Supporting local artisan producers is an important part of the Shop’s ethos and here we introduce you to some of our favourites. We are always interested in discovering new companies and product lines, so do let us know if there’s something local you feel we should stock.
Corkers Crisps – The Natural British Crunch
“Since a young age I have been a fenland farmer learning from my family how to grow the perfect spud. When I teamed up with best friend Rod Garnham we diversified from selling potatoes to the fish and chip industry into making handmade crisps. I knew that the Naturalo potato we grow had the best frying qualities, helping Rod and I create the Natural British Crunch. We slice our potatoes thinly and hand-cook the crisps in fresh sunflower oil using a special recipe to ensure the perfect curl and crunch.”
Ross Taylor of Little Downham near Ely is rightly proud of his company’s success. Corkers’ award-winning Natural British Crunch range is now available in seven different flavours, from the original Natural Sea Salt, to the new Gressingham Duck and Hoisin Sauce, a result of Corkers’ innovative collaboration with William and Geoffrey Buchanan of Gressingham Duck.
Duncan Farrington was born and brought up on Bottom Farm in the Northamptonshire village of Hargrave. He is the fourth generation of the Farrington family to farm, and works Bottom Farm in partnership with his father, Robert.
Whilst at university and observing how Europe was enthusiastically embracing rapeseed oil, Duncan became interested in its potential benefits as a crop. In 2005 he launched Farrington’s MELLOW YELLOW®, a cold-pressed rapeseed oil, thereby becoming Britain’s first ‘seed to bottle’ producer. Cold pressing is the traditional and natural way to produce oil, preserving all the natural goodness in the seeds.
A decade on Farrington Oils is a thriving family business with a product range extending to mayonnaise and salad dressings. Duncan says “I am really proud that MELLOW YELLOW® is a success for Bottom Farm and our area. I don’t get to drive a tractor as much as I did, but that’s a small price to pay.”
The Grainstore Brewery
In 1995 friends Tony Davis and Mike Davies pooled their collective expertise to restore a derelict Victorian grain store next to Oakham Railway Station. Tony had formerly been Ruddles’ Head Brewer while Mike’s background lay in steel fabrication.
Following renovation of the building and the lowering into position of the large fermenting vessels, copper and conditioning tanks, the tap opened its doors in September 1995 and introduced its first brew, Cooking Bitter, a few months later.
Today The Grainstore Brewery Tap remains a family business and is recognised as one of the best brew pubs in Britain, winning Own Brew Pub of the Year on no less than three occasions. They currently sell 19 different ales, lagers, barley wines and ciders, with wonderful names such as Rutland Beast, Red Kite, Tupping Ale and Hornet Cider.
Why not take a tasting tour and then replenish your favourites through our Shop?
Grasmere Farm Pork Butchers
The Stables family have been raising Hampshire-cross outdoor pigs on their farm at Deeping St James for nearly 50 years, selling outstanding pork and bacon products through their Grasmere shops in Market Deeping, Stamford and Peterborough.
Grasmere are passionate not only about quality and taste but also about the environment. Their pigs are reared using traditional animal husbandry methods and live in open straw yards. Other ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible and packaging is kept to a minimum.
If you’re planning a big event, check out Grasmere’s highly-rated hog-roasts.
Nelsons Quality Butchers
The longest-established by far of our artisan suppliers, Nelsons have been trading in Stamford’s Red Lion Square since 1826. When Harold Nelson acquired the business in 1924 he won 50 gold medals for his Melton Mowbray pork pies made in the cellar below the shop. Although production moved in 1959 to a purpose-built pie factory in Alma Road, for many people Nelsons’ pork pies remain unparalleled and no trip to Stamford, Oakham or Uppingham is complete without a visit to one of their shops.
The Pickled Village
Camille Ortega McLean is undeniably passionate about pickles. She launched The Pickled Village in 2008 from her family kitchen in nearby Bulwick and eight years later not only sells from a pretty thatched shop there, but also supplies establishments as prestigious as Harvey Nichols.
The preserves are beautifully presented in quirky jars with cheeky names. Favourites include Morning After Marmalade, The Intoxicating One, The Amorous Breakfast and The Red Rapscallion.
Says Camille: “Pickled Village recipes derive from the four corners of the world but all have a local flavour, whether from locally sourced natural ingredients or from adding a traditional English twist to an exotic recipe.”