Those missing delectable gourmet food during the pandemic have a new option available with the opening of Nia's Gourmet in Cochrane's Historic Downtown.

Nia's, located at 201 1 St. W., is a fine food store that offers healthy, handmade meals prepared from scratch using fresh, organic, and locally sourced products, with no reservations or MSG.

The original creations of owner Daunia Del Ben are derived from a wide range of influences and are particularly inspired by traditional Mediterranean cuisines, such as French, Italian, and Spanish.

"I make sure everything tastes good, looks good, and everything has a different favour as well."

Inside the store, you'll find several categories of food experiences, with portions to suit everything from the needs of an individual or a larger gathering of family and friends. There's a date night category and the dessert section definitely shouldn't be overlooked.

The packaging for each has clear and concise serving instructions.

As well, Nia's welcomes customized orders for all occasions and offers food prepared for specific dietary needs.

Upon preparation in the store's kitchen, the latest technology is used to preserve its offerings, including a blast/chiller-shock freezer that guarantees freshness while retaining the food's nutrients.

There is a sizeable kitchen in the back with plenty of room to offer courses in the future. 

Del Ben wasn't discouraged by opening during the pandemic but admits there were some challenges. Regardless, Nia's will fill a niche even after the pandemic has passed.

"Even during the pandemic and especially now that restaurants are currently closed, what Nia's offer is a gourmet experience you can enjoy at home."

Just opened last week, she says the feedback has been positive for both the food and the store's decor.

Besides visiting the store, online orders are accepted and curbside pickup is available.

Nia's is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.