Local Producers – Chunk of Devon

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 Chunk of Devon.vFT_ivXsChunk of Devon are producers of award-winning pies and pasties made on their premises in Ottery St Mary. Beginning out of the back of a small butchers shop the business was taken on in 2006 by Simon and Suzi Bryon-Edmond both of whom came from catering backgrounds with a belief that food should be ‘simple, tasty and natural’. Chunk of Devon products can now be found throughout the county and their delicious pies, pasties and savouries are now available in a variety of mouth-watering flavours all made using locally sourced ingredients.

SteakAlePieCropThe Chunk pie selection includes the Kickin’ Chicken pie made with lightly spiced chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy curry sauce, Steak & Ale pie made using Otter Ale brewed at nearby Otter Brewery and locally sourced beef and the Chicken & Bacon pie made with smoked bacon, chicken and leeks in a creamy white wine sauce. All of the pies are wrapped in Chunk’s signature buttery shortcrust pastry and are available in wrapped individual, deli-unwrapped cases and frozen unbaked cases, click here to view the whole range of pies.
Their pasties are made using the same traditional shortcrust pastry recipe and include flavours such as the Chicken & Chorizo pasty full of smoky chorizo, salsa, red onion and smoked paprika, Steak & Blue pasty made using free-range beef and tangy Stilton and the Roasted Vegetable paCheddarBaconBombDeliCropsty with sweet potato, butternut squash and red onion which is now also suitable for vegans. The full range of pasties can be viewed here.
The savoury selection includes the original Chunki Sausage Roll wrapped in buttery puff pasty, the Cheese and Bacon Crown made with mature Cheddar, smoked bacon and onions and topped with tomato and new for this year, the Spinach, Squash and Cheese Roll full of butternut squash, spinach, sun-blushed tomatoes, goats cheese and brie. For more information on the savoury selection click here.

Just in time for the festive season Chunk of Devon have also recently released a range of buffet-style gourmet minis which are available in frozen baked cases of 60 with 20x Ultimate Steak pies, 20x Chicken, Leek & Bacon pies and 20x Roasted Vegetable pasties in each case. Click here for more info.


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.


Seafood Week

This week is National Seafood Week, an annual campaign celebrating the wide variety of fish and shellfish available in the UK. Organised by Seafish, a Non-Departmental Public Body set up to support the £10 billion UK seafood industry, the campaign has been running since 2015 and focuses on encouraging people to consume more seafood more often and promoting seafood as a healthy, sustainable food source.

fishWe currently stock a variety of seafood from fresh smoked mackerel to frozen salmon fillets. Our fresh fish is sourced from Jacksons Fishmongers. Based in Newton Abbot and passionate about sustainable fishing, Jacksons purchase the freshest fish from vessels coming in to nearby Brixham and prepare and smoke their fish on site. We stock their smoked mackerel, peppered mackerel and smoked kippers which are available in fresh 150g retail packs. We also stock their fresh smoked trout which is available in 100g retail packs. All fish is naturally rich in essential nutrients and oily fish such as mackerel even more so making it a healthy food source. Why not try it in a light, creamy pate with sourdough toast or try an Asian style noodle dish with teriyaki and lemon?

Our frozen fish range is sourced from M&J Seafood and includes cod, haddock, SmokedHaddock (2)smoked haddock and salmon fillets which are all available in 150-200g retail packs. M&J Seafood was founded in 1978 and today they continue to work to purchase the freshest fish and shellfish available from sustainable sources. Their ethos is based on no-nonsense, honest fishmongery from expert, award-winning fishmongers. This Seafood Week enjoy an old fashioned fish supper using our cod or haddock fillets or make some fragrant salmon fishcakes with lemon and dill.
To view our entire range of fish click here.

We are lucky to live in a country rich with seafood from River Exe mussels to shoals of mackerel to Scottish salmon. Seafood Week can encourage us to try something new or revert to a comforting favourite; however you choose to celebrate we hope you enjoy Seafood Week.


Powderham Food Festival

powderham food festivalThis Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October Powderham Castle plays host to a foodie festival celebrating the finest South West food and drink producers.

Now in its eighth year the festival features cookery demonstrations from chefs Nick Evans from Rick Stein’s Cookery School, Jim Fisher from Exeter Cookery School and Great British Bake Off 2018 contestant Briony Williams. This year organisers will also be introducing four miniature ‘villages’ within the festival including Gin & Fizz, Feast of Fire, Wellness and Chocolate tents each with their own demonstrations and tasters.

Over 150 food and drink producers will be attending the event including our cornishblue_(3)favourite Cornish cheese producers the Cornish Cheese Co. and Cornish Gouda. The Cornish Cheese Co. have been making their award-winning cheese since 2001 and in 2010 their Cornish Blue scooped Champion Cheese at the World Cheese Awards. It is light and mild with a dense rich creaminess without the tang of traditional English blues and is best enjoyed young.
Cornish Gouda use milk from their own herd of Holstein cows and traditional Dutch cheese-making techniques to produce their ever popular Cornish Gouda. The medium Gouda is smooth and creamy with a distinct nutty flavour while the mature is rich and buttery with nods to indulgent caramel.

We hope you enjoy the festival!


Local Producers – Devonshire Tea

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 Devonshire Tea.

devonshire tea 2Devonshire Tea are East Devon based producers of bespoke blended teas made with high quality, ethically sourced ingredients. Their range currently includes Classic Breakfast, their flagship blend of teas from Indian ethical estates, Earl Grey, a fragrant blend delicately scented with bergamot and Delightful Afternoon, a blend of bold Assam and delicate Darjeeling. We also stock their Blend Selection which is a collection of all three of these blends.

devonshire teaAll of their teas are sourced from ethical estates monitored by the Ethical Tea Partnership.
The majority of teabags are heat sealed with glue containing plastics and while these are not harmful to consume, they mean that the teabag is not compostable. In contrast the Devonshire Tea teabags are folded and ‘stitched’ closed.

Devonshire Tea products are available in catering foodservice cases of 200 individually wrapped teabags and retail cases containing six cartons of 20 individually wrapped teabags. The full range and more information is available to view here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/devonshire-tea/.


Local Producers – Kitto’s Fine Westcountry Hams

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 Kitto’s Fine Westcountry Hams.kitto's ham

Established in 1986 as the Peter Kitto Cooked Meat Company by Peter Kitto and Norman Walker the company started out producing not only their finest ham but also pork, garlic sausage, haslet and pastrami. In 1990 they made the decision to specialise solely on the production of high quality hams and soon were supplying businesses all around the country from their premises at Cattedown in Plymouth. They now produce their Finest Devon ham, Premium Honey Roast ham, Premium Westcountry ham and Oven Baked Ham of which we currently stock the Finest Devon and the Premium Honey Roast. Their Finest Devon ham has been the recipient of a number of awards including a Silver Award at the Great Taste Awards and is a firm favourite among our customers for its quality taste and delicious texture. Their Honey Roast ham is glazed with demerara sugar and honey to create a delicious sweet-cured ham which won Gold at the Great Taste Awards.  honeyroast ham (2)

Both of these hams are available in whole joints of 6-7kg, joints cut in ½ (3-4kg) and in retail pre-packs of 110g with an average of 3 slices per pack and our whole range of hams can be viewed here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/cooked-meats/ham/.

The Kitto’s ham range is one of our bestselling lines for its consistent quality and competitive price. The bulk joints are ideal for the catering sector while the retail packs are great fridge staples to make sandwiches, ploughmans and of course the classic ham, egg and chips lunch!


It’s English Tourism Week!

english tourism weekWe think of ourselves as extremely lucky to live and work in this beautiful county full of stunning scenery, wonderful attractions and best of all for us, fantastic producers of delicious food. To celebrate English Tourism Week we thought we’d highlight some of the best local producers from Devon including Sutton Lucy Dairy, Waterhouse Fayre and Chunk of Devon who provide a good reason for tourists to flock here all year round!

sutton lucy dairySutton Lucy Dairy
These are a fairly new supplier to us but so far we are receiving some great feedback from our customers. Based near Honiton in East Devon Sutton Lucy Dairy was established in 2017 by husband and wife team Rebecca and Philip Cooke after the closure of two local dairies resulted in their farm shop having to stock Cornish milk and creams. They now produce a variety of yogurts and creams made using the milk from their own herd of Jersey and Holstein cows which we think are delicious – particularly the raspberry and the toffee yogurts which seem to disappear soon after delivery…

waterhouse fayreWaterhouse Fayre
We have been stocking Waterhouse Fayre jams and chutneys for a long time now and the range keeps extending! Made by the lovely Ann Stallard and team in their custom built facilities near Tiverton in Mid Devon, the Waterhouse Fayre products have won many awards including a number of gold and silver at the prestigious Taste of the West Awards. It’s hard to single out a particular favourite but the classic Raspberry jam is always a winner and the Exmoor Pond Weed made with under-ripened green tomatoes and chillies is delicious with some cured meats out in the sunshine!

Chunk of Devon
Chunk of Devon are producers of delicious pies and pasties based in Ottery Stchunk of devon logo Mary and firmly established since 2006. Made using as locally sourced ingredients as possible by a team of passionate ‘hunks’, their pies and pasties have won numerous awards including the controversial Britain’s Best Cornish Pasty in 2009! We love their new addition Spicy Jack pie which is full of nutritious veg, coconut milk and curried spices – we promise you won’t miss the meat with this one!

This is a no means exhaustive list of the fantastic producers we have here in Devon and we are proud to be able to stock their vast array of products. For any more info on these or any of our other suppliers please get in touch!