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!