As a resident of Honor Oak for 3 years I’m permanently baffled by he deli - it never really seems to have anything in it. I went in on Mother’s Day hoping to buy some lunch and there was literally nothing to buy - I had to go to Sainsbury’s. When it was bought by the new owners a year or so ago I was really excited to see some change but it’s still exactly the same. All it has is a few cakes and then lots and lots of expensive boxes of truffles and cheese biscuits and the like. Why doesn’t it sell actual deli food eg salads, quiches, sandwiches, olives, cheeses and the like. There are some great delis in Brockley and Ladywell and even Mr Jones (although slightly different) - why can’t Honor Oak have one!
I agree with you @Emily. When the previous business Hills and Parkes went up for sale in 2014, it was advertised as profitable, which I found surprising:
Since then, the offering seems largely the same. It’s pleasant enough, but the coffee isn’t made in third-wave style (no real flat white on offer) and the lunch options are limited and repetitive. The sausage roll and coleslaw was nice enough, but I’d only return if they offered something else.
Closing at 6pm shuts out everyone with a City day-job, and since the coffee is the same, if not better, at the HOP station cafe, there’s no reason for commuters to pop by in the morning.
Seems to be coasting, just like Hills and Parkes. If they were to join the forum, I’m sure they’d benefit from some useful feedback. I did invite the new owners to join, but they haven’t, as far as I can tell.
Coffee in SE23
Also the people working in there don’t seem very cheerful…it’s such a shame as a good space so could be great!
Slightly off topic, but which coffee places would you consider to be third wave? I only think St Davids qualifies, but have not been to all of them. The Mrs told me I should try the Archie Parker.
Coffee in SE23
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I couldn’t agree more sadly.
I think they do some things very well, but for a deli it’s definitely unusual to have people working behind the counter who aren’t very passionate about food. I guess they must be doing something right, though - they’re keeping the lights on and the doors open.
Is there any management on the forum from the Honor Oak Provender?
It seems to be getting increasingly empty every time I pop in there. I went mid morning on Saturday and there were no baked goods aside a couple of stale loaves of bread, no cheeses and no fresh produce of any kind. I also find that it is often shut inside the advertised hours. Would love to know why it’s been going so steadily downhill and, of course, if anyone else disagrees.
It’s such a shame as it seems like the Honor Oak parade could support a decent deli.
Hey. Anyone have an update on this?
As a regular visitor I’m really sad to see it gathering cobwebs. They do a good coffee and cake at reasonable prices but it’s starting to feel quite sad in there as it empties. The staff don’t know what is going on when I asked either
I have no insider info but have always found this a dreadfully managed shop. They don’t seem to sell anything apart from expensive packaged goods and sausage rolls - as such I go to Jones in Crofton Park or the one in Ladywell. It’s such a shame, I just wish some good management could take it over and provide a proper deli experience
Agree with you on the deli experience.
I do like their croissants in the morning though. I think they come from Blackbird Bakery and are slightly nicer than the cheaper alternatives at Sainsbury and On the Hoof (station cafe).
If Provender made a more velvety flat white I’d get my coffee there in the morning too.
I’d really love to see them making a go of it. Such a shame.
Their sausage rolls were top drawer, I found the coffee rather average though. It is just not clear to me though what this shop is trying to be. There is slightly too little range to just have a look and browse. If they wanted to attract more ready-to-eat/drink custom then some more inviting seating may help with this, the bar for this isn’t too high at HOP! And while al-fresco is increasingly popular the road in front is just too busy for the liking of many though not all.
Overall though, I think there just isn’t enough of a local (up-)market to make it fly, and the high street is none that attracts many visitors from a bit further afield. Having said that, Ladywell parade is probably similar but the Larder Deli there has a much better offer, I wonder how that one is doing.
The sausage rolls use sausage meat from Proud Sow and I agree they are a highlight. I agree with your other comments but I think a well stocked deli would fly in that location. (The Larder is doing well and is well stocked).
I do think it is a difficult type of business to build up in terms of stock but sadly it seems like the range has been run down over time instead.
If a mind-blowing sausage roll is what you’re after, get yourself to The Butchery. They are quite fennel-y but entirely delicious.
Probably worth another thread but all of these places seem to put the sausage ahead of the roll and neglect the pastry content.
A great sausage roll should be about the flaky puff pastry - not just the meat. Where can we find the best ones now?
My home made ones, I might share my Scottish recipe one day
I’ll save you some when I make my next batch
I commute past here on the way home (usually use Crofton Park in the morning) and my big beef is that it’s almost always shut by the time I get there at 6/7pm. For a shop like this to thrive, it needs to be open for the after work crowd. Service has sometimes been surly too.
In contrast, Jumping Bean is reliably open til 7 every day, and so I always buy cards and gifts there rather than near my work in Westminster. The staff are lovely and the selection is great.
They are obviously different businesses but I can’t help but think that the Provender hasn’t worked out their business model to suit the local market. I’d be sad to see it go - BT would rather have something on the high street that suited local needs.