The Deli at the Heart of Christchurch

The Heartizan Family from left to right, Ian, Linda and Thom

Take a walk down Christchurch High Street and you’re bound to pass the lovely family run Heartizan Deli. Opened just over a year ago by Linda, Ian and Thom, it brings local produce and good quality artisan foods to the centre of Christchurch.

Linda and Ian’s journey to opening the deli started with a road trip from Hastings to Cornwall. They were looking for a town where they could settle down and open a b&b, a cafe or a deli. They stumbled across Christchurch, and while the road trip continued South West, it was Christchurch that they returned to.

Their motto is “Local with Love”, and with over 200 suppliers, many of them from Dorset, you know they mean what they say. Local producers include eggs from Noah’s Ark down the road in New Milton, Naked Jam (Sopley strawberry is deliciously natural), Pig’n’pickles, Dorset Charcuterie Company, Laverstoke Farm, Guilded Teapot fine teas, Dorset Coffee, Piddle beers and Purbeck Cider co.

Bread is delivered on Friday ready for the weekend from Long Crichel organic Bakery up the road in Wimborne.

Oh and the cheese cabinet is full of delicious cheeses from Dorset and South Western counties, from Dorset Blue Vinny, Woolsery Cheese, Cornish Yarg to Lyburn cheese which is just up the road in Winchester.

The cafe serves breakfast and light lunch, including home made soups and great coffee, tea, cake and scones.

The day that I went into interview Linda, Ian was making chilli jam which is used in the deli sandwiches – it smelled so good. Ian makes home made meals such as moussaka, lasagne, and venison stew. Which are sold chilled on the day they’re made and the rest are frozen to sell on preceding days. Being home made their “ready meals” have no strange additives, no water added to the meat, aren’t high in salt or sugar, and are made using locally sourced meat (from Owls Barn Farm, Sopley and the butcher’s in Southbourne) and veg. Also being frozen all the nutrients are “locked in” unlike chilled meals from supermarkets.

The shop also supplies lovely kitchenware, and in keeping with the local ethos, Linda has just started selling handmade aprons made by a local resident.

During the hour I spent with Linda, locals were in and out ordering coffee’s, breakfasts and salad boxes to go. You do get the feeling that after just a year, Heartizan’s has become part of the local community. Linda is working with The Kings Hotel supplying bespoke picnic hampers to guests. The cafe also recently hosted a launched book launch by local author, Amy Bratley

I could write more about Heartizan’s, but don’t take my word for it, go there – I guarantee you will be welcomed with a smile and served great food and drink.

If you click through to the Heartizan website you can download and print off their 10% off voucher.

At the end of my time with Linda I asked her what she would like to see happen with Heartizan’s and Christchurch going forward. The Heartizan’s ethos is all about being at the heart of the community and bringing artisan food to the high street. Linda sees that the businesses on the high street compliment one another and she would like to work cohesively with them to promote and keep the high street thriving.

And this is needed more than ever now Christchurch Council are considering 3 possible supermarket planning applications. There is a real concern that they could take footfall away from the high street.

Currently we have a Waitrose and Co-operative supermarket just off the high street with a Lidl a short walk away and Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s and Aldi a short drive away. The question needs to be asked: do we really need more supermarkets that potentially could take business away from our lovely High Street?

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