UPDATE: EAT17 has opened a branch in Chatsworth Road, Hackney E9 6DF
IF YOU want to get ahead, get a headline, and for that you need a celebrity. Village Stores in certainly won with that idea when its Brundle’s Bacon Jam was sampled on TV by Hollywood’s Sarah Jessica Parker.
Not bad for a shop that though based in the chi-chi+ Orford Road, Walthamstow (think Stokey Church Street without the beggars), trades under the Spar logo.
James Brundle, top, co-owner, explained that the shop has an in-store bakery, in-store pizzeria and an attached restaurant, Eat 17, where he and head chef and co-owner Chris O’Connor make “uncomplicated dishes really well” from local ingredients, among them the bacon jam.
After the store won a retailing award, the resultant publicity led to the Jonathan Ross Show asking for a sample, which the flop-haired one duly offered to the Sex and the Citystar when she guested on his show.
As a well-trained sleb, Parker raved about it, and the next day other shops were phoning for the jam.
One of them was Selfridges. Brundle told Loving Dalston: “The bacon jam has been a huge hit. Selfridges has even started putting it on the menu in its restaurant as well as selling it in the food hall.
“We now have four distributors, who sell our relish to many great establishments.”
Can you try it at home? Brundle lets Loving Dalston readers in on his the secret: “We use smoked bacon, onions coffee and bourbon whiskey, which has a smoky sweet taste.”
The ’Stow food stars are working on an an onion jam relish. That should please those pesky vegetarians.
David Altheer 171111
+ Nineties slang (Eng.): twee but without the uncool associations. Possibly
* Village Stores Spar, 24-26 Orford Road, Walthamstow E17 9NJ (020 8521 8187). The associated venture Eat17 is a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.