‘A sandwich shop with a difference’ is how Wyken sandwich shop Scoffs describes itself, so my obvious first question to owner Steve when I met him earlier this month was “how is it different?”
“It’s our griddle and prep meals” says Steve. Of course we do all the usual things that you’d expect – breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, filled baked potatoes – but the griddles are what set us apart.
“You create your meal in four steps” he continued. “First you choose your protein – that’s your chicken, turkey, fish, steak, halloumi or quorn. Second, you choose how you want us to flavour it – anything from spicy cajun to BBQ to lemon and herbs. Then it’s your carbs (if you want carbs), and finally it’s your side – that’s your vegetables or your salad.”
So you can tailor your meal to your individual requirements? “Exactly” says Steve. “It’s up to you. You build your meal. You choose something from each of those four steps and you walk away with a meal. And because each step has lots of alternatives, it builds up to a huge matrix of possibilities. You can come here every day for a month and have a different meal….all for roughly only a fiver”
And when it comes to taking your meal home, there are also options. “We do two versions” says Steve. “We have something called a Nutri-box, which is a cold version. We put the food in airtight boxes, you can keep them in the fridge for up to three days and microwave them when you’re ready (some people know these as prep meals). Or we do the griddles, which is hot, ready to go. We can turn them around in five-to-six minutes.”
Additionally, Scoff’s range of baked potato fillings, which include things such as chilli con carne, chicken chasseur and even healthy/ clean chicken or vegetable curry, can be served with potatoes or rice (hot and ready to eat) or even in a Nutri-box prep meal that you can heat through and eat later on. “We try to cover all the angles” says Steve. “It’s all home cooked using top quality ingredients, and it’s perfect if you’re going to work. Pick it up on your way in and pop it in the microwave later.”
So how did Steve come up with this idea? “I used to work as a personal trainer” he explains “which meant a lot of focus on nutrition. I started to look at things like prep meals, but there was no one out there, that I could find, where you could buy that kind of food hot and ready to eat there and then. I saw it as an opportunity.”
He also saw opportunity in Wyken. “It’s a nice area” he says. “Plus, it’s close to the hospital. And as well as that, we are the closest outlet of this type to Walsgrave Triangle, where you’ve got hotels, businesses and factories as well as the housing.
“My logic was to catch that market, but we’re finding that the market is as much about eating our food at home as it is at work. We have lots of regular customers from all over the city because we are different, because our quality is so good, our pricing is sensible and our food is clean.”
An example of the care Scoffs takes to ensure its food stays healthy is that it doesn’t use oil in any of its food prep. “We cook our bacon and sausages in the oven” says Steve “and if you want us to, we trim off the fat as the bacon goes into your sandwich. Another thing I’m really proud of” he added “is our pork. It’s great quality. We use leg, not shoulder, we don’t do pulled pork. and we take three time to trim all the fat from it when we come to slicing it…. (we also trim all our steak and chicken, so you’ll never get a mouthful of chewy meat regardless of what you choose to go for)”
And if indulgence is more your thing, Scoffs has something for you too: an array of to-die-for home made cakes which, on the day I visited, included chocolate orange cheesecake. “It’s full of surprises” says Steve. “You’ll find orange Matchmakers, orange Aero and orange Smarties crushed up in the cream cheese for you to find as you bite through.”
‘Little place, big taste’ is another way Scoffs describes itself, and its great range of options certainly bears that out. If you don’t live locally to Wyken, Scoffs can deliver for free (see website for charges if it’s only a small order). They’re also available for catering events, specialising in corporate lunches and party platters AND they offer a 10% discount to all police, fire, ambulance and NHS staff at all times because as Steve says “its good to give them something back”. He and his fantastic team cannot wait to see you all.