Deli swaps the market for a shop to bring a world of food to Doncaster shop

It is a family which has been familiar in Doncaster for 50 years '“ and its name has just moved out of the market and into a shop.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 9:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 9:08 am
Josie Scicluna and Shelly White, sales assistants, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-1

Josie Scicluna has been selling food in Doncaster since she was a child, having worked with her mum on the family deli on the market as a youngster.

But after running her own stall for years in the Doncaster food market, she is now continuing a long tradition from Her Scicluna's Deli shop on High Fishergate.

Josie Scicluna and Shelly White, sales assistants, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-1

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It means a business which traditionally sold Meditarranean food is bigger than ever, with the range now more international, selling foods from all over the world including the West Indies and the far east.

Scicluna Delicatessen and Coffee Bar, High Fisher Gate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-5

Josie's mum originally starting on the marked selling what she describes as fancy goods and electrical items on the outside market. But she moved to the deli when a stall become available on the food market.

The family was originally from Malta, and sold Mediterranenan foods.

'The winters were cold in those days,' said Josie. 'So she decided to open a deli indoors. I'm 61, and was only five when mum started on the market.

'I used to help mum. I had a job in an office but helped set up and close. Mum became ill, and was going to give up. But you couldn't sell your unit in those days until you'd had it 10 years, and mum had only had it for eight. I said I would do it for two years until she could sell it. I'm still here.'

Josie Scicluna, pictured serving customer Kerry Geoghegan, with some of the natural oils available in the deli, which are also made locally by White's of Old Cantley. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-6

At one stage she ran the business out of the Castle pub, at the Market, after a fire at the market's food hall, but the business survived that problem.

But six years ago she moved out of the market and into her new site, which is just round the corner from the the Corn Exchange. She felt it would allow her to open whenever she wanted.

'I thought it was an opportunity,' said said. 'I stayed near the market, as I really love the market.

'I love the community it has and I love the people. People come and share their lives.

Scicluna Delicatessen and Coffee Bar, High Fisher Gate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-9

'When we were on the market we were more Mediterranean. Since we've had the shop, we've moved into Caribbean, Thai, Oriental, Asian '“ international exotic food.

'If we've not got it, we will try to get it.'

People come in to ask for all sorts of things. Probably the most unusual was chocolate ants. But what ever has been on the television recently usually proves popular, and if Delia or the Hairy Bikers have been using something, there is usually a request for it.

The range of food is vast. There is Spanish chorizo and German bratwurst. There is loose quinoa and West Indian Mongoose bread. Cheeses range from Yorkshire stilton to roquefort and stinking bishop.

There are Morrocan and Lebanese spices. There are Indian guavas.

There is octopus and quid, and snails. They used to sell frogs legs, and still will if they're ordered.

Customer Claud Moses, pictured purchasing a Jackfruit. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-20-11-18-SciclunaDeli-7

It's not just items from abroad that are sold at Sciclunas.

There are also products manufactured in Doncaster, such as White's cold pressed rapeseed oil, and local artist Hilary Cartmel jams and chutneys, grown from her own garden produce.

In an era where single use packaging is increasingly frowned upon, Scicluna's has a solution to the issue.

Many of the products are sold loose. Many of the grains she sells there are out of big sacks, with people having the option of using their own re-usable containers.

Similar, oils can be bought from the main vat, with the liquid taken away in the container of the customer's choice. Again, they could bring their own clean bottle.

Josie said it also means customers are able to buy the amount they want by weight, rather then buying a large bag that may not have the quantity they were looking for.

She has observed people now want paper bags rather than plastic, and says the shop sells a lot of loose items.

Despite all the advantages her shop has brought her in terms of opening hours and the space she has available, Josie still misses the market.

She has retained her customers from the market stall, and knows them well, chatting with them as they go round the store.

'You can't do something for 50 years and not miss it,' she said. 'I see more daylight now, but I miss the banter with the other traders during the day.

'You don't have a community like that in a big supermarket.'