The deli, which opens its doors on 18 May, sells fresh produce, freshly baked goods and Thai, Indian and European ready meals from some of Yorkshire’s best restaurants, butchers and bakers. There is also to be a selection of craft beers, wines and spirits on offer, as well as a gift shop.
Design has focused on stringent safety measures, including social distancing, creating a safe environment for customers and staff. All profits will be donated to the City’s elderly, families who are struggling, the most vulnerable people and the NHS.
Businesses in the hospitality industry are getting together to create something positive from something which is wreaking havoc on our society as we know it, rising to new challenges and thinking of those most in need.
Staff and customers alike will be protected by plastic screens, and staff will wear protective masks and gloves to take order at the counter at a safe distance, then pick the items for the customer on demand. A fridge will be filled daily with a selection of meals for NHS staff, which they can collect by showing their ID.
Ready meals supplied by the likes of My Thai and Bengal Brasserie. Prime cuts of meat will be available from Taplin’s Butchers of Bradford, who have been going strong since 1916.
Baked goods, vegetarian and vegan options will also be on display. Fresh gourmet meals will be sold at around £4.50.
In It Together will be open from 7am – 7pm Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, volunteers will be on-site all day baking and preparing fresh meals.
In It Together will be available via Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats for those close to the City Centre. Senior citizens living outside of central Leeds will be offered a personal shopping and delivery service.
In It Together will run using the help of volunteers initially, with the longer term aim of appointing seven staff.
The brains behind the project, entrepreneurs and My Thai founders Simon Grybas and Apiyada Latham, have been busy adapting the business model ever since lockdown began in March, when the majority of their 8 restaurants had to close. Since then, using the resources and business contacts accrued over the last 20 years, the team have been distributing free meals to the City’s vulnerable, totalling over 34,000 across the county to date.
Giving back to the community
Simon Grybas had this to say ahead of the In It Together launch:
“With my businesses turned upside down literally overnight, I had to do something to keep myself busy and give back to the community that has offered me so much. The kindness of the public, be it through donations or volunteering their time whilst on furlough, has been overwhelming.
I’ve never been busier, and can’t wait for everyone to try out our new deli, which makes high quality food and drink available to everyone at a competitive price. We look forward to welcoming the people of Leeds to In It Together.’’
Simon attributes the achievement to a strong support network which includes local businesses such as Neil’s Greengrocers at Kirkgate Market, and some of the City’s restaurants.
A lot of the volunteers have come from the Lithuanian community, and in particular the local Vertrunge Dance Group.
Over £6,000 was raised on a Go Fund Me page. The money was used to buy ingredients and to cover some of the costs of producing and distributing the meals.
In It Together Deli will be open for business from Monday 18thth May from 7am on 8 Swinegate, Leeds, LS1 4AG. You will be welcomed, with your safety in mind.
Social handles – Instagram – @mythai_restaurants facebook – @mythailowerbriggate