It has been a monumental year for haggis toastie business Deeney’s.
In 2017 the East London business was rated one of London’s Best Sandwiches by Time Out, they sold their first franchise to Tokyo and four weeks ago proprietors Carol Deeney, 30, and Paddy Dwyer, 32, tied the knot in Aberdeen.
The couple met through mutual friends at a music festival in Berlin. He worked in digital marketing and she worked in advertising but, having grown up working in her mum Diana’s café, Carol longed for the bustle of the food industry.
"Simple, tasty & fresh. Like a highland breeze wafting up your kilt"
She said: “Street food was a great way to get into the London food scene and low-risk. My friend was selling venison burgers from a market stall, so I helped her out to get a feel for things.
“I wanted to do something with meat and cheese and bread – slightly decadent but hearty and filing. And it made sense to go down the Scottish route – I’m proud of my Scottish roots. We did some research and the Macbeth (a haggis and cheese toastie) was born.
“At the beginning Paddy still worked in marketing but helped me at the weekend – he worked seven days a week.”
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Their first dabble at street food was at a market in St John’s Church gardens in September 2012 and it was riddled with hiccups – from having to rent a generator last minute because there was no power to dropping all the caramelized onions.
“I was quite sceptical about whether people would try haggis and at the beginning we had other things on the menu like chicken and salt beef, but haggis became the best seller and we became known for it”, added Carol.
“At the markets people are looking for something different – they want to try something new, to tell their friends and Instagram it. For Scots it brings about a lovely nostalgic feeling.”
Now the haggis toastie has a cult following. As well as running market stalls in Broadway Market on Saturdays and Chatsworth Road on Sundays, Deeney’s launched a café in Leyton two years ago. Deeney’s buy the haggis from McSweens in Edinburgh and they get through over 60 kilos a week.
This summer a couple from Japan visited their stall in Broadway Market and loved the sandwich so much they decided to launch a Deeney’s franchise in Tokyo. Beef export rules mean they can’t import haggis from the UK but they’re making their own instead (there’s a small amount of beef fat in haggis). They launched their first stall in September and have had extensive media coverage.
Haggis is made of lamb heart and liver with oatmeal and spices, Deeney’s also serves a vegetarian alternative made of vegetables, seeds, pulses and oatmeal and a range of hearty soups.
Their website describes their food as "Simple, tasty & fresh. Like a highland breeze wafting up your kilt". For more info visit
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