Shop Local with Social Media?

Today I have had fun shopping for food in Framlingham, Yoxford and the Sandlings. Yesterday, I had a mystery shopping assignment to a top four supermarket. What a soulless place it was; the assignment itself was interesting but above anything it restored my understanding of why I don’t shop in the big four often. Today was a wholly different experience. First I picked up from the Framlingham Market Facebook page that the lovely Darren, below, was doing a Facebook deal on sea bass. So I went along and ask for two Facebook, great success – apparently I wasn’t the first, someone bought their’s with the papers at 7.00am.

Then I popped over to see Roger Etheridge on his veg stall, I bought watercress which will go nicely with the bass and a few purple sprouting plants. There was a time when I bought boxes of fruit and veg from Roger, but now I grow more and buy less.

Next stop was to meet Twitter friend Carl, or as I know him @solebaycheese, another one of those introductions where I have to remember that most people only know me as a green blob and a dodgy twitter name. Carl has just taken over the Yoxford Post Office and is in the ‘soft opening’ phase. This allows for the Post Office training to be carried out by the previous Sub-Post Master; I dutifully posted a parcel to ensure the training was maximised. Carl served me the most gorgeously gooey piece of Vacherin cheese, whilst dispensing tips on how to prepare and cook; that’s service. Good luck to you Carl, I really hope the new business takes off and look forward to the coffee and free wifi once it’s up and running.

Next stop was Orford country market to test out @PumpStreetBakery’s bread. The market is run in the hall and is a delight. I also bought some sausages with caramelised onion and some potatoes. The Pump Street Bakery stall was being run by @patorford and there was a roaring trade. Some fabulous looking pastries, croissants and meringues too. I now have a huge loaf of crusty bread to enjoy with the cheese. Pat mentioned that the village shop in Orford is taking off. It is fantastic, full of local produce and with a small coffee area, I bought a beautiful Romanesco and some Marybelle milk.

From there a quick jaunt to Snape farmers market for High House discovery apple juice, perfect pale lemon pink in colour and Suffolk Blue cheese, piri-piri Sutton Hoo chicken and then off Friday Street market for some Paddy and Scott’s coffee and smoked garlic.  All in all, far more miles than I would normally do, but such fun and I have a tidy haul of food to serve over the next few days, topped up with some more veg and fruit from the garden, all will be well.

So what do you think – are we about to see a renaissance for the village shop or market?  It may never be able to compete on price but how about quality and friendliness combined with convenience, is it a price worth paying?  Vote below and add comments, for example should local shopping use social media more?

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Posted on November 6, 2010, in cheese, coffee, food, Foodie/Green/Gardening, Rural Econom, rural Suffolk, Suffolk, Suffolk Diet and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I bet you are having a lovely supper this evening! Isn’t romanesco so beautiful? Sorry to have missed you this morning if you came over to the bakery shop – do let me know next time you are in Orford and hopefully I can show you around (or we’ll be open)!

  2. Sorry to have missed you too. So excited by the idea of your bakery shop – the pastries looked fabulous. The bread is great with the Vacherin and some of the red onion marmalade I made last week.

  3. Looks like a fab haul and lots of good shops to choose from. I will try them out on my next Suffolk jaunt.

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