Bezela Foodstore – a free range haven

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 25th November 2010

Melbourne has its first fully free-range deli, with the opening of Bezela Foodstore in Carlton.

The deli, run by locals Jessica Sissons and Tim Merrett, will stock exclusively free-range produce, with a full spread of cruelty-free deli products.

“Unless the animals used for meat and egg production have been raised in a paddock, as they should be, the smallgoods and the meat used in the take-home meals do not make it into the store,” Sissons said.

Stocking products from Barossa Fine Foods and the Piper St Food Company, Bezela’s range includes traditional smallgoods such as salami, ham, bacon, roast turkey, smoked chicken and twiggy sticks, as well as more exotic produce such as kangaroo salami, wagyū beef, stock, pate and pork rillettes. In addition to meat, Bezela stocks a full range of antipasto, cheeses, artisan ingredients and of course, free-range eggs.

Bezela also offers home-made meals for time-poor inner-city dwellers, made using free-range produce and fresh vegetables sourced from Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, and plans to add free-range fresh meat to the deli’s offerings.

“I’ve worked in delis for eight years, and there really seemed to be a demand for free-range that wasn’t being met,” said Sissons. “I realised there’s a huge market for this.”

For Merrett, a wine and food aficionado, humane meat production is cemented by the taste.

“You can’t get any better than pasture raised meat,” he said.