When it comes to business names with a great story behind them, there’s one new Sheffield independent who can take the biscuit.
TONCO is the brainchild of former London chef, Flo Hiller and musician Joe Shrewsbury - serving up high quality, seasonal food at a city centre pop up, markets and private functions.
And the name came from a very cool nod to Sheffield’s heritage…
“For a while I was working in a cafe in Nether Edge and there was a little old lady who came in with some old bottles she had found in her cellar”, said Flo.
“One of them had the word TONCO on the side of it - they’d come from an old sarsparilla bar which used to be opposite the Abbeydale Picture House.
“I just loved the name and the fact it was something which had been on sale in Sheffield 100 years ago.”
Flo teamed up with Joe, a friend of her partner, after moving back to her university city of Sheffield and wanting to forge her own path rather than working in restaurants.
She is sharing her culinary expertise with Joe, while he provides the local knowledge.
“I’m just a home cook so I am on a very steep learning curve, which is why I’ve got no fingers left”, he added.
The pair don’t want to pigeonhole their food style, but it aims to be interesting, seasonal and made with high quality ingredients - some foraged like Heeley pickled cherries.
They’d like a restaurant in future, but for now serve dishes such as quince and apple tart, confit and smoked duck with boulangere potatoes, innovative salads and cakes at the Union Street co-working space each Wednesday lunchtime.
Absolutely every element of elaborate sandwiches or rustic lunches - down to the sourdough bread or pita base - is made by the pair.
Flo said: “Seasonal I think is key, also making food uncomplicated, and letting the ingredients speak for themselves. We’re not your typical high street offering.”