Senor Jamon plans a Spanish Conquest

Jamon, jamon at IberiCo from Daniel Pedrosa

IberiCo, that lovely little Spanish deli off Ecclesall Road, is on the move . . .

THE FiRST time I met Daniel, the owner of Spanish deli and tapas bar IberiCo on Hickmott Road, his Northern accent with a slight Sheffield twang led me to think he was a local lad with a liking for that country’s food.

Then when he effortlessly slipped into Spanish to greet an expat customer I thought ” By ‘eck, he’s got the lingo!”

He certainly has. But it’s our lingo. Although he doesn’t fit the stereotype of a Spaniard – he is tall, pale and laid back rather than short, dark and animated – Daniel Marquez Pedrosa is from Cadiz although, as he will tell you, his family comes from Cordoba. The city apparently had an influx of German immigrants a century or so ago.

He’s been in Sheffield since September 2014, arriving under the Erasmus scheme to study English at university. He obviously liked what he saw although South Yorkshire couldn’t be more different to the South of Spain. But he wasn’t so keen on teaching, his job after university, so looked around for something different.

The shop, a combination of grocery, coffee bar and cafe, opened last August Bank Holiday and brought an exotic flavour to the already vibrant mix of places on Hickmott and Sharrowvale Road, the lively area off equally Cosmopolitan Ecclesall Road.

Cheeses and meats at Iberi.co

While it has become a favoured destination for locals lured by the tempting sight of hams, hanging from the hook and on the cradle, it is also a rendezvous for expat Spanish, of whom there seem to be many in Sheffield.

“The Spanish say prices are higher than back home but they would be, wouldn’t they?” he jokes.

Until he speaks his native language you’d never guess he was Spanish although there’s a little clue on the menu with its idiosyncratic spelling of ‘ sandwhiches.’!

IberiCo almost never happened. The shop had been earmarked as a greengrocers but that fell through. Daniel had earlier been interested and got a call from the landlord.

The deli is the heart of the business, stocked with hams, cheeses and boxes and tins and packets of Spanish produce – everything from anchovies to tins of beans and excellent olive oil.

The shelves are full of goodies

It won’t be there much longer. IberiCo is moving . . .but not far. August 13 has been pencilled in for transfer to the former premises of Olive & Joy in Dyson Place.

The larger premises will allow for a wider range of deli items and increase the offer not only from the shelves and counter but on the table.

For Daniel the move into bigger premises so soon wasn’t part of his business plan. “But you have to take your chances when you can. When we first opened this place didn’t look as it does now.”

Daniel, already Senor Jamon to local foodies, has made the little shop a favourite with many as an enoteca or bodega where they can sit down with a plate of meats or cheeses with a bowl of olives, glass of wine and bread from Phil at nearby Perfectionery. Seats are limited although in warmer weather they spread outside.

With more room in Dyson Place there will be tables inside and out. “There will be much more food. We will have a young Spanish chef and she has written a very good menu. It’s going to add a lot to Dyson Place,” he says.

Expect the transition to take a few weeks before it gets fully into gear. There will still be those plates of meats and cheeses plus a menu for more casual dining.

And as IberiCo moves out another food business moves in, upmarket patisserie Gilt from Abbeydale Road.

Looking romantic: IberiCo

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