The award winning Good Food and Wine Company has already gained a devoted following since opening its doors just over one year ago.
Located within Belfast’s prestigious Queen’s Arcade, the two floor dining experience boasts a Food Hall, Teahouse and Brewbar – reminiscent of Belfast’s very own slice of Harrods!
Passionate about supporting local
With a focus on supporting Northern Ireland’s artisan producers, it’s clear husband and wife duo Michelle and Nicholas Lestas began their business based on their passion for supporting local businesses. Originally from Cyprus, Nick, moved to Northern Ireland 26 years ago, where his passion for food began:
“The Good Food & Wine Company was born after my wife Michelle and I started working with a lot of small businesses. We realised you couldn’t get Northern Irish products overseas. So whilst people were raving about how fantastic our local products were, they weren’t actually selling outside of Northern Ireland!”
“So we started working together with small businesses to help them become a bit more commercialised. Our first customer was a Swedish distributor who wanted a mixed selection of Northern Irish product…
“Now we’ve got our very own product in Harrods and sell over a thousand hampers per year!”
Award winning combo
With an incredible accolade of awards already to their name, such as 22 Great Taste Awards and numerous Irish Quality Food Awards (including 8 for their very own products!); the company are also finalists in three categories for the Belfast Business Awards!
They include Best Cafe/Eatery, Best Independent Retailer and Best New Business.
Authentic freshly made food
The Food Hall contains an amazing selection of locally sourced goods, all available to buy, or you can sit in and enjoy an authentic freshly cooked meal or enjoy a delicious takeaway lunch. Michelle explained:
“We work with over 45 artisan producers and have a local provenance story for all of our products. All of our apple juices come from Armagh; our hams come from a farm in Ballymena which are smoked and cured in Coleraine; whilst our breads are made in Magherafelt! We’re just as passionate about our teas and coffees, which are of course locally blended and roasted.”
The Game Of Thrones cast are huge fans
The company sold over 1200 hampers of local award winning artisan food around the world last year – including all the Christmas Hampers for SSE Arena for the last two years, and all the hampers for Game of Thrones cast and crew for two years running!
In fact, Kit Harrington has popped in and made a few purchases himself. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled next time the cast is in town…
Speaking about their decision to base themselves in one of the city centre’s most famous locations,Michelle told us:
“We went for the Queen’s Arcade because we believe it gives off that old-Belfast feel. It also means we can have our delicious tasters out in front of the shop all year long. Come rain or hail our friendly waiters will be on hand with delicious samples!”
With an emphasis on the dining experience as opposed to rushing take-out food and coffee, Nick’s passion for his produce & customer care is clear:
“We’re going from strength to strength and we’re so pleased to have such a loyal repeat clientèle. We’ve got people coming here every day for their lunch because they enjoy the experience. It’s not fast food, it’s not like cafes – we’re an eatery.”
Michelle added:”We’re not expensive – but we are a very high quality eatery. When we do an egg & bacon brioche bap it’s all local produce, all hand-cooked freshly prepared. It doesn’t just get given to you at the till, it has to be made.”
Value for money
If you often find yourself shelling out twice the price for local goods, you’ll be pleased to learn that The Good Food & Wine Company has consciously kept their prices down to ensure customer satisfaction whilst ensuring the optimum local produce. Nick explained:
“We’re just as passionate about our food as we are about our coffee. But we don’t want people to feel that it’s expensive.
“So for example, we do a ‘Build Your Own Afternoon Tea’ where you can spend as much or as little as you like. Each item is just £2.50, including our six freshly made sandwiches, trio of mini cakes, large traybake & homemade shortbread with freshly ground locally sourced coffee or locally blended pot of loose tea.”
Time for conversation
“It means you can have an enjoyable afternoon with your friends, where you only have to spend a tenner yet get to share good quality, fresh, local food – and people really appreciate it.
“You get a decent meal here. It’s about coming in, relaxing and enjoying the experience! It’s about personal. individual attention, or as I like to call it – old retailing. It’s going back to actually having time for people – and enjoying conversation.”
Find out more about The Good Food & Wine Company by going to their official site at thegoodfoodandwinecompany.co.uk. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates and seriously mouth-watering foodie pics.