Inside Dorset’s amazing Polish supermarket where the deli counter ‘never ends’


Dorset is full of outstanding restaurants and shops and during a story this week I came across one of them. Food Plus in Boscombe is a local Polish supermarket leading Ukraine aid drives in the town of Bournemouth. Not only that, they have one of the most impressive stores I have ever seen.

Dorset relief efforts to help those in Ukraine have been well reported over the past month. He saw different members of the community come together to provide aid to those who have been displaced by the ongoing conflict as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.

From charity start-ups to local shops as far west as Bridport and east Dorset in Bournemouth, communities across the county have come together. This is particularly the case with Food Plus. Opened shortly before the pandemic, the store is owned by Daniel Maksymilian Sulimierski who is in close contact with Karol Swiacki, the main organizer behind the UK’s biggest relief effort Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine. The supermarket played a huge role in the relief efforts, becoming one of the first places to open as a donation point.

Read more: Dorchester’s first-ever zero-waste store opens – with tons of local produce

But alongside his aid in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, he has set up two successful Polish supermarkets in Boscombe where he sells fresh, Polish and Eastern European produce. Its sister supermarket known as Polish Market is directly opposite Food Plus on Christchurch Road, Boscombe.

Eager to learn more about the man behind the store who has been offering his help with relief efforts for Ukraine, I went to Food Plus to check out the store and speak to owner Daniel about his store. I talk to Daniel about the products he sells in his supermarket, the difference between Polish stores and other stores in the UK, and how he attracts shoppers from all communities.

Why did he choose Bournemouth?

Daniel is a well-travelled man who has lived in various towns across the UK, but it seems there is something about Bournemouth that has kept him from leaving. “I came to England in February 2004 to London where I did a lot of work,” he says. “I was a builder, laborer, carpenter and did sales in a construction company. I also ventured into a recruitment agency. Because of that, I ended up living in so many places in UK.”

Having ventured to cities in the North, including Nottingham, he admits he much prefers the warmer climate of the South. “The weather is better than up North and it almost feels like you’re not living in the UK,” Daniel said. “If I had to choose any place in the UK to live it would be Bournemouth. I’m a kitesurfer and love the sea so I’ve always wanted to live somewhere near the waters.”

In 2015 he arrived in Bournemouth and four years later, months before the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel decided to take over the former Polish delicatessen which has now turned into Food Plus. Despite the difficulties faced by many other businesses during the pandemic, the Food Plus boss admits it has helped the supermarket.

He explained: “For us the pandemic has helped as we started to see more people shopping with us as we had stock of items that other supermarkets couldn’t get. The majority of my customers are Polish, but it was during this time that I noticed more people from other cultural backgrounds using our shop.”

Links with the Polish community

Food Plus is closely involved with the Polish community by being one of the main sponsors of all Poland-related events, which he says helps him give back to the community. “I work closely with the Dorset Polish Center where I am always the main sponsor of their events. It feels natural to be part of them because I want to give something back to the community that supports me.”

However, like many, Daniel also felt compelled to help the millions of displaced people in Ukraine. He decided to open Food Plus as a donation point which he says “overflowed in two days” after receiving countless donations from the community.

“My staff couldn’t restock the shelves because our storage space was taken up with all the donations for Ukraine,” he said. Feeling compelled to come to their aid, Daniel said he “felt I had to help them”.

It stems from his childhood and his life in his hometown of Wlodawa which borders the border between Ukraine and Belarus. It was during the summer when he regularly visited Ukraine and enjoyed the Ukrainian countryside.

“I always visited Ukraine in the summer. At the time, they were setting up temporary border crossings that allowed Poles to enter and visit the country,” he said. It was these good memories of the country that prompted Daniel to offer his help for Ukraine.

Daniel Sulimierski, owner of Food Plus in Boscombe

Shopping experience in a Polish supermarket

In order to get a sense of Daniel’s passion for selling and supplying fresh Polish produce to the local Polish community, I decided to have a shop around Food Plus for me and see all the different products on offer . Although I’ve ventured to other Polish and Eastern European stores in the past, I don’t think I’ve seen one as great as this.

When I walked into the store, there were heaps and stacked boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, with not a single piece of plastic in sight either. Further inside there were rows and rows of neatly stacked produce, but also two decent sized counters – one selling beautiful cakes and the other featuring an overwhelming array of different meats and cheeses.

The wide range of different varieties of sausages
The wide range of different varieties of sausages

“The deli counter is something I would say is different in Polish supermarkets compared to the ones you find in the UK,” Daniel said. “It’s something you can’t find in other stores. We have five deliveries a week of fresh meat ranging from Polish sausages, hams and lots of poultry.” And it’s fair to say that the meat was certainly fresh.

Abundance seems to be a recurring theme in this supermarket as it was the first time I had seen so many varieties of ketchup. From 99p sauces to those costing £2.69, this looked like the perfect shelf for any ketchup lover.

I was impressed with the corn snack stock in the store. This is an item I never really see in other grocery stores, but I did notice some rainbow colored corn puffs that looked fun and good enough to be sold at a carnival. And for 69p, I thought they were quite the steal.

These fun rainbow corn snacks were just 69p
These fun rainbow corn snacks were just 69p

This might have been my first time to this store, but it’s fair to say that it won’t be the last time either.


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