New Market Row deli will inspire community spirit, says mayor
- Credit: Archant
A new, independent deli in the town centre is a "huge asset" to Saffron Walden, the mayor has said.
Saffron & Sage on Market Row was opened by mayor Heather Asker on Wednesday (April 14).
Deli owner Karen Oakley said the shop is a dream come true after a career in financial operations and IT.
Karen said: "I've always wanted to do something like this.
"I have a massive passion for food, but it is also really important to be a part of the community and not having to race off to London on a daily basis.
You may also want to watch:
"Reflecting on the past 13 months of lockdown has meant really re-evaluating what elements of life we can change."
Karen is particularly keen to work with East Anglian food and drink producers and suppliers at the deli.
- 1 Market Square event organisers "amazed" at popularity of dine-out event
- 2 Wiseman dynasty gets new star as 15-year-old Max hits first senior ton
- 3 New mayor, deputy mayor and leader appointed for town council
- 4 Standing for election for a seat on Essex County Council on May 6, 2021
- 5 Here's what you can do from May 17 as Covid restrictions ease
- 6 Walden teddy bear shop to relocate to new venue
- 7 Stick to the paths while bluebells bloom, says Essex Wildlife Trust
- 8 Ex-prison governor on writing, retirement and baking at Angela Reed
- 9 Front garden VE Day display planned in Great Chesterford
- 10 Deadline week for Stansted planners amid latest appeal
She stocks bread from Cambridge baker Fitzbillies and crisps from Fairfields Farm near Colchester.
Even the finishing touches to the shop's fittings and fixings were masterminded by Walden handyman Mick Pegler.
Karen said: "We have been quite particular with some of our suppliers, keeping produce very local and artisan.
"I've not done anything like this before.
"I gave up my job to follow this passion and to try to fulfil a need in the town.
"Some people would say that it's brave opening up because of the coronavirus, but I think it's not necessarily that brave opening in Saffron Walden - there's an appetite for this type of shop."
Small business confidence is thought to have rebounded across the country this week as lockdown restrictions ease.
This follows the closure of shops across the town, including the much-loved East Street Stores.
Prezzo, Carphone Warehouse, Laura Ashley and Ask Italian have also disappeared from Saffron Walden in recent months.
Mayor Heather Asker said: "I think it's a huge asset to the town to have a new, independent grocery-cum-deli.
"The array of produce here has been stunning, and it feels much like an old corner shop.
"If we can move forward on something like this, we can keep the community spirit going in a nice corner of the town."