Arcadia Deli on Belfast’s bustling Lisburn Road is the biggest supporter of local foods, especially those from artisan enterprises. The iconic shop has been owned by the Brown family for 80 years and is now run by husband and wife team Mark and Laura Brown.
As the oldest retail business on the road, the Arcadia is a local institution having operated from the same shop since 1933. It has won acclaim in Britain in the Observer Food Monthly as the Best UK Food Store and from the Guild of Fine Food, especially for its well-stocked cheese counter.
The shop has a long-standing commitment to local producers and has a track record of giving start-up food producers an opportunity to sell their produce and gain invaluable experience in the challenging retail environment.
Mark’s top ten:
Givan’s Ham, Belfast
We have proudly stocked quality cooked hams from this Belfast family-owned producer for over half a century. It remains among our most popular products with customers.
Hannan’s Meats, Moira
With a huge repertoire it’s the guanciale, a UK Great Taste supreme champion product, and the hot Italian sausages which are a ‘must have’ at Arcadia. Peter, Jim and the team are deserving of their many accolades. Peter is a key character in the promotion and development of the Northern Ireland food scene. His products are always excellent.
Ewing’s Fish, Belfast
The Shankill Road business is another member of Belfast’s long-established food companies known for fresh quality products, especially its smoked salmon. The Ewing family, Walter and sons Crawford and Warren, has a superb selection of fresh fish and seafood. They slowly smoke fresh salmon, usually from Glenarm Organic in County Antrim, over wood chips in their own smoker.
O’Doherty’s Bacon, Enniskillen
Pat and Nuala O’Doherty have been groundbreaking in the development of their multi-award winning and wonderfully tasty Fermanagh Black Bacon. Pat’s son, Fintan, is now involved in the family business. You’ll see their unique Wild Atlantic Black pudding, featuring seaweed, on many menus. It’s a small business that’s always developing new products.
SD Bells Coffee, Belfast
Quality coffee roasted in Belfast by a family company that’s even older than us!
Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, Limavady
Leona Kane’s golden rapeseed oil has risen relatively quickly to become one of the key products contributing to the rise of Northern Irish food in recent years.
Abernethy Butter, Dromara
Alison and Will Abernethy have taken an honest, pure and fairly simple product of fine quality and brought it to the attention of top chefs and retail establishments throughout the British Isles.
Offbeat Bottling Co, Bangor
Terry and Laura Beattie has supplied us with chutneys, jams and marmalades for many years. A quality product that they are simply content to create and sell to a handful of lucky outlets beyond our shores. It was established in Bangor in 1994 and has won UK Great Taste Awards.
Thompson’s Family Teas, Belfast
David Thompson, one of the joint managing directors, is a regular customer of Arcadia, and we are delighted to have been selling his teas in our store for many years. David’s grandfather Robert started blending tea over 100 years ago. The company has gone on to gain awards and expand its range of teas to include speciality blends, green teas and even a Titanic blend! A good cuppa is assured.
Mark also has a number of businesses he thinks will prosper in 2018.
Northern Ireland cheese
I couldn’t single out one cheese company, as the fledgling Northern Ireland cheese making community has sprung from practically nowhere in the past five years. Young Buck, Kearney Blue and Dart Mountain Dusk are all good sellers on our counter. This is a great source of pride to me as local cheese simply did not exist a few short years ago. Customers are more knowledgeable now and more willing to try something new. Long may it continue!
Smokin’ Yankees, Belfast
Northern Ireland’s only internationally competitive barbecue team has created an amazing barbecue sauce which elevates chicken drumsticks to something rather special. They’re great craic too!
Lough Erne Larder, Enniskillen
An amazing repertoire of chutneys, jams and marmalades. The company’s lemon curd is to die for! Certainly not your average preserve company.
En-Place Foods, Cookstown
Well-known within the foodservice industry, Paul Clarke, En-Place managing director, has been creating great foodie treats for years and always at the cutting-edge. The new range of upmarket vinegars is yet another example of the company’s innovative approach to food.
Cobden and Brown Chocolates, Moira
Caroline McArdle’s chocolate is sublime. Great quality chocolate bars in a range of delicious flavours.
L’Artisan Foods, Craigavon
Jose Andre is so good at everything he does. This Portuguese businessman has charmed us all at Arcadia. Well-known for his flaky pastry Portuguese tarts (Natas) and flavoursome quiches.
Zak’s Bakehouse, Ballyclare
Keeping it simple, keeping it real. A sourdough loaf from Ricky Hay has just three ingredients. The real deal!
Ispini, Aughnacloy Corndale Free Range, Limavady charcuterie
In the past couple of years two companies have appeared on the scene to create a fine beginning to Northern Ireland’s own indigenous charcuterie industry. We’re delighted to now be able to sell locally produced salami, chorizo and other cured meats.
Kennedy Bacon, Omagh
This Tyrone company has built a strong and loyal customer based for its quality cured bacon products.