Supporting our suppliers

Farmers in field of beef cows

Keeping it Cornish; supporting our suppliers:

Our entire ethos at the Great Cornish Food Store has always been, and remains, to showcase the widest range possible of top quality local food and drink and in so doing, support local suppliers and producers from around Cornwall, be they tiny businesses operating from home kitchens or some of the well-known brands.

All of the food and drink we sell in the store is local, and more than 95% comes from within Cornwall. Where we can’t find a product in Cornwall we extend across the Tamar to Devon – but no further. We stock products from nearly 200 different local producers. In many ways, the store is a central outlet for the myriad small-scale food and drink producers who collectively make such an important contribution to the local economy. As such, never has there been a time more critical to support these businesses than now.

We value our suppliers like family – in short, our store wouldn’t exist without them.  And this is one of the reasons why, when the country was plunged into crisis nearly four weeks ago, we took the decision to stay open, any way we could.  Yes, we wanted our customers to be able to continue to get the fresh, top quality produce they love but, deep down, we knew we had to help our suppliers to get through the current emergency too.

We’ve always made a point of paying our suppliers on time and we know that this is now more important than ever.  We’re in touch with all our suppliers on a regular basis and are making sure that every supplier is paid for every item we’ve ordered, whether or not those products will actually get sold now that we’re operating in a different way and customers are not visiting the store.  

Olivier Davoust-Zangari Chef-patron at Froggy’s Cuisine based in Wadebridge, set up his business only recently and his hand-made tarts and cheesecakes have become a firm favourite among our customers in a very short time. Olivier talked to us about the encouragement he has received from Great Cornish Food Store. “When the crisis first happened, Ruth could have taken the easy option and closed the business,” he says. “Several others I know have taken this route, but she’s been incredible – and has persisted to make lots of produce available to shoppers. To be honest, I have kept going because of the Great Cornish Food Store. They’ve made a big difference to my business.”

 “The Great Cornish Food Store has always been amazingly supportive, especially so in the last few weeks,” adds Penny Williams of Penny’s Pies which is based in Manaccan on the Lizard.  “Initially, I was full of panic about my livelihood, but now things are improving as producers, stores and shoppers find new ways to fill cupboards and fridges. The help I have received from Ruth has played a massive part in that.  I could have been forced to shut down my business, so now every order I get is a bonus – at the store and some farm shops, as well as directly from shoppers. Once we’re all through the Coronavirus crisis, I hope consumers will continue to shop differently – to buy food locally as and when they need it – and to look out for local businesses a little more.”

We’re grateful to all our suppliers who have continued to support us here at the Cornish Food Store, and it’s lovely to know that they appreciate us too. These are hard times for businesses everywhere, but one of the most striking things we’ve seen come out of the crisis is the way in which communities have come together to get through. We’re glad to be a part of this; if it means our community and our economy come out the other side intact, we’ll know it was worth it.