If you enjoy food and wine then make a trip to Cuculo on Heathfield High Street – there has been a food business here since 1982!
There are over 100 cheeses, a fabulous selection of cured meats, an expert wine portfolio, mouth-watering chocolates – loose and boxed – shelves groaning with ingredients, treats and rarities, all backed up with friendly, knowledgable service; and seating, too, for you to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine.
Local and national delivery is available. Simply put, Cuculo is the best independent, specialist food and wine shop in the South East.
Cinzia Long is a whirlwind. She was born in Piemonte, NW Italy, and spent all of her life until her mid-20’s living in the picture postcard Alpine ski resort village of Valtournenche, Valle d’Aosta – just down the valley from Cervino (the Italian name for the Matterhorn).
Being a mountain girl, she loves cows and mushrooms, though not necessarily in that order.
That’s just James teasing – she also loves skiing (she is a former ski racer), walking (she worked as a walking tour guide), nature (she is a doctor in Forestry and Environmental Science from the University of Torino) and fun.
It is Cinzia’s vision, drive and quest for perfection that have shaped Cuculo, and its reputation, to be the quality business it is today. Cinzia runs a regular “Italian evening” on the first Thursday of each month at Cuculo. It is conducted entirely in Italian, and is open to anybody from absolute beginners to experts – the minimum requirements are enthusiasm and knowing how to gesticulate.
James grew up in Guildford then Royal Tunbridge Wells, and later lived in Bristol, Liguria, Tuscany and East Sussex. The time spent in Italy was firstly as an English teacher, then pretending to be a writer (still pretending) and latterly as a walking tour guide in the Italian countryside.
At 26 James taught himself Italian to fluency. He worked as a walking and cycling guide in Italy, which reflects three of his passions in one go. He loves eating and drinking, that’s really why he started the food and wine company which has evolved to become the joint venture that is Cuculo Deli. He played rugby for Heathfield and Waldron RFC, skis, walks and cycles whenever he can, and is an unapologetic Italophile.
Cinzia and James were married in 2009, they bought Heathfield Deli, as it was, in 2010, and Carlo arrived in early 2012.
Carlo likes everything. Especially a Community Oven pizza on Friday night.
Carolyn takes first place. She has worked at Cuculo, in its various incarnations, for well over 30 years, and shows no sign of slowing down. She handles everything thrown at her with aplomb, and at at the same time looks after a conveyor belt of children and grandchildren. Carolyn is our in-house baker and sous-chef.
She loves food in all its forms, and visits Italy and France at least once a year.
Growing up in Croydon, Kareena found rural Heathfield a little on the quiet side when the family first moved here. Kareena is currently reading English Literature at Chichester University and works outside term term.
Jackie is Mum to James, Mother-in-Law to Cinzia, Grandmother to Carlo, and loves working in the shop. She especially enjoys the products and the time with customers. Jackie also doubles as our book-keeper, so she can’t say she’s not kept busy enough!