New deli/cafe set for Suffolk market town 

Chef Damien Riseley and wife Gemma inside The Black Dog Deli

Damien and Gemma Riseley who are opening The Black Dog Deli in Halesworth in April 2021 - Credit: The Black Dog Deli

The Black Dog Deli in Walberswick has done a roaring trade in lockdown. Owner Andrew Storer and business partner Michael Anfilogoff have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to bring fresh, locally-sourced ready meals to the community, as well as a pop-up on Friday nights at The Box in Southwold. 

And now The Black Dog flag is set to fly in Halesworth, with the business name having been licensed to chef Damien Riseley and wife Gemma, who will open their own deli/cafe in the town this spring. 

Marked with a tentative opening date of April 20 the deli (fully owned by Damien but under the Black Dog Deli banner) can be found at the former premises of The Hideout, at 13 Bridge Street, with the couple itching to get inside and start serving customers – initially for outdoor dining only. 

Loaves of sourdough bread and baguettes on a cooling rack from Filo and Twine

The menu at The Black Dog Deli in Halesworth will be part dedicated to really good sourdough bread, alongside small plates focussed on fish - Credit: Filo and Twine

“I’ve been cheffing for over 20 years,” says Damien. “I’m half Greek-Cypriot and lived in Cyprus for 10 years where I part-owned a pub which became very successful. It was number one in the whole of the country on Tripadvisor. Everything was super fresh, and that’s what I want to do here.” 

Damien worked in brasseries and bistros in Bedfordshire upon returning to the UK, and moved to Suffolk to become general manager of the Two Magpies Bakery- where he befriended Michael. 

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His love of good bread pervades, and the deli will be filled with bakes and specialist sourdoughs from Michael and Ken Twineham’s new bakery Breadwinner by Filo and Twine in Reydon. 

Michael Anfilogoff and Ken Twineham of Breadwinner by Filo and Twine in Reydon 

Michael Anfilogoff and Ken Twineham of Breadwinner by Filo and Twine in Reydon - Credit: Filo and Twine

Damien envisages something like the famed Poilane in Paris. Fantastic bread and very simple ingredients put together in a sophisticated, unfussy way. 

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“The deli will have a sit-down bistro menu with lots of fish, and Greek-style small plates. We’ve got outside seating and are aiming to get an alcohol licence so we can do wine by the glass with those plates, and create a bit of a modern European feel. 

“We’ll also have a window display filled with sweets and savouries, so customers can choose a little something to have with their coffee. I want it to feel really casual...but with style.” 

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Small plates will include the likes of anchovy tapenade, smoked fish pate and mussels served in vintage copper pans. 

“And our baguettes will be rustic sourdoughs, filled and wrapped in brown paper – very much in the Mediterranean style. Brunch will be things like avocado on toast homemade ham hock ballotine with poached eggs, fresh porridge with raw local honey, and French toast made with brioche.” 

The café, when all restrictions are lifted, will seat 20 inside and the same amount outside, and will be open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. 

“It’s a really nice vibe here,” Damien adds.