Comings & Goings

Norwich independent HarperWells has added a delicatessen to its shop in Ber Road. 

In 2020 the company took over Fredricks Deli in the neighbouring market town of Diss and its success, coupled with the residential development surrounding the Norwich store, prompted the decision.

“Historically the street hasn’t been very retail focused but there’s a few shops moving in, including a baker,” says co-owner Sam Howard. “Two old dealerships, Harley Davidson and BMW, have moved out and they’ve been converted to flats, so it just felt like the right time to do this. The new customers from the flats are going to literally walk past our front door to go down to Tesco Express.” 

With quality frozen wood-fired pizzas from a local company, Brick Pizza, in its deli range, the HarperWells team are more likely to intercept those shoppers before they reach the doors of the local supermarket. 

“We’ve stocked Brick Pizza in Diss for a while,” says Howard. “They’re really popular and they have a nice following in the town. We collaborated with them to coincide with our launch. We did a pizza exchange: bring any frozen pizza and they swap it for any one of theirs. Then they donated all the swapped pizzas to the local food bank and shelters.”

Howard says the addition of the deli has “softened that single proposition of being a wine shop”, adding: “We were conscious of the knowledge that there was only one reason to come to Ber Road and that was to buy wine.”

Howard says the deli will be managed by existing staff, including his wife Lisa, who will continue to run Fredricks. 

There is another advantage to expanding the deli operation into the larger Ber Road premises, as Howard explains. “The Diss shop is very small, in a quaint courtyard, so there is nowhere to take a pallet in,” he says.

“At Ber Road the deliveries can come in so much more easily. The first pizza delivery was a joy, as normally it involves running up the road after an articulated lorry.”

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