Provender Brown Perth Deli

Diane's Story

We may have grown in reputation, size and clout, but great food, fine wine and great friends remain at the heart of Provender Brown.

So much of any deli story is wrapped up in a ‘lifelong passion for great food and drink’ and whilst this is certainly true of my own journey from Chartered Surveyor to Deli Owner, I can’t help but feel that you’ve heard it all before! Girl from rural Fife heads to London, joins the world of property only to meet a boy from just down the road in the East Neuk and eventually heads home to raise a family and follow her dream of opening a gorgeous wee deli in beautiful Perth. It’s all true – I was that girl!

What you may not have heard before though, is why some delis stand the test of time and survive the ups and downs of life as a quality, artisan retailer in this age of instant gratification, fast food and digital technology. We opened in 2005, and although some days it feels like only yesterday, so much has happened in that time that has changed what and how we do things.

We have had to adapt; to evolve from being just a bricks and mortar shop into offering our unique blend of Shop Local, specialist international and artisan food trends as an online service. Our customers now come from all over the UK, stretching from the banks of the River Tay which runs just behind our street, to the villages and towns of rural England, the cities of Wales and the backstreets of Europe. It has been so incredible some days I can barely believe it is my story of my shop!

I say my shop, but of course I have been fortunate to have had an amazing team around me since day one. Martine has been an important part of Provender Brown since it opened, and I’m sure she would tell you a story just like this one if you asked her about her role here in the deli.  If the shop is my baby, then it's her godchild!

For us, the trick has been never to change why we do things. New systems come into play, new producers come along, favourites come and go and people cross over the threshold of our door for any one of a hundred reasons. But if you combine that original love of good food and fine wine with a zeal – some would say obsession! – for delivering a great and truly authentic experience for the people around you, then you can adapt and change without ever losing that youthful enthusiasm for your chosen field.

We now stock over 2000 products in our George Street shop and here on the website, and some of the producers have been with us since the first day we opened the doors. And we have tasted them all – many, a number of times! - in our bid to ensure consistent Provender Brown quality. The entire team loves to experiment, combining old favourites with the latest ingredients in a bid to find that new taste sensation. Did I mention I love my job?!

Something that has never changed therefore, is our commitment to searching out small-scale producers from across the UK and beyond. These people are unreservedly passionate about the food they produce, often using recipes and techniques passed down through their families for generations. These are organisations where the person who takes our telephone order may well have been involved in picking the apples for the fruit juice or tending the bees which produce the honey.

Our mantle as one of Scotland’s leading cheesemongers is one I am proud to carry and our reputation as experts is well-deserved. I'm pretty sure our cheese selection is one of the biggest and best in Scotland.

One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the explosion in craft gin, and we quickly became one of the country’s largest stockists (I've always been a gin girl!).  We now have over 100 different gins and gin liqueurs and yes, I have tasted them all!  It seemed like a natural progression to launch our own gin festival and in 2016 the Wee G & T Festival was launched.  Held annually, we usually host 20-30 gin producers (not in our wee shop, I might clarify!), between them showcasing around 70 different products and it's always a great day!

I didn’t necessarily set out to become one of Perth’s longest-standing independent retailers or the largest online deli in Scotland, but the care and attention that has gone into selecting every product on our shelves, the time and effort that has seen our knowledge grow and flourish, and – if I’m being honest – the mistakes that we have made along the way, have all brought us to this point.

I love Provender Brown, I love the friends we have made along the way, the producers who I now consider to be part of the PB family and everything we have come to mean to the customers who have so loyally remained by our sides. It is as a result of listening to everyone mentioned that has made our wonderful shop what it is today. 

Take some time to browse the shop here online, or drop into the deli the next time you’re in Perth. To keep up to date with our new products, shop news and special offers, why not sign up for the newsletter? We send one a month, two at Christmas, and it turns out, weekly during pandemics. I can promise you we’ll never bombard you because I simply don’t have the time!

Happy shopping,


Provender Brown Online Delicatessen and Cheesemonger Quick Fire Facts

  • We opened in 2005 with cheese, charcuterie, wines and some great quality pantry essentials. Since then we have stocked over 12,000 different products, food gifts, hampers and foodie accessories.

  • We are long-standing members of the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association and both Diane and Martine have studied with these leading industry stalwarts achieving marks of distinction and merit – of course!

  • We have been banging the Buy Local drum since way before it was trendy and proudly stock the area’s widest range of Perthshire produce from local artisans and farmers. If you’re a fan of the farmers market then this is where to come all month round!

  • We partner with specialist distributors and in some cases buy directly from small independent growers to ensure this attention to provenance and quality is maintained with our international ingredients. Diane has documented a recent trip to visit the pepper farm in India and a journey to Port country in Portugal.

  • Diane has been a past judge in the prestigious Good Food Awards, the UK’s most prolific quality assurance scheme and stocks many, many of the producers who have gone on to win this much-sought after seal of approval.

  • We were awarded a silver level Green Business Award in 2017, and work hard to ensure our eco-footprint is as low as is possible. Our takeaway cups and bags are all Vegware, our hamper boxes are now made from recycled cardboard and our commitment to quality means it is our own deli ingredients that go into quiches.

  • We share a street with some of Perth’s best independent retailers and I can’t tell you enough how fantastic it is to sit side-by-side with these hard-working specialists. Come and visit us all!

  • You can buy over 2000 different deli items on this website, and have them delivered to your door within 48 hours. This makes us one of the UKs largest online delicatessens!

  • Our efforts have been recognised at national and local level by various awards and accolades. These include Best Deli Attitude in the UK, Scottish Regional Winner and Top 5 UK Finalist of Deli of the Year and Finalist in the BBC Good Food Magazine Reader Award for Best UK Food Shop.