At Gloucestershire Hampers we select products for their special taste and quality, and for the contribution they make to our glorious Gloucestershire county. Food and drink shapes some of our finest landscapes, and artisan producers bring life to their communities and local markets.
What’s the story of these passionate producers? Here’s an introduction to some of the people behind the products…
As a trained chef, Sarah Churchill is passionate about food, and makes her multi-award winning preserves from her small Gloucestershire kitchen. Inspired by the forsaken fruit from a local Mirabelle tree, she sources ingredients from local fruit farms, as well as foraging expeditions. Her combinations of fruits and vegetables are both delicious and daring, resulting in some truly original jams, marmalades, pickles and chutneys. Our own Gloucestershire Orchards Trust helped supply the plums that went in to the Blaisdon Red Plum jam which recently won Sarah the Great Taste Award for Small Artisan Producer of the Year. A brilliant achievement for everyone involved and exactly the kind of partnership we need to help promote and protect our iconic Gloucestershire landscape of old orchards. www.theartisankitchen.co.uk.
Barnes and Adams
John Barnes and Matt Adams are doing a brilliant job of putting into practical action their enthusiasm for all things orchard. Motivated by the desire to use unwanted fruit, that would otherwise go to waste each year, they are helping to preserve some of Gloucestershire’s diverse, traditional orchard heritage. They have researched, refined and continue to experiment in ways of producing the most delicious, award winning sparkling ciders, traditional perries and juices. This in turn brings value to the orchards and helps safeguard their future (and the wildlife they support) as special features of the Gloucestershire landscape for us and future generations to enjoy. www.barnesandadams.com
Tucked away in the north Cotswold Hills, Yvonne is the founder and creative brains behind Chocolate Tree. She creates handmade chocolate novelties for local outlets and markets. With the character and flair of her designs, we couldn’t resist including her Gloucester Old Spot pigs in our hamper selections. www.chocolate-tree.co.uk.
Helen and Dave and their team at Days Cottage, do more than just produce award winning apple juice, ciders and perry. Their commitment to traditional orchard management and production leaves a legacy for the Gloucestershire landscape, wildlife and its communities. By championing heritage varieties in their unsprayed orchards and blending varieties to make their juices, they obtain flavours richer than mass produced commercial fruit juice can achieve. Their grassland orchards are maintained by grazing sheep where wild flowers, fungi, insects, birds and mammals thrive. They run education and community workshops at their Orchard & Rural Crafts Centre, host the Gloucestershire Museum Collection of apple varieties unique to the county, (with wonderful names such as Taynton Codlin, Flower of the West and Underleaves), and reunite people with the flavours of their youth through their apple sales at Stroud Farmers market every Saturday. www.dayscottage.co.uk
Based at the heart of the Kingsholm community of Gloucester, Ethical Addictions is a small family company with big ideas. By sourcing high quality coffee and buying direct from the growers, this ‘direct trade’ means a much higher proportion of the price returns to the growers. This is much the same principle of buying-local here in Britain, but extended for global products – essential for coffee lovers! www.eacoffee.co.uk.
Paddock House Produce
Based at a Cotswolds family farm near Cirencester, Susan Russell is the mastermind behind Paddock House Produce. She combines kitchen garden produce with wild hedgerow foraging for the exciting twist to Paddock House flavours. Ingredients are also sourced from neighbouring farms and gardens to produce amazing combinations of delicious and original jams, marmalades, chutneys and membrillos. The farm’s operations are environmentally sensitive, with well-maintained hedgerows and new tree planting to help support its local wildlife population. www.paddock-house.com.
This 60 acre organic farm in the stunning landscape of the Forest of Dean grows over 30 different varieties of apple and pear all to high organic standards free from chemical sprays and artificial fertilisers. As well as Soil Association approval, Ethical Consumer Magazine rated them Best Buy from 32 different makers of juices for their cradle to grave sustainability and production standards. Ragmans Farm share their experience through education and training in sustainable land practices, not just for their orchards but also in their production of shitake and oyster mushroom logs and their partnered market garden produce; alongside courses in permaculture, sustainable bee keeping and living willow. This care is reflected in the quality of the juices and special blends of Sweet, Medium and Dry apple juice, Papple (Pear & Apple), Prapple (Pear, Raspberry & Apple), Rapple (Raspberry & Apple) and Apple & Blackcurrant. www.ragmans.co.uk/home
The Bull family have been producing cider and perry from their orchard farm at Awre for three generations, while the tradition for cider production goes back centuries across the Vale of Gloucester, into the Forest of Dean beyond. The family source their fruit locally and take pride in selecting fruits from traditional vintage varieties. This could explain why they’ve won so many awards for their drinks, and are a familiar welcome sight at Gloucestershire’s local events and celebrations. www.severncider.com
Stroud Brewery make fantastic award winning beers which celebrate local places, landmarks and folklore. Greg Pilley and his team place the community and the environment firmly at the heart of their operations. By using organic barley from local Cotswold farms, Stroud Brewery helps support farmers managing their land in a sensitive way. Their latest project Your Pint Your Place aims to promote and raise awareness of this relationship between the Cotswold farms’ landscape, the Stroud Brewery and the community – the very people who enjoy the beer. www.stroudbrewery.co.uk
VQ Country Wines
Debbie Attrill’s uncle provided her with her first fermentation bin and beginners guide to wine making over 25 five years ago. Since then her enthusiasm has grown into VQ Country wines which uses nature’s harvest to produce high quality traditional country wines. The fruit, flowers and vegetables are unsprayed and hand-picked. The natural flavours are preserved through the fermentation process with only minimal sulphite added for storage purposes. Natural pest control and fertiliser is provided by the farm’s feathered and four-legged workforce of hens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and pigs, which in turn benefits the wider ecology of this spectacular area of the Forest of Dean. www.vqcountrywines.co.uk
YumYum Cupcakes and More
Working tirelessly from her kitchen among the beautiful five valleys of Stroud, Jacqui sources local ingredients where possible and supports Farmers Markets and specialist local sales outlets. Jacqui has a creative range of cakes and confectionery. We are delighted to feature her exquisite truffles, fudge and chocolates in our goodie bags and hampers. www.yum-yumcupcakes.webs.com.