When putting this article together, there’s a mixture of two feelings. How good it is to see so many new people launching projects but then how shit it has been for the hundreds of small businesses in our industry that are hanging on to survive at the moment.
In the words of Hip Hop Chip Shop’s owner Ozzie, “Hospitality is on the ropes, a lot won’t survive this. New companies will rise from the ashes of Covid casualties to take advantage of a new landscape. For those that scrape through a long tough road awaits with many succumbing to huge unserviceable debts taken out during this time.”
At the same time, there is something quite lovely about seeing so many people in the past 12 months take those ideas they’ve always sat on and give them a proper go. On our Instagram post around this, (which I should say was inspired by the brilliant Mob Kitchen), we had 1,952 comments from local people pushing their hobbies, or their friends new project, or a local business they know that had started in lockdown. It’s really really nice to see that support
So this isn’t a comprehensive guide (there were too many) but a snapshot of some of Manchester’s lockdown start-ups. Hopefully reading this might put you onto somewhere that you like, it might help support a few small local businesses or inspire you to have a go at something yourself. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO.
Not everything in this list is somewhere we’ve tried but Ornella’s Kitchen is one that I have, it’s brilliant. Ornella started delivering homemade Italian food across Manchester alongside her partner Jamie whilst on paternity leave from her role at Pollen Bakery. Jake from Well Good Blog nominated this on our post – calling their Lobster Ravioli one of the best Italian dishes in Manchester right now.
Chloe and her partner Mark moved back from Banfff in Canada two days before March’s lockdown. That’s when they decided to focus on an idea they’d talked about of bringing Chloe’s family recipes to Manchester, they have since teamed up with indie venues across town to trade without markets/private dining events being open.
San San launched in October 2020 and immediately caught our eye, we’ve still not been (we’re going next Wednesday for their new menu!) but it looks brilliant. A sando delivery service based in Prestwich which on weekends operates as a takeout from @thecrookedmanbar. We’ll be telling you just how good it is next week.
DM them for weekly delivery options + their own chutneys and bombay mix products
This family business which launched in June last year create homemade samosas in a mix of sweet and savoury flavours, such as chicken curry and Biscoff. Each comes with your choice of dipping sauce and you can also order fresh milkshakes flavoured with Chai spices, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Oreo.
Orders can be made Friday to Sunday from 5pm to 10pm through their website or by calling 07592187593. They’re also available for delivery via Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat.
Loaf began during the first lockdown when owner Aiden began baking cakes to raise money for the NHS whilst on furlough.
It turned from a charitable project into a business when when Northern Quarter café Ezra and Gil asked whether Loaf would consider supplying cakes to their cafe. As well as Ezra and Gil, Loaf now supplies a range of other cafes with cakes, as well as taking individual orders for collection.
They’re moving into a unit in Ancoats’ Pollard Yard this week and you can order via DM or email, the website is coming soon.
A food stall serving food inspired by the markets of Tel Aviv. Everything here is veggie/vegan. Think aubergines, sabich (fried eggplant and boiled egg) and falafel on pitta. You’ll find them regularly at Grub once the lockdown has lifted!
We came across Bonnie in the first lockdown, an aspiring home cook who wants to eventually make a career out her passion for cooking. The recipes she makes are broken down really well on the pages Instagram stories. The at home Nando’s was a godsend for many in the first lockdown and her Chocolate Orange babka looks mega.
“I’ve just spent £450 on tea towels. I used to DJ at The Hacienda”. I’ve been following Elliot Eastwick on Twitter for a while now and it’s been great to see the response to his small batch hot sauce. All natural, Vega, gluten free. The packaging looks ace too.
A lockdown project started by Olive Firth, the motto is ‘pushing the cookie boundaries’ and with cookies, cookie pies, cookie shots and more available for delivery across Manchester, you can see for yourself. Also occasionally stocked at Black Milk Cereal and announced through their social channels. Keep an eye out.
23-year-old KC learned how to cook from her mother and uncle who is the head chef in the Thai family restaurant she has worked in five years. She’s always loved cooking for others so when lockdown hit, KC started her Instagram page to share cooking with friends and colleagues.
Then, in November last year, Kc launched Thai Apron, her Thai meal kit delivery service, allowing others to cook her recipes at home with freshly packed, pre-portioned ingredients, as well as her homemade sauces and dips. Dishes include Thai green curry and Pad Thai, as well as Cha Nom Yen (Thai milk tea).
The Thai Apron meal kits are now available for nationwide delivery. Order via the website by 10am Wednesdays for delivery on Friday.
Originally from Burma, home cook May started by creating small batched of Burmese chilli oil out of her kitchen in Whalley Range during the first lockdown. With a focus on flavour over heat, the Rice Over Everything chilli jars come in three versions, the original, shiitake mushroom and peanuts, and dried shrimp and fish sauce.
She only learned to cook when she was 25 but May has now left her career in finance to follow her dream of making delicious Burmese food full-time and will be launching new rice bowls in a few weeks for home delivery and collection in Manchester.
Owned and operated by Caitlin Freda, Freda’s Place began in lockdown selling cupcakes + cookies but has since expanded their menu whilst supplying local businesses that have remained open. Right now the menu includes cookies, brownie and cinnamon buns which can be ordered from www.fredasplace.co.uk with their next delivery on Jan 27th.
After losing work due to the pandemic during the first lockdown, Mattia Paradiso decided to start his own business. Inspired by his Nonna (Italian for grandma), Paradiso Authentic makes authentic Italian desserts to take away including everyone’s favourite – Tiramisu.
Mattia started in his kitchen in Castlefield but after crowdfunding, he has managed to secure a unit in Pollard Yard where he now prepares the food. He sells through Grub E Mart and at Makers Markets. You can also DM him on Instagram for delivery and collection.
After being made redundant in May 2020, Shivani channelled her energy into making delicious food and started Shiv Cooks, making homemade Indian dishes to take away.
There’s a choice of four curries including chicken tikka massala, lamb keema, paneer curry and chickpea curry. Plus, there’s onion bhajis and seekh kebabs to start.
When Mamadou and Gaby bought a food truck in early 2020, they had originally planned on travelling around festivals and events during the summer. The pandemic forced them to completely rethink their plans and set up as a takeaway street food van on Edison Road in Eccles.
Serving Neapolitan-inspired pizza with 48-hour cold proof dough, as well as their own freshly-made pasta dishes. The food is traditionally Italian with African and Spanish inspired by the owners’ heritages.
They are open Wednesday to Sunday on Edison Road in Eccles. Food can be pre-ordered for delivery or collection via their website.
As well as setting up delivery of their bread bowls (whole loaves of bread filled with a range of dishes include mac andcheese, seafood chowder and Philly cheesesteak stew), Bread and Bowl set up a new ‘Roastline’ delivery service which launched during the second lockdown.
Every Sunday between 3pm and 7:30pm, the Roastline deliver Sunday dinners in two hours within a 4 mile radius of the Northern Quarter. All served in a giant Yorkshire pudding, you can choose from roast pork with crackling, roast chicken and a vegetarian Portobello mushroom and goat’s cheese wellington. They also do giant pigs in blankets.
Plus, for a fiver, you can pay it forward and buy a roast for someone living on the streets of Manchester city centre.
Order online via their website or call 07561734 4775.