Charlbury town centre’s only food shop
Making Lockdown more liveable with the Cotswolds’ best coffee.
But only for taking away
March 8, 2021
Even though the government has relaxed emergency legislation, we’re still keeping our limit of one customer n the shop at a time, with one waiting in our upper room.
We’ve had to suspend serving food or drink to consume in the Deli, and even in our walled garden and on tables in Market St. We’re assuming that by April 12 it’ll be safer to allow some cafe sales, and we’re currently agreeing with West Oxfordshire District Council where to put our Market St tables and chairs.
We’re still selling the best coffee in the Cotswolds to take away, but please don’t bring recyclable cups yet, because we can’t fill them.
In the meantime we’ll still be offering phone ordering, home deliveries, payments on account and prebooked personal shopping slots after other customers have gone home.
Many Charlburians want to get out more – but many others are still self-isolating, and want the Cotswolds’ best coffee, bread, milk and fruit & veg to help them keep well and safe.
We’re currently open from 8.30 to 2 pm, Monday to Saturday.
We’re currently selling our customers far more groceries than we were before the virus struck. More and more people have been depending on us for food that bigger shops haven’t been able to sell, for better food and for more attentive service.
If just one Covid case were traced back to a contact someone had made in the Deli, we’d have to send staff home. If that happened, we haven’t got enough people trained and able to circulate to keep the shop open.
Mercifully, our customers’ loyalty and taxpayers’ generosity since Lockdown make us financially healthy enough not to be desperate for the business a full cafe re-opening might give us.
So right now, we’re changing almost nothing about the way we’ve been running the Deli. We’ll still sell the best range of groceries for miles around.
We’ll be reviewing this every week, and at some point we’ll certainly become Charlbury’s buzzing hub again. But we don’t think now is quite the time.
We want to keep seeing our loyal customers and the new visitors Charlbury’s been attracting. We’d rather not risk being forced to close
We’re almost as famous for Lynne’s home-made cakes as for the best coffee in the Cotswolds.
For many of our customers, though, our sourdough bread from Mark’s Cotswold Bakery is beginning to rival Lynne’s cakes. His fruitloaf (at present: weekends only) is fast catching up with his sourdough as well.
The heart of any Deli is its Deli counter.
Where we make our famous sandwiches, brew our coffee, slice our cooked meat and offer the best-kept cheese in the Cotswolds.
Our friends at Oxford Wine have chosen wine pairings with our cheese
Click to see our recommended cheese pairings
There’s always a range of locally-made savoury pies
We’re particularly proud of our local curers like Charlbury’s own Curiosities Company
And of the wine pairings Oxford Wine have suggested for their products
Our Cornbury Venison is nurtured just down the street
We’ve sharpened up our range of wine to offer more organic choices, more interesting grape varieties and new regions.
And we’ll knock 5% off all orders for 6 or more bottles.
It’s amazing how much gin is distilled near Charlbury. And there are some terrific liqueurs too
There’s an extraordinary range of beer and cider made round here. We’ve got gift packs from Hook Norton and Chadlington Breweries and from Somerset’s Bumble Bee Cider.
We’re not just Charlbury’s town cafe, its only cheese and cooked meat counter and its most interesting wine merchant.
The Deli’s always a great place for finding presents – whether it’s local food and drink, something from our local craft shows, or one of the special new food hampers we’ve created. And if you can’t you might find a gift voucher works
We’re always adding new products you’d otherwise have to travel miles to find. And when we all go back to meetings and entertaining each other – you’d be amazed at the different types of events our catering has made special.
Karen Fern makes the locally-cast pottery we’re currently selling. Her ceramic creations are simple by design, individual and crafted to be cherished and loved. You can see a wider range at http://www.buttonsandclay.co.uk/index.php/about/
Briony Lawson was our last featured artist from February to July 2020. She exhibited sculpture and drawings inspired by Charlbury and by her native Devon. We’ll resume exhibitions of local artists – both indoors and in our secluded garden – once we reinstate our indoor cafe
Deli vouchers can provide a grandchild’s birthday party. Give a friend loose chocs for a month (or year). Let them choose a special wine. Provide the catering for your club’s events.
The choices are vast
Valentine’s Day specials. Straightforward yumminess like marc de champagne truffles. There’s always a Deli loose choc no-one can resist
No need to pay Fortnums for what they want to sell. Ask at the Deli and we’ll produce a beautiful hamper full of what your friend or relative really wants to have on their table
When we all had social lives, the Deli catered at more funerals and memorial services in Charlbury than anyone else. We helped out with artist’s private views, meetings – and any event where you needed food you’d rather not prepare yourself
There’s always new products arriving at the Deli. Here’s a list of what’s arrived since the beginning of 2020.
The Charlbury Deli used to be one of half a dozen food shops along the two streets – Sheep St and Market St – that, in 1990, were really Charlbury’s High Street.
In those days, there were 40-odd shops: from sweet shops to butchers. But in 1990, the food shops sold only cans and packets. Not what you’d call Good Food.
So about 60 Charlburians clubbed together, made themselves into a limited company, bought a shop no-one wanted and called it the Good Food Shop .
A few years later, there were fewer stores along the two streets, and a pretty decent, larger, Co-op on the edge of the town. So they changed the name to the Charlbury Deli & Cafe to give customers a reason for coming from the Co-op.
By 2017, the Co-op and nine other major grocery chains had hoovered up almost all the Charlbury food business. So 60 more shareholders helped finance the move to a far more prominent site on Market St.
There we sell the best coffee in the Cotswolds – brewed in Charlbury from beans roasted by Oxford’s Missing Bean, who help train our staff.
In normal times, we sell it in a lovely cafe. But right now, we’ve had to suspend its indoor operations. We’ll happily make you a cup though – or a cup of our tea – as long as you drink it somewhere else. Or you can try one of our cool milkshakes – usually made from local cows milked that morning
We also sell the best home-baked cakes in the Cotswolds: most mornings, our shop manager, Lynne Stubbles, is up at 4.30 baking cakes. Like the team at our main sourdough bread supplier, Mark’s Cotswold Bakery, just outside Chipping Norton.
Overall, about 80% of what we sell comes from Oxfordshire suppliers: we’re fortunate to have some fabulous local food manufacturers on our doorstep. British isn’t always best of course: Missing Bean offers a choice of origins for its bags of coffee, Standlake’s Oxford Wine Co travels the globe to choose really distinctive wine, and our neighbours swear by our delicious loose Belgian chocolates.
The Deli’s now owned by about 120 local shareholders. To learn more about how our shareholders have been an important part of our development programme, there’ll soon be a shareholder section.
We’re determined to stay here. Whatever we call our streets, we’ll keep a food shop in the main one.
If you want to find where and when we’re open, go to our Visit Us page
But if you’re local and supply good food or drink you’d like to sell us , just email us here.
We can’t promise we’ll be able to do business with you. But we’d be disappointed if we couldn’t.
Our impish and improvisatory (and sometimes impetuous) imprint, the Deli Doodle email newsflash, keeps you posted with the latest news from Charlbury Deli & Cafe. The very latest are below Or you can sign up on the form below and we’ll deliver news to your inbox right away. (You can unsubscribe at any time, of course.)
We’re always adding new products or ideas. Here’s a link to what’s been added during 2020 Try our new salad boxes Kombuchas packed with taste` The Deli… Read more “What’s new?”
Two people who’ve become well-known in other walks of life have recently launched kombuchas that we’re now stocking at Charlbury Deli. Willy Chase is the man behind… Read more “Kombuchas packed with taste”
Our secluded back garden feels positively balmy on the kind of dry and sunny day the forecasters are promising for the next few weeks. And Briony Lawson’s put half a dozen… Read more “Briony Lawson’s exhibiting at the Deli. Inside and out”