One O’clock Box
Order from here for: A lunch to keep you firing on all cylinders until dinner.
Avoid: Not checking he delivers in your area before reading the mouth-watering menu.
Is it worth the calories?: Slowly fermented handmade sourdough bread and gourmet fillings – count yourself lucky not calories.
Tips: Currently Callum only delivers to offices on Wednesdays and Thursdays; call him to cater for meetings and events.
I was intrigued by Callum Stanton’s new venture, which involves making bread from scratch every morning. He doesn’t have a shop so he popped over for lunch, which he kindly bought with him. One look at his biceps told me this really was handmade bread; no electric mixer had been switched on during its production. This was quickly verified and we got on to the serious business of his food.
Having pounded the kitchen floors of a few restaurants with a Michelin star or two, Callum has some high calibre experience under his belt. Returning to Guildford from Cornwall last year he felt ready to start his own business. A passion for bread making combined with a perceived gap in the market for quality office lunch deliveries triggered his concept. He now provides artisan sandwiches using his freshly made bread with a small but expertly executed range of fillings.
The small menu reads well and he has trialled his creations with his growing fan base to make sure they like them too. We tried a mortadella, feta, mayonnaise, pesto and rocket sandwich (£2.50). It’s a real treat to bite into a crust that has a little resistance at first and then plunges into a flavourful crumb. The sliced meat and salty feta are soulful partners and combine with pesto and peppery rocket to create a sophisticated taste sensation. The dry-cured bacon and goat’s cheese sandwich with chilli jam was another thoroughly modern mouthful – and one you want to repeat. The addition of salad leaves lends a healthy crunch to the overall texture and a light finish. Fresh thyme sourdough rolls come with a mozzarella, marinated tomato and olive filling for vegetarians or herby chicken, roasted pepper and baby spinach leaves (both £2.50). A winter addition is a chorizo, chickpea and spinach soup (£2.50) you can heat in the office microwave.
Jane and I were very polite and shared a brownie for dessert but we did cut it exactly in half so no-one felt cheated. It was rich, nutty, chewy and dark, just what a classy brownie should be. Other sweet snacks include pistachio and raisin flapjacks and spiced carrot and almond cake (all 80p). These small bites are satisfying but not overwhelming in size as suggested by the price tag.
In my professional life I have been to many meetings where lunch has been dull, uninspiring and poor quality – even when we have been discussing the demise of home cooking skills or the rise in obesity. Callum offers a great alternative to the office lunch circuit – and we know good food brings people together.