We’ve seen some fantastic food businesses launch over lockdown and Dig In is the newest venture from Nico, who’s usually more at home at a club night or cocktail bar.
Yes, Nico is the man behind the hugely popular Beastwang events and the recently opened (before lockdown) Sophy bar on King Street. With Covid devastating the nightlife industry he has now turned to his other passion, food. Dig In is a gourmet condiment delivery service and we caught up with him to find out more.
You’ve just launched a new brand, Dig In, tell us a little more about it and what inspired the idea?
Dig In is a gourmet condiment delivery service to elevate your dishes. Every week the condiment changes and we make sure you get your bang for your buck by adding a variety of products to use throughout the week or longer!
So, for example, the first creation is a roasted chicken (or veg) infused katsu curry sauce which is enough for four servings. Alongside that we also include a katsu spice mix and a katsu mayo.
You order between Sunday and Thursday, we make fresh on the Friday and then we deliver to anywhere in Leicestershire on the Saturday.
We really take the time to make sure it’s not something you can not just buy from a store off the shelf and it’s of super high quality. Otherwise what’s the point? Also I wanted to make the dishes my own by perfecting recipes and trying different things. It’s important to be different!
In terms of inspiration, I think it comes from wanting everyone to eat well. Extending that further than me cooking for my friends and family. When someone finishes their day at work, I want them to be easily inspired to make something rather than think it’s a huge chore to create a great tasting meal.
For years people have been telling me to open up a food spot, followers replying to my food on my stories and I think this model can be scaled up to followers further a field out of Leicester at some point, which I’m already having conversations about. There’s lots to crack on with!
What flavours can people look forward to over the coming weeks?
Following the katsu in no specific order you can expect Jerk’n’Lime, Bacon Jam, Red Indian buttery dipping sauce, buffalo and blue cheese and crispy chilli teriyaki.
What sets you apart from other foodie businesses?
I put my name to everything I do which puts pressure on me to produce high quality items and to be consistent. It’s such a competitive market which is why I’ve gone down the route of condiments over making full on dishes. It can be pricey ordering from the likes of Deliveroo all the time too. With DigIn you can feed your family, or yourself multiple times at a fraction of the cost whilst not sacrificing on eating amazing food.
Your background is in events and hospitality, as the man behind Beastwang and Sophy, how can you begin to sum up how the last year has been?
I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough. We were probably at the best position we’ve ever been in with Beastwang selling out the O2 consecutively just before lockdown and then opening Sophy. We weretrading for four weeks and then this happened. It really knocked me off my feet as I was so excited for the next stage of growth. I’m seeing all of this as just another challenge and character building.
Have you ever considered working in the food industry before?
Many times and I always thought it would happen when I retire to open up a restaurant or something, even though that would be a long time away (I’m 30 now). It’s great to go down this avenue early and in this area of the food industry. I’m almost seeing it as a apprentice challenge where you have to go brand a product up and take it to market etc. I thrive in that kind of mindset
Who are some of your other favourite local food independents?
So many to choose from. Leicester really is a great place for food and when I book big music acts to play at Beastwang when they land in the city the first place I try to book is Crafty. This place really set the standard for independent foodie places in Leicester in my opinion. From the food, staff and the owners I love everything about it. Honorable mentions should also include Paddy’s Marten Inn, Grizzlers, Wakaze, Instanbul, Winstanley House and of course John’s House is just another level. Can you tell I like food?
Have you started planning post-lockdown activity with Sophy or Beastwang yet?
I mean going by the past year I’m reluctant to spend any time whatsoever planning too far in advance. Hospitality, and especially nightlife, are unfortunately at the bottom of the list. I don’t want to get hung up on the government’s ever changing decisions as it really does effect your time, mental health and finances. When we get the green light pretty much that’s when we’ll go full steam ahead and get back to doing what we love.
Of all the sauces you have coming up, which is your favourite?
That’s such a hard question. They all bang so much, if they didn’t I wouldn’t be selling them! The one that did take me by surprise is the bacon jam as it doesn’t look super appealing on pictures but it’s so moreish and you can whack it on anything. I made a grilled cheese sandwich for the first time with the bacon jam and the balance of savoury and sweet was just another level of goodness. I was meant to save some for photos and ended up going through it and before I knew it, it was gone. Whoops.
Where can people find out more?
So pre-orders are available now for the katsu sauce, mayo and spice rub on www.digin.uk – the first delivery drop is Saturday 27th February
It has all the frequently asked questions on the website but if you need to ask me anything the Dig In hotline number is 07983569699 (WhatsApp only) or DM on the Dig In Instagram @dig.in.leicester.
If you want to follow any of my other projects on Instagram you can find them at:
@beastwanguk (the rave)
@wangrecords (the record label)
@lovesophyxx (the cocktail bar)
@yumnablack (the business partner)