Shop Local: Farm Shops

There is a certain feeling about walking into a farm shop, a sense of excitement and anticipation of something new just waiting to be discovered among the locally made chutneys, artisan breads, small batch cheeses and handmade cakes. The experience is far removed from that of supermarket sterile-ness, lucid lighting and endless, uninspiring aisles full of generic goods identical to those from up and down the country from which we mindlessly select the same products week after week.

Many farm shops are now day out destinations boasting not only their award-winning produce but also catering to the whole family with children’s play areas, live music events, supplier tastings, fantastic cafes and the opportunity to feed and/or play with the farm animals. The growing popularity of farm shops in recent years can be seen in the physical size of them; most shops began as small sheds selling only surplus fruit and vegetables yet today they are sprawling cornucopias bursting with an array of local products and often similarly packed with a number of discerning customers.

millers farm shopMillers Farm Shop was established in 1979 by Malcolm Miller and his family who committed to selling a range of locally sourced produce alongside home grown vegetables and seasonal plants. Described on their website as an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of the ‘most sumptuous food imaginable’ Millers Farm Shop perhaps epitomises the ethos of the farm shop. The family run business currently stocks delicious breads, pastries and pies, artisan cheeses, sliced meats and pâté, fresh fish, local milk and creams, artisanal gins and liqueurs and more. Their incredibly knowledgeable staff are passionate about their products and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere generated at the shop encourages repeat custom.

In 2009 Nicola and Rebecca Bartlett took the opportunity to acquire Hayne Farm near Honiton and set about creating Bartlett’s Farm Shop. What began as a small enterprise now consists of a fresh meat, deli counter and butchery, fresh bartlett's farm shopvegetable selection, locally made chutneys and preserves, freshly baked breads, specially selected wines and ales and a thriving coffee shop which was added in 2012. The farm itself provides the majority of the beef and lamb while local farms supply other meats and trusted suppliers deliver the rest of their range. The sisters ethos focuses on celebrating great tasting food whilst ensuring its sustainability and affordability for their customers.

Thornes Farm has been owned by Anthony Thorne since 1986 and the farm shop was established in 1992 after locals started asking to buy the farms famous thornes farm shopstrawberries directly. Today they also supply their range of soft fruits and vegetables to other local shops and wholesalers. The farm shop itself stocks a wide variety of delicious locally made products including a range of Devon blended teas and coffees, local eggs, creams, yogurts and butters, wines, ales and soft drinks among so much more. They also offer a ‘Pick your Own’ service encouraging their customers to enjoy the best produce currently in season and following an hour or so out picking your own food their cafe provides the perfect place to relax and unwind in the peaceful Devonshire countryside while enjoying delicious handmade food.

We are really spoilt for choice for quality farm shops here in Devon and we could have mentioned so many more in this blog. This weekend why not browse one near you, you might discover something amazing.

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Wessex Country Gammons

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Wessex Country Gammons.

cooked hamEstablished in 1987 at Vine Close Farm in Wimborne, Dorset, Wessex Country Gammons began as a producer of quality cooked hams before expanding their range to include beef, turkey and continental deli meats. Hams are very much still the focus with a range including honey glazed, hickory smoked, golden breadcrumb and natural ham. Extreme care is taken to ensure that all of their meat is sourced from RSPCA assured farms with the highest welfare standards ensuring the best taste for their customers.

We currently stock their whole 3kg cooked gammon ham, whole 3kg honey roasted gammon ham and sliced retail gammon hams available in 250g and 500g packs and the whole range is available to view here.

facebooktwitterinstagram

UK Sausage Week!

uk sausage weekToday marks the start of UK Sausage Week, a campaign organised by Meat Management magazine focusing on championing and raising the profile of the culinary delight that is the British sausage.

From traditional cumberland, pork and chipolatas to festive cranberry, caramelised red onion and gluten free varieties this versatile ingredient makes a perfect accompaniment to a traditional full English breakfast, the centrepiece of a hearty sausage and mash or a comforting classic in a warm autumnal casserole.

Today there are more than 500 different recipes and flavours for sausages in the UK with traditional pork remaining the country’s favourite despite newer flavours gaining in popularity over the last few years. The majority of our fresh sausage sales come from W.F Chinns, a well established sausage producer based in Crediton and owned by Tony and Rose Palmer.

Their retail sausages are available in 225g packs with an average of four individual sausages and 450g packs with an average of eight individual sausages in each. We love the pork & apple sausages for their succulent sweetness and their pork & chorizo sausages for double porkiness! The subtle smoky flavour from the chorizo lends itself to charcoal bbq’s in the summer and rich, hearty casseroles at this time of year.

We hope you enjoy UK Sausage Week!

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Georgie Porgie’s Puddings

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Georgie Porgie’s Puddings.georgie porgie

Georgie Porgie’s Puddings was established by George Hollywood in 1994 originally producing traditional steamed Christmas puddings. Soon the business began to expand and today Georgie Porgie’s produce a variety of traditional puddings as well as steamed sponges on their premises in Budleigh Salterton, East Devon. Each pudding is handmade using the finest ingredients by expert pudding chefs to original recipes and all of them truly taste delicious.

chocolate-orange-and-baileys-group-1The range of fruit puddings includes the summery lemon & Pimms and zesty orange & Cointreau as well as our favourite the decadent chocolate orange & Baileys and the one that started it all, their flagship traditional Christmas pudding.

In 2001 the business broadened to include classic steamed sponges available in four different flavours from traditional spotted dick and treacle sponge to sticky toffee and strawberry jam varieties. The muslin wrapped fruit puddings are available in both 5oz (142g) and 16oz (454g) portions while the sponges are available in single 100g and make a sumptuous treat. ultimate gin pudding

George is continuously expanding the range and this year to mark the business’s 25th anniversary he has teamed up with Exeter Gin to produce the Ultimate Gin Pudding packed with fruit and bursting with citrus flavours and of course gin, available as an individual 16oz (454g) pudding.

Georgie Porgie’s Puddings continue to grow and expand with their deliciously flavoured sponges and puddings made in keeping to traditional methods proving that fruit puddings are not just for Christmas! Click here for more info and to see the entire Georgie Porgie range.

facebooktwitterinstagram

British Food Fortnight!

Today marks the start of British Food Fortnight. Founded in 2002 the campaign focuses on encouraging caterers and retailers responsible for sourcing food for hospitals, schools and other food outlets to prioritise locally made produce -something we in turn are passionate about.

With the current political climate the campaign seems more relevant than ever and the benefits of buying British are numerous, from supporting local economy, low food miles and a lower carbon footprint to the trace-ability and welfare standards of British farmers.

Cheese
2465The majority of our cheeses are sourced directly from the farms where they are produced. Here in the South West we are extremely privileged with the number of fantastic artisan cheese makers around us. Taw Valley Creamery are based in North Tawton, Devon and use fresh, high quality milk sourced from surrounding farms to produce their award-winning Cheddars. Sharpham Cheese is produced on the Sharpham Estate in Totnes using rich milk from their own herd of Jersey cattle. Their unpasteurised ‘raw’ cheeses include the bestselling Rustic range with both Plain and Chive and Garlic versions available and the creamy Sharpham – a soft French Coulommier style cheese.

Fishfish
Jacksons Fishmongers in Newton Abbot are suppliers of our smoked fish selection including smoked mackerel, peppered mackerel, smoked trout and boned kippers. Purchasing the freshest fish from day boats coming in at nearby Brixham, they are passionate about sustainable fishing and all of their seafood comes from vessels certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or the Responsible Fish Scheme. All of the fish is then prepared and smoked on site.

Visit our website to view our entire product range, the majority of which is locally sourced from Devon and Cornwall and support a British producer today!

facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Waterhouse Fayre

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on all of our local producers and their delicious products, starting this week with Waterhouse Fayre.

waterhouse fayre

Established in 2004 by Ann Stallard, the business began as a way of selling jam made using surplus fruit left over from growing for local restaurants and hotels. However within two years they had to stop selling the fruit as they needed it all for their now very popular jams and chutneys. With the business expanding Ann made the decision to move from their North Devon premises to a more central location in Mid Devon, allowing them to increase their fruit patch and keep up with demand.

pond weeedDespite the sheer quantity of jams and chutneys now being produced, all of their products are still made in small batches to retain the traditional, homemade feel and flavour that is so integral to the businesses success. There are now a wide range of flavours and varieties available from traditional raspberry jam and red onion marmalade to more modern flavours such as their gin & orange marmalade and Exmoor pond weed chutney – made using green tomatoes and chilli. Our personal favourite is the whortleberry jam which has a lovely delicate sweetness and is made from wild Dartmoor and Exmoor blueberries.

Waterhouse Fayre retail sizes are available in trays of six while catering sizes of their most popular jams and chutneys are available in 3.4kg tubs. Their entire range can be viewed here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/devon-chutneys-jam-preserves/ however it is constantly being extended so please let us know if you have seen something that we haven’t listed.

We absolutely love the Waterhouse Fayre products and as the range is constantly being extended and updated there is always something new to discover.

facebooktwitterinstagram

Chunk of Devon Autumn Offers

lamb maroc pastySo that’s it, most schools re-open for the autumn term today and for many the summer is essentially over. We’ve already had customers request our Christmas brochure and seen more than one pumpkin spiced latte on our Instagram feed. It certainly won’t be long before the leaves begin to turn delightful shades of auburn and we begin to yearn for some warm and nourishing comfort food.

This month Chunk of Devon have two products on special offer with 20% off, one of which is the delicious Sheep pie. Tender chunks of lamb and mutton are mixed with a redcurrant and mint gravy before being wrapped in Chunk’s signature buttery shortcrust pastry. Also on special offer is the Lamb Maroc pasty which we have to admit is one of our favourites. Full of juicy free range lamb, potato and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with fresh rosemary and caraway seeds – this pays homage to the origins of the pasty which is believed to be from the South Mediterranean. sheep pie

Both of these products are available in deli un-wrapped cases, individually wrapped cases and singles and frozen un-baked cases. Contact us to place an order or visit http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/chunk-of-devon/ to view the full range.

facebooktwitterinstagram

It’s Picnic Season!

This month marks National Picnic Month and with the gorgeous weather we’re having at the moment there is no better time to grab a hamper and head outside!

We love celebrating the best in local produce which is why we try to stock as many locally sourced products as possible including artisan cheeses, pies, pasties and savouries, creams and dairy, bacon, fresh fish and more – because local definitely tastes better!

picnic spotsHere in Devon we are also incredibly lucky that there are so many beauty spots to discover and marvel at as you sit down to eat your delicious, locally sourced picnic food. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, rolling hills, endless moors and meandering rivers which make ideal picnic spots.

For many of us picnic food means simple, easy to eat finger food and with this in mind try our small or medium sized hand raised pork pies made with crispy hot water pastry, delicious hard boiled scotch eggs, sausage rolls made by hand using locally sourced pork and slices of Mediterranean style quiche with mixed peppers, basil and mature cheddar cheese.

Sandwiches are always a hit with kids and so quick and easy to make; go for fillings that won’t go soggy or limp after a few hours in a hamper or rucksack. chunk pork pieYou might like to play it safe with the classic Devon cured ham with English mustard or honeyroast ham and mature cheddar cheese or mix things up with chicken breast and sliced chorizo with chipotle mayo or a falafel wrap with minty yogurt sauce.

Finger food doesn’t have to be boring and for something a little different on your next picnic why not try some marinated chicken skewers with haloumi and peppers (leave out the chicken for veggies or replace it with chunks of tofu), chopped veggies such as carrots, cucumber or courgettes with some creamy lemon houmous or plain houmous and maybe even some arancini risotto balls with mushroom, white wine and mozzerella – suprisingly easy to make but look ham and cheese sandwichlike you’ve spent hours on them – good to impress! All of these are great being transported in a picnic basket and will be as good when you arrive as when you left the house.

Wherever you decide to stage your picnic we hope you enjoy this National Picnic Month!

facebooktwitterinstagram

Devon Day!

It’s Devon Day, originally the feast day of St Petroc, to whom the Devon flag is dedicated, and more recently a chance to celebrate the best that our beautiful county has to offer including – most importantly to us – local produce and producers.

Devonshire Tea
devonshire teaBased in Axminster, East Devon and established in 2015, Devonshire Tea are a small independent company creating simple blended teas using the finest ethically sourced ingredients. All of their teabags are plastic free and hand stitched rather than heat sealed and are custom blended to their own recipes. Flavours include the bestselling Classic Breakfast, fragrant Earl Grey and delicate Delightful Afternoon varieties. All of these are available in individual cartons of 20 teabags, cases of six cartons and foodservice catering boxes of 200 individual teabags.

Taw Valley Cheese
The Taw Valley Creamery is situated in the beautiful countryside surroundingtaw valley range North Tawton in the western part of the county. Their master cheesemakers produce excellent quality cheeses using traditional methods and fresh, quality milk from local farms. Their range includes the bestselling Taw Valley Tickler cheddar with superb depth of flavour and distinctive salt crystals giving it a slightly crunchy texture and the Taw Valley Mature which is lovely and creamy with rich and complex flavours. All of the Taw Valley range is available in both retail packs and catering sizes.

Chunk of Devon
Based in Ottery St Mary in East Devon Chunk are one of our longest running lines. Using locally sourced ingredients and traditional pastry skills their ‘hunks’ produce a variety of pies, pasties and savoury snacks which have won many awards including Taste of the West Gold. Their range includes the Kickin Chicken Kickin_chicken_pieCurry Pie made with lightly spiced chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy curry sauce and wrapped in buttery pastry, the new veggie Spicy Jack Pasty made with delicious jackfruit, squash, peppers and sweet potato mixed with spices and wrapped in traditional shortcrust pastry and the original Chunki Sausage Roll made using pork seasoned with sage and onion and wrapped in buttery puff pastry. All are available in individual retail packs, deli-unwrapped cases and frozen un-baked cases.

We hope you enjoy celebrating Devon Day!

facebooktwitterinstagram