Horsham now has a traditional Eastern European grocery – and it’s very special! Paula’s Bishopric shop is packed to the rafters with a glittering array of truly enticing Polish food and refreshments. And, very conveniently it’s open 7 days a week; from 7.30 to 10pm (10 – 8 on Sundays). Paula arrived in the UK eight years ago; what compelled her to open a Polish grocers? “I just love the variety and flavour of the food! It’s the taste of home and is treasured by those from my part of the world living around Horsham. And I’m very keen to give local people the opportunity to try it, too – it’s proving very popular!” Paula’s partner Zak adds: “Horsham is an historic market town and customers say they really love the unique service and products that we provide – so it’s great to be here!”
What delights are on offer? 30 different types of sausages, a huge variety of delicious cooked meats, dairy products and smoked cheese to die for. Also there are speciality treats like Pierogi (dumplings) and Katarzynki (gingerbread fondants) and an exceptionally wide range of teas. Knowing what you are buying is not a problem because Paula and Zak go out of their way to explain and demonstrate their products, always encouraging customers: “Try some – then you’ll know it’s fresh – that’s why we had a free barbecue in the summer!” And fresh it certainly is: rolls and cakes are made in house daily. Many other items are delivered direct from Poland several times a week while artisan breads and authentic Polish patisseries are produced in Sussex. Every staple food is available in addition to a wide range of biscuits and sweets. There are particularly intriguing items, such as jars of pickled fish and caviar, sauerkraut and gherkins by the score and a village section full of Eastern European pickles, marinated pear, creamy lard delicacies, sauces and – at 39p – numerous herbs. Health products such as Kefir abound and, despite the high quality, prices are remarkably reasonable – and there is currently a 10% discount for those spending more than £10. Many types of juices are on offer, fresh fruit arrives twice a week and even dog food is stocked. Romanian goulash and Czech items have been added to the repertoire and Zak says: “For Christmas we’ll be selling typical Polish festive fare, such as fresh trout and carp. We’re applying for a licence to sell famous Polish beers and vodka, too. We’re delighted to have a lot of repeat customers giving us excellent feedback. And of course we also love welcoming new people – of all nationalities!”
Horsham is very fortunate to have the delicacies at Paula’s. But, be warned – visits are addictive!
Article by Martin Read