This deli on Oakham’s smart Mill Street was opened in the summer of 2011 by Leo Sugden and his family, who have a great passion for food. In November 2012, Otters moved to a larger building on the same street, which can seat up to 26 people.
The little clue in the name means there is a strong emphasis on smoked foods. Leo has a long connection with the excellent Pinney’s of Orford (located on the coast near Ipswich) and is bringing in a range of its produce under the Otters label, from smoked prawns to duck breast. Pinney’s smokehouse was established in 1959 and still smokes over whole logs rather than chippings.
At Otters a full range of traditionally cold-smoked goodies including salmon and kippers is complemented by hot-smoked salmon, mackerel and trout.
Leo is also proud of the selection of cheeses he has put together – at least 40 at any one time.
The shelves that have been squeezed into what space remains groan under the weight of chutneys, oils, flours, pasta, flavoured vinegars, teas and soft drinks. The olive range is properly fresh and comes in a variety of marinades and stuffings and is complemented by trays full of anti-pasti including balsamic onions, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, artichokes and pestos (there are more than 60 Great Taste award-winning products in the range of ambient goods alone).
By Matt Gregory