Long before Miami Beach was teeming with neon-lit clubs and celebrity chef-driven restaurants, locals got their chicken soup and steaks from Epicure Gourmet Market.
The market initially opened in 1945 by the Thal brothers as a carriage trade prime meat butcher shop, where well-heeled Miami Beach residents purchased the best steaks and chickens. The butcher started selling prepared foods when the wife of one of the butchers made a pot of chicken soup for the employees on a particularly cold winter morning.
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The soup's aroma was so enticing that customers asked for some and demand prompted the store to start bottling it for sale. From there, the little shop expanded along with Miami Beach, eventually growing to an 8,000-square-foot gourmet market selling everything from fresh cookies to caviar.
Epicure continued as a family affair until the Starkman family purchased the market from the Thal family in 1998. Keeping the traditions of the original Epicure, the Starkmans opened the Sunny Isles location in 2008 and, most recently, the Coral Gables shop in late 2013.
In 2015, Epicure's original location will turn 70 and to celebrate, the market is offering specials every month -- with prices ranging from 70 cents to $7.
On November 6 - 8, the specials start with black-and-white cookies, chicken wings, and chicken drumsticks selling for 70 cents each. Chicken noodle soup or a pound of tuna or chicken salad is $7. Other specials include a half-dozen, 100-percent sirloin burgers for $7 and a dozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp for $7. The specials are offered all day at all three locations.