As the COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc upon the hospitality industry across Britain and beyond, more and more businesses are coming together to create something positive through testing times.
In it Together Deli will open its doors to the public on Monday 18 May selling a selection of fresh and tasty produce from some of Yorkshire’s best restaurants, butchers and bakers. There will also be a selection of craft beers, wines and spirits on offer, as well as a gift shop.
All proceeds from the non-profit organisation will go towards the elderly and families who are struggling across Yorkshire. The deli has been designed with the safety of both the workers and consumers in mind, utilising plastic screens and a counter service.
Staff wearing protective masks and gloves will take orders from the counter at safe distance and then pick items for the customer on demand. There will also be a fridge filled daily with a selection of meals and deli items for NHS staff that can be collected simply by showing their ID.
The quality of the produce available will be second-to-none, with ready meals supplied by the likes of My Thai, Bengal Brasserie and more local heroes. Prime cuts of meat will be available from Taplin’s Butchers of Bradford, who have been going strong since 1916.
Baked goods, vegetarian and vegan options will also be on display. In It Together will be open from 7am – 7PM Monday to Saturday. On Sunday’s, volunteers will be on-site all day baking and preparing fresh meals.
In It Together will be available to those close to the city centre deli via Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. There will also be a personal shopping and delivery service offered help more senior citizens living outside of central Leeds.
Fresh gourmet meals
The competitive price point will allow customers to pick up a fresh gourmet meals for around £4.50. and project will run using the help of volunteers initially, but will be looking to create seven permanent jobs further down the line.
The brains behind the project, entrepreneur’s and My Thai founders Simon Gybras and Apiyada Latham, has been busy adapting his business model ever since lockdown began in March.
With the majority of their 8 restaurants completely shut down overnight, he utilised the resources and business contacts from his long, two-decade plus career to begin distributing free meals to city’s vulnerable. To date, the team have delivered more over 34,000 meals across the county.
Giving back to the community
Simon Gybas had this to say ahead of the In It Together launch: “With my businesses turned upside down literally overnight, I had to do something to keep myself busy and give back to the community that has offered me so much. The kindness of the public, be it through donations or volunteering their time whilst on furlough, has been overwhelming.
‘’I’ve never been busier, and can’t wait for everyone to try out our new deli, which makes high quality food and drink available to everyone at a competitive price. We look forward to welcoming the people of Leeds to In It Together.’’
This mammoth achievement has only been possible due to a strong support network, which includes local businesses such as Neil’s Greengrocers (Leeds Kirkgate Market) and some of the city’s most prolific restaurants.
A large proportion of his volunteers have come from the Lithuanian community, and in particular the local Vertrunge Dance Group. Simon has also helped to raise over 6K on a Go Fund Me page, which has been used to purchase ingredients and cover some of producing and distributing meal costs.
In It Together Deli will be open for business from Monday 18 May from 7am on 8 Swinegate, Leeds, LS1 4AG.