Gusto Deli in Montpellier opened just over 4 years ago but the business has gone from strength to strength, featuring in several top food magazines for their services, their coffee in particular. I was able to catch up with one owner, lovely Rachel Cappuccini, who showed me around the beautiful cafe and even treated me to a taste of their deliciously authentic Italian cuisine...
“Gavin and I met about 11 years ago when I owned a hotel in the Cotswolds, and Gavin worked as the general manager. We always talked about having something like this, so I sold the hotel about 6 years ago and we then spent a year researching our idea of a deli cafe business.
I had previously worked in Italy and knew their food and culture inside out so, coupled with Gavin’s background in working for 15 years in the hospitality business, we had a winning combination. This location came up in Cheltenham and it was ideal.”
“In the first year we were just a deli takeaway business and then in the second year we opened the cafe. At the end of year two we launched our outside catering business which now accounts for about 40% of our business and is still growing rapidly. Part of the outside catering involves supplying dinner parties for 8-10 people, where we prepare the food here and deliver it to people’s houses where they either pretend that they’ve made it - or confess! We’ve also done big events - lots of weddings and silver anniversaries. We’ve also just started working for a small executive airline doing food for flights which is going well”
“We source a lot of our products from Italy. We try and find more suppliers in Italy or UK distributors who work solely with delicatessens and not the large stores. For example, we’ve got a farm in Sorento in Italy that makes products just for us. They produce our own-label limoncello [a lemon liquor], as well as jams and mustardas”.
“We have a good selection of really good, traditional Italian ice-cream, made only with pure high-quality ingredients – fruit, cream – no additives or preservatives. They’re made in London by an Italian family who also make and deliver our fresh pasta. Our customers appreciate that we sell high-quality products”. After tasting a lovely selection of the sorbets, I can see what the fuss is about! The taste is certainly untainted and has a certain edge to it that sweetened ice-cream simply cannot achieve.
“We have also started opening for Sunday brunch about 6 months ago and that’s got busier as time’s gone on. We serve from 10am all the way until 4pm and customers can enjoy blinis and bucks fizz or bloody marys, and on the menu there’s fresh pancakes and yoghurts as well as the ‘Full Italian’”
To find out more about the other exciting services Gusto Deli offers, Gavin and Rachel invite customers to come in to the cafe which is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Exact opening times and product information can be found on their website: www.gusto-deli.com. It was a truly wonderful experience and I would highly recommend a visit to this original delicatessen to experience their selection of Italian delights!