Deli brings new lease of life to historic building

Evesham Journal: From left - Louise Hunt and Alan Frinley, owners of Broadway Deli which has moved premises. (3557901) From left - Louise Hunt and Alan Frinley, owners of Broadway Deli which has moved premises. (3557901)

A HISTORIC building in Broadway has been given a new lease of life with the relocation of a well-stocked delicatessen.

St Patrick’s, in the High Street, which has been empty for the last nine years, is now the new home of the Broadway Deli, which recently moved from its old shop on the Green.

The shop is much larger than the deli’s previous premises and is split across two levels, boasting a coffee shop and outdoor seating area.

Previously owned by the late Ron Porter, the 17th century building has a long and interesting history, serving as a tea room, a guest house and until 1849, a vicarage.

Mr Porter took over the business with his wife Anthea in 1961 and ran it first as a tea room and later as a gift and toy shop, for more than 40 years.

After he closed the shop nine years ago, the building was maintained but not occupied.

But after his death in February last year, his family decided it was time for the building to be used again.

His son Tom said he thought his father would have been happy with the shop now.

"I think he would have been very pleased it's now open and a buzzing part of the village," he said.

Louise Hunt, who runs the Broadway Deli with her partner Alan Frimley, said when the building became available they jumped at the opportunity.

“We had been in Number 16 for seven years and just outgrew the building,” she said. “When the chance to get St Patrick’s came up we jumped at it.

“Ron Porter was a very kind man. This year his son and daughter-in-law inherited the building and they just wanted to do something nice with it, kind of in his memory.

“They’ve said to us since we’ve opened they think he would have liked what we’ve done with it. It’s nice to think that he would have been happy with what we’ve done with it.

“He looked after the building for all the time it was closed. The garden is absolutely huge. It’s been immaculately kept.”

Mrs Hunt said they plan to make full use of the impressive garden, which has been previously hidden from the general public.

She is hoping to run outdoor events when the weather improves, including a mini food festival.

“It’s to give people an idea of the food and other products in the area and show the rich cultural heritage that Broadway has,” she said.

“Being on the edge of the Vale we have got a huge choice to pick from. We’ve got some amazing suppliers.”

On Friday, January 31, they are hosting the first of their monthly Meet the Producers sessions, which will run on the last Friday of each month from 11am to 2pm.

Cathryn from Simply Seedz will be in the shop showcasing a selection of her products including handmade muesli and porridge blends along with sweet and savoury seed mixes.

And visitors to the shop will be encouraged to explore the upper level by a hand-painted mural created by Broadway artist Helen Bainbridge.

“The mural was great fun to do and I met so many people while I was working on it,” she said "The design tries to acknowledge the arts and crafts tradition of the Cotswolds, makes a nod to the buildings' Irish connections and also features some of our locally endangered bird species."

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