As we’re passionate about wine, we love to cook and are passionate about food.” While new groceries arrive daily, they so far lure shoppers with picks like fresh pasta and sauces from chef Karen Akunowicz of the restaurants Fox & The Knife and Bar Volpe; award-winning New England cheeses from Grey Barn and Jasper Hill; fish from Wulf’s; Dom’s steak tips and Happy Egg Co. heirloom eggs. Boxes of New York’s Momofuku’s spicy soy noodles and jars of Fix & Fogg’s nut butters, quality spreads, and condiments sit on shelves, and pints of Oddfellows ice cream are stocked in the freezer. The owners have an arrangement with Brookline’s popular Clear Flour bakery and receive fresh loaves daily. “Our approach is to give customers the best that’s available,” says Aaron. 1024 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-277-7020.

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.