Camborne’s Dax Delicatessen
Succulent, fresh Cornish crabs, authentic DOP Italian cheeses, rich dry cured Spanish hams and sweet silky Portuguese custard tarts. Dax Delicatessen in Camborne’s Trelowarren Street stocks only the best of the best.
This extraordinary deli sells the foods you’d expect to find in one of the celebrated markets held in European towns and in the trendier parts of London. But, they’re not just for hardcore ‘foodies’ as the people of Camborne area are discovering.
Several people were surprised when food merchant, John Dack, opened his deli in Camborne, some even advised him against it. They’re eating their words now. The shop is always packed with people queueing to buy their favourite treats, picking up bespoke sandwiches for lunch, sitting down for coffee and cake or tasting something new, guided by John or his knowledgeable right-hand woman, Lamorna Curtis – a born and bred Camborne girl.
Doors opened at Dax Delicatessen the Saturday before Christmas. At first there was a steady trickle of interested customers, trying something new or finding products they were familiar with but thought they couldn’t buy in Cornwall. The news spread quickly and people are now coming quite a distance – first to investigate and then as regular customers.
“I chose Camborne because it’s the most populated area of Cornwall, with an eclectic mix of people and I spotted a gap in the market,” explained John.
John’s history in the food industry has given him a love and understanding of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian products, plus invaluable connections with the top food producers. As Cornwall has a cornucopia of excellent local produce to rival anything in Europe, his Cornish products complete the delicacies on offer.
“The customer base is just getting bigger and bigger,” said John. “There’s even a large Italian and Portuguese population in this area wanting specific products, which I’m happy to order in if I don’t already stock them. Three young Portuguese lads come in for breakfast most mornings for coffee and pastel-de-nata (Portuguese custard tart) and the locals have embraced the new tastes. Sometimes new customers seem nervous to ask about something but Lamorna and I love to chat about the products, offer samples and suggest recipes.”
This quality of food comes at a price, but not as high as you’d expect. John is managing to keep the costs down by using his network of contacts to import himself and cut out the expense of a distributor.
The success of the first three months has already encouraged John to think of expansion. He’s planning to extend into the back of the shop and open a bistro, which promises not only more delicious food but up to a dozen new jobs.
BID Camborne Manager, Mel Martin, said: “Dax Delicatessen is bringing a whole new set of shoppers into our town centre as well as satisfying the regulars. It’s an excellent shop that is playing its part in putting Camborne on the map.”