We’ve been using Bee Organics more and more each year. We can’t tell you how wonderful this partnership has been! The varied, beautiful, heritage and delicious veg Paul grows on his small farm in Staverton enhances all our dishes – the colours, flavour and diversity is wonderful! We have had peppers, aubergines, courgettes, carrots, shallots, herbs, leafy greens and salads, garlic & chillis from Paul and we can’t wait for the rest of summer 2017 as we get even more from him as he expands slightly to accommodate our growing needs.
We’ve been sourcing all our cheeses from the Country Cheese shop on Ticklemore Street in Totnes since we started in 2011. They are always a fountain of knowledge, enthusiasm and help. Did you know “the art of cheese making was nearly lost in this country? Years ago, cheese making was an art that stayed in the family environment, passed from one generation to the next. A farmhouse cheese was one that was made on the farm where the milk was produced and the cheese was really just a method of preserving milk. However, during WW2 milk was classed as a national commodity and farmhouse cheese making ceased, all soft cheese production stopped and milk was transported to factories to be made into hard chesses, again as a method of preserving large quantities of milk. By the time the shortages of the war ceased, many cheese makers had moved on to other things. Prior to the war, there were over 500 registered cheese making farms in the South West. After the war, there were only 50.
The popularity of supermarkets is also culpable for the decline in artisan cheese making. The fashion for vacuum-packed ‘convenience foods’ hit an all time high and many people became accustomed to the unchallenging, mediocre flavours of foods that were manufactured and mass produced.
We want to reverse this trend and introduce people to the old-fashioned flavours of ‘real’ cheese. The more people who taste the stunning examples of artisan cheese making in this area, the more people will go out of their way to buy it and the more the demand increases, more and more farmers can be persuaded to diversify and experiment with using their milk to make cheese. And most importantly, the variety and accessibility of exceptional ‘real’ cheeses will increase, bringing one of the nation’s most traditional, varied and nutritious foods back into our diets”
We get a lot of our veg delivered from Annies, also on Ticklemore Street, Totnes. We love how much local, organic veg they have on offer and design our menu’s according to what they have available at the time. “There is a fantastic selection of local and Somerset grown produce which we get direct from the growers. At the moment we have over 7 varieties of locally grown potatoes, lots of locally grown veggies within 15 miles. Awesome selection of European citrus. Lots of English shallots and local organic carrots and other produce from Rattery.
Lots of other great tasting produce grown in Somerset over 8 varieties of apples and great tasting pears also 8 different types of squash.” [sic]
We’ve been with Luscombe’s since we started – they provide us with locally reared Beef and lamb and occasionally other meat too. It’s great to have a small local business to source our meat knowing that they get their produce from Devon and from small farms with the same ethos as us.
The Kitchen Table is a member of the School Farm CSA scheme – we use their vegetables as much as we can in our cooking – especially in smaller jobs. “Community Supported Agriculture is a membership farming scheme. Members of the farm commit to buying a share of the farm’s harvest for 12-months at a time. This approach gives allows the farm to invest in the year ahead knowing that is has the support to continue and that the produce will all be eaten as we can grow to meet the demand. This system is very beneficial for the farm. It allows the growers to concentrate on what they love, growing food, rather than worry about marketing, processing, branding etc as well. This time can then be spent ensuring that the growing is as ecological and sustainable as possible. Ensuring no artificial inputs are used and most work is done using human labour rather than machinery…
School Farm is grower lead CSA. This means professional growers manage all of the vegetable production informed by the members input on desired crops etc…”
What I absolutely love about School Farm is; “As a community supported market garden our hope is that our members feel connected to where their food is coming from and how it is produced. Our members accept that they are sharing in the risks as well as the rewards of School Farm CSA. A good year provides everyone with a bountiful harvest, but members accept that a bad year also means less for everybody. Members get more than just vegetables they get a connection with the food production itself, they know how things are growing and what weather is effecting them. They learn what is truly seasonal in south Devon, and they deepen their understanding of the costs of food production both economically and environmentally. Members also learn to recognize that their subscription is being kept entirely within the local economy. They are supporting growers to live in the community and the money they spend is not filtered out in marketing, transport, or packaging but only invested in the future of the farm.”
Jacksons in Newton Abbot supply us with locally and sustainably caught fish and seafood as well as having their own smokery which makes delicious smoked mackerel among countless other delicacies. The team are really helpful and provide us with delicious and varied fish and products throughout the year.
Verity and Sam run Quarry Farm near Modbury, where we source our venison from – delicious, robust and flavoursome wild red deer meat – we sell a chocolate venison stew every year at the Totnes Late Night Shopping events which always goes down a treat!
Laydilay, organic free-range eggs, mayo & meringues
You will find Andy and Mandy’s delicious artisan mayo in all our may-based salads, sandwiches and accompanying our BBQs in the form or mustard mayo, sweet chilli mayo or just simply as mayo.
They Say; ““Putting the chicken before the egg“ …Laydilay is a small family run business primarily concerned with producing cracking eggs and a few spin off products…All our products are organic. We believe this is a sustainable form of farming that takes a more holistic view of food production placing the welfare of our animals at the heart of what we do. We believe that by putting the hen first and taking care of her needs, she will more than pay for her board and rent with an abundance of fantastic tasting eggs. This approach starts from when they arrive on our farm as day old chicks and continues on until their retirement – so far we have been able to re-home all our older ladies…
We make the mayonnaise ourselves in Ashburton, Devon using our own eggs. Everything is made by hand and we rely on our ingredients to stabilise the mayonnaise so we haven’t had to add any extra additives or preservatives. The final product is not pasteurised (although our eggs are) which means we have to take extra care in our production to make sure the mayonnaise is absolutely clean when it is put into jars. We believe, by not pasteurising, the mayonnaise has a lighter texture and the flavour is not compromised. For those of you who have bought it, we hope you enjoy it.”
And about the eggs; “…we believe that having access to good quality pasture, scratch wheat and vegetables and feed on the range to encourage the hens outside all have an important part to play [in producing delicious eggs]. Constant contact with the hens within the paddock and houses means the hens are calm and used to us which …[is] conducive to laying good eggs.”
Whenever we are providing tea and coffee for events, we use Owens Coffee who we met when were involved in the Totnes Coffee Festival 2012. “Owens Coffee are an artisan Devon coffee supplier and roaster, based in South Devon. We produce high quality, award winning coffee which is 100% Organic and Fairtrade. Our coffees are profiled, blended and roasted by us, therefore we are 100% in control of the quality, blend, freshness and flavour. In this competitive and complicated world, often driven by quantity rather than quality, we like to keep things simple. Owens are all about an enjoyable coffee experience which is achieved through some basic principles: Taste, Quality, Sustainability and Great Service!”
Not long after starting The Kitchen Table, we realised that many of our recipes required soft cheese – the obvious choice was supermarket-made or national/international brands but these weren’t very flavoursome and didn’t fit in with our aim to source our key ingredients locally. So now, we use the curd cheese to make scone swirls, roulades, cheesecakes and more. As well as their yoghurts, cream, creme fraiche, curd cheese, mascarpone and milk in our cooking. “At Riverford Dairy we farm with care. The plants we grow on the pastures interact with both the land and the animals and have a big impact on the quality and taste of all our products. We sow complex grasses and other high protein grazing plants on our pastures, like red and white clover, lucerne and chicory. All the plants have extensive root systems that replenish the soil with valuable nutrients like nitrogen and they’re high in protein. Protein supports the health of the cows and the combination of plants give our milk its unique, creamy taste.
The premium quality milk that our cows give is treated with the same sort of care as the land. Nothing is rushed in production. Traditional farmhouse methods, slow cooking and allowing time to let flavours develop ensure that the products are unspoilt and taste amazing.
The product range is created and packaged, mostly by hand, less than 300 metres from the milking barn. Our dedicated team use traditional processes and slow cooking methods. Yoghurts and cheeses are made in small batches and allowed to naturally mature so that the cultures are just right and the flavours have time to develop. Cottage Cheese curds are rinsed and drained for 3 days before turning lightly with sea salt. Butter is traditionally churned and hand rolled. Finally products are packaged by hand.” [sic]
This lovely family-run dairy makes amazing organic milk, yoghurts and amazing thick cream. “At Challons Combe, a traditional organic family-run dairy farm,we have a processing dairy, where we make delicious yoghurt and pasteurise and bottle milk which Sima uses in her fabulous catering.”
We generally use locally reared meat, artisan Devon-made cheese and sustainably caught fish but we also like to be able to provide options for vegans and it’s hard to find locally grown protein. While Dragonfly tofu products are using non-locally grown soya, the tofu is manufactured just down the road in Buckfastleigh and taste delicious in vegan cheesecake, marinated and BBQd, in Asian-inspired dishes and tarts and pies.
“At Dragonfly Foods, we pride ourselves on being organic. Certified by the Soil Association for our organic products, all of our ingredients are sourced from only the best suppliers to ensure that we can make the best possible product for you.
All of our products are free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Meat, GM ingredients (of course), additives, Preservatives and Colourings. Because of this, you can be sure that what you are eating is organic, natural food packed full of nutrients.
We know that having the best quality organic ingredients yields a better product for our customers, and make it one of our most important issues when sourcing our supplies and creating new recipes. In fact, it is so important to us that even our cleaning products are organic!”
We were very sad when Seeds2Bakery stopped baking on site but they recommended Tom’s and we’ve been using them this year. So far, they have provided us with delicious organic rolls, sliced bread for sandwiches, mixed bread for bread baskets and brioche hot dog rolls which our customers love. They are not as local as we would normally source but they can provide us with the service we need and the quality is outstanding so we’re happy to compromise our 30 mile radius for them (they’re only in Cornwall).
We have had many requests for gluten free bread so we were really pleased to have found a lovely, family run artisan gluten free bakery in Torquay. The delicious bread rolls have gone down a storm with our wheat and gluten intolerant guests, clients and customers and make a BBQ that much better for them!
We strive to use as many local ingredients as we can – as well as key, fresh ingredients, we love that we can even use locally made oil in our cooking, dressings and baking.
“Bell & Loxton have been awarded 3 stars in the Great Taste Awards 2013. The award winning cold pressed rapeseed oil is grown, pressed and bottled on our farm in South Devon. A delicious, healthy alternative to other culinary oils; naturally rich in omega 3, 6 & 9 and less than half the saturated fat of olive oil. Grown and bottled in the heart of Devon, Bell & Loxton’s rapeseed oil also has fewer food miles than its Mediterranean counterparts…
The Bells of Bell & Loxton have been farming at Upton Barton in South Devon for the past 40 years. This is a family business which is run from the family farm. Jonathan, who grew up here, has a degree in Agriculture and has worked in farming for the past 20 years. His love of food – and his passion for good quality natural products has led him to develop Bell & Loxton’s cold pressed rapeseed oil for cooking, dressings and mayonnaises. Jonathan is also a keen environmentalist so the idea of a home-grown product that tasted as good as its Mediterranean counterpart, was also healthier and more versatile, was irresistible.
Jonathan’s wife, Rachel is also from a farming background. She’s equally passionate about food but her interests also lie in marketing so no doubt you’ll be bumping into her at shows and fairs.”
We use the delicious, locally brewed stouts and ales in our stews – at the Late Night Shopping events in Totnes last Christmas 2015, we made beef and ale and mushroom and stout stews which were delicious. The brewery also provide bars for weddings, supplying local drinks as well as their hugely popular beers in casks or by the bottle. Contact them for more info.