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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Tulum’s popular Gypsea Market expands with new Mérida location

Supermarket focused on organic, keto, gluten-free and vegan foods will eventually have four stores on the Yucatán Peninsula

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Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak retired to Mérida in 2021 after a career managing programs for nonprofits, government and a university in the United States. She has been a world traveler since the 1980s and Mexico is the fifth country in which she has lived.
Gypsea Market is coming to Town Square in Mérida’s San Ramon Norte neighborhood. Photo: Lee Steele

A growing organic, vegan, keto, gluten-free supermarket/restaurant is about to open its doors in Mérida. 

Gypsea Market is bringing its lines of natural foods to the city’s upscale north side in September. Its owner, Paris-born Philippe Hallani, has spent the past 10 years running the business in Tulum, which is known around the world for promoting yoga and healthy living.

Gypsea Market in Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

The branch at San Ramon Norte will be Gypsea Market’s second store.

Before running the market, Hallani spent 25 years traveling the globe working for international fashion companies such as Tommy Hilfiger. When he met his Mexican wife, Belen, in Paris, Hallani decided to leave his globe-trotting career behind, and they relocated to Tulum. 

He was impressed with the variety of organic items produced in Mexico and thought a contemporary grocery store dedicated to these products would be a good idea. When the shop opened in Tulum, it acquired success quickly and became well known in a short time.

Gypsea Market in Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

The market evokes Hallani’s life of travel as he has been to approximately 150 countries. The play on words — Gypsy is spelled Gypsea — refers to Tulum’s location near the water.

Hallani has two goals for the new market and restaurant: to upgrade the supermarket experience by creating a warm atmosphere through good music, lighting, and service. The store has wood accents throughout, and the shelves are a matte black metal, giving it a natural, comfortable vibe. 

Gypsea Market in Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

Second, 95% of the 25,000 products in the store fall into at least one of four categories: organic, keto, vegan and gluten-free. That concept is key to both the market and restaurant, he says.

The stylish market is housed in Town Square Plaza with an adjacent open-air restaurant. The new Mérida store — the first of two planned—favors products from Yucatán if not elsewhere in Mexico. Around 90% of products are “hecho en México” with a small amount from the US and France.

Gypsea Market in Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

Gypsea Market works with suppliers to bring their products up to the market’s standards, sometimes even investing in the businesses. They are also in negotiations to have a once-a-month Sunday farmers market.

Also available will be a variety of organic beef, lamb, chicken, duck, wild pork, ostrich, rabbit, and buffalo. Specialty brands of tequila, wine, and beer will wash it down.

Gypsea Market in Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

The open-air restaurant has a large pizza oven, and pizzas range in price from 150 to 230 pesos. Gluten-free pizzas are a little more. Salads cost 100 to 160 pesos. Main entrees are 180 to 260 pesos. Cold drinks run from 50 to 130 pesos. Coffee drinks range from 40 to 70 pesos.

Hallani has also formed a foundation that gave food to 7,000 families in the first year of the pandemic. Three percent of all the market’s sales go to the organization, which is called Fundación Color Esperanza Mexico.

Philippe Hallani, left, of Gypsea Market also runs a nonprofit foundation that gave food to 7,000 families in the first year of the pandemic. Three percent of all the market’s sales go to the foundation. Photo: Fundación Color Esperanza Mexico

Another Gypsea Market will open in Mérida in a year, and also one will open in Playa del Carmen.

Store and restaurant hours will be Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m to 1 a.m. In six months, they plan to be open 24 hours a day. Gypsea Market is at Plaza Town Square, Calle 23, Col. San Ramon Norte, Mérida. They can be reached on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp 984-265-7507; email info@gypseamarket.mx.

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