Lawson’s deli aims for East Anglian chain
The new owners of Lawson’s Delicatessen in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, have revealed ambitions to expand into “a mini chain” in other East Anglian coastal towns.
Clare Jackson and her father John Omerod took over the business – a former Deli of the Year winner – in January from founders Richard Lawson and Claire Bruce-Clayton who have run the deli for the past 10 years.
Bruce-Clayton has been retained one day a week for six months to help show the new owners “the ropes”.
The new owners plan to bed down at Lawson’s and then look at some of the neighbouring towns, such as Southwold and Woodbridge to open other units.
“What we will focus on at Lawson’s over the next six months to a year is changing and invigorating the cheese counter,” said Jackson, who has a background in accountancy. “We want to become known as a great cheese counter in East Anglia, celebrating British cheeses, especially East Anglian cheeses.”
These include Fen Farm Dairy’s Baron Bigod and Norfolk’s Mrs Temple’s Cheeses.
Jackson and Omerod have hired Rosie Teare as specialist cheese consultant who will share her expertise on British and European artisan cheese to help develop the range and train the staff.
Teare works in France with Mons Fromagers in Saint-Haon-le-Châtel, as affineur and chef de cuisine. She has previously worked as a cheesemaker with Mary Holbrook at Sleight Farm, and with Neal’s Yard Dairy.
“It’s not just cheese,” said Jackson. “We have our chef, Kim, who cooks our range of Lawson’s food, including soups, quiches, pastas, a range of salads and sandwiches and frozen meals every day.”
Lawson’s also sells olives, chutneys, jam, honey, crackers to go with cheese, olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
The shop has just added a serve-yourself range of infused olive oils and vinegars where customers can return for refills, and a pick-and-mix nut bar for pairing with different cheeses.
It will continue to stock local products, such as bread and chocolate from Pump Street Bakery and fruit from High House Fruit Farm.
The new owners have also introduced a coffee machine, serving Monmouth coffee.
Jackson said she would like to extend the business online by the end of the year.
“I’d definitely like to get click and collect up and going so people can pre-order their holiday shopping.”