The original Nottingham Delilah was opened in 2005 by Sangita Tryner, Welsh by birth, of Indian extraction, and a refugee from multiple-grocery industry!
“I didn’t always love food the way I do now, and I'm still teased by my husband Rick about my pre-Rick diet of eggs and toast. But my career in the food industry, marketing into the Supermarkets for several large food manufacturers both trained my palate and opened my eyes.
I worked cheek by jowl with some seriously talented development chefs, learned about the finest ingredients from around the world, and a serious foodie was unleashed!
But I rapidly became disillusioned by the compromises of mass production – recipes pared back to hit price points, and techniques driven by the need to work on a production line – and worked out that good food is produced by people, not manufactured in a factory.”
So Delilah was conceived, as a place to be packed with amazing products and exquisite flavours, which people leave having not only tasted foods like never before, but also having had a food ‘experience’ to remember: an anti-supermarket, i.e. the opposite, a place where every space is filled with special products, artisan-made with a real passion. (Even if that means some things are only available some of the time, or in small quantities, or that they change with the seasons: that is the whole point, you taste things that are natural and not forced or homogenised). Artisan producers are a mix of magician and obsessive: a cauldron of passion, a zap of dedication and not forgetting a pinch of inspiration and their creations are magical….
In July 2005, the dream was realised, as Delilah was opened in a small store on Middle Pavement, Nottingham by Sangita and 5 other staff, rapidly establishing itself as a beacon for local foodies. It also rapidly became clear that Nottingham had an appetite for great food, and that the place was way too small! Every nook and cranny was used, indeed crammed, and a patio, then conservatory were opened.
In 2009, Nik Tooley came on board as General Manager of a team now 9 strong, while Sangita briefly stepped back to start a family, but the aim was clearly now to move on up.
Ironically it was the deepest recession in a generation that provided the opportunity, as Nottingham’s property market cooled off, and Delilah came of age, securing its current home at Victoria Street, in a stunning former HSBC bank: a venue nearly 5 times the size.
The space may be bigger, with more people needed to run it, but the ethos is the same, great service, passionate people, great products and ingredients both to buy and to eat in: just a lot more of everything!