Waitrose: a passion for local food

PUBLISHED: 10:55 18 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:44 20 February 2013

Waitrose: a passion for local food

Waitrose: a passion for local food

The Headline Sponsor and Sponsor of Food Product of the Year at the 2012 Warwickshire Life and Worcestershire Life Food and Drink Awards is Waitrose. Here the company explains its commitment to the region's produce

The Headline Sponsor and Sponsor of Food Product of the Year at the 2012 Warwickshire Life and Worcestershire Life Food and Drink Awards is Waitrose. Here the company explains its commitment to the regions produce...

We have a team of product managers who are dedicated to the sourcing of local and regional produce. They are constantly searching the country to uncover culinary gems from each region. Every branch has a local and regional selection, stocking more than 2,500 lines with 1,800 of these being supplied in just a handful of branches.

We work closely with our suppliers to support and develop their business as they grow, ensuring that the same homemade quality can be provided on a larger scale to our branches. Tracey Marshall, our local and regional product manager says: It is really important to us to reflect the specialties of the local region by sourcing produce that has been made nearby to branches. It can be very exciting when we find something that has real potential to succeed. Working with small suppliers is extremely rewarding, seeing them develop their business first hand.

There are Waitrose branches in Great Malvern, Droitwich and Stourbridge in Worcestershire and in Warwickshire at Alcester, Kenilworth and the newest regional branch at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Our Stratford-upon-Avon branch opened on Thursday, July 26. Forty local products are stocked in the new branch, including Asiri Foods and Holywell Water from Worcestershire.

Asiri Foods makes exotic pickles and chutneys. The small business was started in 2010 and was initially sold in local farm shops and delicatessens. As the award-winning products have become increasingly popular, Waitrose has supported the growth from being stocked at Asiris local store at Great Malvern to the eight stores currently.

Waitrose Stratford-upon-Avon is selling Asiri Foods Spicy Beetroot Chutney and its best-selling Brinjal Pickle. These exciting flavours are created by Asiri Hall in her home kitchen in Malvern,using her mothers traditional Sri Lankan recipes. All the ingredients are sourced locally and then made into the exotic condiments within hours of harvesting in order to maintain the delicious flavour of the natural ingredients.

Asiri Hall from Asiri Foods says: It is really exciting to see our products go into another Waitrose branch. We have seen our business expand rapidly since going into our first branch in 2011 and are now looking to move to a large premises to increase the production. The support from Waitrose and their customers has been fantastic.

Holywell Malvern Spring Water is a family-run company that recently resumed the bottling of fresh water from the spring in Malvern, a practice that was originally started in 1622. Not only are bottles of still and sparkling Holywell Malvern Spring Water being sold in the new Waitrose branch, but the Waitrose caf offers smaller bottles of the water too. It is famous for being the Queens favourite and is reputedly some of the purest water in the country. Rhys Humm, director of Holywell Water, says: Having Holywell Malvern Spring Water in Waitrose has been a huge success for us. It was of high importance to us that local people could buy this world famous water that has been the preference of the last five British monarchs, and Waitrose was the perfect way of doing this.

Waitrose truly understands the concept of being able to offer their customers something different to anybody else, an ideal we also work hard to maintain here at Holywell Malvern. They give the little guys a chance to grow.

There are several interesting beers brewed that are stocked in our branches locally. The Purity Brewing Company is based in Warwickshire and creates award-winning ales such as Mad Goose, Pure and UBU Purity ales. Teme Valley Brewery blends different varieties of Worcestershire hops to produce unique flavours. Two of its real ale beers, This and That can be found in five of our branches across the counties.

Clives Apple Juice orchards from Upton-upon-Severn, is a family-run business started in 1917. It produces single variety juices using traditional methods, freshly pressed as soon as the apples are harvested. Three varieties of their delicious juices can be found in our branches in the surrounding area.

To add some interest to everyday dinners, Plantation Cottage herb jellies of Bricklehampton, near Pershore, is a great meal accompaniment. Jalapeno, tarragon and lavender are just some of the unusual flavours that have been conjured up by Plantation Cottage using home-grown fruit and herbs from their garden in Worcestershire.

Finally, we supply luxury ice cream made by Just Rachel in Herefordshire, ranging from classic vanilla to salted caramel. These delicious desserts are produced with passion and authentic local ingredients.

These are just some of the local and regional products that can be found in the Worcestershire and Warwickshire region, all chosen due to the high quality of product and local sourcing of ingredients.


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