Sunderland butcher opens new deli and proves a hit with hot salt beef sandwiches and more
A popular Sunderland butchers has opened a new deli in Durham City as it branches out across the region.
Stirks is well-known on Wearside for its meat packs, sausages and more. Now it’s giving people in Durham something to get their teeth into.
The butchers has transformed the former Cooplands in Saddler Street into the Butcher’s Deli and, just a week after opening, has already had thousands of people through its doors – despite being over the road from one of the busiest Greggs in the region.
Hot salt beef sandwiches are proving its biggest seller, with breakfasts, jacket potatoes, pastries and sweet treats also proving popular.
Chef manager Keith Curtis says they’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far.
"We’re selling as fast as we can make it at the minute,” he explained. “We knew this was a good location, but we never expected it to be as popular as it is already. The response has been so positive, everyone is loving what we’re doing.
"There’s a lot of workmen in the city at the moment with all the works going on alongside the riverside and they regularly ring their orders in. There’s a constant flow of people along here.”
The role is a new one for Keith who’d previously worked at Sunderland College for 21 years in its successful training restaurant and, more recently, as a lecturer in catering.
It was at the college where he first met John Stirk when the butcher was just 14 and on works experience and, decades later, the pair are working together on the Durham venture.
It builds on the success of the Stirks butchers in Grangetown and Stirks Steakhouse at the Broadway in Grindon, as well as Stirks Steakhouse at The Belmont in Durham, which the butcher has also recently taken over.
Keith said: “I was originally going to head up the kitchen at The Broadway, but John asked me how I’d feel about starting the deli with him and I jumped at the chance.”
John and Keith have big plans for the Butcher’s Deli, which has already created 10 jobs, including catering for corporate and other events.
The Belmont and The Broadway pubs will be reopening for steaks, burgers and more from May 17 when sit-in dining is permitted.