Local in Lockdown

This tasty haul was delivered a few weeks back and oh my gosh what a welcome sight during the third lockdown in the UK. The #local4lent challenge begins on Feb 17th so why not nip in if you’re local or get a delivery and try some fab things from these great small businesses. The challenge is about giving it a go, trying something new and seeing if you can make a switch to buying something locally, which you don’t already.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of a walk round Astley Hall (not the actual hall but the grounds and the park etc its all free) followed by a stop at Barrica then you’ve seriously missed out. If you’re not local to Chorley then don’t panic because they deliver to Preston too. 👌 Barrica in the park is everything I love about shopping local, it’s a gorgeous collective of different indie businesses. Jane is an absolute delight too but they’ve not had it easy. They moved into the new place about 5 mins before the first lockdown or something daft. Anyway thought I’d share a run down of some of our fave things and some pics of the actual shop too.

Barrica Wines – would be rude not to start with Jane! Beer, gin, wine, cider, whisky, tonics… you name it! Genuinely something to suit most budgets and all the expertise to help you choose. Plus great snacks from the likes of Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps. Big fan of Cuckoo Gin at the mo and anything Beer Brothers are brewing.

All You Knead – THE nicest breads (and they’re soya free which for me is such a find, the vast majority of shop bought bread contains soya and you’d be surprised how much bakery bread does too!), Portuguese tarts, sausage rolls… honestly basically everything they make is DIVINE. 😋

Rivington Chocolates – the honeycomb dipped chocolates are my absolute fave – dark or milk I seriously don’t mind. It’s a good job they don’t come in bigger bags because I have zero self control when it comes to these.

Lotties’s Tea and Coffee – huge selection of loose leaf tea and coffee and they’ll refill jars etc if you want to save on packaging which is great. Andy loves a decaf coffee and they’ll grind to whatever you need to. I actually had no idea you needed different

The Brinscall Baker – if you’ve never tried these brownies then order some immediately. You can usually pick them up individually wrapped at Barrica and I would totally recommended them. I ordered a box when I went to Woman Kind North last March and I’m not gonna lie, it was a definite highlight of the day!

Other local items on offer…

  • Sunflower Kitchen – Andrea makes the best artisan desserts, the cheesecakes are to die for.
  • Our Paula’s – Veggie & Plant-based Butters, Pates – the garlic and chilli butter is delish and makes great garlic bread.
  • Fatjax Chutneys – I actually can’t remember when I first met Paul, his chutneys and jams are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The Bengal Spiced Pineapple and the Classic Chilli Jam are definitely 2 of my faves.
  • The Bee Centre – these guys used to be based at Salmesbury Hall which is where we discovered them but now live over at Brindle Distillery at Cuckoo Gin HQ. Jane stocks their honey and they are all amazing, the English Heather honey is SO good and actually rivals Manuka for the medicinal properties. Once you make the local honey switch, you won’t be able to go back!
  • Heritage Cheese from Kickass, Butlers Cheese and loads more!

We first met Jane maybe back in 2012 (ish!), at the farm shop near us which was the home of Barrica Wines back then. The thing with shopping local, buying from someone with a passion, you feel it from the moment you meet them. From the first time we set foot into that shop we knew we’d be back. We were students and Jane was amazing at helping us choose wine or beer within budget. Remembering what we’d had the previous time and suggesting others we might also like. Telling the stories behind the vineyards or the breweries, offering tasters and explaining the craft in each artisan product. My tastes have definitely developed since my Uni days and I remember excitedly telling Jane I finally liked red wine after a trip to Spain (only to fall pregnant soon after) – gutted! I know I’ve talked about the sense of community shopping local brings in my Market Community post last month but it really is the thing which strikes me every time. I’m from a small village in Yorkshire and I absolutely love walking into a local shop, the market, a cafe and the person behind the counter knowing your name, asking after a relative, telling you about the new thing they’ve got in which they know you’ll love. Because their passion is infectious, their investment in you as a customer reflects the investment you put in them – it’s a 2-way street and many of these people have genuinely become friends over the years. I think that feeling of disconnect, lack of community and often isolation which effects so many places and people is just so devastatingly sad. The spaces I’ve felt that community spirit in bucket loads is most definitely on the high street and online in the places where these small independent businesses are, it’s something I feel called to support and invest in and something which during a global pandemic brings hope.

Wow – can you tell I’ve had a glass of wine and it’s late! Well the long and short of it is, I’d love you to experience this too (if you haven’t already) – honestly it’s such a tonic. I’d also love to hear about your favourite shops, traders, producers etc so please comment or drop me a DM on Instagram and don’t forget to get on the #local4lent challenge.

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