Shopping local

I went to my local cookery shop in Berwick-upon-Tweed today. This isn’t really very exciting but I have been too busy or too exhausted to try and get anything organised for a recipe this week – I have about 4 on the back burner with lots of deep research and planning but the actual doing the recipe seems to pass me by! I thought it would be quite interesting to write up this lovely shop.

It goes by the name of The Cookcraft Kitchen Shop and it is run by a lady called Liz who is enormously friendly and really makes the whole experience. It is tiny shop with a big table in the middle and shelves around the three sides, a till with a range of premium knives above and then some baking goodies leading up to the stock room. I think the reason I love the place so much is because almost every square inch of space is taken up with different products and – while this could be taken the wrong way – aesthetics take a back seat in order to cram every last whisk and spoon into the shop. I’m not saying that it is messy or ugly, just very functional and stock takes priory!

If I had to use a phrase to describe the place, it would probably be no-nonsense. Everything that is crammed onto the shelves and racks is there because it serves a purpose. There are a few Joseph Joseph things and a few OXO Good Grips things but it seems like everything has had to prove its worth to Liz before she allows it into the shop. There is a funny article on the site about finding the right peeler and it being the reason she opened the shop! It does sort of sum the place up.

I live in a really rural area, my nearest cities (and John Lewis!) are 50 miles away and because I am so busy, I never really get there so I tend to use Amazon a lot. I know that makes me a fundamentally bad person and condemned to death when the revolution comes! However a service that can get an item to me by the next day with free delivery at a very competitive price – especially when I have a limited income – takes a lot of beating. But sometimes you have to look at the addition of value, the service. Liz knows all her products inside out and never have I thought, oh she is trying to sell me something more expensive to make more money. Everything is legitimate. There is always a nice friendly chat and I always leave having learned something.

The other thing that should be mentioned is that she also organises the Berwick Food Fair – which for one reason or another, I have never been able to get to. I hope Alyson and I can go next year.

I do try and use Liz’s shop as much as I can and one day, when I can justify it, I will buy some Wusthof knives from her and I will be able to upgrade all of my pans. I try to never leave empty-handed and on this occasion, purely out of interest for the article (I promise!) looked at the cost of the item I bought and it was exactly the same price as on the Amazon site! Much better value!


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