The hospitality sector has bore the brunt of the coronavirus fall-out but despite ongoing challenges two Edinburgh foodies have scaled up operations in Marchmont.
The highly acclaimed Eddie’s Seafood Market in Roseneath Street has been acquired by Campbell Mickel, owner of the Michelin-Bib awarded Merienda in Stockbridge.
And food writer Jess Dennison has opened a new food and homeware shop at 21 Sciennes Road, just a few doors along from her established neighbourhood kitchen and take away 27 Elliot’s.
Merienda is known for the quality of its seafood dishes and Campbell Mickel has been a customer at Eddie’s for more than 25 years since his days as a young chef. He said: “I was the first chef in Scotland in lockdown to do deliveries and advised many kitchens nationally and internationally how to do so with impeccable service. I didn’t want to sit still and I didn’t want anyone else in the industry to sit still either and that was a phenomenal success.
“As lockdown went on, I would occasionally sit and watch Mellis Cheese from across Merienda and marvel at their queue from 8am to 7pm and I thought it was remarkable. It didn’t cross my mind that I should be in the retail business but when the penny dropped, I made my move, so here we are.”
Campbell said he will add his own slant to what Eddie Kwok had built up over 36 years and the former owner would still be involved in helping with deliveries when the restaurant trade returns to full opening.
He added: “The amazing selection will stay, freshness will always remain our priority and sustainability is essential. We want to continue to extoll the exceptional Scottish produce or our seas. We will add a touch of chef’s flair but generally you won’t notice dramatic changes and it’s still going to offer by far the best selection of fish and seafood in Edinburgh.”
Jess Dennison and artist Phillippa Henley have spent the last year converting a former newsagents in to 21 Elliot’s where the shelves are stocked with a curation of items inspired by the pairs travels, childhood memories of eating with family, and the pages of their most trusted cookbooks.
A special range of Elliott’s ceramics including small dishes and bowls has been created by local potter Cara Guthrie and over the coming weeks they will also be launching a limited edition Christmas chocolate with Morningside-based Edward & Irwyn, as well as special coffee bags with long-time collaborators, Granton-based Obadiah Coffee.
Jess said: “The shop is an amazing chance to partner with the makers and artists that inspire us most – it’s a real showcase for young Scottish makers and producers. We’re absolutely delighted with the incredible response we’ve received from our customers in these opening weeks. The shop already feels well-settled into the Sciennes neighbourhood and we can’t wait to share even more of our collaboratively made products in the run up to Christmas.”
The original café-restaurant at 27 now operates as a kitchen takeaway serving breakfast, coffee and lunch with a weekly-changing menu inspired by the seasons. When it’s safe to do so, both venues will be transformed in to creative spaces for workshops, talks, guest events and cooking classes.