Simon Johnson Sale, Alexandria

We always look forward to the annual Simon Johnson sale with anticipation. Forming part of our foodie triangle and as long time customers of the Purveyor of Quality Food, there is always an excitement in the air when the alarm jars us from our sleep in on the morning of the sale.

Simon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

The early drizzle did not detract us and many others from arriving at the Alexandria warehouse before the opening time. At 7.45 am, the queue was already spilling on to the street. When the doors opened, small groups of people were allowed inside at a time until the skies decided to open and we were all invited in.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

Inside the warehouse, the aisles were already crammed. With just enough elbow room to move at times, foodies moved quickly to pick up bargains with reductions up to 75% off.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

Aisles were packed with mountains of reduced products including olive oils such as Laudemico and Colonna Bergamia from Italy, red tins of Romulo olive oil, balsamic vinegars, the Simon Johnson label of condiments such as Hollandaise and Organic Sauces, SJ and Latini pastas, Elementi Carnaroli and Vialone Nano rice, and Duchy Originals Organic Jams,  herbal teas and organic stem ginger biscuits.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

Temptations such as Antonio Mattei’s Biscotti Della Salute, our favourite crispy sweet toasted brioche from Prato in Italy vied with Burnt Sugar nougats and toffees, 1 Euro gold coin chocolates from Caffarel and Venchi torrone with the delectable Gianduja.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

We couldn’t resist the range of reduced Valrhona chocolates, including the boxed Equinoxe and the 1 kg slab of Valrhona Noir 61%, described as puissant et chocolaté, strong and chocolaty, for making desserts.  Another winter favourite, the rich and unctuous Valrhona Celaya drinking chocolate popped quickly into our shopping trolley.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

We don’t recall the queue to the cashiers ever winding its way across two aisles on previous sales. Foodies inched their trolleys forward with patience although some were carrying loaded hand baskets.  The lovely SJ staff circulated around with free samples of chocolate and lively conversations to detract shoppers from the line that moved at a snail’s pace. At that hour of a wet Saturday morning, it was just what was needed to help with our uncaffeinated state.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

The slow-moving queue afforded us an encore at reviewing the products on sale. We paused in front of Mazet chocolates from Paris, Caramelle Rossella from Genova and Caffarel Gianduiotti chocolates from Italy. Needless to say, shopping baskets were topped with more sale items.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

We inched our way to the cheese section and picked up a piece of Gabriel Coulet Roquefort and Cropwell Bishop Stilton for the evening. Surveying the contents of our shopping trolley before payment, we were pleased to secure the popular item of the day, a 450g pack of Dried Porcini Mushrooms from Italy, a product that was grabbed by eager shoppers the minute it was unpacked.

Simon Johnson Sale - AlexandriaSimon Johnson Sale - Alexandria

The Simon Johnson Warehouse Sale is on once a year.

Note: Since shopping was our priority, all photographs for this article were taken with the iPhone camera. The dark and grainy texture of the images convey the atmosphere of the warehouse sale and the movement of people far better than pin-sharp photographs.

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Related Simon Johnson Articles:

The Foodie Triangle: Part 2 – Simon Johnson
What to Do With a Truffle
Photo Essay: A Foodie’s Shopping Expedition
Black Diamonds: Comparing Comparing Périgord and Manjimup Truffles
Easter Food Postcards

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Simon Johnson Sale
Saturday 1 May 2010
24A Ralph St
Alexandria Sydney NSW


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.