I was a regular Tesco Delivery shopper, booking in my flexible slot the night before and building up quite an easy lazy list of items that I had grown to know. With two kids under two and a business to run this has suited me well. I am lucky I can then walk out into Beauly and purchase my meat from the butcher and a few treats from the deli Corner on the Square and that was my shopping pretty much done.
Then CoronaVirus put us on lockdown and getting a major supermarket delivery slot was impossible. This has forced me to get back into shopping local for all my needs and it is something I hope to continue. We have found that the small community we live in has really adapted and embraced community life during this pandemic and we are lucky to be a part of it.
Here are some top local suppliers
Hands down the best sourdough, world class and perfect texture. I like the the original, but they also do an excellent ‘porridge’ sourdough. Available to buy at Corner on the Square Deli.
A long standing favourite of mine, their products are available at markets and local shops, but to get the true section you need to visit their honesty shed where you can stumble across new creations like Chocolate Orange Jaffa, Amaretto or Berry Yoghurt flavour. Since lockdown we have visited much more often and with this good weather its an essential!
The foodie treat in Beauly. With their excellent wine selection, quinoa crisps, speciality products, the deli counter with prepared quiche, pork pies and scotch eggs (Johns favourites), you simply can’t leave without a full basket. During lockdown COTS have come into their own and provided the community with an extraordinary service. Jacqui and her team added all the fruit and veg and key products to their website and set up an order and collect/delivery system. The produce is notably higher quality so the fruit and veg not only taste better but last longer.
Last weekend we were able to order pizza takeaway which was exciting as take aways are few and far between up here.
The butcher has always been my go to for meat and eggs but during lockdown they have encouraged customers to place orders in advance. This has made me plan ahead with my food prep and get back into my slow cooker. It is marvellous, find a good recipe, order a kilo of mince, lamb shoulder, rolled pork or a whole chicken and whack in a load of spices and some liquid, 8 hours later and hey presto you have a scrummy meal and you have batch cooked a few freezer options for a later date.
The Storehouse of Foulis have also created a wonderful click and collect/delivery service. Quintin and Michelle have adapted their business model and helped many households in the wider community. We have very much enjoyed their prepared food range The Highland Cook House for evenings when it has been a busy day with kids and web orders. John offers to cook dinner and off he pops to the Storehouse to pick up a delicious dinner for two. My favourite is the Wester Ross Salmon Fillet.
I hope to continue this shopping pattern after COVID 19, it has made me look harder at the ingredients I buy and work my store cupboard….there were plenty of tins in there past their sell by date.. still taste OK but it has reminded me not be wasteful with food. I will always shop with our lovely local suppliers and I hope post Covid there will be a stronger support and commerical benefit for these small businesses who have adapted during this difficult time.