WEST COUNTRY DELI BUSINESS BEATS PRET AND SUBWAY TO BE UK’S BEST SANDWICH BUSINESS
Chandos Deli, the Bristol-based sandwich and delicatessen business, has fought off stiff competition from industry giants to be named as the best sandwich retailer in Britain.
The Sammies' are the sandwich industry’s national awards staged as part of British Sandwich Week, 9-15 May 2010. Now in their fifteenth year, The Sammies feature 14 different categories.
Chandos Deli was crowned as the winner last night, 13 May 2010 in the Specialist Sandwich Bar Chain of the Year Award category but the business was easily the minnow in the race for the title.
Multi-national sandwich businesses Subway and Pret a Manger were also on the short-list for the same award. American giant Subway has over 1,250 franchised stores across the UK and Ireland; that’s more stores than Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut.
Pret is a British business that has successfully expanded into Hong Kong and the US. Major sandwich retailers such as Boots and Marks & Spencer failed to even make it to the finals.
“It’s great to have won a bun fight with massive businesses like Subway,” says Iain Keith-Smith, founder of Chandos Deli.
“We opened our first store on Bristol’s Chandos Road back in 1992 with the ambition to make and serve fantastic food and our approach remains unchanged.
“We’ve succeeded because of our passion for sourcing wonderful ingredients from around the world and our ability to share our knowledge and enthusiasm with the customers that walk in through our doors. We never grow tired of talking about and sharing the delicious things we discover.”
Iain and his team now run eight different Chandos Deli outlets, including stores and cafes in Bath and Exeter. The delicatessens have a loyal following at lunchtimes where sandwiches and baguettes are crammed with charcuterie, continental cheeses and imaginative salads.
Chandos Deli has worked with Gloucestershire-based Hobbs House Bakery to produce their own distinctive baguette recipe that helps give their menus an edge over the mass-produced bread necessarily served by big businesses like Subway.
Iain adds: “Winning the Sammy Award this year is a great pat on the back for all involved with Chandos Deli. It’s a reminder that we’re getting the basics right and that our honest approach to fabulous food keeps our customers coming back for more each day.”
Chandos Deli has five stores in Bristol including delicatessens on Whiteladies Road, Henleaze and Princess Victoria Street in Clifton. In 2009, the company opened its latest store in they city within the Quakers Friars development at Cabot Circus.
A deli on Bath’s George Street is joined in the city by a café within the Egg Children’s Theatre.
Chandos Deli in Exeter was opened in 2007 and is popular with shoppers and the business community in the Princesshay development at the heart of the city.
The finalists for the Sammies’ Specialist Sandwich Bar Chain of the Year Award category were:
ˇ Chandos Deli
ˇ Baguette Express (over 60 franchised outlets)
ˇ Bagel Nash (12 outlets + bagel exports to 20 countries)
ˇ EAT (over 100 outlets)
ˇ Pret a Manger
ˇ Apostrophe (16 outlets across London)
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Over the years, Chandos Deli has matured into an extremely well-regarded regional business, with an unrivalled reputation and a loyal customer base. Our reputation is not confined to the local area, however. Just a couple of years after we opened our first shop, we beat off stiff competition to win the Guardian Newspaper’s National Award for the Best Sandwiches in the UK. Matthew Fort, food and drink writer for the Guardian, and one of the three judges at the grand final, commented:
‘It was a tough decision, but Chandos Deli sandwiches just melted in my mouth.’ (1995)
More recently, the Observer Newspaper vote us ‘The Best Deli in the South West’. They wrote ‘Cheery staff, wonderful breads, cheeses, pates and olives. Fresh sandwiches every day with great fillings.’ (2004)
In the last two years the British Sandwich Association has voted us both a runner-up and the winner in the award for Best National Independent Sandwich Bar.
Chandos Deli is regularly listed as a preferred stockist in cookery books, such as the Moro Cookbook (Samuel and Samantha Clarke), Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible (Tamasin Day-Lewis), and Henrietta Green’s Food Lover’s Guide to Britain. We also receive excellent responses in trade publications and online:
‘A haven of edible treats – from oils and vinegars to handmade chocolates and wines to taste on site – with friendly service. You might have to queue for their award-winning sandwiches.’ (Waitrose Food Illustrated).
‘They have an unrivalled reputation for some of the best sandwiches in the country, the result of a relentless quest for quality ingredients and an over-riding philosophy of keeping it simple.’ (International Sandwich and Snack News).
‘I’d defy anyone not to spend a tenner here, cheerfully.’ (Premier World)