Our series highlighting some of the best independent businesses in Harrogate continues with a visit to Cold Bath Deli, which opened its doors in December 2018 after a three month refurb project.
We caught up with owners Peter and Tracey Woolrich to find out what inspired them to take on the project and how things are going at the deli so far.
Cold Bath Deli might be new to Harrogate’s indie scene, but between them husband and wife team Peter and Tracey already have lots of experience in the restaurant trade. Hailing from Florida originally, Tracey trained as a chef in Australia, and although Peter has worked predominantly as an investigative journalist, their last business was a French cafe by day and restaurant by night in the Georgian market town of Berwick upon Tweed near the Scottish border.
Having moved to Harrogate, the couple were keen to integrate themselves into the community, and in September 2017 they got the keys for what was then Leng’s Greengrocers which had closed its doors for the final time that month.
“We love Harrogate and Cold Bath Road so much we moved round the corner and wanted to become part of the nicest community we’ve ever lived in”, Peter says.
“We also hope to add a little bit of something. Even if it’s just a free smile when you walk-in.”
Work began on the shop straight away, but the transformation from greengrocers to deli-come-general-store-come-cafe took a bit longer than expected. The more Peter and Tracey worked on the site, the more they uncovered treasures from the past, including the original coving around the 14-foot-high ceiling and the name od the original Victoria shop, Wheatley’s, written in mosaic floor tiles in front of what was then the entrance.
Further work uncovered the original white and green wall tiles so distinctive of the period when the shop sold not only fruit and veg but game (the couple have retained the hook bars on which rabbits and pheasants were hung).
And then, on 8th December 2017, approximately two months behind schedule, Cold Bath Deli finally opened and its doors to the public.
“The most often heard reaction is ‘Wow’”, Peter says.
“Our aim was to be quirky when it came to the look and feel of the place and deliciously different when it comes to the food. We’re told we’ve achieved both.”
What’s On Offer?
Cold Bath Deli use the best local ingredients they can find, including the Harrogate Cake Lady who bakes all their pastries. They also spent three days with Laurence at York Coffee Emporium perfectly the exact blend of coffee and hot chocolate they wanted.
They’re currently a take away food and coffee business, essentially, but there are some tables and chairs that are proving especially popular at lunchtimes, and in the warmer months outside seating will be available too.
The deli tries to do everything “with a twist”. Their baked potatoes, for example, are twice baked and served American-style, stuffed with bacon, goats’ cheese and tarragon or preserved lemon and hot aubergine chutney, while the bacon sandwiches come with hot Vietnamese Sriracha sauce and rocket.
They also offer a meze plate made up of items from the deli counter, including Greek rice stuffed vine leaves, Kalamata olives, homemade hummous and a range of salads, and Tracey always makes sure they have vegetarian and gluten-free options.
On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the deli have proper bagels delivered by the Street Lane Bakery from the synagogue in Leeds, which sell by the dozen.
There are also various cheeses, including Harrogate and Yorkshire blues, as well as a charcuterie and smoked salmon section. Smoked chicken and kippers from MacKenzies are proving popular, along with old stalwarts like Fewston Farm bacon. In the shop they sell everything a good home cook needs, including a large range of Middle Eastern spices and handmade pastas along with an Asian section. There’s even a selection of colourful, beautifully glazed ceramics from Andalucía where Peter and Tracey used to live after moving there from south west France.
Cold Bath Road is gaining a reputation for being a thriving independent food destination, so make sure you head over to Cold Bath Deli to welcome Peter and Tracey to Harrogate!