It takes a brave, some might say foolhardy, some might say insane, soul to start a business in the current financial climate, so we denizens of SE15 should stand as one and applaud the bravery/foolhardiness/insanity (delete as appropriate) of Huey, only begetter of the Bambuni delicatessen and coffee shop, which first opened its doors a year ago yesterday.
The refurbishment of the premises took months, and most of the work was carried out by Huey himself. It was a labour of love and you can tell by the finished space how much thought and care have gone into it; free wi-fi, well duh!, but also a power outlet at each table; great music, yes, but via a speaker system covering every area; a projector hung from the ceiling for film nights; plain white walls, polished wood and spot-lighting making it a delightful room to spend time in, over a flat white and a toasted sandwich.
Of course, none of that would matter a jot if even more thought hadn't been put into what is on offer. But there's some great stuff here:
The coffee served is from Volcano and is also available to buy in 250g bags (they'll happily grind the beans for you if you wish).
In addition to a fine selection of charcuterie and cheeses, Huey sells fantastic bacon and sausages from Nathan Mills.
Bread is from Brick House, Levain (formerly Born and Bread) and Boulangerie Jade.
Pork pies are from Bray's Cottage.
There are shelves full of dried pastas from Bartolini and De Cecco, jams, pickles, Spanish beans and pulses, goose fat, duck confits and cassoulets, Italian tomatoes from Mutti, teas from Pukka and much more.
There's a great selection of beers (Red Willow, The Kernel, Cropton's, Hard Knott and Buxton's) and wines. And, marvellous to behold, there are two barrels of wine (a white and a red - currently Italian) from which customers can refill their stoppered Bambuni bottles. A bottle costs £2.50 and the wine is £5.50 for 750ml.
A similar refill system operates for olive and rapeseed oils. The oils cost between £3-£5 for 500ml and the refill bottles £2 each.
Italian '00', strong bread, self-raising and spelt flours are available to buy by weight as is rice (paella, basmati, arborio), quinoa and oats.
Joy of joys, there's a freezer cabinet chock full of ice cream from The Ice Cream Union - including cornflake, hazelnut and lemon pie flavours.
There is always new stock from new suppliers being added - Huey has been stocking everything you need to make sushi (inlcuding mats) for a while now, but has just added a range of Mexican moles, re-fried beans, tortillas etc.
And it's well worth signing up to the newsletter to keep up to date with regular evening activities - supperclub pop-ups, film nights, sushi making, late evening bar nights etc.
With all of that available, let me ask you a question. If you live in the area and haven't been to Bambuni to, at the very least, check it out, why on Earth not?
Happy Birthday Bambuni!
SHORTLISTED FOR FOOD BLOG OF THE YEAR 2014