Place Making and the Sheffield Food Connection

What is ‘Place Making’ and why should it matter? Place making is all about turning spaces into places people feel proud of and part of every day.  It involves collaboration and opening decision making up to new ideas, working together to make these ideas a reality.  This is why the teams at Business Sheffield don’t only work with businesses as individuals, they also work with businesses as an essential part of the neighbourhoods that make up the distinctive places around the city. 

A TV chef once told one of our advisors there was no such thing as a ‘Yorkshire Fishcake’ but in chippies all over Sheffield they crisply batter fish sandwiched between two slices of potato. Sheffield is also the birthplace of Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts and, of course, Henderson’s Relish.  The city is home to some of the North’s most talented brewers (including Abbeydale, Kelham Island and The Sheffield Brewery Company) and Sheffield Distillery’s award-winning Assay collection of gins and vodkas.  

Each year brings new Sheffield surprises to the list of Great Taste Award winners - 2021 included wins for the Russian Food Company, the Sheffield Honey Co and Smith Street Coffee Roasters.  Local artisan markets and delis sell surprising local produce such as Fula Flavour African sauces, Mak Tok’s Malaysian pastes, sambals and sauces, Sheffield Dragon chili sauces and Sheffield even has a genuine chorizo - Casa Gomez. 

As a wise Italian once wrote “man does not live by bread alone; he must eat something with it” and making that ‘something’ is an art which is practiced widely across the city of Sheffield.  If you know where to look, you can nearly eat your way around the world.  Not only will you be surprised by the quality, but it also won’t break the bank! 

Some of the best (and authentic) food in the city is served in cafes and restaurants that are designed to serve their own community.  The portions are substantial and the costs low. Many of these establishments do not serve alcohol, but you might find freshly squeezed orange juice or cardamon and cinnamon spiced tea instead! 

While language and faith are essential items in each individual culture’s toolbox, perhaps nothing provides more of a sense of identity than food.  The seasoning and herbs used in cooking across the city produces dishes that will surprise you on so many levels.  Try a ‘samosa’ from a Somali café and see what we mean. It may look familiar on the outside but the filling…

Sheffield’s high streets and back streets showcase their diversity through corner shops and supermarkets, bakeries, shisha bars and coffee shops, takeaways and restaurants.  Together they help all the people of Sheffield to reproduce the foods that remind them of home and family – from Sunday dinner like your granny used to make in a pub in Neepsend, to traditional chais on Ecclesall Road and handmade baklava in Spital Hill.

The food offer in our neighbourhoods can really drive footfall and other businesses benefit from that.  Sheffield’s neighbourhoods are home to a wealth of independent food spaces to chill, delis to delight, zero waste shops to reduce plastic, market traders providing street food, food halls tapping into local breweries and distilleries and restaurants worth crossing the city for (and making a great weekend break too!). 

So when you find a hidden gem in Sheffield, tell the world! If you pick up something tasty and local at a market, get their card and hand it to your local independent shop.  If you visit an area of the city for the first time and eat something the city should know about, Google review it!  If you meet somebody whose cooking is so delicious that they could make a living from it…call Business Sheffield and help them start that journey.