Veg News 23rd September
This week’s Autumn equinox marks a real sea change on the UK veg front ….the last of the 'summer' crops are hanging on by a thread, but there are brassicas a plenty. Broccoli supply has eased after the tricky summer months, and as mentioned last week, there are some lovely colourful cauliflowers around – including the fractal wonder the Romanesque. We should have three varieties of kale in the majority of the time and not forgetting some impressive looking Brussels sprouts from Gielty near Ormskirk - not just for Christmas! There are a couple of recipes on our website if you need inspiration…
Most citrus fruit are now Spanish or Italian, some skins (lemons and satsumas) are still green at this time of year due to the similarity in day and night temperatures. It doesn’t reflect on their ripeness, and skin colour will change when it gets colder at night in Europe. Blueberries and watermelons are coming to an end, but are replaced by kaki (persimmon) and custard apples.
Last Modified - 23rd September 2015
Veg News 2nd September
Terrific selection of chilli varieties at the moment. They’re from one of our longest standing suppliers, Ward & Thompson, on the Fylde coast near Blackpool. The key for chillies is a long growing period. These will have been sown not long after Christmas to bear fruit now. They’re picking more varieties by the week, and there should be something to suit all tastes/recipes (check the photo & notes on our display). While not quite matching Chief Wiggam’s ‘Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenango’ in the Simpsons, Barry & Yvonne’s Barak chillies pack a mean kick!
From Europe, we’ve devoted so much time extolling the virtues of Muscat grapes and French figs that we forgot to talk melons. The French Charentais supply has been outstanding of late. New season Spanish mangos have started strongly (smooth & sweet) but the supply is sporadic for now. The lemon shortage has eased as we move into the new Sicilian crop… green but juicy.
Last Modified - 2nd September 2015
Veg News 5th August
A similar range to last week, with a fantastic selection of veg from across the North-West.
We’ve been really impressed with Duncan Gielty’s early season carrots from near Ormskirk. His farm, Lyncroft Farm, has been organic since 1980 when it was run by his father Alf. In addition to some good value brassicas (savoys, spring greens, etc.) and roots (leeks & potatoes) from his field scale operation, he also has 8 polytunnels. In recent months, these have provided us with pak choi, tomatoes, cucumbers & beans… plus now the appearance of green peppers.
On a similar note, we expect a more regular supply of UK aubergines in the coming months. Those from Carey in Herefordshire look particularly stunning. All being well, there will be aubergines from Libby Flintoff near Preston before too long. From Libby’s near(ish) neighbours Ward & Thompson on the Fylde Coast, lettuces are abundant… more from them come the weekend, including the slightly exotic looking (and very tasty) Italian oakleaf. Chillies too – Hungarian Hot Wax & Cayenne.
European logistics continue to be a trial at the Channel. We are still experiencing some delays. You may notice the occasional gap as a result, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t seem that important. It also illustrates quite how much of our veg range is from the UK at the moment.
Last Modified - 5th August 2015
Grow a Grocery
We think there’s room for a Unicorn-type store in every city, and perhaps more besides. We have no plans to expand outside the one shop, so we’ve put together a guide intended to help facilitate the emergence of new stores run on similar lines.
Starting a new business is a daunting process. The guide is based on the model Unicorn has tried & tested since 1996, and walks potential grocers through all areas of the business, in the hope that it will make starting a new shop an easier process and help existing shops improve and/or expand.
Read the guide here
Last Modified - 10th October 2013