Imitation, supposedly, is the sincerest form of flattery. But the team at Monty’s Deli could be forgiven for feeling less than flattered after noticing eyebrow-raising similarities between the branding at their Hoxton Street restaurant and one of Jamie Oliver’s ventures at Gatwick airport.
Jamie Oliver’s Deli is the grab-and-go counter at Jamie Oliver’s Diner, which opened in the Gatwick’s south terminal in August 2017 — three months after Monty’s Deli opened on Hoxton Street. On Friday the journalist Eva Wiseman (whose partner is Monty’s Deli’s founder, Mark Ogus) tweeted a side-eyes emoji, followed by a picture of the two businesses’ branding side-by-side.
Monty’s, which is celebrating its first birthday as a bricks-and-mortar outfit this week, started life selling bagels and salt-beef under the arches on Druid Street in Bermondsey, before successfully crowdfunding for its permanent site — earlier this year it also launched a Spitalfields market offshoot.
The restaurant’s signature stencil-style font, which has been in use since the stall first opened in 2012, appears throughout its premises, as well as on its website and menus. The similarities between it and the branding used for Jamie Oliver’s Deli are especially noticeable in the signage showing the types of bagels for sale at Hoxton Street.
When asked whether he had any view on the similarities, Ogus said to Eater: “The image speaks for itself, doesn’t it!”
I designed the Monty’s logo about six years ago using scissors and some red card. Everyone knows that I started it as a tiny market stall and its reputation grew naturally from that. Since those days we’ve had all of Jamie Oliver’s people pass through our doors in Bermondsey and in Hoxton and tweet/IG about how much they loved it.
We didn’t know they loved it that much...
Monty’s Deli’s official Twitter account followed up Wiseman’s tweet with its own response to the perceived similarities, saying “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? pic.twitter.com/UMVz9Ona69— Monty's Deli (@MontysDeli) May 4, 2018
Jamie Oliver’s representatives did not immediately respond to Eater’s request for comment.