Meet our suppliers
About this website
The website was created by Pat Molyneux, a friend and business partner who designed both the website style and the editing suit that sits behind it. Pat’s a professional web designer with a string of satisfied big name customers to his credit.
You can visit his website at www.patmol.com
The single idea behind The Deli Shack’s online shop was that I would be able to update and add/remove content when ever I wanted to and not rely on a third party to do that for me. In that way the costs of ownership are kept very low and the opportunity to develop new ideas are pretty much limitless.
The end result of this approach is a fully operational and ready to go website that would allow any business owner to get cracking and start putting out products and information straight away and with a minimum of fuss. I had always envisaged that the finished article could be offered to other start up enterprises and such is the ethos of my business to work within my community that I’m making this information available in the hope that it’ll be useful to someone else who want’s to begin a new business, or perhaps a new life.
If anyone would like to know more about developing their own website, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do to help.
The Real Olive Company
When the idea for The Deli Shack was first conceived we envisaged a tapas style deli using West Country know how and sourcing. The immediate problem though was to find a supplier who could not only offer produce but would also be prepared go the extra mile and help us to get our business off the ground.
We found our partner in Bristol based The Real Olive Company who have been selling olives and tapas essentials for over 10 years. In that time they've amassed a wonderful array of Mediterranean produce that would grace any table or deli counter.
These guys have a special place in the history of The Deli Shack as it was the lovely Sarah who gave us our first account and explained us (a few times) about how to set up a deli style business.
For all their success these guys have stayed absolutely focussed on the quality of the produce that they sell and know exactly what their customers are saying because they still go to outdoor markets every week, really quite remarkable. If you get the chance to go and meet them then I would absolutely recommend that you do, or if you’re thinking about trade supply then drop Sarah a line, their website details are www.therealolivecompany.co.uk
Jason has been running "Roosters of Babylon" as a free range chicken farm for over 10 years. Jason knows that the only way to a good chicken is a free chicken. "The birds are free ranging and corn fed". "If the weather gets bad they go inside, just like us"."Quality not quantity is the free range business, you are eating something you know you can trust and that applies to any true 'free range' poultry"."Chicken farming begins at dawn and continues right around the clock but if we get time we head off to the pub..........and talk about chickens!". Have a look at their site at www.arkchicken.co.uk
When I first decided that I'd like to source and sell really good quality coffee I concidered all of the usual brands as you might expect. All of the branding and products were fantastically put together, but for me lacked some of the romance that a good coffee should bring, it was all just a little bit...pre packed.
Then I found Dave at Hawkins Coffee Ltd in Budleigh Salterton on the South Devon coast and was bowled over by his produce and delighted to find he was based only about 25 miles from where we live. Dave's coffee merchant business is all about quality, they are Master Blenders with many years experience in the trade and only ever use 100% Arabica beans. Their business is really small, but they're mighty and everything that they do is about personal, first hand experience, from the sourcing of the beans to the roasting and blending which is done in house.
To my mind it's the best coffee that I've ever tasted and I love the fact that the guys at Hawkins treat every bean with the true reverence that it deserves. If you fancy a hand made coffee give it a try, and to find out more about Hawkins Coffee Ltd just use this link www.hawkinscoffee.com
Palmers of Tavistock Est. 1912
Speaking personally I love good beef and I’m always happy to pay a bit more for a nice piece that has a beautiful flavour and texture. However if you want something just a little bit better it’s not always easy to find.
To find a source of first class beef I needed to meet a butcher who could guide me in my search and give me an insight into what makes fresh meat great rather than just simply good. The answer came when I met Duncan and Roger Bird, a duo of master butchers who own and run one of the finest fresh meat establishments that I have come across anywhere in the country. The basis they believe lies in using beef from traditional breeds, rather than continental crosses, that have pastured in areas where they have plenty of exercise and access to a rich verity of herbs and grasses. Then once they've selected a carcass for sale it's hung for at least twenty one days before cutting.... that's it, simple really.
Where Palmers sits today in the lovely town of Tavistock, there has been a butchers in operation since the late 1800’s and the tradition for careful selection of local produce has been carried on ever since. These gentlemen are consummate professionals and have given me a wonderful insight into what makes the difference between first class and simply good meat and it’s that distinction that I believe makes their beef and lamb best in class. If you like to find out more Palmers then please visit their website at www.palmers-tavistock.co.uk
Norsworthy Dairy Goats
Goats cheese is not for everyone, but a great goats cheese is something to be marvelled at. It is true to say that many goats’ cheeses have a sharp ‘billy goat twang’ that can be a bit off putting, but that just isn’t the case with the cheese produced by Dave and Marilyn Johnson at Norsworthy Dairy Goats.
These two lovely people prove that hard work absolute dedication will lead to success if you’re willing to persevere. The cheese that they produce is made from milk taken from their own farm and produced to a very old Dutch recipe. They started with just a few goats in 1999 and finally branched out in to cheese production by the end of 2002.
However in the truest tradition of artisan cheese makers both Dave and Marilyn struggled to make the business pay in the beginning and ran several other jobs to make ends meet whilst they concentrated on making what they believed was the best possible goats cheese. The great news is that today Norsworthy Dairy Goats is a flourishing business, winning a number of prodigious awards for their produce along the way.
If you visit their website www.norsworthydairygoats.co.uk you’ll find a number of markets where you can go and meet them, so if you’re in the area I’d thoroughly recommend going to have a chat and trying some of their delicious fayre.
Of all the artisan cheese makers that work with us Ridgewell Farm is, so far any way, the closest to hand being only a few miles away from Tiverton.
Set up only five years ago by Briony Copsey, once chemical engineer and now artisan cheese entrepreneur, to reflect her belief in the value of organic farming and hand made produce, the cheeses made on her farm are nothing short of magnificent and amongst the most popular that we sell. Not bad when you realise that she’s managed success whilst running the farm, attending markets and galloping around with two small children under her arm.
All production happens in a dedicated area within the farm where all the processes are carried out by hand including ladling the curds. "Even the weather affects how the cheese tastes," she has remarked, "Isn’t it great how each batch tastes just a little different?"
With such notables as Michael Caine's restaurant in Exeter featuring the classic 'Devon Belle', Ridgewell Farm is set to become a keynote for artisan cheese making in the South West Region.
If you get a chance to drop down to Exeter Farmers Market then be sure to go and meet her and try a sample of all of the cheeses that she makes, or alternatively visit the website at www.ridgewelldairy.co.uk
Mid Devon Chilli Farm
I'm a chilli fan and love to cook with them in all of their forms be it with meat or in a casserole of vegetables, but as with most things I like my food to taste great, especially in the case of chillis where I’m looking for heat tempered with rich flavours and not just having my head blown off.
John and Sandy started the Mid Devon Chilli Farm in 2004 from what was originally just a hobby. I met them when they working out of the Pannier Market in Tiverton and I immediately loved what they were doing and the enthusiasm that they had towards growing and developing their fruit. All of the sauces and preserves are hand made on the farm and are beautifully balanced, so unlike many other off-the-shelf chilli products you can really appreciate the subtlety of the flavours.
These days John and Sandy grow everything hydroponically in large poly tunnels at their farm near Exeter where they’ve just set up a visitor centre and are gainfully employing University students who come down to study and report on John’s methods and developments.
You can contact John and Sandy through their website at www.middevonchillifarm.co.uk and arrange to go over and see for yourself what a remarkable job they're doing and walk off with a great big bag of lovely hot chillies.
Good pork is great and I love to cook with it in all its forms from the mighty roast with crunchy crackling to casseroles and pan fried fillets and that’s how I met Jez Pitman, owner of a herd of beautiful Gloucester Old Spot pigs.
My relationship with Jez started at the Pannier Market in Tiverton where I would do some on the spot cooking demonstrations for him in return for some of his produce. As an ex Iraq combat soldier his life story is very interesting and covered to some extent on his website, but suffice to say that when he set up his farm in 2006 he was adamant that the welfare of his animals would be paramount.
All of the pigs on the farm are entirely free range and left to their own devices as much as possible. So for example they’re kept together as family groups with none of the painful and distressing interference that would be found on a more commercially intensive farm. I've been to the farm many times and it still delights me to see his beliefs in practice.
Why is that important, well the answer is simple. The pork from Jez’s farm is the best that I’ve ever tasted. There’s no nasty residue when you cook it and it doesn’t dry out when you roast it. The flavour I believe is all the sweeter in the knowledge that an ethical approach is really the best way.
If you can make it down to the Exeter Food Market on Thursdays you can have a chat with him about his farming techniques, or for further information go to his website at www.moonbeamsland.co.uk.
A good spread of tapas just isn't complete without good salami and air dried ham. This style of continental eating has really taken off in the UK over the past few years and should be enjoyedatany time of the year, regardless of the weather as it such a lovely and sociable thing to do, especially if it's being washed down with a good Rioja..
Well that brings me to, in my opinion, one of Cornwall's finest food producers, Delifarm Charcuterie based in Delabole near Padstow. Started in 2006 with a small Business Link grant and run by founders Jean and Peter this company is an absolute success story winning multitudes of accolades and awards along the way, they've even had Harrods knocking on their door..
The salamis and air dried hams are absolutely amazing and what's really impressive to me is that they haven't tried to copy the continental textures and flavours but instead have gone off in a direction wholly of their own choice with stunning results.
Possibly in time success might go their heads, but not so far and I some how doubt it ever will. The production unit is very modern with gleaming state of the art equipment and then just outside Jean will proudly show you the burger van where they first started curing hams, very impressive. The quality of their produce stems from their absolute dedication to good local ingredients and never rushing things through just to make a quick buck.
If you get a chance to see them at a food show I would thoroughly recommend that you go and have a chat, or go and have a look on their website on www.delifarmcharcuterie.co.uk
Manuka smoking originates from New Zealand where the Maori people use the indigenous wood for preserving fresh meats and fish which can’t be used at the time they're caught. What’s really interesting about that is the fact that in law excess fish and meat can’t be sold on, so basically if you catch it - you eat it. What a fantastic way of going about the business of harvesting from nature.
Mike, after whom the smoking business is named, lived in a Maori community for some time and so after returning to Devon began importing Manuka wood so that he continue enjoying the lovely rich flavour and also share the wonderful stories that he had collected during his time in New Zealand.
A couple of years ago Mike passed the business on to Grant and Sasha who still run it today and from there it’s become one of the great fresh produce success stories in the South West.
Winning prestigious awards every year since 2007 from the Taste of the West organisation and being heralded by the Guild of Fine Foods this traditional and non nonsense approach to great food and natural preservation just shows what can be achieved when we follow a few simple rules.
If you’d like to meet Grant and Sasha then they’re at Kingsbridge market first Saturday of the month, or just have a look at their website on www.mikes-smokehouse.co.uk