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New to Leeds: Olive & Rye

· Joseph Sheerin · New & Coming Soon

A new eatery from an old favourite, Olive & Rye is the latest opening from the folk behind Hepworth's Deli.

Olive & Rye

Hepworth’s Deli has long been a favourite, but now it has a new partner in crime, as owner Joe has opened up Olive & Rye in Queen’s Arcade…

Over the past five years, Hepworth’s Deli in Thornton’s Arcade has become one of the top spots for breakfast and lunch. But it’s not the biggest of venues, and it’s popularity sometimes means you can’t take advantage of their delicious offering – which is why new venture, Olive & Rye is so exciting.

Owner Joe Hepworth has found the perfect unit in Queen’s Arcade to open the new cafe and deli. Formerly home to Pickles and Potter, which shut down in 2014, you might remember seeing the pop-up Hepworth’s Christmas store here over the last few years, but rest assured that Olive & Rye is a permanent addition.

Olive & Rye

Joe told us how the idea came about, “It’s stemmed from being too busy at Hepworth’s and not being able to cater for as many people as we’d want to eat there really. We’ve been looking for about a year for another venue for Hepworth’s, maybe in the outskirts around Headingley, you know thinking about expanding and branching out a bit. But nothing’s really come up. The old Pickles and Potter’s unit has always been on our radar really ever since we opened Hepworth’s in Thornton’s really. We’ve always had a good relationship with the agents in there because we do the pop-up every Christmas.”

Olive & Rye, despite the new name, is not too much of a departure from what Hepworth’s Deli has offered for the past half decade, but it means they now have the ability to do it on a bigger and better scale. That includes offering their hampers and a range of local and continental produce, from chutneys to meats, cheeses and cakes, all year round. The latter is something they wanted to do at the original Hepworth’s unit, but never accomplished.

Olive & Rye

“We’re doing exactly the same build your own hamper kind of stuff,” Hepworth told us. “There’s loads of Yorkshire produce, loads of continental stuff from Spain and things, then we’ve got cheese making kits where you can literally make your own cheese. There’s home meat curing kits, and we’ve even got an escargot snail growing kit where you can grow your own escargot. There’s loads of weird and wonderful stuff that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, it’s not in the supermarkets. Everyone can buy groceries and stuff from the supermarkets, chutneys and stuff like that, but 90% of the things we sell in the retail store you won’t be able to find in a Waitrose or a Sainsbury’s.”

That being said, you’ll be pleased to know that Olive & Rye home features a 44-48 cover cafe, which will help to cater for the 30-40 people the smaller venue has to turn away during its busiest periods. It takes much of its inspiration from what Hepworth’s has already been doing, but obviously makes the most of the space given, with one side home to the takeaway products and the other to the sit down dining.

Of course, there’s a sandwich offering, perfect for lunch on the go if you don’t have time to stay in. There are around 5 choices, subject to change on a regular basis, with one in particular that Joe is looking forward to presenting, “There’s a Yorkshire wagyu beef with a chilli jam from York and rocket. We like using local people, so we found this wagyu provider in York that are doing their own kind of thing. We already sell Yorkshire chilli jam in the shop anyway, which will be used in the sandwiches and again transferring the retail stock into the food we sell.”

Olive & Rye

There’s a brunch menu of nine or ten items, from granola to patisserie baskets and a full English with a twist, swapping out bacon for belly pork with homemade chorizo baked beans. Come lunchtime you can try their potted jars, featuring dishes like potted ham, chicken liver parfait and potted salmon, all of which are served in kilner jars on wooden boards. Or there’s the small plates, which Hepworth describes as one being more ‘substantial’ than the tapas-style small plates others are doing, featuring the likes of flamed mackerel with beetroot and black bean dressing, pressed pork terrine and soft shell crab with wasabi mayo and Thai salad.

As well as the tried and tested favourites, they’ve been thinking about how they can offer something different to what they’ve done before, taking inspiration from Joe’s experience as an accomplished chef. They’re already preparing to open up during the evenings with a pop-up restaurant from sometime in December, it’s something that will be made even more popular considering Olive & Rye has been given an alcohol license.

Olive & Rye

He told us what to expect, “We’re going to do pop-ups and stuff, so we’re going to do early evenings on Fridays and Saturdays. People can come in and have an early evening lunch kind of thing before they go out, but we’ll have an alcohol licence as well. All our wine is going to be from Latitude in Leeds who we already use and I think the beers will change intermittently too. So instead of having just the same half a dozen offerings we’re going to try and source something new every other week or something, and they’ll be available to buy in the deli store for off-sales as well. It’s a step up a level from Hepworth’s.”

It’s a real boost for Leeds’ food and drink scene to see a long time favourite expanding, and we’re excited to see what else they have lined up for us. If Hepworth’s is anything to go by, Olive & Rye will soon be a popular spot, come morning, noon and night – but as always, check it out for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.

Olive & Rye, 18-20 Queen’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.