What a whirlwind 10 weeks since we threw open the door to The High Street Delicatessen on 13 October 2015
We can barely recall just how nervous we were about operating the till and the coffee machine … our customers have relaxed us into our role as curators of #greattastes … producers have provided us with deli-cious tastes to showcase, whether they are #local #Welsh or #handpicked
So what has stood out for us as we have assumed the mantle of Mr and Mrs Deli, “bringing Great Tastes to the High Street“?
Here are a few …
- It doesn’t feel like work … ok, so it is all-consuming and the lists of stock orders, invoices, delivery notes and bread orders seem never-ending BUT the ideas flow, customers are interested and engaged, the shelves are packed with great tastes, producers want to be associated with the shop … and the town feels like it is ready for us
- Inspiring people through images … food is pleasure for all of the senses but the visual delight of a delicious homemade meal is proving inspirational for our customers who devour our Instagram feed voraciously
- Connecting local people to local produce … we love it when we highlight a product, mention where is it made – often within 20 miles of Newtown – and see the look of surprise in the face of local people who have lived in the area for ages. As we discover #greattastes so do our customers
- Being part of a wider food story … there seems to be a movement back to regular shopping trips into the heart of the town, checking out seasonal produce in the market, finding well-sourced local meats at a butcher who knows his trade, relishing the taste of homemade produce – even meeting the producer – people are heading back to the high street. We love being part of that story … a vibrant local food scene is every bit as important as big name stores arriving in town. We’ll be shouting loudly for other local independent businesses and producers as we step out on the next stage of our foodie adventure
- Feedback on our homemade produce … Mrs Deli is the ‘talent’ … people come to the shop specifically for their fix of her baking. Fabulous feedback is the norm – I love hearing the richly deserved praise for her labour of love most often expressed as an “mmmm“. It’s made me brave enough to pop my own homemade effort onto the shelves. Look out in 2016 for a year of seasonal, small batch, homemade products from ‘The Deli Kitchen’.
- Recreating the personal shopping experience … supermarkets have their place, I guess, BUT they have created an anonymity to shopping which means that people can fill their trollies and baskets without engaging with anyone. Products are selected based on price or habit and there is often little connection to the area the supermarket has chosen to set up camp in. Popping into The High Street Delicatessen involves a conversation, a voyage of discovery, an experience shaped around YOU … a bit old-fashioned? well, yes … outdated, we think not. The number of people who have relished the personal experience of our bespoke hamper service tells us that our customers want the connection we are building between them, us and the products they choose
- Every Day is a School Day … there is SO much to learn! We have barely scratched the surface … new retail skills, new producers, different tastes, finding out what our customers enjoy, sourcing tastes on people’s wishlists … it looks like 2016 will be a voyage of discovery!