Suffolk Heroes... A New Slate
Aldeburgh and Southwold are known for their independent shops, delis, cafes, pubs and restaurants who offer high-quality products and unique experiences. Strolling along the high streets, guests are spoilt for choice and inundated with wonderous treats from locally sourced beer, scrumptious dining experiences and on-trend fashion.
Lawson's Deli in Aldeburgh has been a long-serving part of Aldeburgh high street specialising in delicious cheeses and offering a fantastic array of food and drink produced in Suffolk. Clare Jackson and her Dad Ormerod took over Lawson's deli in 2016 from its previous owners Richard Lawson and Claire Bruce-Clayton who had been running the award-winning deli since 2006. With a new name, a renovated shop in Aldeburgh and a new shop in Southwold, Lawson's Deli has had a complete overhaul, and Suffolk Secrets were lucky enough to be invited to the opening evening of the all-new 'Slate'. Whilst there, we asked owner Clare some questions about her new business venture...
Firstly… congratulations on the opening of Slate! What has been the most exciting part of the whole process?
For me, it was seeing the new awning go up above our Aldeburgh shop - our new colours and logo in big letters. I was thrilled to see all our planning become a reality! It was also brilliant to welcome customers to both shops on Saturday and chat cheese with them.
What are you most looking forward to with the opening of your new deli in Southwold?
Opening our new shop is a fantastic opportunity to get to know customers on the High Street in Southwold. We look forward to finding out which cheeses are particular favourites there.
What made you choose Southwold?
It is a seaside town similar in many ways to Aldeburgh so we hope the two shops will make a nice pair. My Dad and I always had a soft spot for Southwold as our family has been Walberswick based for many years and we have fond memories of cycling over the bridge to buy "butter buns".
What’s your favourite product that you sell?
For me, its got to be the cheese! I am passionate about our range of carefully selected and cared for cheeses.
My particular favourites are crumbly Cornish Yarg, prettily encased in nettles; St Jude, an award-winning local cheese, soft and creamy; and my discovery of this year - Dorstone, a raw goat's milk cheese from Herefordshire which tastes wonderful sliced and drizzled with honey!
We really love the new name, were you concerned about changing from Lawson’s Deli with it being so well known?
You are right, Lawson's has been a much-loved delicatessen on Aldeburgh High Street for many years now, with lots loyal customers who live both locally and visit us from
further afield. We've been running Lawson's for the best part of a year now and hope that people have had the opportunity to get to know us during this time. Refurbishing and re-branding the shop is the next step in its journey as we move the business forward.
Difficult question alert: If you had to choose between a day out in Southwold or Aldeburgh, which would you choose and why?
You can't put me on the spot like that - why not visit both ?! My boys love a morning walking the coastal path from Thorpeness to Aldeburgh, visiting the lifeboat and then enjoying fish and chips on the beach. If we could then whizz up to Southwold for the afternoon tea in Adnams cafe before browsing the High Street and heading out to the cannons for a final play of the day.
How important is sourcing local ingredients to you?
Flavour and quality are key. When we can source high-quality products and ingredients locally even better. We are very lucky that there is a fantastic array of food and drink produced here in East Anglia.
Thank you so much for your time, what can we look forward to seeing you do in the future?
We have lots of exciting plans including fondue and raclette sets for hire to recreate apres-ski nights out; "Meet the Maker" visits from local producers; and local collaborations on cheese and wine, cheese and beer, cheese and cider .... in fact, cheese with everything!
The evening at Slate was a great success and it was a delight to try out some of Slate's yummy foods and cheeses. Clare and her father have a very exciting future ahead of them and we look forward to seeing how Slate evolves. For a list of Suffolk Secret's properties in Southwold and Aldeburgh, take a look at our area search pages Southwold and Surrounding Villages and Aldeburgh and Surrounding Villages.