Things I will miss from Berkshire ~ Tastes Deli

Yesterday I started a new series of monthly posts and mentioned I wanted a few regular features. Today I start a new one: Things I will miss from Berkshire. This one is a bit different, first because I don’t know how often it’s going to happen – I suppose as and when I miss them? – and second because I think I will eventually run out of things to wrote about. But, as much as we were looking forward to escaping from Berks, there is a part of me that will miss these little things that I won’t be able to find here.

I will start this one with a lovely little shop in the middle of Eton High Street. Once upon a time, L was a baby and I used to take her to swimming lesson at Eton College swimming pool. I then found out that this lovely little shop, called Tastes Deli, sold a mix for this very Brazilian thing called pão de queijo. So I started going there occasionally for my PDQ fix.

This was before I could drive and then Waitrose started selling the mix and started buying with my shop. Until one day, Waitrose stopped selling it. *Shock horror* So I went back to Tastes and, when I couldn’t find it on the shelves, I asked the lady at the counter if they stopped selling it. She said they did, but that if I bought the whole box (of 24!) she could order one for me. I said yes please and she ordered it. When I managed to go through 24 boxes of pão de queijo (it took a while!), I went to back to Karen and asked if she could order me another one – she then told me she was selling them again as other customers had also asked after them, so now I could buy my usual 2-3 boxes *hurrah!*.

This taught me a very important lesson: you, as a customer, are more important to the small retailer than to the big one and, if they can, they will go out of their way to help you. If you stop buying a packet of biscuits from Waitrose, Asda or whichever supermarket you normally shop at, it won’t make much difference to them, but if you start buying your biscuit from a small shop near you, it could make a big difference to them.

I have remained a loyal customer until we ran away moved and have already placed my first order online, but I will miss actually going into the shop and having a nice talk with Karen.

(When I was placing my order, I thought I would put a little note to say we had moved and we would miss her but then thought it was a bit silly as she might not connect the name with me and would be left wondering who the hell that was. I needn’t had worried: I got a message back shortly after asking “you moved!?!” – so I was left a little bit weepy to know that people care and feeling a bit like a twat for not telling her in first place.)

Anyway, I am rambling a bit now – but I am going to miss Tastes and Karen and will surely visit every time we go back to see our friends. And if you are in Berkshire, go and visit her and her wonderful shop full of wonderful and delicious things (and if you are not, go and visit the online shop!)

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