We know that many people are struggling to find good food at times right now, especially if their first thought is to head to the supermarket. However there are many wonderful independent retailers who are experts in their chosen specialism, be that cheese, veg, fish or fine food ingredients (because a little luxurious treat now and then will help everyone through the week!). Some were focused on supplying restaurants up until now, so buying direct and getting their glorious food delivered to your door helps keep people in jobs as much as it helps you stay home, stay safe, and protect the fabulous NHS. You also get outstanding quality too, as these are true food curators, so make the most of them!
Here are five of our favourites to get your creative cookery juices flowing:
If you love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-style cooking then you need to know about the lovely folk at Belazu. What started out as an obsession to source and sell the best olives possible is now a cornucopia of colourful cook’s ingredients that holler quality. From preserved lemons and Venus black rice to date molasses, rose harissa, black tahini and Umbrian lentils, you will find your cooking horizons expanding faster than you can eat them, so do have an explore of what they sell, it really is wonderful stuff!
FISH FOR THOUGHT
Fishers have seen the price of fish plummet by as much as 50% since restaurants closed, as this was largely where catches landed at our big fishing ports such as Newlyn, Brixham and Whitby were ultimately headed. However it’s possible to buy fresh fish through Paul and the team at Fish For Thought. They source the vast majority of their fish directly from South Western markets and boats - processing it mere miles away from where it made land before shipping it straight to you. They are also MSC certified which means the fish they sell is sustainably caught, and their packaging is like ours, thought through to be as environmentally friendly as possible with wool insulation and recyclable materials. Better still, their supply chain is so simple you get fish 5-10 days fresher than that from supermarkets.
This family business has been making pure, natural crystal flake salt from the waters of the Menai Strait off Anglesey for nearly 25 years, and is so prized that it has been served at the London 2012 Olympics, royal weddings and top restaurants including The Fat Duck.
The family’s love of salt has taken them to create extraordinary flavour-led condiments such as black garlic ketchup, salted caramel spread and even Halen Môn gin, alongside their award winning smoked and flavoured salts. You can find these in their gift shop, which is full of beautiful, thoughtful gifts for home cooks and food lovers, and they will ship worldwide. They are currently making ‘provisions’ boxes for locals, for delivery and collection. Orders can be placed at https://tidellanw.square.site/. All that, and they are a completely lovely lot to work with too!
HARVEY & BROCKLESS
Times may be very difficult, but it does not mean that a little luxury should be forbidden. Our friends at Harvey & Brockless have a glorious selection of artisan foods available for home delivery, from cured meats and fish, pasta, oils and perhaps most importantly for small scale family farms, extraordinary cheeses. As restaurants have closed, many cheese producers found the market for their exquisite products vanished overnight. Cows, sheep and goats all still need to be milked, and cheese already made must be sold given their relatively short shelf life. Make the most of being at home with a beautiful wedge or two delivered to your door.
WESTCOUNTRY FRUIT SALES
These lovely folk have been growing and supplying fruit, veg and salad around the Westcountry for decades, and work with local farmers for a huge amount of their produce. We're especially grateful to them as they have been ensuring our butchery and packhouse teams have stayed fighting fit with regular deliveries of nutrient-packed produce. If you are westcountry based, you;ll not go far wrong to get a delivery booked in from these lovely people.