Provisions Wine & Cheese, founded by wine and food entrepreneur Hugo Meyer Esquerré, is delighted to announce its official opening on Hackney Road on 25th March 2022.
The original store, which opened on Holloway Road in North London six years ago, quickly established itself as a neighbourhood favourite, with Highbury and Islington residents forming long queues to purchase organic and natural wines, raw milk cheeses and artisanal deli items sourced from some of the finest small suppliers across Europe.
Already an authoritative voice in the low intervention, biodynamic and raw wine movement and with the Provisions values of gastronomic pleasure and sustainability at its core, the new East London concept will showcase Provisions classics, alongside new deli products and the much anticipated daily fresh sandwich menu using artisan ingredients, curated by Chef Maximilien Truel (ex-Pollen Street Social and Frenchie).
Together with its online retail space offering nationwide delivery, Provisions is widely recognised for its array of premium goods including a range of signature hampers, melted cheese kits and popular monthly wine and cheese subscriptions.
Testament to Provisions’ prowess in the industry, the wholesale arm of the business also provides wine, cheese and deli goods to businesses across the UK. In London they work with acclaimed restaurants and bars such as Salon, 10 Greek Street, Antidote, The Laughing Heart, Frenchie, The Sun Tavern, and Casse-Croûte, as well as Chiltern Firehouse, whose minibars they curate, and Michelin Starred Bibendum whose entire cheese board menu is designed and sourced by the Provisions team.
The sandwich menu
Exclusive to the Hackney store, the sandwich menu will see a new special each month alongside two classics; one signature and one vegetarian, with toastie options to be introduced in due course. The ingredients will mostly be taken from the products that are on display, meaning the sandwiches can be recreated at home, and will use a variety of breads to ensure diversity with each sandwich, whilst showcasing the versatility of Provisions’ ingredients.
The meaty sandwich option will use sourdough bread with miso butter, mushroom, pesto, coppa, melted Comté and pickles, whilst the vegetarian sandwich will be composed of a flat bread with homemade falafels, marinated pepper, fermented spinach, aubergine, caviar, lemony yoghurt and herbs.
The selection of produce at the Hackney store will feature Provisions’ core range, that the team know to be popular at the Holloway Road store, as well as a large range of organic spices from Parisian spice trader Shira, a large selection of Italian, French and Spanish cured meats and hams, paté en croute, olives, artisan chocolates from Éclair de Genie in Paris, patés from South West France producer Maison Argaud, tinned fish from acclaimed high-end Portuguese preserves brand, José Gourmet, and vegetable preserves and spreads by Southern Italian I Contadini.
The Provisions focus remains on raw milk and farmhouse cheeses and the new site has provided the perfect backdrop for Hugo to exhibit new cheeses discovered on his many trips to specialist affineurs. The majority of the cheeses sold at the Hackney Road site will never have yet been shown in the UK, and will all be freshly cut on demand. The selection will feature over 100 artisan, raw milk cheeses from France, Italy and the British Isles and November 2021 saw the launch of Cheese Canteen, Provisions’ inaugural monthly themed subscription service.
The Provisions ethos focuses on sustainable farming practices and supporting independent winemakers. Unique to the Hackney site will be a wine offering of 150 references focused specifically on the regions of the Languedoc, Roussillon and Southern Rhone, highlighting rich and varied terroirs and wines. These are regions much-loved by Provisions and from which many wines have been imported over the past six years. Hugo’s top picks include the Danjou Banessy – Led Myrs 2018, Clos des Grillons – Calcaire 2020, Jean Philippe Padié – Petit Taureau 2020, Mas de Agrunelles – Barbaste 2020, Mas Theo – Mogul 2018. He notes of the new wine selection, ‘These are wines which we love drinking because of what the region offers in terms of complexity and diversity. To have a place dedicated to them is very exciting to us, as they have so much to show.’ The selection will also feature exclusive wines and back-vintages solely available at Provisions.
The 650 sq ft space is located at the intersection between Hackney Road and Columbia Road and is in perfect company with independent neighbours including The Marksman, Laughing Heart, Brawn, Sager + Wilde and Grace & Thorn florists. London and Oslo-based architecture firm Haptic will evoke a Mediterranean aura across the design whilst keeping Provisions’ signature industrial feel by way of steel and wood accents. The floor will be covered with terracotta tiles throughout the store, with Herb Palmer having been contracted to design the furnishings. A 700 sq ft downstairs space will play host to a series of Supper Clubs at the 12-seater Chef’s Table (launching in September) and provides the perfect venue for a programme of seasonal events such as wine tastings, talks, DJ nights and will also be the base for the Provisions Wine School, their Organic and Natural wine school that launched in October 2021.
The local area
To Hugo, who has spent the last 10 years living in Hackney, the opening of the new shop is a natural progression for Provisions, as the area has a strong culture of supporting independent stores and a growing customer desire to know about the provenance of what they buy.Speaking of the new space, Hugo notes;
“Hackney is the place I feel most connected to in London, having lived here since 2009. There is a real sense of community here, and the fact that there are many great restaurants, outdoor markets and specialty food stores has led the residents to be more curious and enthusiastic about high quality products and the story associated with them. The shop will allow us to introduce new and beautiful goods, such as farmhouse cheeses and real wines, to an already thriving hub of independent businesses. We want to bring a special retail experience to Hackney, by sharing our knowledge and expertise and showing our customers how best to use our produce in the kitchen.’