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Why We Love Local!

10 Reasons to Shop Locally

Here in Kent we are spoilt for choice with some fantastic farm shops, independent shops, corner shops, boutique shops, handmade shops, roadside stalls, and markets all packed full of local, seasonal, speciality food as well as those daily essentials.

Here are our top 10 reasons why we at Taste Kent love to shop locally.

  1. Local = Community With the pandemic meaning more of us working from home on our own, and not able to socialise as much as we would like; some of us might go for days without seeing a familiar face, while the anonymity of modern life and shopping online or in larger shops can be impersonal. But shopping locally can make us feel part of our surrounding community and seeing a familiar friendly face regularly can actually contribute to our sense of wellbeing.
  2. Local = Convenience As a country we have changed our shopping habits in the last decade or so, the big weekly shop does not fit in with our hectic lives. Most of us are shopping for less but more regularly rather than the big weekly shop, local shops lend themselves well to this – no need to travel to the large out of town hypermarket, just stop by the local on your way home from work or collecting the children from school.
  3. Local = Supporting Small Business By shopping locally we are directly supporting a family business, helping them to put food on the table and provide for their own family. Most local farm shops/independents stock local produce, thereby supporting a whole chain of other small independent businesses.
  4. Local = Better for the Planet Local produce hasn’t come so far; it’s not shipped by large air freight halfway across the globe and is a much greener and sustainable shopping option.
  5. Local = Better Service We have found small independent shops more likely to go the extra mile, when the large supermarkets ran low on stock at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and couldn’t keep up with the demand for home delivery, who stepped in? The little local shops! Many of them setting up their first-ever delivery service or just making sure the elderly got their supplies without having to leave the house. Bravo!
  6. Local = Quality An independent shop can choose what it stocks, how much and when rather than being tied into contracts with big commercial suppliers, which usually means better quality, seasonal produce.
  7. Local = Saving Money Some of the larger supermarkets are now coming round to the idea of offering loose items but the small locals have long been providing this which means the customer can buy in smaller quantities if they choose, therefore saving money. A few independents like Macknade also offer an unpackaged section where you can purchase your dried goods in the quantity you choose with a reusable container.
  8. Local = Preventing Waste When we are given the option to buy in smaller quantities, there is inevitably much less waste. In the UK in 2018, household food waste for a year amounted to £210 per person![1]
  9. Local = Speciality Pop into a good farm shop or independent and it’s like embarking on a foodie’s adventure; you popped in for milk but you’ve found honey made by bees visiting your local hedgerows or you’ve come away with some heritage, seasonal apples which would be a variety lost forever if it wasn’t for the passion of the local grower. Let’s cherish these shops for the more unusual food and specialty items they offer.
  10. Local = Provenance We believe that knowing where your food has come from, the soil it has grown in and the hands that have tended for it makes it all the more tasty and enjoyable!

Some of our favourite independent local shops are Macknade in Faversham and Elwick Place(pictured above); renowned for its butchery, charcuterie and cheese deli but also for an amazing range of local groceries and Italian foods inspired by the heritage of the founders. Like an Aladdin’s Cave for foodies Woods of Hollingbourne is so much more than a local shop and is cherished by the community for showcasing locally produced items. Other great places to pop by are Silcocks Farmshop near Tenterden and Foodies Emporium in Headcorn.

To find the best places to shop near you visit:

www.buylocalfoodanddrink.co.uk/kent

www.fabulousfarmshops.co.uk/kent

https://localfoodbritain.com/


[1] https://wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Food_%20surplus_and_waste_in_the_UK_key_facts_Jan_2020.pdf#:~:text=WRAP%20research%20shows%20we%20now,eaten%20(4.5%20million%20tonnes).

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AJ is a food writer, editor and PR.