Specialist shops' first taste of home delivery
From spice emporiums to chocolatiers and fishmongers, smaller stores are now a click away
Thursday, 4th March 2021 — By Tom Moggach
IT’S been a bumper year for supermarkets, with soaring online sales and millions of extra delivery slots added nationwide.
As our shopping habits change – perhaps forever – spare a thought for the smaller food traders in the capital, which often struggle to compete. Here’s a selection of specialist retailers which will now deliver to your door.
This inspiring social enterprise in Chalk Farm Road works with disadvantaged women to provide training and employment. During lockdown, the team has developed their range of letterbox treats including brownies and a raspberry cheesecake blondie. www.luminarybakery.com
Bin Bin Q
This Chinese supermarket in Euston has a lockdown slogan of “KEEP EATING INTERESTING FOOD”. Their Xi’an barbecue and skewer restaurant is obviously closed but their online shop stocks items such as sake rice wine, udon noodles and highly addictive squid and peanut balls. www.binbinq.com
Based in Holloway Road, this trader stocks a vast range of British and European cheeses with same-day delivery for orders placed before 5pm within a six-mile radius. Their seasonal highlights include Roquefort and Tomme de Chèvre. www.provisionslondon.co.uk
Specialising in high quality fruit and vegetables, Bens Greengrocer has just opened a shop in Primrose Hill. Their extensive range also includes dry goods such as organic lentils and wholewheat pasta. Delivery is free within a two-mile radius by electric bike. www.bensgrocers.com
Paul A Young
This top chocolatier has shops in Islington and Soho. His new online shop includes signature creations such as sea-salted caramels. Hardcore chocaholics can now subscribe to his monthly Chocolate Club, with doorstep deliveries of a seasonal 16-piece box of truffles, ganaches and caramels. www.paulayoung.co.uk
The Spice Shop
Tucked off Portobello Road, this spice emporium is an Aladdin’s Cave of hard-to-find ingredients. Their website is a bit clunky, but it’s your best bet for exotic flavours such as red pepper flakes from Syria, a biryani curry blend or dried shiitake mushrooms. www.thespiceshop.co.uk
Every Friday, this excellent Soho gelateria packs its vans to deliver their heavenly creations around London. The ice cream is an ever-changing palette of seasonal flavours such as blood orange and Colomba, a traditional Italian Easter cake.
The Real Greek
With outposts in Soho, Marylebone and Covent Garden, this restaurant chain has now opened an online marketplace to share its suppliers’ wares. A fine source for olives, oils and on-trend Talagani cheese, which makes an exciting change from grilled halloumi. www.therealgreek.com
The best fishmonger in London now delivers to Islington and Kentish Town. Order online for his catch of the day, including fresh mackerel, plump mussels and dressed crab. www.stevehattfishmongers.co.uk
It’s not cheap, but this kitchenware specialist recently opened a shop by Boulevard Market in Islington. A great place for gifts or to replace your well-worn kitchen gadgets. Their paring knives, for example, stretch from £9 for a French Opinel to several hundred for a razor-shop blade from Japan. www.boroughkitchen.com