Sunderland deli Juniper’s Pantry expands to open new sit-in eatery

David Gill and his fiance Madeline Bain
David Gill and his fiance Madeline Bain
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A SUCCESSFUL delicatessen is branching out in a bid to create a culinary empire.

Since opening Juniper’s Pantry in the Barnes area of Sunderland four years ago, chef David Gill has seen business boom.

Despite the deli being on a busy roundabout, people have flocked to tuck into its range of British classics with a twist such as game pies and chorizo sausage rolls.

Now, David is gearing up to open his second sit-in deli in what he hopes will become a chain of city-wide Juniper’s Pantries.

He’s taken over the former Brunchies in Sea Road, Fulwell, which is being renovated in time for a launch on September 3.

David said: “The new Juniper’s will be a carbon copy of the original in Barnes, serving the same kinds of foods.

“After trying to run kitchens in restaurants, I decided the time was right to open a second Juniper’s. In the next five or six years, I hope to open four or five across the city.”

“We opened the original Juniper’s in what, admittedly, isn’t the best location, but we’ve never given up. It doesn’t have much space to sit-in, but it has a great kitchen, and we could prepare food for two or three shops with that space.

“The second deli will have space for 20 diners during the day and up to 26 in the evening for supper clubs.

“We also hope to use the upstairs for private dining.”

David added: “At the original shop, there isn’t much passing trade, but there is a lot of traffic, unlike Sea Road where there’s more footfall.”

As with the original Juniper’s Pantry, the new branch will focus on locally-sourced, seasonal produce, using suppliers such as Pipers’ Butchers which have farms in Darlington and Hartlepool.

“It’s important to support your high street. People need to embrace new businesses as it will encourage more people to try something new in Sunderland,” said David.

During time spent working abroad, David has forged a successful culinary career catering for dignitaries as well as working in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe. But he says it’s always important to support local businesses.

“You may pay slightly more at an independent business, but you’re getting something totally different from supermarkets,” he said. “Our suppliers are local too, so we know exactly where our food is coming from.”