Fabulous festive fayre at The Broadway Deli & Grocery in South Woodford

Festive Fayre, The Broadway Deli & Grocery, South Woodford

Jan Robijn and the ever-cheerful Diana, who recently stepped into the role of manager - Credit: Leah Van Zyl Photography

It’s might only be October, but Jan at The Broadway Deli & Grocery in Woodford Green has been stocking up with all sorts of deliciousness for the festive season since June in a determined effort to make it truly the most wonderful time of the year

First off Jan, how have you and the business been since we last spoke?
We’re about to celebrate our third anniversary, in November! There hasn’t been a dull day in any of these past three years and the last year has been another eventful one. Our team has grown and changed over the past twelve months. Siobhan, our previous manager, left the business which opened the position for our ever-cheerful Diana, who has been doing an incredible job. I really believe we have an incredible team of people, who, despite some rather trying moments, have really helped lighten the mood.
We have seen our partnerships with local producers strengthen. Our baker Michal from The Home Organic Bakery, added a full range of vegan pastries to the mix and we also started working with the local Leigh's Gluten-free Bakery for fresh baked (and quite delicious) gluten-free bread and gluten-free sourdough. Behind our shop, we now have the coffee roastery of Ben and his Kauffie Company, which means we offer our own fresh roasted coffee. Our cakes are baked locally, we have expanded on our local honey offering and go from strength to strength collaborating with our local The Bearded Butcher and fruit & veg supplier Yes Chef, the owner of which is also local. 

Fabulous festive fayre, The Broadway Deli & Grocery, South Woodford

Coffee is now freshly roasted on the premises, much to the delight of local coffee lovers - Credit: Leah Van Zyl Photography

I understand you're already gearing up for Christmas, what preparations are underway?
We have actually been working on our Christmas offering since June this year. With the weather this summer being what it was, it wasn’t too hard to get in the mood either. Last year we offered one of the largest collections of Christmas panettones in the wider area and an abundance of seasonal food and drink, so we didn’t want to lose out for this year. Diana and I have combed through every available catalogue, visited trade shows and spoke with amazing producers. Whatever happens, Christmas is: ‘The most wonderful time of the year,’ and we will make sure of that.

Fabulous festive fayre, The Broadway Deli & Grocery, South Woodford

Everyone gets a warm welcome at The Broadway Deli & Grocery - Credit: Leah Van Zyl Photography

What are typically your best-selling products over the festive period?
Aside from our range of exquisite Italian Christmas panettones (from classic to pistachio, chocolate, Limoncello, marron glacé, salted caramel and so forth) and our world-famous-in-Woodford chocolate covered grissini breadsticks, I have to say it’s hampers and wine.
Last year we made many hundreds of bespoke gift hampers, which is a bit of a hobby of ours. Nothing is as satisfying as creating a hamper that brings together many of the niceties we stock. Especially for Christmas, we have even more treats, gift foods, chocolates, cheeses and liqueurs and wines than usual, which makes the shop like one big Aladdin’s Cave of goodness. 

Fabulous festive fayre, The Broadway Deli & Grocery, South Woodford

Creating bespoke Christmas hampers has become a bit of a hobby for Jan and the team - Credit: Leah Van Zyl Photography

Are you bringing anything new in this year?
We have found quite a few bits that we didn’t have previously, such as more Italian patisserie products, fresh baklava and quite a few jaw-dropping wines. Almost too many to mention, but without fail absolutely delicious products. Sometimes it is a shame we can only get certain products for Christmas, although it would probably be a disaster for our waistlines if we had these all year round. 

Can you describe the atmosphere and ambience in the shop over this period?
It’s quite magical! And of course, I am not biased. I always enjoy going to the store, but around Christmas there’s something extra special about the place. With the many dozens of Christmas cakes and treats piled high on the shelves, the decorations, the smell of cinnamon and Christmas spices, fresh coffee, bread and cakes, combined with a more uplifted spirit for many, everything comes together wonderfully.

Fabulous festive fayre, The Broadway Deli & Grocery, South Woodford

For Christmas there's more treats, gifts, chocolates, cheese and wines, turning the shop into an Aladdin's Cave of goodness - Credit: Leah Van Zyl Photography

Are you run off your feet?
In one word: Yes. Christmas is clearly a period where we don’t feel awkward rewarding ourselves for a full-on year and it’s also the most fitting time to show others what they mean to us. And what works better than to kick back with some naughty and nice or to send someone a gift basket with delicious food and wine? 

How much time do you customarily take off over the festive period?
That would be my lunch break... and some days in January if possible.

How do you tend to celebrate?
We usually stay in the UK where we celebrate with our closest friends and some of our family who live here. Good friends, good food, good wine, is the motto. We all love eating.

Finally, what products will you be taking home this Christmas from The Broadway Deli & Grocery and why?
I tend to start dragging home all the nice Christmas bits as they come in our store from October. But often we will have eaten half of it come Christmas Eve, as it is honestly very difficult to just look at it but not touch. Our personal returning favourites are the Seggiano Chestnut Pannetone, Chocolate Covered Grissini by Barbero, Ricciarelli Soft Biscotti, Lunardi Chocolate Cantuccini, the soft truffle pecorino cheese from Tuscany, Ouse Valley Christmas Pudding Marmalade and lots of bits from the antipasti ranges, such as roasted artichokes, as well as cheeses and Italian charcuterie.

Get in touch
The Broadway Deli & Grocery 
9 The Broadway, 
Woodford Green IG8 0HL
020 8215 0982
deligrocery.co.uk