Deli Wars



  • SG Fruit & Veg is terrific, and the people who run it are very nice. I also think that the produce is generally fresher than Urban Native (where the people are also very nice).
    I did used to go to Vittorio's! I cycled past this afternoon and saw the empty shop and TO LET signs in the window.
    I always think when I see a shop like that closed that it was somebody's dream that has died.
  • It is sad to see Vittorio's go (it was obvious how he was reducing his stock so drastically over the past few months), and surprising that it didn't do well, considering the general interest in Italian food and (what seems to me) the significant population of Italians around here.

    Italian deli foods tend to be high quality and therefore seem a bit pricey by local standards, especially if quality comparisons haven't been made (Lidl mozzarella, for example, is very inexpensive, but borderline flavourless).

    I imagine it's probably very difficult to resolve profit margin, availability (customer expectations!), shelf-life (quality), and wastage (especially if you're a small shop), and Vittorio's started out specialising in cheeses, which must be quite risky.

    On the other hand, they were almost always short-staffed (usually only one person behind the counter), and people seem more impatient these days when they have to wait for anything. There was a lady who sometimes used to work there (the owner's wife, I think), who had a rather frosty demeanour, which sometimes put me off going there.
  • The Italian next to Christopher Charles also seems to be gone.

    I will miss the Panini's stuffed full of goodies from the counter at Vittorio's
  • Gutted to see Vittorio's closed - we shopped there at least once a week. His meats and cheese were great quality and much cheaper than elsewhere. He did say he hopes to open up again, though I imagine not on SGR.

    I wonder if SG's lack of daytime footfall has an impact on specialist shops like his? No big offices etc nearby, so no steady stream of people popping in for breakfast / lunch.
  • Try Stroud Green Market on a Sunday for great deli food.
  • Footfall and work environment absolutely crucial. I have taken to a bit of flaneurism and this week walked twice by different routes from SG to Trafalgar Square. Of course once you reach Camden, Islington, West End or anywhere with a tube and offices the pavements are crammed and every eating place full. Hanging on despite astronomical rents. Offices and workplaces. Also tourists.

    SG is busy but there are not many office places locally and many people local just going out shopping. People don't eat lunch so much or go home. Stands to sense. Yet rates and rents are still astronomical. Trying to run a profitable cafe business or food shop round here is a fantasy and must be a nightmare. (Unless you are a specialist high end hipster coffee shop, mind you, they seem to do all right.)
  • edited March 2019
    As discussed, coffee costs about 4p a cup to produce. Let's say 30p inc. someone's time to make it. Even factoring in business overheads there's a hefty profit there and you can operate from a small premises with minimal staff.

    Business rates kill more retail business than rent at the moment.
  • The last time I was passing (a week or so ago), it looked like that naff "bistro" in Croix-Chiens, in the old Electricity Board building, had failed too.
  • I think the rents and rates on the Islington side are higher than the Haringey. Does anyone know for sure on that?

    Brick and Olive seems to be doing okay
Sign In or Register to comment.