Taking on Urban Pantry, Crookes

The second leg of my assualt on the soft underbelly of the Sheffield food scene sees me up in Crookes, and through the door of Urban Pantry.
Next up is a new local food deli up in Crookes.  Urban Pantry is Reece Lippolis’s new baby (not that you’d think Reece needed another after the recent addition of twins to the family!) and after a career as a site manager in the construction industry, this venture isn’t an obvious choice.  Having said that Reece does have a strong love of food, and it’s through various food events that I have got to know him.
The shop has only been open a month or so and since missing the launch I have been eager to get up to Crookes and check it out for myself. 

There were the usual suspects in terms of brands as Reece stocks tea from Tea Box who blends up the popular Sheffield Brew, honey from the city’s own Sheffield Honey, ice cream from both Yee Kwan and Our Cow Molly, sausages and bacon from Moss Valley along with chutneys and the like from Catherine’s Choice and Just Preserves.
Cat Lane Bakery also had a place in the shop and I picked up some delicious looking (and tasting) hot cross buns.  There was also Mrs Shah and her curry mixes which are the perfect combination of spices for a tasty curry.  The exceptionally popular Pumpkin Oil was there along with a selection of olive oils and rapeseed oils.  In fact there was a Yorkshire Mayonnaise made from rapeseed oil and a jar of that made its way into my shopping basket.  Sadly I am a diehard Hellman’s fan and this Yorkshire stuff tasted a bit too much like salad cream for me, but it’s a tasty alternative.

Due to a delay in the paperwork Reece doesn’t have his alcohol licence yet so, although he has bottles of Kelham Island & Bradfield Brewery beer and Pure North Cider Press on the shelves, they sit there teasingly.  This was a shame, as although I’ve had a few of the Kelham Island and Bradfield beers, I haven’t tried this Pure North cider and I would have bought some.  It claims to be free from preservatives and full of anti-oxidants making it sound perfectly healthy!  No doubt Reece’s licence will come through shortly and as soon as it does I’ll be straight up to Urban Pantry to stock up!
The cheese and ham counter is well stocked with antipasti of olives, roasted peppers amongst others and there’s a nice selection of salami and pancetta too.  But it’s the cheese counter that really attracts my attention.  It’s already beautifully stocked, with a strong focus on Yorkshire delights such as Yorkshire Tasty, Fine Fettle and Swaledale cow’s milk cheese.  There’s also a good selection of cheeses from across Europe such as a Talleggio and a Manchego making Urban Pantry a good spot to source your cheeseboard from. 

Quite nicely I arrived just as Reece was chopping up some Webster’s Stilton for tasters.  As a real sucker for Stilton I fell in love with the tangy, yet creamy flavour and bought some.  Other Stilton lovers will be glad to hear that in celebration of National Stilton Week (15-21 April) Reece will have some Stilton on offer – just follow them on Twitter to find out more.
It was great to see so many of my favourite Sheffield producers together in a shop so close to town, better still, Reece is keen for us full time workers to have chance to get to the shop so it’s open until 6.30 in the evening Monday to Friday and until 5.30 on Saturday leaving us with plenty of time to get there after work.

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