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Our Story

A Kitchen. A Shop. A Deli. A Life.

We first opened Finns of Chelsea in the spring of 1985 as one of London’s first delicatessens. This was a time when ready-made food was simply unheard of, and if you wanted delicious, freshly prepared food you had to either go to a restaurant or cook from scratch yourself.


Modelled on my many visits to the delis of New York and the traiteurs of Paris, I understood the importance of celebrating seasonal ingredients and using a combination of both traditional and modern cooking methods to make truly delicious home-cooked dishes you would be proud to call your own.

Today, we still independently trade out of our small shop on Chelsea Green, and continue to prepare all dishes in the same kitchen behind the shop. Our Finns favourites are interspersed with seasonal dishes, and our team of experienced chefs are always thinking of new ways to create classic dishes for the modern table.

I still enjoy darting between the shop and kitchen, seeing the familiar faces of regular customers who have become life-long supporters and friends of Finns throughout all the changing scenes of life.

As the business has evolved, we have introduced catering for at-home events as well as small corporate lunches. Our gift and homeware collection consists of a carefully curated selection of the fruits of my travels, both near and far. My love of jewelled colours and quality craftsmanship is evident in the eclectic and everchanging range, many available to purchase online and in-store.

The addition of catering and gifts has made Finns a constant place of reassurance and comfort for individuals and families throughout their lives; an emergency shepherd’s pie for new parents, the canapés for your daughter’s engagement party, or a chat with us whilst we make your morning coffee.

Whether you’re a local, neighbour, passer-by or out-of-town visitor, we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Portrait of Julia Bannister

Passage from 'Finns: 27 Years on Chelsea Green'

“Finns is situated on Elystan Street, the shortest side of a triangle that is known as Chelsea Green. Small dogs stretch their legs on the green grass, bicycles lean against the iron railings, slatted wooden benches support passers-by, and a cherry blossom stands showering residents, poets, pensioners and picnickers with its fragrant pink flowers."

Julia's signature
Finns of Chelsea shop front in 1985

Finns, 1985

Food for thought...

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