Food and drink that Matta’s
Dalip Matta celebrates 30 years in the business
As a city historically, Liverpool isn’t known for its lust for all things health and wellness-oriented, especially food and drink but the climate is changing.
So says, grocery stalwart and award-winning trailblazer Dalip Matta, who along with brother Deepak runs Matta’s in Liverpool’s burgeoning restaurant quarter Bold Street.
“We’ve noticed that Liverpool and its people are taking a much keener interest in health & wellness in all of its forms of late. The spikes amongst wellness food and drink on our website proves that.”
Dalip says it’s been a long road for many operators in Liverpool treading the wellness path “but we at Matta’s had a vision many years ago to bring a more health-aligned range of products and we know that in spite of the large array of our current stock, it is just the beginning.”
“We’ve always thought that the most positive action to take when you have a passion for something that is missing in your home city is to provide it for everyone yourselves. And that’s what we’re doing.
“We’re also bringing more of Matta’s to the outside world taking part in many pop up events rather than just expecting people to visit our shop…actually we never expected lots to visit, just hoped.”
So what exactly are Matta’s doing, albeit in Dalip’s 30th year in the business to bring customers a unique wellness experience when it comes to food shopping in Liverpool?
“We’re getting approaches from really exciting, nascent businesses offering high quality products especially organic and or/vegan products, many of which are perishable goods that lend well to pop-up activity in-store, heightened social media activity and national press coverage. We’re also often giving fledging companies their first start and it’s been great to watch them grow.
“In addition, and especially based where we are in the restaurant quarter, we’ve plenty of famous faces like Nisha Katona shopping with us from the industry as we sell so many basic essentials for cooking…we’ve grown our business buy selling natural ingredients, I guess in referring to wellness, we’re just calling them something different but the range in the market just gets bigger and so does our stock!”
All this has culminated in Dalip putting together plans for a wellness cafe and treatment rooms in substantial space above the shop with work beginning this Spring.
“Along with introducing a loyalty card for the store, it’s a really exciting development for us and there’s much anticipation amongst the city’s wellness community for its opening.”
Matta’s has been a Bold Street stalwart since 1984, but the business can trace its Liverpool roots to 1954 when Dalip’s father Kirpal arrived as a 14- year-old from the Punjab after his own father had died in the war of separation between India and Pakistan.
Dalip’s father got involved in sales and then worked on ice cream vans. It was good money in the summer but they had to borrow money in the winter, so it was a vicious circle.
After marrying Kanta, the couple opened their first corner shop in Toxteth’s Mill Street but sold up and returned to India but Dalip and his brothers and sisters couldn’t settle so they came back and mum and dad opened a store in Granby Street in 1965.
The shop specialised in international foods, stocking Caribbean, West Indian and Chinese foods that reflected the local population.
But the family suffered in the 1981 Toxteth riots and Mr Matta senior was attacked and beaten twice, which resulted in the family leaving Toxteth in 1983.
The Matta’s and their five children – three sons, including the youngest Dalip and two daughters – have built their Bold Street store into a bigger version of the Granby Street business.
They have always been there for the customers. They have asked, ‘can you get this or that’, and they would get certain products in and before you knew it their range is bigger and they are always trying different brands.