Browns of Brockley - coming soon

Browns of Brockley is the new name for the shop on Coulgate Street, formerly known as Dandelion Blue.

Brockley Central briefly caught up with new owner, Ross, on Sunday. Here's what he told us about his plans:

Like Dandelion Blue, Browns of Brockley will be a deli. He hopes to open soon, possibly by the end of this month. However, there will be some key differences, aside from the new colour scheme.

Ross is planning to offer a wider variety of fresh produce and to alternate the stock more often. We can also expect the pricing structure to be a little different - if one criticism was levelled at Dandelion Blue more than any other, it was that many customers felt it was too expensive. We can still expect some high-price, high-quality items, but there will be a more affordable range alongside them.

He's also planning to make the shop a little more experiential, with tastings, demonstrations and talks, from time to time.

We hope to bring you a fuller interview about Ross' plans in the near future. In the mean time, you can follow him on Twitter here (and of course, follow BC here).

59 comments:

Ben said...

Great news. Looking forward to a decent shopping option on the way home. Good luck to all concerned.

Lizzie said...

Hoorah! Even though I live in New Cross, this will be a welcome addition to the area that is much lacking in delis.

Brockley Kate said...

Yay! Best of luck to Ross & the team.

Headhunter said...

Almost sounds like Ross has been reading this blog with everyone asking for a proper grocer type shop with fresh produce. Good luck to him!

Polster said...

Sounds interesting and inventive, with some good draws to get people through the door in a recession. I think Degustation has too many tins and packets, which doesn't make for as attractive a display as fresh produce. I appreciate the reasons they do this, obviously, but I never even look at them, I just go straight for the cheese counter. I think Browns should have more of an Italian or English leaning than French, in order to differentiate it from Degustation.
I hope he will still get turkeys etc from the Well Hung Meat Company at Xmas, as Dandelion Blue did - I got my Bronze turkey from there last year and it was fantastic.

Danja said...

Catford Ross? What a turncoat.

fred vest said...

thanks for the best wishes guys

Brockley Kate said...

Now THAT I would like to see. 'Fred's Genuine Authentic Working-Class Catford Deli'.

Anonymous said...

I know a few newsagents selling brown in Brockley

Tyrwhitt Sam said...

Excellent news indeed. Looking forwards to seeing the doors open for business. Fingers crossed for some fine ales!

Brockley Kate said...

Good point Sam - there is nowhere in that bit of Brockley which sells bottled ales (other than the London Pride at Costcutter). I reckon there's definitely a market - me, for one!

Roz said...

you need to head to the eastern fringes of Brockley for a fine real-ale selection - LV foods on Lewisham Way - run by the lovely people who own Saigon Blues (which appears to be undergoing re-branding at the mo...)

Anonymous said...

I always thought Saigon Blues was in North Brockley

Mezzer said...

Tyrwhitt Sam: have you checked out the absolutely amazing bottled ale selection at Mr Lawrence in Crofton Park?

I’ve not seen better anywhere in London.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Compromise with North East?

Meanwhile work continues apace at the Talbot. Spotted last night a variety of bricks, blocks, lintols, sand and aggregate outside as well as a loaded skip the contents of which change daily.

Hopefully once it reopens this will have a fine selction of not only bottled but also draught ales.

Beerhunter said...

Mezzer - UtoBeer. Borough Market. Better for obscure European beer (5 out 6 of the Trappists ales, Belgian abbeys, krieks, Geuezes etc) but Graham (MrLawrence) does do a fine range of English ale. And Jay's Budgen is pretty good for ESB (mmm) and Brakspear's.

Brockley Kate said...

Roz - yes I am familiar with LV - and Mr Lawrence's. But it's frustrating that none of the shops by the station stock anything drinkable.

david said...

Good luck to Browns. I hope it learns from some of Dandelion Blue's mistakes... I loved the idea (and look) of the place, and enjoyed getting olive oil refills etc. But, even given how hard it is to run a small deli, it was often really overpriced. Plus I never forgave them after one time I went in to buy some olives. There were only about 7 or 8 big olives in the pot and the girl weighed it and it came out at £2. Then when I was paying, another guy who worked there came along and said, hmm that looks too cheap, re-weighed it and charged me £2.20 instead! What a way to run a small business!

Hugh said...

Best wishes etc. but Dandelion folded in short order, didn't it? Doesn't that show that for all the chat on here the neighbourhood can't support another deli selling things you can get more cheaply at Tesco?

M said...

Dandelion Blue closed because the owners moved away - not because it was doing badly.
I certainly spent a fair bit in there...

Polster said...

Hugh, I agree to a certain extent but the fact is that Tesco olives, olive oil, 'rustic' bread, tapas-style nibbles, cheese etc are NOT the same as olives, olive oil, bread, nibbles and cheese from a deli. For general consumption I would probably still go to Tesco but if I had people coming round for dinner, or even if I was having a 'superior' kind of picnic, I would much rather spend a little bit more and get a far better product.

Hugh said...

Polster, Tesco sources it pasta and olives etc. from all over the world. The idea that delis somehow rank more highly than the large supermarkets is, these days, just fanciful. In fact, delis are in my view anachronisms. They recall a time when foreign food was a luxury rather than, as today, a staple. If they had the imagination to offer something supermarkets don't, I might use them. In the meantime, I prefer a wider choice for fewer pennies at my local plc (OK, so they tend to deliver to me - see what I mean?).

Anonymous said...

Taste the difference! :)

sonofagun said...

David,those olives when re-priced to £2.20,I would have told them I dont want them.

Polster said...

I agree that delis are a throwback to a time when red peppers were considered 'exotic', but I still think that supermarkets tend to stock the cheaper end of the luxury ranges. Take Parmesan cheese as an example. I visit Emilia Romagna regularly and have had a tour of a Parmesan producer's factory and warehouse. They told us that the wheels of cheese that don't pass muster (there are Parmesan Inspectors that tap them, take samples from them and all that) get shipped to the UK and US supermarkets. So although that tiny square of Parmesan you buy in Tesco might have cost you £3 per 100g (as opposed to E10 per kg for top-notch 3-year-old stuff in Emilia Romagna), it's the stuff that the Italians aren't even allowed to call Parmesan!

max said...

I disagree Hugh, there are still things that deli do and Tesco doesn't.

As an Italian that shops at Gennaro's and in all the usual supermarkets too I am in the position of being able to give you real examples.

Variety of quality brands of pasta is one example, and it makes a big difference. Tesco has some decent very well marketed Italian brand but the real stuff is just not there.
More niche, the fresh Buffalo mozzarella flown in on the day from Italy, all Buffalo mozzarellas in supermarket are pasteurized, look at the expiry date, they last forever, which is absurd, and the taste is really inferior.

Like Buffalo mozzarellas there are many more fresh deli stuff that need to go quickly and delis have the right clientele and if they pitch the order accordingly they will sell within those times.

Cured meats for example, if you start slicing off a new ham or even better a bresaola (cured beef) you need to sell it quickly or it dries up and in a busy deli it will sell in a day or two, in a supermarket it may remain there for a few days and lose its edge, which is the whole meaning of it, these are products that are only good when fresh.

So, although you now find in supermarkets many of the higher end products I think that there is still a role for delis.

Danja said...

One triangle of Dairy Lea is as good as another, right Hugh?

Anonymous said...

Oh Hugh. You sell yourself on here as a man of wealth, sophistication and taste yet you think Tesco offer truly fine food?
Your mask is slipping, dear boy.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, at least Hugh's liking of Tesco is measurable and consistant. Saying that any local deli produces superior food is pretty blind, don't you think? Just because it's local, it's good?

Anonymous said...

When are they going to put up the Browns of Brockley sign?

Name and address supplied, walking up and down Wickham Road with a notepad, pen and flask of weak lemon drink said...

And will it be compliant?

Danja said...

Nice strawman, Anon #1.

Ross said...

"When are they going to put up the Browns of Brockley sign?"

i'm not going to have a sign, or at least a sign above the shop.

as for hughs comment. you've completely lost the point. if i was going to sell the same type and quality of produce as sainsburys/tescos or even waitrose why would anyone bother to come in?

the milk and cream that i'm HOPING* to use, for example, barely leaves the village it's produced in atm because the farmer doesn't feel its worth her while. the bacon that, again hopefully, i will be selling travels only 22.4 miles according to google maps from farm to shop. it's also seriously some of the best bacon i've had, the cream is out of this world too.

these are just a couple of examples of stuff i'm HOPING to stock in the shop. these are some reasons why i hope that people will come into the shop and buy because it is different, or local or a far, far, far superior product or even all of the above.

*hoping in capital letters because nothing is in concrete yet

Anonymous said...

Hi Ross - good luck with the new shop, I wish you every success. One question - what's your thinking about not having any name above the shop? - I don't think it's a big deal but I rather like the name you've gone for and think it would add something rather than detract. Would like nice that's all. (I like the black exterior bye the way)

Pete

Monkeyboy said...

Ross, please don't get wound up by comments on here (including mine!) I think Erin (Brocca) makes a point of not getting drawn in to the spats - you'll go nuts otherwise.

I'll happily pay for good bacon, in fact any good dead pig related produce. Top notch Cheddar as well while your at it.

Anonymous said...

You could also sell bacon sandwiches to commuters in the morning - with the bacon cooked and ready to go into buins

Monkeyboy said...

...like the idea of the Twitter thing as well. Great for announcing any one off stock items....

Anonymous said...

it's because originally i wanted to put up an awning but the cost of even just applying for one was far too much.
there will probably be a name somewhere but not up top, at least not for the moment.

Ross said...

"Ross, please don't get wound up by comments on here (including mine!) I think Erin (Brocca) makes a point of not getting drawn in to the spats - you'll go nuts otherwise."

oh not at all, i have to say that i quite like hughs posts i'm just pointing out where he's wrong.

BrockleyBiker said...

Talking of Gennaros the parmasan from there is incredible. Nothing like what you can get the supermarket.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Looking forward to the proper opening.
Pete.

fabhat said...

I don't think Ross has said anything to alientate - Hugh said it will be the same as Tesco, and Ross pointed out why it won't be. Not really contentious. He didn't call Hugh an idiot or anything that might be construed as aggressive. I'm looking forward to getting to try the new shop once it's open.

Monkeyboy said...

Not aimed at Hugh specifically, there will be lots of discussion on here about price/range/signage(!) not all of it constructive. Hugh's comments on here have merit. Supermarkets have picked up on the posho food choices.

It's a great location, I suspect that opening hours biased toward hungry commuters heading home would be a good idea.

Hugh said...

Might I add that I'm a genius?

Monkeyboy said...

Mate, you made valid point about designer olives. Lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Better if someone else says it of you hugh, someone like your mum perhaps

Anonymous said...

looking forward to it opening! In the meantime those looking for bottled ales should try the shop on the corner of endwell road, opp mantle road turning, I am assured by my better half that the whitstable bay ale they stock is very fine indeed

Anonymous said...

Can someone kindly link where the shop is located? :) TY. Look forward in paying it a visit.

fabhat said...

Anon 11.25 It's on Coulgate St, next to Speedicars and opposite the station and the great ramp of Brockley (now visible from space).

fabhat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

can somebody tell me why it's taking so long to cement a couple of slabs of concrete on to the steps out side the station??? They have been like this for weeks now?

Paddyom said...

Well done Ross - cant wait to try it out. Would love to support local retailers much more so glad you have some more budget(ish) conscious ranges too so i dont feel so guilty buying the dearer stuff ;)

velomancer said...

Ross, if you apply the same resourcefulness, taste, economy and ingenuity into sourcing and selling food as you have to the fixed gear conversion* presently languishing in your new shop, then I'm sure you'll be onto a winner.

There's the unimaginative every(wo)man who want the cheap and cheerful, ubiquitous chainstore bought stuff, and there are those who've found that by making an effort you can get better performance/taste/variety for the same price - if you're not too hung up about appearances, that is. I wish your new venture well.

and in my "Beerhunter" guise, Thanks Roz for the LV tip-off. Bought some Jenning's Snecklifter there yesterday!

*a type of bicycle - sorry.

Anonymous said...

thankyou, although i feel very guilty as it is not being ridden half as much as the moment.

Anonymous said...

In many respects Hugh is the most socially conscious individual that posts here. His straightforward self interest is without the veneer of liberal hypocrisy that deludes those chide him for his honesty.

Monkeyboy said...

I understand that the UN are thinking of making him an Ambassador for their new "Pull Your Socks Up, There's No Need To Be Poor" campaign.

I see this thread has lurched from olives to bike porn. No doubt Hugh and HH will be debating the relative merits of titanium screws Vs those reflector thingamajigs you put on your spokes.

Anonymous said...

"In many respects Hugh is the most socially conscious individual that posts here"

yeah Hugh, we can all post anonymously

graeme said...

Further to my post (as Beerhunter 12/08/09), I've just found that Graham of Mr Lawrence has been stocking all of the Trappist beers in most of the available strengths (possibly for years) without my knowledge; he's cheaper than that poncey Borough Market too.

This discovery could be my downfall.

Monkeyboy said...

Mmm..... Pigs.....

http://brownsofbrockley.blogspot.com/

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!