Charlbury Deli: the food shop determined to stay in our town centre
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.