Cookies on this website We use cookies on our website to make sure we can give you the best experience while browsing. If you are happy with this, please continue to use this site as normal or learn more

 

Buying from the best

Lauren Thackray Puente, 03 August, 2018
If you’ve ever visited the North Yorkshire market town of Helmsley, chances are you’ve found yourself gazing longingly through the windows of Hunters…
 

This award-winning delicatessen, run by husband-and-wife team Chris and Christine Garnett, is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of cheeses, wines, chutneys, chocolates and just about everything else you could hope to find.
Inntravel’s Lauren Thackray Puente ventured inside recently to meet Christine and chat about all things Hunters.

Q: TELL US HOW YOU CAME TO RUN HUNTERS OF HELMSLEY?
Chris and I both come from Yorkshire farming families and we grew up surrounded by delicious, home-grown food. After several years of running a busy fish and chip shop together in Leeds, we felt it was time to return to the countryside and to surround ourselves with fresh produce once again. So, when Hunters came up for sale in 2008 we jumped at the chance to buy it! We now run the shop together, and have a fantastic team of 11 people working with us.

Q: WE’VE SPIED QUITE A FEW LOCAL PRODUCTS ON THE SHELVES. IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO WORK WITH LOCAL PRODUCERS?
Very – we firmly believe in supplying local people with local produce. To give a couple of examples, local baker Sophie from Bakehouse in the Barn works for us two days a week and is responsible for many of the delicious cakes and sweet treats you’ll find in the shop, and we also sell heather and blossom honey from Yorkshire Honey – a very local company run by the father of an Inntravel employee!

[While I’m chatting to Christine, a local couple pop in to buy their tea leaves and porridge oats. Christine greets them like old friends; afterwards she tells me they have lots of customers who visit the shop daily for essentials, as well as those who come to find treats for special occasions.]

Q: DO YOU MAKE ANYTHING YOURSELVES?
We prepare some things here in our dinky little kitchen, including all the salads and meats we sell in our deli (it’s a shame the kitchen isn’t any bigger or we could do a lot more on site). We also have our own brand ‘Hunters of Helmsley’ goods but we don’t make these ourselves; we source (almost) everything from within a 25-mile radius and then package and brand these products in our lovely packaging. We also sell produce from around the world; much of what we sell cannot be bought anywhere else locally and we change our offering seasonally – you should see the amazing treats we have in at Christmas!

Q: ANY FAVOURITES?
Too many to list! I LOVE our strawberry jam, and the rare roast beef which is cooked here on site – Chris and I have this most Sundays with vegetables bought from Helmsley’s Friday market and my Yorkshire puddings (I was taught at a young age how to make these properly!). Our olives are pretty good, too – we actually source these from Silver and Green in the Lake District, but that still counts as the North!

Q: WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Tasting the food, obviously! And working with local suppliers; we hold tasting days with the suppliers so that all of our team really understand the products we are selling – this is very important to me. The suppliers always ooze passion for their products and we want to be able to sell with confidence. Sophie, who is working with us today, is a perfect example of this. We are hoping to work together with Sophie and Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil to produce some vegan muffins – it’s lucky you are here actually as we have some sample muffins downstairs.

[Lucky indeed! I brought some back to the office for the team to try and they were very tasty! A delicious combination of banana, date, wholemeal flour, pecan and cinnamon mixed with Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil!]

Q: WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR NEW PRODUCTS?
We spend a lot of time at our house in the Algarve and food always makes up a huge part of the holiday. I love trying everything; I love the small backstreet tavernas serving freshly caught fish, and the weekday market where you can find delicious, locally grown fruit and vegetables.

Q: AND FINALLY, WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WON A RATHER EXCITING AWARD IN 2015?
Yes, we were named the Best Small Shop in the UK! This was such a wonderful achievement and we are so proud of this award as it was a countrywide competition and included all small businesses not just retailers of food.
 

Further information

Hunters of Helmsley
Browse Hunters’ extensive collection of chutneys, preserves and relishes, as well as their famous Yorkshire hampers, on their online shop...
Shop online here >
 
Gastronomic Yorkshire
Discover some of Yorkshire’s finest artisan food producers and dine in the area’s best restaurants on our indulgent 4-night walking break.
More about our walking holidays in the UK >
Last fetch time is : 9/18/2019 12:44:38 PM