Best Newcomer 2010 - El's Kitchen


El's Kitchen, the Ladywell deli, has won the Brockley Central Newcomer of the Year 2010 award, picking up 60 votes from readers in the end-of-year poll, ahead of The Hill Station, Bohemia Hair, U Gosi and Krizz Kutz.

No one ever went broke overestimating greater Brockley's demand for quality products. Like last year's winner, The Orchard, El's Kitchen has attempted to fill a gap in the local market and set itself high-standards. Since the closure of Dandelion Blue in Coulgate Street, the area has been without a real deli. El's Kitchen offers a wide range of foods and has reintroduced fresh produce to the Ladywell high street.

Although it opened this year, El has been keenly researching the market and her offer for a long time, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Months before it opened, her Facebook group acted as a testing-ground for new products and ideas and her catering business helped word of mouth about the quality of the food she specialises in. So when she finally secured her premises, El already had a loyal following, who have given the business their support right from the start.

El said:

We're delighted to have been voted Newcomer of the Year by Brockley Central followers. The team at EK have worked really hard to meet the foody needs and desires of the local community. We have to thank everyone who has shopped with us for their support as we couldn't have got this far without each and every one of you. We hope to continue to provide what our customers want + need from a delicatessen in 2011 and beyond - so please tell us!

24 comments:

thisisengland said...

Well done Els Itchen (keep he new name please), you're proof that we don't need Waitrose, or worse Saisburys Local.

Anonymous said...

Why not have both? This kind of enterprise is not threatened. Genaros in lewisham co exists with a sainsburys and some very cheap grocers. Mixed communities, mixed retail, you know real life, works. Little ghettos of posh and poor do not.

Anonymous said...

Gennaro's has been in Lewisham in different locations as least since the 1970s. It has a loyal customer base many of them Italians, lets see if els last as long, I hope so. I suspect if Sainsburys opens in Ladywell els will be in trouble. The raison d'etre of the supermarkets is to dominate the high streets of Britain and the world. Ultimately they'll win and we'll live in identikit Britain.

Anonymous said...

so a deli selling premium, specialist grub will never exist in the same town center as a supermatket local store? they sell different things, if Els survives it will be because she sells something the others cant. Specialist food stores and convinience stores do co-exist. Tescos on lewisham way is surrounded by convinience store so the low end seems to cope. There is a Tesco express in Greenwich 100 yards from a very sucsessful italian deli. Mind you, you can prove anything with so called 'facts'

Anonymous said...

Tescos will rule the World.

Tamsin said...

A fact. The specialist health food shop that used to be on New Cross Road near Goldsmiths did not sell the same stuff as Sainsbury's NXG but when it opened there was sufficient overlap to take away enough of the health shop's business to render continued co-existence no longer viable. That is not me guessing but from the shop-owner himself who no doubt looked into things carefully as to why he was failing and whether there wasn't anything he could do about it.

Anonymous said...

It's the assumption that supermarkets are evil.... They exist because there is a need. I'd be broke and be shopping all day if I had to rely on specialist shops. There will always be a tension between different retailers, els, browns etc are part of a mixed, diverse market place. Shops exist primarily to sell stuff, the owners make a few quid, we shop there if we choose. The end.

Wendy said...

Tamsin, on another thread you said you were happy with the sainsbury's near you at NXG and that you shop at:

"Supermarkets for the convenience and value - just come back from Sainsburys with a trolleyload. But let the supermarkets stay like that."

So would you get rid of that supermarket to get that health food shop back?

Anonymous said...

the obsession with cheap food isn't sustainable. Eat less but better.

Anonymous said...

are you suggesting that a shop like El's is an everyday place to buy your groceries? it's not that kind of place, a totally different argument. I love Deli's, make my own stock, bake my own bread, rarley but anything in a packet but it's the height of arogance to tell people how much they should spend on food and what they should eat. Supermarkets and their curtomers are two sides of the same coin, as is the media, popular music and fashion. There is no big conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

the height of arrogance is 1.8 mtr.
the height of complacency?

Mb said...

Lewisham is one of the poorest boroughs in London. In expensive food is a necessity not a lifestyle choice for a lot of people. Not having an irrational fear of supermarkets is not complacency. Presumably the same ire would be turned on your friendly corner shop selling sliced White and beans? I want a want a range of goods available, only the masochistic would insist on spending £1.00 rather than 90p for a litre of milk. What the jobseekers allowance these days? £62.50?

I voted for Els by the way.

Mb said...

Lots of random spelling and punctuation there...iPad itis

max said...

Punctuation may not be perfect, but writing in defence of cheap stuff on your iPad is pure gold.

mb said...

Don't worry, I whipped myself with a notted cord as a show of solidarity with the demographic mean of the borough.

max said...

You earned yourself some foie gras now.

max said...

And I wish I had an iPad. Some envy speaking there.

Anonymous said...

but as the supermarkets drive down the cost of milk so any competitors go out of business, then they'll put the price up with no one left to undercut them...meanwhile we're heading for a countryside empty of animals, just vast sheds with captive cows that never graze on grass. Just to save 10p???

Singledweller said...

Els is great for grabbing some fresh veg on the way home from work mid week. We single dwellers need to buy small amounts of fresh food regularly or are faced with mountains of gone-off veg by the middle of the week.
Going in to pay for a single carrot is impossible and I inevitably leave with at least 2-3 other 'posh' bits for my cupboard. Its a little money trap, but you actually get a smile and a chat while your in there, Costcutter take note ;)

mb said...

Yes, but do you get a shop manager with a magnificent toupe? The chap in costcutter has a fine example.

thisisengland said...

Interns don't do syrups

Anonymous said...

surely Degustation near Brockley station is a real Deli.

Tamsin said...

@ Wendy. No, to be honest I probably would not get rid of the NXG supermarket to have the health food shop back. One can't turn back the clock and supermarket shopping suits many in the current life-style.

But what I mistrust is firstly the potential for the big supermarkets to abuse their purchasing power, secondly the misleading information disseminated in advance of any changes (the retail studies that showed the opening of the supermarket would have no effect on local shops) and the way that both Sainsbury's and Tescos, not content with their dominance of the big store niche, are muscling in on the corner shop market with Sainsburys Local and Tesco Express, and on the independent delis with their "Taste the Difference" and other ranges.

At Mb - agreed, there are many who need to be able to buy cheap milk and chicken - but Sainsbury's and Tesco are not particularly cheap unless you play the BOGOF and special offer games (which just encourage wastage). Better alround value are Lidl and Aldi.

Simon @Geddes said...

Well done to El and her wonderful team-they certainly deserve this kind of recognition. Our clients have been raving about our new Ladywell deli and our team now have even more choice when it comes to places from where to buy their lunch.
As for me, my wife Olivia manages to pick up fresh food from El's on the way home after a 9pm finish at the salon-a most welcome change from an Indian takeaway four nights a week!
El's has proven to be a great addition to Ladywell.

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