Marc and Joelle Cullender gave up the daily grind of the London commute and advertising life to fulfil their dream of running their own deli. Starting with smaller local branches, this is now their third location: a deli/kitchen with 40 covers, offering everything from morning coffee, cakes, hot and cold lunches, plus a wine bar with delicious deli platters in the evening – while also still functioning as a deli counter and general store.
Cullenders occupies a prominent high street location and it was important that the cafe reflected its locality – to be 'Reigate' not 'London'. Bold graphics, signage and an eye-catching striped awning gives the deli a strong street presence, but with a sense of establishment.
The new venture has gone from strength to strength offering monthly pop-up restaurant evenings with exciting chefs such as Maxwell McKenzie, and has teamed up with a local wine vendor to open in the evenings as a wine bar. They also offer private bookings for events and parties, which are proving very popular.
The interior is flexible and welcoming, transforming effortlessly from the morning hustle and bustle of a general store to a relaxed space for afternoon tea or lively evening drinks. Visitors are greeted by a light-filled space, where warm timber floors combine with shelves and panelling in shades of slate green and grey, to create a strong backdrop for the products.
Local photography submitted by customers lines the walls, adding interest and a sense of community. Carefully sourced items, such as the reclaimed church pew below the front window, provide quirky elements and a relaxed feel.
Central to the design is the food and produce itself. Shelving runs from floor to ceiling, providing varied spaces to neatly display deli groceries – including wines, cheese, charcuterie, olives and chutneys – while emphasising the full height of the shop.
Cakes and pastries are displayed on cake stands and baskets on the counter and shelves, with olives in Mediterranean bowls and cheeses on slates within the fridge counter. The open kitchen hatch peeps through the shelving at the end, where you can see the chefs at work preparing the days delights.
Come the evening the lights dim low and the candles come out, along with changing menus, local beers and an exciting wine list.
"Working with The Vawdrey House on all of our design projects has been an absolute joy. They have great ideas and vision and can see how things should be when I can't see the wood for the trees! If the future holds more shops then we will not hesitate to call The Vawdrey House again."
Photography by Siobhan Doran
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