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French deli re-opens in Norwich after £14,000 crowdfunding boost

PUBLISHED: 14:05 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 03 May 2019

A host of different cheeses are available at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: Submitted.

A host of different cheeses are available at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: Submitted.

A French deli and wine shop bringing the tastes of the Mediterranean to the city has relocated after raising more than £14,000 in a month from crowdfunding.

Work going on to create the new Les Garrigues, now open on Upper St Giles, Nowich. Pic: submitted.Work going on to create the new Les Garrigues, now open on Upper St Giles, Nowich. Pic: submitted.

Damien Cabanis, who hails from Brittany, needed £10,000 to help with the costs of renovating the period building on Upper St Giles, in the former Louis Deli, and was staggered when 178 supporters helped raise £14,641 in 28 days.

“I was really touched,” said Damien who has now re-opened Les Garrigues, which was formerly on St John Maddermarket, but is now next door to Hickman's restaurant. The crowdfunding enabled Damien to expand the former deli, more than doubling it in size, with space for a wine tasting room as well as more kitchen area including the deli display of meat and cheeses and dining.

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Damien encouraged support by offering little rewards for those who pledged their money, so donations of £5 or more received a glass of house wine,

The new shop and restaurant at Les Garrigues. Pic: Les Garrigues.The new shop and restaurant at Les Garrigues. Pic: Les Garrigues.

£600 or more received a champagne and cheese evening for 10 guests and over £1000 could have their Christmas staff party at Les Garrigues.

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The concept is to sit and have a platter of meat or cheese which will have up to 16 different tiny portions to try, accompanied by a glass of wine.

“People like 'picky food', rather than a full meal, they like the discovery of a cheese board which is like a tour of France in taste, washed down with a good glass of wine,” said Damien. He came to Norwich on an introduction by his sister, got married and had children – and as he says, 'life got in the way' and he never returned to France.

Meat and cheese platters at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: submitted.Meat and cheese platters at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: submitted.

However, he decided to bring the things he loves most about home to the city and sells up to 60 different kinds of cheeses including 28 varieties of goat cheese. “My favourite is a goat blue cheese, mostly goat's cheese is creamy and white and comes from the Alps but this is very different, very distinctive, but I love them all, that's my problem.”

You can buy up to 40 different wines at Les Garrigues, which literally translates to mean 'low growing Mediterranean land,' including bottles, by the glass and even 'en vrac', out of the barrel, bringing your own bottle to fill up.

Among the Crowdfunding supporters was Norwich-based property agency Auction House and in return, an evening was hosted there on Thursday night. Bryan Baxter, who heads up Auction House, said: “We were delighted to support this venture, and so pleased to see how he's expanded what was a tiny space into something so special.”

All kinds of different cheeses are available at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: submitted.All kinds of different cheeses are available at Les Garrigues, Upper St Giles. Pic: submitted.

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