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The New Old

We shop local, time to step back.

We’ve been encouraging you to ‘shop local’ since we started 11 years ago and have tried to practice what we preach. But since Coronavirus we’ve been doing this even more, in a bid to avoid supermarkets and confined spaces, and based on the number of people in town, we’re not alone.

Friday morning at 7:15am we’re off to do the weekly shop for ourselves and some family and friends and by 8:25am we’re back home; shopping done, kettle on and we haven’t stepped foot in a supermarket.

We park in the middle of our three destinations; first stop, the fantastic team at Ibbotsons for fruit and veg, which we pop straight into the van. Over to see Simon at the Cheese Factor for bread, bread cobs, pork pies, beer and of course cheese, then over to Meadowfresh for the best steak pies ever… and some meat. And that’s it, all done.

‘Outdoor shopping’ is obviously more pleasant when the sun is shining!

I’ve started thinking of this big town shop as our ‘outdoor supermarket’, and I like the additional feel good factor it gives me; the produce is generally sourced locally so has a less damaging carbon footprint, the people behind the counters know us, it’s sociable, the businesses tend to use less plastic and it’s really good for the Chesterfield economy… and it’s going to need all the help it can get in the near future.

If you want to know how this helps the local economy take a look at this ‘Tale of a Tenner’ video, it shows how the same £10 circulates and sustains around the businesses of a small town and supports the livelihoods of local people. I’m pretty sure buying from Amazon doesn’t boast the same benefits.

In between the ‘big shop’ we’ve place orders for collection from Adam’s Happy Hens; pies (their Homity is great!), top ups of fruit and veg, ice cream, cakes, plus whatever we’re short of, and eggs of course! They do a contactless order via Facebook message or a phone call, you can pay over the phone and when you drive up they’ll pop the goods straight in your car boot.

We also have milk delivered by Mike Wildgoose from Ladywood Farm, have a regular organic veg box from Riverfords, we’ve used Winster Foods for delivery of really good quality produce and staples, and this week we ordered delicious pies from The Bakehouse on Chatsworth Road, after they dropped a flyer through our letterbox.

We do still use the supermarkets, it would be remiss of me to suggest we don’t, even with the extra time on our hands to cook from scratch, we still use them for convenience foods and tins etc. but it feels good and positive to be using them less.

When things do return to normal, maybe we won’t have the luxury of time to prepare our meals from scratch… but it would be great to hold on to the best bits of this recent change.

I’ve just mentioned some of the seven businesses we’re using, but there are loads more that are open for business around the county.

Working with Ron Cameron and Stefan Dyson from the Covid-19 Chesterfield Support Network (a facebook group), Greg Hewitt and the team behind Chesterfield Mutual Aid Support and Destination Chesterfield, I’ve been maintaining a list of businesses that are open or have changed to offer delivery or collection. This list is pinned on the facebook page, so please check it out of you are looking for alternatives. You’ll also find it on the homepage.

We’re still in lockdown and it could be a considerable time before things get back to normal, but consider supporting these businesses once things start to open up again.

On our last trip to town I bumped into Helen Rowan, who does the great photos, and she commented how it felt nostalgic and had a warmth to it, and I completely agree, who doesn’t want nostalgia and warmth in their daily lives!

Oh, and one last point, if you do drive into town, please don’t sit outside the shops with your engine running, it kind of ruins it for all of us, and does nothing for the air quality!


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