New Fine Food Store Opens in Market Place

A new deli and cookery school, Pavilion Foods opened its doors on Market Place (in the former Feather & Black bed store) last week.

On entering the light and airy store you are welcomed by a counter filled with a delicious selection of sandwiches, soup, bagels, open sandwiches, pastries and cakes plus a charcuterie, bread and cheese counter. The statement at the front of the shop is the large rotisserie that will be roasting a range of meats and vegetables.

Pavilion is the brainchild of Henley resident, Micah Judah, a food lover and Le Cordon Bleu alumnus with many years’ experience in food retail. He sees Pavilion not just as a shop, but as an experience and a way of inspiring and educating people through a love of food. He said, “I’ve tried to take the very best of everything I’ve learned over the years. Whilst it’s taken a huge effort to get to this point, it’s definitely been worth it. I’m really excited to open here in Henley and so far the reception we’ve received has been great. Five years ago my family and I fell in love with Henley and have lived here ever since. It really is a beautiful place with an exciting and growing food scene.”

The Grade II listed building has been carefully refitted over the past few months, maintaining the character of this historic building which dates back to 1471. The back of the shop has a large kitchen where the meals and take-away items are prepared and cooked. The kitchen will also be the home to the cookery school classes that will be starting in the New Year. The classes will be a mixture of showcase and hands-on classes (up to 12 people) with each having their own station to cook from.

The store offers fresh produce including seasonal fruit and vegetables, eggs, meals to go, finish at home meals and speciality items to finish and dress your dishes like foraged flowers. The shelves are full of everything you would expect in a food store – oils, spices, sauces, wines and spirits, nuts, cereals, pulses etc. Micah has also sourced a number of local artisan products including cheese from Nettlebed Creamery, Gelato Henley ice cream, Gorvett & Stone chocolates, Henley Distillery’s Henley Gin as well as developing their very own signature Pavilion Gin.

There’s also a selection of gluten free and vegan ranges to cater for all diets plus at the back of the shop there’s a fill your own area for rice, granola, dried fruit and a grinder to freshly grind coffee beans.

Head Chef Tania Steytler – formerly of Severn & Wye Smokery, Westbury on Severn, and Jeow Jeow, London was excited to join the team. She said, “I met Micah and I thought it was fantastic concept so I was keen to get involved. I’m really excited about the rotisserie. We use it first thing in the morning to roast vegetables, the flavour is unbelievable. We’ve just started trialling porcetta and chicken balatine and the results so far have been great”

Asked how the prices compare to a supermarket Micah replied, “We don’t sell many items that you would find in a supermarket with our focus being small artisan producers. In terms of the price, rather than compare ourselves to the supermarkets, here you are getting restaurant quality but not at the restaurant prices. We’ve created and sourced some wonderful products and hope that the people of Henley and the surrounding area will support our local independent business. We can be flexible on anything in store so for example if people want a larger or smaller size, they just need to ask. We want to develop a strong relationship with the community so if there is anything you would like to see or need, just come and ask ”

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