Situated in the middle of St Martin’s Square is an authentic little corner of Italy in the shape of Just So Italian.
Since opening their Leicester deli and coffee shop they’ve been a big hit and the owners have really built on the success of their Market Harborough store. Having been closed throughout most of lockdown they’re now open with extended hours and a brand new Spritz menu too! We caught up with owner, Danilo, to find out more about what makes them so special.
How would you describe Just So Italian for someone who’s never been?
We are a small piece of Italy in Leicester. If you want the authentic Italian experience you come here. We import all of our products from Italy so everything is authentic, right down to the way we make our coffee.
What did you miss most during lockdown?
Definitely the vibe in the Square. We love our customers and we have such a wonderful mix of people come to visit us, so really it was just the vibe of the people.
What are some of your standout dishes and deli items?
We have thousands of deli items so that would be a very long list but in terms of our dishes we have become known for our focaccia and also our arancini. We offer platters that are also very popular for sharing or for after work. In the deli I’d say our mix of cheese, as well as special items like our Sicilian marmalade stand out for us. Plus, of course, our coffee. We supply coffee nationwide and are very passionate about it.
You now also offer a range of Spritz drinks, tell us more about that?
Yes, before we reopened we revamped the shop a little to feature outdoor seating as well as a cosier atmosphere inside. We also now open until 8pm on Friday and Saturday so we launched the Spritz menu to welcome in the after work groups and to offer a nice relaxed alternative to your meal or drinks out. We have a big selection of Spritz, not just Aperol. Whether you want a Campari Spritz, a Limoncello Spritz, a Negroni, a chilled glass of Italian wine, or just an iced coffee, we have a fantastic selection. Our spritzes and chilled drinks go very well with our platters too.
Where does your inspiration for the deli come from?
We are chefs by trade and started 25 years ago catering for weddings. Our inspiration probably came from when we opened our Market Harborough shop. As chefs we love to speak to customers and to hear their thoughts. We found when we opened the shop we got such great feedback and it inspired us to move on and to open in Leicester.
What do you enjoy most about your location in St Martin’s Square?
There’s a brilliant vibe when it’s busy. The landlords have created a lovely community from Crafty to Giggling Squid to Pai to The Bottle Garden. We aren’t competing with each other but we complement each other. There’s a bit of something for everyone here.
What’s your best selling item in store?
I’d say our focaccia, but also our homemade Italian sausage rolls which are made with spicy sausage and Italian cheese.
Where can people find out more about you?
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