There is no secret about my passion for independent businesses. Even if “local” means being miles away from Birmingham, where I live.
During my last trip to Cornwall this month, I stayed in Talland Bay, also passing by Looe, Polperro, Fowey, Polruan, and the Eden Project (in Par). I made the most of it and tried to buy locally as much as possible.
To be honest, it’s not a difficult task for me because it is fairly easy to find everything that is needed from local shops. Especially in Cornwall where everything is fresh and quality.
Remember that every time you choose an independent souvenir shop, coffee, or any other kind of store, you are helping the local economy and/or families around to keep their businesses up. Not to mention that the variety of products are incomparable. And if you are looking for accommodation, Cornish Secrets is a great choice as well if you are looking to stay in a Cornwall cottage.
So let’s see my list of favourites during this mini-holiday break:
Shop: Purely Cornish is a farm shop and delicatessen located in Looe.
It’s a wonderful place to find Cornish beer and ciders and all some treating yourself with the most delicious bread, biscuits, chocolates, jam, marmalades, honey and etc.
I have noticed they sell other products as well, such as soap, kitchen clothes and even books.
The great thing about Purely Cornish is selling products from microbreweries and independent businesses around. From this shop I bought:
1- Lemonade by Cornish Orchards. An awarded-winning business specialising in premium ciders and juices. I have seen their products in many places in Cornwall. And I pretty much decided to bring some lemonade back home. It’s really refreshing and I am ready to try more of their products soon. Available for shopping online. : O)
2 – Multigrain Bread by Vicky’s Bread. Gorgeous product. The package is an invitation to meet Vicky itself. She does exist and has a beautiful story to tell us about her business! Seriously, I just love how local producers put their effort to present their products in the best way possible. Fresh and delicious. The variety of bread is an invitation to come back for more.
3 – Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam by The Cherry Tree. Despite having its products in Cornwall, it’s a successful family-run business located in Devon. Still neighbours. The Cherry Tree story started in 1997 and nowadays they have a range of quality products including 20 Chutneys, 14 Jams, 7 Marmalades, 3 Curds and our delicious Piquant Pepper Jelly and award-winning Horseradish Sauce. All are available for shopping online too.
4 – Marmalade by Homecrafts. It’s the literal translation of a local product. You get what you see! No website, just an address in Par and the idea of finding the purest marmalade ever. Brilliant!
5 – Cornish Lust (Nevek and Strawberry flavours) by Cornish Cream. No need for instruction. It’s just another successful family business that is on the market for some generations. Both Lust bottles were bought as a present to two dearest friends. And I confess I should bring some more to myself. Next time!
PS: I have bought a tea towel for my mom (the blue one in the picture above). No labels. So I have no idea who made it.
The Little Book of Cornwall was brought in a little shop in Polruan before taking my ferry to Fowey. But you can find it online or everywhere, really.
Shop: Cornish Delights, Looe. Together with Nanna`s gorgeous family-run business quality products such as our homemade traditional Cornish Fudge and a selection of the very popular and collectable Charlie Bears, since 1968.
Strawberry fudge, candy pebbles, and other types of chopped rocks were my selection in this shop. It’s all about sweets.
Shop: Eden Project, Par. How to explain the shop at Eden Project? It has a concept. That is the reason everything there is so awesome there.
Stuff we love: We care about how things are made and always source responsibly, so you can enjoy shopping knowing you’re making a difference. Everything we sell has a story to tell and we hope you enjoy discovering the different stories and ideas behind everything we stock.
It’s true. There are two shops in the Eden Project. One smaller one at the Biome entrance and the bigger one at the Visitor Centre. Do both! The smaller one has more products that will be related to Rainforests and the Mediterranean biomes. And wicked clothes.
1- Look for everything made with Baobab. I just got the Baobab & Lemon lip balm and I regret not bringing more products made of this ingredient.
2- The Tropical Rainforest Biome is inspiring. Thinking about it, the Eden Project put available a range of seasonal espresso coffee. And guess what: Brazil has been featured, of course.
3 – Piranha, tequila, lime jalapeno sauce. Yes, you read right. Took me some time to put it all together and find out it is the best combination ever had! The Cornish Chilli Company is responsible for this wonderful product and plenty of other great handmade sauces.
4- Rosehip & Cocoa Butter and Gardener’s soap. There are loads of handmade soaps and I was a bit lost in choosing my favourite ones. All made by Trevarno Skicare.
5- Smokey Cornish Ketchup. The tomatoes that go into the ketchup recipe were grown by People & Gardens at Watering Lane, which incidentally is Eden’s very own nursery and is where all the plants that you see on site are grown or quarantined before heading to the biomes. Enough said!
6- White chocolate with baobab and Magadascan vanilla It’s handmade in Cornwall using cocoa and sugar from Fair Trade co-operatives in Central and Latin America as well as West Africa.
7- The tote bag is an obligatory item for most trips. Not different here.
(There are some other bits & bobs such as fridge magnets and birthday cards, but it’s pretty much what I brought back home from my beloved Cornwall.)
Buying to transform lives:
“The Eden Project is an educational charity and social enterprise, changing lives and making a difference where we can. When you buy something from our shop, you’re supporting our work, as all profits go to our educational programmes.
We’ve worked with groups of homeless people and former offenders to create amazing gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show. Not only have they won medals but have boosted individuals’ self-confidence and given them new skills. Find out more about the social inclusion projects at Eden.”
So think local next time you are away!