We have linked up with some great suppliers to ensure you can purchase the best at The Village Stores. Many of them have their own websites where you can find more information and we have included them in the following list. But first, a brief description of each supplier and the lovely food they provide us with:
Moores Biscuits (www.moores-biscuits.co.uk)
Moores Biscuits started baking biscuits in their little bakery at Morecombelake, just west of Bridport, over 130 years ago. They are a traditional family bakery business that now provides a great range of biscuits. Probably one of their most famous and distinctive creations is the Dorset Knob, which is fantastic with cheese - especially genuine Dorset Blue Vinny cheese from Woodbridge Farm near Sturminster Newton. A Dorset Knob with a thick spread of real butter accompanied by some Blue Vinny - fantastic after a meal. Its got to be tried to be believed!
Moores also supply us with a range of sweet biscuits - like Lemon & Ginger and Orange with Chocolate Chips. A bit of a luxury but very affordable as a treat!
Fudges Bakery (www.fudges.co.uk)
Fudges Bakery is also a family business that has been established many years. We love their biscuits for cheese, especially, and we are now trying out some of their sweet biscuits.
One of Ian's fondest memories is driving the cows back to the fields after morning milking past Fudges bakery in Leigh (near Sherborne) and the smell of fresh bread wafting down the lane! Still, enough of this reminiscing - Fudges now sell their goods all over the country and you can find a great selection in The Village Stores.
Sun Cottage Wholefoods (www.suncot.co.uk)
Sun Cottage is a relatively new company that specialises in - wait for it - wholefoods! They are based at Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester, just a short stroll from Thomas Hardy's birthplace on the edge of Thorncombe Woods. Sun Cottage supply us with everything from prepared cake fruit mix, to breakfast cereals and nuts and pulses. We like the way that Sun Cottage minimises wasteful packaging so you pay for the goods, not all the fancy boxes and extraneous plastic wrapping. We are sure Mr Hardy would have approved of their the wholesome food - we are sure you will too!
Treat Yourself is a 'micro' business that's going 'macro'! It's run by Sarah Fogwill who is an excellent baker of increasing renown in this part of Somerset. Sarah was recommeded to us through our association with Levels' Best and we are very pleased she agreed to supply us with her fantastic baked foods. Her Courgette & Lime cake must be tried - it really is becoming infamous in Stoke St Gregory, and beyond. Sarah bakes for numerous tea rooms and small, independent shops, like ours - but you can also find her at local farmer's markets and fayres. Sarah delivers on a Friday and most cakes are sold by Saturday evening - so be quick if you want to try her fantastic creations.
Longman Cheese Sales (www.longmancheese.demon.co.uk)
Most of our cheese is supplied by Longmans who are based at North Leaze Farm near North Cadbury. As well as producing and selling their own cheese and dairy products, Longmas provide us with a fantastic range of cheese from all over the UK and further afield. We like to concentrate on local cheeses but we do make exceptions! One of our favourites is the Isle of Wight Blue cheese which is soft and smooth with a blue layer in the middle of the round. We also like some of the Welsh cheeses from Snowdonia. But top of the list must be the Wookey Hole Cave Matured Cheddar - made in Dorset and then shipped to Wookey Hole caves where it rests for several months and acquires a crystaline texture. A real tasty cheddar that doesn't make you cheeks tingle!!
Longmans also supply us with organic Goat and Cow's milk (from The Somerset Organic Dairy at Bruton), Sheep cheese, Goat cheese and even a mixed sheep and cow's milk cheese from Wotton Dairy near Glastonbury.
Gundenham Dairy (www.gundenham-dairy.co.uk)
Gundenham dairy only recently started supplying us with milk and cream. Another local, family-run business, Gundenham Dairy is based at Langford Budville near Wellington. They are an award winning dairy that provides us with skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk, double cream, clotted cream and yoghurts. They currently buy in the clotted cream from Cornwall and the yoghurts from Yeo Valley and Ubley (both Somerset-based).
We have been selling even more milk since we changed to Gundenham. We believe people like the idea that this is real honest Somerset milk and apart from pastuerising, Gundenham Dairy resist the temptation to artificially treat the milk in order to meet arbitrary national standards. Its just good and natural milk.
Rose Farm (www.rosefarmsomerset.co.uk)
Rose Farm are based at Wedmoor near Glastonbury. They supply The Village Stores with all sorts of pickles, chutneys, jams and marmalade - much of the raw ingredients coming from Somerset. One of the favourites around here is their Curried Peach Chutney which is lovely with a chunk of Wookey Hole Cave Matured Cheddar cheese from Longmans. And what could be better than Rose Farm Marmalade with Somerset Cider on fresh bread from Bath Bridge Bakery and real Somerset butter from North Leaze Farm!
Somerset Distillery (www.ciderbrandy.co.uk)
The Somerset Distillery is a well-respected producer of very fine cider-based drinks. A family business based a the prominent Burrow Hill near Kingsbury Episcopi, The Somerset Distillery makes its own Cider Brandy - the first written records of this distinctive beverage are dated 1678! The Somerset Cider Brandy company supplies The Village Stores with, principally, sparkling cider, a cider-based aperitif and digestif, and apple juice.
If you fancy a step back in time, go and visit the distillery and see how the locally grown apples are turned into these fine drinks.
We are especially fond of the Somerset Pomona, a 20% proof blend of juice and Somerset Cider Brandy - a great after dinner drink if you fancy a change from Port. Highly recommended.
FJ Scriven & Sons
Scrivens of North Petherton and Langport are well respected butchers - so it should be no surprise that they supply all our fresh meat products. We sell their home-made sausages, ham, pork pies and pasties. We also find increasingly that customers are placing orders for their meat through us. That way they know they are getting fresh meat and when they are getting it. Oh, and by the way, the vast majority of the meat is sourced from Somerset Farms and slaughtered locally so you know the animals have been well cared for and their stress levels are minimised.
Westcroft Eggs (www.westcroft-eggs.co.uk)
Westcroft Eggs are based at Berrow just north of Burnham-on-Sea on the Somerset coast. We wouldn't choose anything but free-range eggs and Westcroft supply great eggs. Their hens are kept according to the most stringent standards so you know they are happy and contended layers.
Bath Bridge Bakery
Bah Bridge Bakery, in Bridgwater, is another family business that supplies The Village Stores with a great product. We purchase all our fresh bread from this supplier and we recieve excellent feedback from customers who go out of their way to say how much they like it. We have fresh bread every day (except Sunday), including white, wholemeal, malted, cottage, cornbread, spelt & honey (wheat-free), sunflower ... the list goes on. Bath Bridge also supply us with fresh rolls, scones and cakes. We highly recommend this bread and suggest you place an order so you are not disappointed. Just let us know before midday the day before you want the bread.
Miles Tea & Coffee (www.djmiles.co.uk)
DJ Miles & Company Ltd is a long established traditional family firm, with a history going back over 100 years. The company originated in 1888 and has since grown and developed. It is now based in the small coastal town of Porlock where it continues to produce excellent teas and coffees. Our Miles agent, Salter Supplies, provide us with a variety of teas including, breakfast, organic, decaffeinated, redbush and west country. In addition we stock their instant and filter coffees, such as Columbian, English Breakfast, Mr Miles' Blend etc.
Why not try Miles tea and enjoy a taste of the west country - that's our favourite tea, by the way!
In addition to these, we also sell goods supplied by the following:
Exmoor Ales - real ales from Wiveliscombe (Somerset) > more information here
Glastonbury Ales - real ales and cider from Somerton (Somerset) > more information here
Mr Filbert's - nutty snacks, oils and drizzles from West Pennard, near Glastonbury (Somerset) > more information here
Clarkes - fresh fruit and vegetables from Taunton (Somerset)
Georgie Porgie Puddings - tradition steam puddings with a twist from Budleigh Salterton (Devon) > more information here
Lyme Bay Winery - wines and liquers from Axminster (Devon) > more information here
Sturt Barn - home-made apple juice from Stoke St Gregory (Somerset )
Figgy's Puddings - traditional christmas puddings from Exeter (Devon) > more information here
Gregory Cooks - home-made salds, meaty snacks and crostinis from Stoke St Gregory (Somerset)
Granny Gothards - farm-made ice-cream and sorbets from Stoke St Gregory (Somerset) > more information here
The Fine Cheese Company - cheese and savoury biscuits from Bath (Somerset) > more information here
Anne Lloyd-Jones - hand-reared organic lamb from West Lyng (Somerset)