Extended Delivery Routes!

This year we are all about extensions; following recent building work we have been able to extend our fridge space meaning that we can stock more products and supply to more customers. Our office space is also currently undergoing work which will improve the day to day running of the business.

The result of all this work is that we are now excited to be able to extend our delivery routes to include more areas and ultimately supply to more customers; from small village stores and community shops to cafes, farm shops and delis.

Currently the extended routes are in Somerset, Cornwall and Mid Devon but we hope to be able to extend all routes in the coming months. Click here to see when we are able to deliver in your area or give us a call on 01392 661001.

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Local Producers – Curworthy Cheese

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 Curworthy Cheese.curworthy

Curworthy Cheese was established almost 30 years ago on Stockbeare Farm near Okehampton. Using milk from her own herd and from local dairy farms Rachel Stephens and her terms of expert cheesemakers produce their distinctive Devonshire cheeses.belstone (2)

The range includes the bestselling Devon Oke, a full-fat, mellow cheese made to a recipe dating back to the 17th century. It is typically matured for 5-6 months during which time the cheese develops a buttery, almost nutty flavour and delicious creamy texture.
Other cheeses include the Curworthy Meldon – a traditional Cheddar blended with Chiltern Ale,  mustard and garlic and encased in yellow wax, the Belstone – a version of the Devon Oke made using vegetarian rennet and the Chipple – mild Cheddar blended with fresh spring onions and encased in green wax.devon oke
The latest addition to the Curworthy family is the Dartmoor Chilli, a traditional Cheddar blended with chillies sourced from nearby Dartmoor Chilli Farm. The recipe has been changed for 2020 and the cheese is now made using Fatalli chillies for extra heat which perfectly compliments its natural mellow, sweetness.

The Curworthy cheeses are all available in both catering, bulk sizes and retail, ready to sell packs. Click here to view the entire range.

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Orchardlea Occasion Foods

This year we are excited to introduce another side to the business with the launch of Orchardlea Occasion Foods. Supplying a wide range of buffet foods including pies, pasta and rice salads, artisan cheeses, deli products and more Orchardlea Occasion Foods offers a bespoke, fully-tailored service and are able to cater for all occasions from christenings and business events to children’s parties and funerals.orchardlea foods

For all enquiries visit their Facebook page, email info@orchardleaoccasionfoods.co.uk or call on 01392 661001.

 

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Local Producers – Taw Valley Creamery

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 Taw Valley Creamery.taw valley creamery (2)Taw Valley Creamery have been producing their award-winning cheeses since 1974. Situated in the beautiful countryside around the town of North Tawton, the creamery produce Cheddar, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester cheeses using traditional cheese-making techniques and fresh, high quality milk sourced from surrounding farms. Part of the Arla Foods group, Taw Valley are passionate about producing the highest quality cheeses for their customers.

We stock a range of Taw Valley products including the delicious Taw Valley Tickler. To reach the Tickler range the cheese is graded throughout its maturation process to ensure it meets the right criteria. This extra mature cheese tawvalleyrange_ck6q-r8is strong and robust in flavour with distinctive salt crystals, giving it a wonderful crunchy texture. We also stock the delightfully creamy Taw Valley Mature which is strong and full-bodied with a slight sweetness and the mellow and smooth Taw Valley Mild with a firm, texture. All of the Taw Valley cheeses are available in 5kg and 2.5kg blocks as well as 200g and 400g retail packs. View the whole Taw Valley range here.

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Cheese Showcase: Blue Cheese

It seems that the origin of most innovative creations come from human error. Take the story of how blue cheese came into being; it is thought that a drunken cheese maker left behind a half eaten loaf of bread in moist cheese caves. On his return he discovered the mold covering the bread had transformed it into a blue cheese and the rest is history! Today this naturally occurring mold has been refined and cultivated and almost all blue cheeses are now made by adding this to milk during the cheese making process. The cheese is pierced during maturation which allows air to react with the mold and results in the characteristic blue veining common in most blue cheeses.
Blue cheese is one of our favourite varieties with flavour profiles ranging from mellow and creamy to sharp and tangy, below we explore some of our bestselling blue cheeses.

stilton 2 (2)Stilton
Perhaps one of the best known of the blue cheeses our Stilton is produced by the Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery, one of only six creameries in the UK permitted under the EU Protected Designation of Origin status to produce traditional Blue Stilton. It is a rich, complex cheese with a smooth creaminess when young developing into a tangy sharpness when mature. The texture is light and crumbly with a straw-like colour and dark blue veining throughout. We like this crumbled over salads with pear and walnuts or stirred into creamy pasta with some mushrooms or bacon. The cheese is available in whole 4kg rounds and 200g retail packs, click here for more info.

Dorset Blue Vinny
Dorset Blue Vinny was once made in almost every farmhouse in Dorset until the Second World War when production died out. The cheese was resurrected in the 1980’s using a 300 year old recipe and is today made on Woodbridge Farm by dorset blue (2)Michael Davies. This is a lovely, mellow blue cheese with a creamy, crumbly texture. Due to its artisan production the colour varies greatly from cheese to cheese, typically it is a deep yellow on the outside with a much lighter, creamy colouring towards the centre and dark blue/green veining throughout. Try this in a creamy leek and potato soup or on some crackers with a light, fruity chutney. The Blue Vinny is available in whole 3kg rounds and 150g retail packs, click here for more info.

Devon Blue
Made by Robin Congden of Ticklemore Cheese in Totnes, the Devon Blue is produced by hand using cows’ milk sourced from a local farmers co-operative. devon blue (2)This is a moist, crumbly cheese with buttery, clean flavours and soft texture. As the cheese matures it develops slightly sweet, caramel tones resulting in an intriguing, complex cheese. The colour of Devon Blue is pale and creamy with subtle blue veining throughout. Try this in a savoury cheesecake with walnuts and rosemary or in a warming blue cheese and broccoli soup with chunky bread. Devon Blue is available in whole 3.5kg rounds and 130g retail packs, click here for more info.

Blue cheeses are wildly different and their astonishing range of flavours mean we will never tire of trying new ones.

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Local Producers – Brookes Bacon

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 Brookes Bacon.brookesBrookes Bacon began in the mid 1980’s when the company supplied ham, cheese and pre-packed cooked meats to mainly wholesale and catering customers. In 1994 demand for sliced and pre-packed bacon from their customers increased and the business began to focus purely on bacon and gammon products.

smoked streaky baconBased in Dorset, Brookes Bacon are passionate about providing high quality European and British bacon and use modern technologies and the latest equipment to maintain the excellent and consistent quality that their customers expect.

We currently stock a wide range of Brookes bacon including catering packs of both smoked and unsmoked as well as streaky and smoked streaky bacon, all of which are available in individual packs of 2.25kg and cases of four 2.25kg packs. We also stock their back baconretail smoked and unsmoked bacon packs which are available in individual 450g and cases of 15x 450g packs. Their thick-cut gammon steaks are becoming increasingly popular and are available in 450g packs with two gammon steaks per pack and the thickly cut ribfree bacon is another great quality product, it is available in catering 2.25kg packs. Click here to view the full bacon range and discover your new favourite bacon.

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Shop Local: Community Shops

Community shops have been on the rise for a number of years; in 1994 there were just 27 registered community shops while in 2016 this number had risen to 348. Community shops are owned and funded by the local community often in rural areas without access to other means of provision. These shops are able to compete with their bigger, nationwide counterparts by focusing on maintaining a loyal customer base, staffing their shops with a mostly volunteer workforce and often providing other community activities including workshops, craft schemes and cafe facilities. Here we explore a few of our local community shops and the work that they do.

ide commIde Community Shop was opened in 2013 following the closure of the village post office. A temporary shop was housed in a portable cabin but after a fundraising effort by local residents, permanent premises were purchased and today the shop is a thriving business. Staffed by 50 volunteers the shop sells a range of locally sourced produce including artisan cheeses, Chunk of Devon pies and pasties and a variety of sliced meats as well as locally made cakes, chocolates and ice creams. Following growing awareness to the dangers of single use plastics the shop has committed to reducing its own plastic waste and in an innovative move  now stock reusable cotton bags made by local residents. These pretty, colourful bags make a refreshing change to flimsy plastic bags and can be used again and again.

Cheriton Fitzpaine Community Shop has similar origins to those just described; in 2016 the owners of the village shop and post office retired and the shop had to close. Local residents became concerned that the loss of the shop as a community hub would be keenly felt and a small group began researching the idea of re-opening. In May 2017 that idea was realised. The community shop is currently housed in a temporary building adjacent to the Methodist Chapel while the cheriton fitznecessary planning permissions and building work continue for permanent premises. The management team focuses on providing the best produce possible for their customers sourced from local producers including bacon, sausages, pies, pasties and savouries, cheese, dips and olives, chocolates, jams and chutneys as well as everyday staples such as bread, eggs and milk. Run by a small army of volunteers the Cheriton Fitzpaine Community Shop has also become a local hub promoting locally run events, displaying public notices and functioning as a place for people to meet.

Otterton’s last convenience shop closed its doors in 2004 despite efforts to try and save it by the local community. In the intervening years residents began canvassing opinion from local residents as to whether to open a community run shop. Over a three year period this group of volunteers hosted fundraising events, scouted for premises and finally obtained planning permission to refurbish the snooker hall and the current otterton commcommunity shop opened in 2014. Staffed by a majority of volunteers the shops mission is to cater to the needs of local people, providing not only everyday staples such as milk, bread and cereal but also locally sourced meat, fish, pies and pasties, wine, beer and liqueurs and frozen, high quality ready meals. The shop is able to compete with its larger, national counterparts by competitive pricing and a focus on local produce.

These three community shops are linked by their stringent sense and love of community; each is run by a group of volunteers willing to give up their time and expertise to the project and provide the best service possible to their local residents. In an era filled with convenience deliveries and big business, we are happy to see these small, local focused shops succeed and wish them all the best of luck for the coming year.

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Local Producers – Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers

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 Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers.barbers

The Barber family began making their cheeses on Maryland Farm in Somerset in 1833 and today produce their award-winning Cheddar on a much bigger scale whilst retaining their original values and techniques. The Barber’s cheeses are madebarbers mature using milk from their own herd of cows as well as extra milk sourced from surrounding farms. Their expert cheesemakers combine traditional techniques with modern innovations to produce their excellent cheeses from the ‘cheddaring’ process (the curds form slabs which are then stacked by hand) to the use of technology to increase production and maintain consistent quality.
Barber’s cheese is also one of only a handful in the South West to have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, awarded to selected foods which are made in a certain way or in a particular area. In this instance for Cheddar to be called Westcountry Farmhouse it must be made using milk from Somerset, Devon or Dorset, using traditional techniques such as ‘cheddaring’ and matured for at least nine months. The achievement of PDO status marks a high quality product.

We currently stock a number of Barber’s cheeses including the Farmhouse Mature Cheddar, typically matured for up to 12 months it is full of flavour with a mellow richness, and the Farmhouse Red Leicester which is made with barbers (2)traditional starter cultures, West Country milk and a small amount of annatto plant dye which results in its distinctive red/orange colouring. This is a smooth, buttery cheese with a firm texture and subtle, mellow sweetness. We also stock the flagship 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar which is matured for at least 24 months during which time the cheese develops an unrivaled complexity and depth of flavour with a creamy texture and naturally occurring salt crystals to give it a distinctive crunch.

All of the Barber’s cheeses are available in both retail packs of 200-320g and catering sizes from 1kg-5kg and the full range is available to view here.

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