We make our sourcing decisions based on quality, locality & social responsibility. We use some great local suppliers and we’d encourage you to get in contact with them if you like; some run veg box schemes, some are fabulous local businesses & others can be found at the local farmers’ market. Below we introduce you to them as well as to products we champion due to their ethical story. Read on...
Our eggs are produced by F.A.I (Food Animal Initiative) at the University Farm in Wytham. They are from organic, free-range flocks that have access to large grassy paddocks. The FAI ensures the best welfare standards possible, including keeping flock sizes small, giving birds plenty of space indoors and outdoors, providing extra perching space, and dust baths for preening and scratching, so birds can behave naturally.
VEGETABLES, LAMB AND PORK
Charles and Sue Bennett run Sandy Lane Farm in Tiddington Oxfordshire. They grow a wide range of organic vegetables, and also keep pigs, sheep, and horses. Charles and Sue sell their veg every other week at the East Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market, and run a weekly cooperative market at their farm, selling a wide range of organic and local vegetables, meat, fruit, jams, cakes, bread, and flowers.
Cultivate Oxford are a co-operative social enterprise owned by the community and dedicated to local food in and around Oxford. They believe that strengthening our local food system also empowers our communities, increases the resilience of our local economy, protects our natural environment, promotes health and wellbeing, and enriches our culture.
Rectory Farm, a pick-your-own farm in nearby Stanton St. John, provide us with seasonal produce including asparagus, and berries during the summer.
GOAT AND KID MEAT
Michele Tomlin bought Southdown Farm in August 2009, having spent several years looking for a smallholding in the Witney area. They are a family enterprise developing a mixed farm of 22 acres. She has a range of goats including Golden Guernseys, Toggenburgs, Sannen and Anglo Nubians. Michelle provides us with kid meat as well as the occasional rare breed Oxford Sandy and Black pig.
SEAFOOD AND ASSORTED ODDMENTS
Based in Gloucestershire, New Wave Seafood provide the bulk of our fresh fish. Though it’s driven all the way from market in Cornwall, New Wave are MSC certified and aim to source line-caught fish from small day-boats. They also manage to find us a range of Cotswold foraged products and other tasty bits and bobs on their travels.
Ampersand: Hand crafted cultured butter
Grant Harrington, Lords Farm, Oxfordshire.
This batch churned cultured butter is made using the best ingredients – local Jersey cow milk produced from English bred Jersey dairy cows, a healthy bacteria culture and a dash of naturally mineral rich Himalayan pink rock salt.
The recipe derives from pre-industrialised Scandinavia, where cream was naturally aged in wooden casks throughout the long winters.
The culture in this butter is the good bacteria (lactobacillus), added to the rich, yellow jersey cream and aged, once it reaches the perfect maturity the cream is then churned. During this process, the lactose eat the sugars and carbohydrates in the cream and produce specific lactic acids which are incredibly rich in butter flavours, being probiotic, it’s better for you and the acidity, naturally increases it’s shelf life. Once churned, unrefined pink rock salt is ground and hand kneaded into the cultured butter, from the churn.
The difference in flavour profile between cultured and regular butter is most easily compared to that between crème fraîche and cream. Rich cream flavour complemented with a complex buttery acidic note, the specific lactic bacteria strain added actually produce healthy amounts of diacetyl and butyric acid - the flavour we all associate with butter.
"I created & (Ampersand) in late 2014, with the sole target of making butter taste as buttery as possible. After working as a Chef in fine dining restaurants, finally at Fäviken, Sweden, the last restaurant inspired me to learn why traditional and ancient, butter predominantly, making techniques actually produced a more flavourful, buttery, product. After a year of further scientific research on dairy fermentation, building and installing a cabin on a small farm in Oxfordshire, I felt comfortable to start supplying local Oxfordshire gastropubs. This quickly led to higher-class customers including over 15 Michelin starred restaurants such as: Restaurant Sat Bains (Nottingham), Jason Atherton's Pollen street social and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir (Oxfordshire)."
Toad Gin The Oxford Artisan Distillery is the first of it's kind in Oxford. Located at South Park Depot they distill a range of hand made spirits using heritage grain sustainably grown on organic farms within a 50 mile radius of their depot. They offer tours of their distillery so do check them out!
Elephant Gin A gin that funds elephant conservation... "From the very first bottle sold in September 2013, Elephant Gin has been giving 15% of all proceeds to two African elephant foundations to support the preservation of the African wildlife and help ensure that future generations will also be able to explore these magnificent landscapes."
We stock ChariTea iced teas; organic, fairtrade tea who donate to the Lemonaid and Charitea foundation, raising funding for social projects in Sri Lanka & South Africa.