Nothing beats a delicious deli lunch. You can just taste the difference. Meet the effervescent face behind the candid Gibsons’ Deli – Emma. We sipped on her lovingly-created coffees and fresh juices whilst chatting about all things food, friends and Sandbach.
We love: What’s warmer than their creamy coffees? The hospitality.
Where: Down Sandbach’s red brick High Street which is often covered in blossom petals, or autumnal leaves.
Who: Emma Gibson and now her husband Chris make up the Gibsons’ Deli. Makes complete sense!
How did Gibsons’ Deli come about?
Having spent 17 years selling food to large retailers, I decided to leave my senior role following a prolonged period of stress-related illness. I have always been passionate about food, minimising food waste and of course, customer service. I really wanted to do something that would fulfil my passion, challenge me but also allow me to spend more time with my family. I had intended to buy the local greengrocers but sadly the sale fell through at the last minute. I’m sure as estate agents, you know how heartbreaking that can feel…
Having already set up my business name, bank account and everything else behind the scenes, I decided to find a new premises and I managed to secure a unit inside the Town Mill. This offered me the perfect start as my set up costs were minimal and it gave me the chance to trial different things. Due to another space available in the mill, I was able to add a cafe, which is now at the heart of the business.
I was fortunate enough to secure our new premises on the High Street last September, and although it felt quite a risk at the time, it is definitely paying off as we are much more visible and are now able to offer both cute indoor and airy outdoor seating. I’m happy!
What was it like providing food deliveries during lockdown?
Just prior to lockdown, we had started doing a few home deliveries with our small van but we were not at all prepared for the change in our business as lockdown hit.
We were inundated with enquiries from the elderly, families and vulnerable people who needed a home delivery service. We worked extremely long days to fulfil as many deliveries as possible locally. In Sandbach, we are extremely lucky to have lots of small independent businesses and we were able to team up with Brooks Butchers & Godfrey Williams to offer a wide range of products for home delivery. If we were struggling with picking orders or deliveries friends, family and even customers offered us help. We were overwhelmed at the support we received.
Our neighbours were invaluable during lockdown, leaving us food on our doorstep or boxes of goodies to give us a boost at the end of an exhausting week. It was a chaotic time for us as a business but it was extremely rewarding, it gave us the platform to move premises and to develop our business in a slightly different direction.
How important is the local community to you?
I grew up in Sandbach and I have always loved the town. The local community is like our extended family – we supported as many of them as possible through lockdown and they have supported our fledgling business which in turn, supports our family. We know the majority of our regular customers by name and pride ourselves on offering a high level of customer service, which we hope makes people want to come back. We go above and beyond to ensure that customers are satisfied with our service, which is the way that I believe customer service should be. Without the support of the local community my business, which was in its infancy when lockdown hit, might not be here today and for that I will be forever grateful.
You now feature the doughnut den, Tete a Tete Tuesday’s, and a Cup of Kindness, what’s next on the cards for Gibsons?
We always have plenty of plans in the pipeline to keep it fresh and interesting for our customers. We now offer Rhythm Time customers a 10% discount when they visit the cafe after class and we are proud to be recognised by Cherubs as a breastfeeding friendly cafe. We also run ‘Free Fruit Friday’ for children, which we hope will bring in families but also helps children get their 5-a-day! As we run up to Christmas, we are reviewing our seasonal range and will once again launch our Christmas hamper service. From a strategic perspective, we are launching Gibsons Wholesale, allowing us to supply other small businesses in the area with our produce.
This all sounds wonderful! Where are your top 3 hidden gems in Sandbach?
My favourite cafe is Minshulls on Welles Street. Paul offers a wonderful menu of homemade, comforting food. When Mother Nature isn’t kind, I head here with my book.
Ollie & Phee is an independent shoe shop on the High St, offering a fantastic shoe fitting service. They also stock children’s clothing, accessories, gifts & soft toys.
On a Friday night, we love to visit the Wildfire Pizza van which parks outside the Market Hall. Wildfire is another small, family-owned business offering delicious, premium quality, wood-fired pizza. You can never go wrong with pizza, right?
Fancy finding out more about Emma and Gibsons’ Deli? Take a visit.
Even on a rainy day it’s cosy inside. Head here with friends and expect a lovely setting for great conversation in between mouthfuls of fluffy croissants and yummy scones.
So if you, or anyone you know are looking to sell your home in this beautiful part of the country – Cheshire – then head here.