It could have been one of the shortest-lived businesses ever – but one Altrincham deli is determined that its lockdown experience will be the best thing that ever happened to it.
Batch Deli holds the distinction of being the last Altrincham business to open before the Covid-19 lockdown was announced on March 23rd, having only opened its doors in Kings Court on March 16th.
But while some businesses may have given up there and then, Batch Deli has turned the situation to its advantage, curating a takeaway menu that has proved hugely popular – and even launching a collection-only Sunday roast service.
Of that opening now, co-owner Chris Bardsley says: “We knew that something was coming but we were concentrating on getting the deli open. Then there was the sudden realisation that we had to shut. It didn’t really hit home until the following week. We’d had a five-day run – it was like a pop-up.
“But I’m glad we got those five days in. We got really great feedback, and without that it would have made a pretty stressful time even more so.”
The deli is a collaboration between Chris and Will Brown, the former Pi bar management team who launched Batch Bottlestore last year, and Matt Brame, who ran King’s Cafe in the same unit for several years.
Chris’s partner Roey Beaumont, formerly of Altrincham Market and Rose and Grey, has come in as manager.
They set out with the ambition to give locals somewhere to buy a “really good sandwich” – and when Matt and Roey’s furlough application was rejected on the grounds that the business had not been trading for long enough, a decision was quickly made to reopen in early May for three days a week, focusing on eight signature sandwiches including Italian Sloppy Joe, sweet grilled cheese, salt beef and a chicken baguette.
“They have gone great,” says Chris, “and with hindsight we’re so glad to have had this period. It’s been like an incredibly long soft launch. In a weird way it’s been nice to do it this way.”
Following customer requests, the deli then opened for breakfast sandwiches, and it is now offering Sunday roasts, with an apricot, fennel and sausage meat-stuffed porchetta currently on the menu, with a nut roast available as a vegetarian option.
“The roast has gone great – the lads in the kitchen have really knocked it out of the park,” says Chris. They’ve sold out nearly every week so far.
Batch is also now offering meat and cheeseboards for collection only (they’ve recently partnered with Deliveroo), as well as coffee roasted in-house at Two Brothers Coffee down the road.
Batch Deli (Kings Court, off Railway Street) is now open five days a week, from 10-4 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 10-9 on Fridays and Saturdays. Sandwiches, meat and cheese boards & natural wines on Deliveroo. Roast dinner collections are between 3-5 on Sundays.