The Madrid Metropolitan cought up with Irishman, Ivan Hilliard, to find out why, after 20 years of living in Madrid, he thought it was time to open a Deli in his adopted home city.
The story began in the anus horribilis of 2020 with Covid19 limiting everyones choices. He and an old friend got reminiscing on the deli style sandwich shops they used to visit back in the day in their hometowns of Dublin and Brighton. Places where one could get a wonderful sandwich or salad made in the moment, chosen from a menu or conjured up at whim, from a vast array of colourfully displayed fresh ingredients, and a selection of different breads, bagels and baps.
So if it could work there – why not here?
So, what are you up to, guys?
Well, after moaning about the lack of decent sandwich offerings, we’ve decided to launch Gourmad (Gourmet Madrid- get it?) offering deli-style made-in-the-moment sandwiches and salads. You can choose from our menu (pastrami, chicken, turkey, roast beef, vegetarian) or build your own. We’ll also offer soups, snacks, and soft drinks. And it’ll all be done in a sustainable manner.
You mention sustainability. What does that mean when food supply chains are increasingly globalized? And why does it matter?
We believe people care about what they eat- food should be tasty without having to be bad for you. So much of what we eat is full of additives and preservatives, comes from halfway around the world with a massive carbon footprint, and arrives at our table wrapped in thick plastic. Yet the same brands boast about being green! Really being sustainable means focusing on using locally sourced ecological products, trying to minimize waste, obviously avoiding plastic, and generally incorporating the concept into everything we do.
But is that really viable?
In Dublin maybe not. But here, with this climate? Our chicken and turkey will come from Segovia, our cheese from Colmenar Viejo, our tomatoes and lettuce from Rivas and Toledo. All naturally produced. We’re not fully there yet (and probably never will be). Our pastrami comes from NY, because it’s just not possible to get anything remotely similar in Spain. But we do what we can, and it works in our favour. All the shit in food nowadays doesn’t make it tastier, it’s just there to make more profits for the big Agro companies. We want to eat proper food, with a taste that’s unbeatable, and we are sure you do too.
The Gourmad Deli is now open in the heart of Chamberi, at Santa Engracia 109 so why not pop in for a chat and a FREE hot soup or salad while they make up your order or you can also place order from the comfort of your home with Just Eat.