5 ethical food businesses in Cheshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 10 September 2020
Food that’s good for you and for the planet
Pure Origin Chocolate
For lovers of the cocoa bean, this Wilmslow-based operation swerves mass production in favour of hand making all its bars from ethically sourced cacao, taken from the cool climes of Vietnam to the sticky farms dotting Colombia’s hinterland. You can suck on an earthy bar of extra dark Ghana with notes of coffee and molasses, go ultra-sweet with Colombia – a rich white chocolate with panela sugar, or for a nuttier finish, order the Venezuelan milk that’s a creamy caramel flavour.
A trusted supplier to some of the region’s top restaurants and beyond, including Higher Ground at Kampus, Jane Oglesby is a regenerative cattle farmer transforming depleted dairy pastures in Nantwich with pioneering farming techniques and breathing new life into its ecosystems. The result is a diverse and resilient space spread over 200 acres for her expanding herd of Dexter and Longhorn cows that live outdooors year- round, even during the harshest winters, and produce beef highly prized in the culinary world.
Weigh of the World
A few years ago, the concept of zero waste would have drawn blank expressions. But there are a handful of places across the country trying to stay ahead of the green curve, chucking nothing out and not wasting a thing. And in a nutshell, that’s the story behind Weigh of the World, bringing sustainable shopping to a corner of Northwich. The premise is refills, and shoppers can stock up on ingredients from rice, pasta and flour, to herbs, cereals and seeds, bringing along their own containers to fill up themselves, and swerving piles of packaging. It’s good for the planet and it’s good for your kitchen, too.
Fruits of the Forage
The founders of this foraging start-up struck upon the idea when stumbling across brambles and hedges laden with wild blackberries and elderberries, some of which had fallen from the branches and left to rot on the floor. Aghast at the waste, the team began to gather foraged ingredients and took it back to their HQ in Macclesfield, developing jams, chutneys, wines, beers and cordials, to wide acclaim. Pre-Covid-19, the Fruits of the Forage crew also ran hugely popular Wild Food Supper Clubs and have since dabbled in veg boxes, too.
Heritage at Home
For a savvy few, lockdown proved to be a fruitful period, spawning a handful of simple but clever foodie businesses. Take Halimah and Simon Darlington – a husband-and-wife team who took their passion for top-quality ingredients and combined their backgrounds in restaurants and finance to debut their organic veg box enterprise, Heritage at Home, back in June. The response has been staggering, with sign-ups from regular customers, including local private chef Sunitha Southern (the Indian Goat), who have been blown away by the quality of the produce, much of which is gathered from organic aficionados, Organic North. The focus is quality and everything is supplied at the top of the seasons when the flavours are best. From blush red tomatoes that taste of Italy, to bright and bold rhubarb behind masterful crumbles, you will never look at supermarket veg the same way again. Top marks too for the zero plastics policy – genius.