THE smell of fresh flowers and fresh food will mingle under one roof in a unique new venture.

Taste, a deli, opens for business this week at the award winning Benfleet florist, Belgravia.

Behind the counter at Taste will be Rob Jacks, husband of Belgravia’s owner Katy. Rob previously worked in the insurance industry in London, but decided on a life change when the couple’s first child, Olive, was born in August 2012.

He said: “I have always been very interested in food. I love eating out and I love cooking at home.

“We talked things over and gradually came up with the idea of mixing a deli and a florist. We’ve researched it quite carefully, and as far as we can tell, there is nothing else quite like this mix, anywhere.”

Rob and Katy believe the combination will work well, especially for events like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

Katy, who acquired Belgravia in 2004, said: “Customers will be able to mix food – for instance, a hamper – and flowers, in one gift.”

The two-in-one business will also stay open until 8pm, selling meals precooked by Rob.

Katy said: “We expect it to be a popular service with commuters getting off the train from London and realising that they’ve got nothing to eat in the house.”

The opening week menu includes lamb shanks cooked in wine, cinnamon and chilli, with an alternative choice of pork.

All the products will be sourced as locally as possible. As he develops his new business, Rob will have the benefit of some expert business advice on hand.

In 2006, Katy, as Katy Geddes, won both the Echo’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the ‘Artemis’ category at the NatWest everywoman awards. (The Artemis category is awarded to the most inspirational woman running a business who is aged 25 or under).

In 2007 she was introduced to the Queen as a representative of the rising generation of young British entrepreneurs.

Katy said: “If the idea does proves popular, we could turn the concept into a chain of deli-florists, and run it together.”