Producing the Goods
Local Tastes and Local Roots
In Thame, Oxfordshire, a pioneering shop called Local Tastes was run by Geoff Gage. It only sold foods grown or made within a 30 mile radius, seasonal vegetables, local varieties of apples such as the Blenheim Orange from Waterperry Gardens near Wheatley, goats cheese from Leyhill Farm, Chesham, wine from Chiltern Valley Winery, Beechdean ice cream, honey, free-range eggs, locally milled flour, bread – four hundred items from sixty five producers. Information about the producers and their products was available in the shop.
Geoff also ran a Vegetable Box Scheme and has started a home delivery service for those who wish to shop online.
Unfortunately, we understand that Local Tastes ceased trading in 2007 - a great shame, and our sympathies go out to Geoff. To prevent the same happening in your place, use your local shop more, and encourage others to do the same. If it does not source locally, encourage it to do so. A strong and vibrant local economy of producers and retailers is an essential part of a healthy community.
Inspired by Local Tastes, Christopher and Sukey Jones opened a new shop, Local Roots, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in April 2008. They say "We retail quality goods (produce, art, furnishing, gifts, home wares, etc.) that have been produced within a 30 mile radius of the shop. Fromvegetables to cheese, gourmet baby food to handbags.
We very much believe in promoting an ecological approach to retail, with our produce sourced from organic farms and smallholdings, and our emphasis on fair trade and minimal environmental impact in all aspects of the business. For example, minimising our packaging, transportation and heating requirements. We also offer a cycle delivery service, supportive promotion of the Three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and a programme of children?s activities to engage younger ones in local environmental issues.
We aim to provide quality at a reasonable cost, in a family friendly environment, where children can safely wander, with baby change facilities, hot beverages, fruit and cakes available and space to relax and read the paper. We are not a large shop, but hope to be the sort of business where you would like to spend some time."
Contact: Christopher & Sukey Jones
Local Roots, 4 East St Helen Street, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 5EA