Fitzroy's Smith & Deli to go full deli

New direction: Shannon Martinez of Smith & Deli.
New direction: Shannon Martinez of Smith & Deli. Photo: Elke Meitzel

Chef Shannon Martinez will close her Fitzroy vegan grocer Smith & Deli next week, reopening four days later as a proper deli – minus meat and dairy.

Now the sole owner of the business, Martinez says she is returning to the original plan.

"The idea was always to open up a deli, but it sort of turned into a grocery store and sandwich shop," she says.

Smith & Deli's plant-based sandwiches, such as its reuben, will remain.
Smith & Deli's plant-based sandwiches, such as its reuben, will remain. Photo: Josh Robenstone

"When we opened you couldn't find a lot of the stuff we sold, but now there's more demand so you can get a lot of it in supermarkets. We want to stick to what we do best, which is in-house product."

The sandwiches are staying, but the grocery component and the wall between the kitchen and shop aren't.

Expect vegan cold cuts, cheese and antipasti in the new deli cases, as well as house-recipe mock meats such as marinated skewers, burger patties and even fish (it's pay by piece or weight, so BYO containers if you can).

The fridge will be filled with aioli, dips, vanilla whipped creams and custards. Soups and hot pies will be there to grab and go.

Martinez is also planning to launch home delivery of her ready-made meals in about a month, while vegan catering, platters and cakes will be available to order right away.