The answer, before you go any further, is probably nothing. Apart from the fact that the inspiration for writing it came after an article was forwarded to me by Lyn at Dougals Den. The article from This is staffordshire, highlights what can happen when a group of people work together.
I am fortunate to live and work in South west Wales, not far from a small market town called Newcastle Emlyn. It has its own Castle, Livestock Market, weekly local produce market, as well as a host of independant retailers. But best of all to me, it has its own character and individuality . I quite often visit the town as friends own shops there, and like me they are small businesses, who are grateful for customer loyalty. After reading the Totally Local article, it struck me I wasnt really doing our local traders much good, yes I will sing their praises, I enjoy the banter in passing, but I wasnt really spending that much money in the town. The occasional loaf of bread, milk, sweets and craft goods for presents.
As I was in the town today, inspired by the article, I thought I would go trash and try and put a meal together for four with ingredients costing less than £10, Last of the big spenders. But lets face it, thats half what a takeway would cost and probably less than a Macdonalds would cost.
First stop was the Butchers, where I picked up a beautiful Topside Silverside joint, for less than it would have cost at the supermarket. The chap behind the counter was also more than happy to tell me how best to cook it.
Then a walk along to The Carrot Cruncher..organic and locally grown produce. Leeks, Carrots and Parsnips were sourced, purchasing just what I needed for tonights meal…so no waste. Total cost…well I slipped £10.01, but there will be enough beef left over for Sandwiches tomorrow.
Getting home The veggies were washed of soil (when was the last time I had to do that) and even peeling them, the smell was fantastic. Its true, there is a difference.
I don’t drive when it isn’t necessary, and living rurally try and weigh been green with shopping locally in one place. From now however, Im hoping that I can regress to my childhood, and revive those memories of going into the separate shops for the different items. I figure if I get into the habit of just taking an extra couple of minutes to get the fruit, veg and meat, I can help support local business better.
Please do read the article about Leek, its inspiring and should make us think as consumers and small businesses. Times are hard for lots of people at present, but this is something that everyone could take a part in, and all those little bits could soon add up. It starts with me, It starts now….but thats for another blog
PS if you do get into Newcastle Emlyn, dont forget to visit Bagage, Country Cabin, Fleur De Paris and say hello from me. You can say hello to anyone else, but they may not be sure who you are talking about!