Grove Park Deli Wants Your Vote in National Contest
Nominated for Deli of the Year competition
A deli tucked away in a leafy Chiswick neighbourhood has been nominated in the Deli of the Year Competition for the second year running.
Despite being located away from the High Road, Grove Park Deli, owned by Janice Timothy, has a loyal base of fans, including celebrity customers designer Stella McCartney, Ant and Dec, and actress Eileen Atkins.
Janice opened the Grove Park Deli eight years ago, but has had a long career in catering, starting out as a trainee at Langan’s Brasserie, and including stints working as personal chef for Andrew Lloyd Weber.
The deli, which stocks a wide variety of home-made salads and cakes, makes everything from scratch, including their own hummus and pesto, though they buy in their breads. It was also recently filmed for an episode of ‘The Apprentice’, in which the team had to persuade Janice and her staff of the merits of their pickles and chutneys .
When ChiswickW4.com caught up with Janice, it was during the lunchtime rush, and she was also busy overseeing the finishing touches to their kitchen extension.
“This extra room will give us the opportunity to expand our menu, which I’m very excited about " says Janice who suffers from severe dyslexia. Brought up on traditional ‘meat and two veg’ fare by her Irish mother, she taught herself to cook from an early age, introducing exotic dishes such as ‘ quiche lorraine’ into the family menu.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school. My brother-in-law took me to Langan’s Brasserie and I was blown away by the experience. I knew then that was the sort of place I wanted to work and I went to talk to the owner. He asked me ‘ what can you do?and I said 'nothing’ – he must have seen the fear on my face but he gave me a chance".
“I managed to get a job as a trainee in the kitchen, working long hours on the starter table and progressing up. It was old fashioned French cooking- I didn’t know it at the time but it was the best start I could have had.”
Despite the long hours involved in running a deli, she loves her job- they also caters for parties and family events, as well as picnics for customers attending outside events such as Chiswick House opera in summer.
One of the major difficulties facing anyone running a food business is the ever- increasing price of the raw materials, such as flour, rice and nuts.
“We try to keep our prices down but sometimes our own increases are shocking- for example pine nuts went from £18 a kilo to £42 recently.”
Salads are always popular with her Chiswick customers- even in the depths of winter-at the moment mango, cashew nut, chilli and mint with a rice vinegar and lime dressing is a favourite.
“I’d love to open an American-style deli on the High road but I wouldn’t be able to afford the rents. I don’t know how people do it, there are so many lovely bread shops and cafes now on the street , and I don’t know how they survive- the rents and rates are so high.
“But what a great choice people have. We’re so lucky here in Chiswick to have great restaurants and shops on our doorstep”.
Janice has three kitchen staff and two people working behind the counter, along with part-timer Stefan. She also owns the Albert deli in Richmond.
And with a commendation in last year’s Deli Of The Year competition, it’s now up to her local customers to get the vote out this year, so that Grove Park Deli can make its name at national level.