Expansion to Grainger Street is our recipe for success

Sintons Solicitors at mmm... and glug...

A North East artisan food and drink retailer, which sources products from around the world and has amassed a following across the UK and beyond, is targeting expansion through a move to Grainger Street and the launch of its online shop.

mmm glug stamp logo Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…was established in Newcastle in 2008 and has grown into one of the most highly-esteemed independent food and drink brands of its kind.

It attracts customers from across the country and earning name-checks in books by celebrity chefs, including Thomasina Miers

The business, based in the city’s Grainger Market, has earned fame in foodie circles for its commitment to sourcing the highest quality produce from suppliers around the world.

It is now known for being the go-to place for the most unusual of ingredients, and has a loyal and sizeable following both among its customer base and on social media.

Run by Simone and Ian Clarkin, mmm…and glug… – which started out in 2008, is now moving to a two-floor 1,500 sq ft retail unit on nearby Grainger Street.

This will allow it to have its own shop front on one of Newcastle’s busiest streets and dictate its own opening hours.

The move comes at a time of development for the business, as it introduces a ‘click and collect’ service for customers and online mail order to allow it to look at international trade.

Spanish paprika at mmm... Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…have also launched a range of its own-label spice mixes and cooking ingredients.

mmm…and glug…has been built by passionate foodies Simone and Ian, who have assembled a five-strong team who share their love of quality food and drink.

Simone’s background in sourcing fine food and wines from continental suppliers, coupled with Ian’s expertise in marketing – which has seen mmm…glug…named as one of the most influential independent businesses on Twitter – has proved a recipe for success.

Simone said: “This is a very exciting time for us, moving into our own shop on Grainger Street and having the freedom that comes with that is something we have wanted for some time.

“The Grainger Market has been a fantastic place to be, but we are delighted with the start of our new chapter.

“Our ethos is we source high-quality food and drink from independent producers wherever they are in the world, and strive to build long-term relationships with both our customers and suppliers.

“We do stock products from the North East and we source from Spain, Italy, France, America, we look across the whole world to get the quality we know our customers will want.”

Ian, who initially was ‘Saturday boy’ with mmm…glug…before joining his wife full time, said: “We have customers who come to us from as far afield as Liverpool and Manchester and even afield.

“Through the launch of online ordering in the near future we hope we will become accessible to people across the UK and even internationally.

Thomasina Miers at mmm... Grainger Street“Our customers are fantastic and are the biggest advocates of what we do.

Thomasina Miers first became aware of us when she remarked how difficult it was to find some cooking ingredients; one of our customers got in touch with her to tell her about us.

“Since then, she has mentioned us in her cookbooks and even held a book launch here.”

mmm…and glug…have been supported in its expansion by law firm Sintons, with Head of Licensing Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Partner in the Real Estate team, both acting in the transaction.

Sarah Smith said: “Newcastle enjoys a reputation as a vibrant and diverse leisure venue which attracts people from across the whole UK.

“mmm…and glug…is another example of something special we have here which again puts the North East on a national scale.

“Its reputation for its quality and variety of produce is well known far beyond this region.

“And the platform it has created on social media has also helped it to stand out in the very competitive culinary marketplace.

“We wish Simone and Ian luck in their new home for mmm…and glug…on Grainger Street and every success as they continue to grow and develop the business.”

Pictured (courtesy of Sintons Law and David Wood Photographer above: left to right –  Simone Clarkin; Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Sintons and Ian Clarkin.

Want to know more before we move to Grainger Street?

Free events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Saturday, 16 June: Firebrick Brewery meet the brewer – looking for a Father’s Day gift? Our Blaydon-based brewery will help you find the perfect bottles for him to enjoy.
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Food store books place in Maunika Gowardhan’s heart

A Newcastle-based food store is celebrating its latest inclusion in a national cookbook with a book signing this weekend.

mmm…, based in the Grainger Arcade in Newcastle city centre, is playing host to local chef Maunika Gowardhan for a signing of her newly-published book, ‘Indian Kitchen’ this Saturday (27 June) from 12 noon.

The food store is described by the Mumbai-raised chef as being a, “haven in the heart of the Grainger Market for quality spices, alongside oils, vinegars, chutneys and flour.”

Maunika GowardhanThe award-winning store has also previously been recognised in two best-selling cookbooks by BBC Masterchef and owner of Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, Thomasina Miers.

Maunika was born and raised in Mumbai, India and is now based in the UK.

‘Indian Kitchen’, published by Hodder and Stoughton, is based on simple and enticing dishes that have been part of her family for generations.

As well as being a private chef, Maunika also writes a food column for a Vogue India and has featured in international food and lifestyle publications, including The Independent, Red Magazine, Sunday Telegraph and Jamie Magazine.

As well as being able to meet Maunika, have copies of her book signed and get cooking advice, food fans will also be able to sample dishes from her cookbook.

Simone Clarkin, owner of mmm…, is excited to not only be hosting the signing, but to also feature in her third nationally-published cookbook.

She said: “Maunika is a regular shopper with us and is always giving us useful advice on which herbs and spices to stock, as well as tips on how to use them.

“We were so pleased that she included us in her wonderful new cookbook, ‘Indian Kitchen’ and we know that many of our customers are looking forward to Saturday’s signing.”

The event is free and being held at mmm…, 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne from 12 noon to 2pm on Saturday, 27 June.

Newcastle deli goes mmm…exican with Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers at mmm...

A top UK chef and restaurateur met a horde of her Mexican food disciples at a Newcastle deli today (Thursday, 12 July) after striking up a twitter debate about finding good food.

Grainger market-based ‘mmm…’ played host to Thomasina ‘Tommi’ Miers after being named as one of the top suppliers of Mexican produce in the UK.

Thomasina Miers signed copies of her new book ‘ Wahaca – Mexican Food at Home’ at the deli, which has a growing reputation for sourcing unusual spices, herbs, chillies and other Mexican staples.

The four-year old deli has been listed in the new book, which the former Masterchef winner is hoping will convert even more fans to the world of Mexican cooking.

Thomasina Miers at mmm 2 webOwner of mmm…, Simone Clarkin, 49, was delighted to hear that her deli had been listed in the book and even more excited to hear from Thomasina herself.

She said: “Thomasina Miers is the most mentioned chef we have in our deli and her first book, ‘Mexican food made easy’ is the cooking bible for many of our customers.

“Our conversations started last year via twitter when Thomasina bemoaned the lack of Mexican food in the UK.

“Many of our customers told her about our efforts to supply Mexican and South American food lovers in the region with those hard to get ingredients.

“We are delighted that the north east food scene will feature in the book and the news that Tommi was coming to mmm… saw several of our customers taking a day’s holiday especially to meet her.”

In her book, Thomasina Miers says: “When we first started Wahaca it was extremely difficult to find the necessary ingredients. Chipotles, tomatillos, Mexican oregano, even corn tortillas were unheard of.

“These days the Mexican food bug has spread and people are really up on Mexican ingredients.

“I have come across many of the suppliers, including mmm…, only recently – but they are doing a great job.”

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