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01 Mar 2024

Meet the award winner: Drapers Lane Delicatessen

Meet the award winner: Drapers Lane Delicatessen

Speciality & Fine Food Fair speaks to Samantha Morgan, Co-Owner of Drapers Lane Delicatessen, following the company winning Small Independent Retailer of the Year at the 2023 Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards. 

How did it feel when Drapers Lane Deli won ‘Small Independent Retailer of the Year’ at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023?

Honestly, it was rather overwhelming and unexpected! We love our delicatessen and are immensely proud of our business. This is particularly true as we set up during a pandemic, followed by Brexit and then the cost of living crisis. We have put everything into the delicatessen, sometimes to the detriment of other things. So it means a lot to have the hard work recognised.

Tell us a bit about the deli

Step through the doors on the medieval pedestrianised lane and you’re immersed with a visual and aromatic feast combined with a very warm welcome. The decor complements the building - an old print works in a medieval timber-framed high street. 

We want to give our customers the opportunity to try different flavours, tastes, ingredients, textures, presented in an explosion of colour.  The delicatessen includes a retail area and an eating area where dishes are served using the ingredients we stock. It’s all inspired by places and cultures we have visited. 

What does it mean to you to be an independent business?

We are so proud to be an independent business. Our town is a real market town, with small independent shops and businesses. We are proud to be part of the community. We love engaging with every customer, ask how they are, what are they doing next. Part of our business is to help make a positive difference to someone’s say.

How do you approach sourcing exciting new products for your business?

We are blessed in this part of Herefordshire with local farmers markets, artisan food markets, and a plethora of small independent maker producers. A key criteria for us is that the maker / producers really care and believe in what they do and the ethos that small retailers add difference to the high street shopping experience. 

What are some of the most exciting products or trends that you’ve seen recently in the speciality & fine food sector?

One of the trends that we have experienced is that as large multiple retailers have added ‘deli’ sections to their offer, customers are more conscious of price. In response we have had to source those smaller suppliers that create small-batch and truly unique products that can never be in a supermarket. In that way customers are delighted and surprised with the new tastes and flavours we offer. 

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