As food trends come and go, we're becoming more and more interested in the chefs, artisans and producers who take things back to basics. To fresh produce, simple processes, and great ingredients. All of this is why we're beyond excited to welcome Black Pig Deli & Co., the latest addition to Inglewood's growing Beaufort St strip.
The Black Pig Deli & Co. is the latest project by Adam and Marissa of Poach Pear. Similarly unassuming and exciting, the deli makes the perfect stop-in for a picnic or gathering, and amongst ready-to-eat foods is a repository of local and exotic ingredients sure to excite chefs and home cooks. We caught up with Adam to talk about the role of Black Pig Deli & Co. as a specialty store in Inglewood.
Everything You Can't Do In a Cafe
Before the deli, and before Poach Pear, Adam and Marissa were the owner-operators of Picco's Kitchen in Maylands. Adam is a chef of 22 years, and Marissa has a background in Marketing for food businesses. They started Picco's Kitchen in 2010, and after a brief introductory period their artisan foods company, Poach Pear emerged from within the cafe.
"We used to make our own pate and charcuterie, I tried to do as much as I could myself," said Adam, "People asked to buy the pate and we started jarring it up, making maybe half a dozen jars and selling them over the counter."
The pates and terrines proved a hit, and Adam soon found his product under the eyes of Blue Cow for export in the Eastern States,
"A Blue Cow rep came in for breakfast and asked if we made bigger amounts. We did some samples and originally were only planning on wholesale. We made up some logs and jars of pate and they did a full tasting and liked them, then said 'we want to see your retail range', I didn't realise it would take off." Said Adam.
The sudden growth of the Poach Pear brand was enough to necessitate moving out of the cafe and into their own dedicated space. Adam was making between five and ten logs of terrine each week after finishing at the cafe, and not getting much sleep in between. They decided to sell their cafe and move to a kitchen in Caversham, and weren't long before moving from Caversham into the even larger commercial kitchen in Bayswater which they now occupy.
"Pretty much right after selling the cafe we decided we wanted another shop-front. We couldn't base out of the industrial part of Bayswater we were working from, and that's when we started looking into a deli.” Adam told us, “I saw the shop was for lease during the night markets, but didn't initially look at it. During the beginning of this year, we were talking to one of the vege growers and I found myself staring, noticing that it was still for lease. We met the agent the next day and had the shop within a week."
Since he doesn’t have to prepare food to order, Adam uses the extra time the deli affords him to expand their lines with more charcuterie, preserves and chutneys exclusive to Black Pig Deli & Co. They have an expansive cheese fridge and make fresh terrines which they slice to order. Now that the deli is finally here, Adam says they’re not turning back, "We knew at that stage that a deli in the cafe might work, but now we've started the deli, I'm in no hurry to go back to a cafe.”
Black Pig Deli
Regarding their name, Adam says “Black pigs are a traditional old pig, they're a rare breed, the original idea actually was 'rare breed,' but black pig rolled off the tongue a little better. The '& Co.' comes from all of the growers and artisan producers we've met over the year, and who we can feature."
Adam says he and Marissa took inspiration from the old butchers shops throughout Europe, “We always wanted a black ceiling to focus everything on the shelf. We love black and white, it's our thing, and we wanted an industrial look, with a little bit of wood mixed in to warm it up."
At the moment, their shop is about 40% Adam, and 60% ‘Co.', but he is aiming to bring things around the 50/50 mark. For his part, Adam is interested in preserving old techniques and traditions. His foods are simple but well made with local ingredients. “It's our own herbs and a lot of our own citrus. The preserves are all from local farms and growers. Whatever they have in season we grab, and if we can't sell it, we preserve or pickle it.”
Adam works closely with local butcher Paul Marinovich, a second generation butcher Adam remembers from his childhood. “He's a Croation-Polish butcher and I had Polish grandparents, so we used to go there quite a lot.” Adam relishes the ability to bring food back to basics and to simple local origins, telling us, “People will always go back to comfort food, the food they had around their grandparents. If you travel enough you notice the rest of the world doesn’t really follow food trends, you can go to Italy and have a tomato sauce which will just blow you away, and it’ll just be vine ripened tomatoes from across the road, garlic grown by their neighbour, they don’t complicate things.”
The ‘& Co.’ in their name was important to Adam and Marissa as it represented the many producers they work with and support in their new position. Adam and Marissa have found exciting foods from local, national and some international producers, many of which are completely new to Inglewood and some which are even new to all of Perth.
"There are a few things which aren't from WA or Australia, just because I like them. But for the most part the more local, the better." said Adam, "We've also gone about sourcing really good dry ingredients like a larder would. Things I've struggled to find as a chef. People are always hunting for certain ingredients, and we wanted to use our local position in town to be able to give them those options.”
Amongst the products which are exclusive, Knutsford Gourmet custom lavosh and cheese crackers are made specifically for the deli. Pure Naked Honey sell their honey in Bormioli Rocco jars exclusively to the deli— and Roger has even installed hives on their roof. Kokopod chocolate also have exclusive ranges for the deli, and a range of exclusive boards and cheese/pate knives from Heartwood Timber, just out of Bunbury.. Amongst their exclusives, many exciting local players fill their shelves including Dingo Sauce, 66 Barrels, flowers from A Little Bohemia, and fresh loaves from Bread in Common delivered at 10.30 each morning.
"We want to have products which chef's might buy and which you can't always get in a supermarket,” said Adam, “And we have a really good testing regime, we're happy to test anything we like, and sell what we like in the shop.”
It’s now been a month since the deli opened on the 2nd of October, and Adam and Marissa couldn’t be happier with the response they’ve received from the Inglewood locals. "Having the locals support has always been our main goal.” said Adam "We've had a lot of people come in and say 'we've been waiting for something like this,' It's nice to hear those things, they mean we're on the right track."
While they’ve made a splash in their current entity, the Deli is not the only step Adam and Marissa have in store, with plans to expand and to offer even more local and specialised foods to their customers. "We want customers to tell us what we want, we’ll go find it,” said Adam, "You have to be flexible, you can't just tell people what they want."