This is an amended version of the shop article in May’s Parish Magazine
Let Me Take You Down
There’s something very satisfying about sourcing produce form within a few miles of the shop. Berries from local Tuesley Farm’s strawberry fields are now available at the shop at weekends. Hambledon based Crumby Bakery continue to delight with their creations (current personal favourites are the Lemon Drizzle Bakewell and the Cheese Scones). And you can’t get more local than the homemade sausage rolls, made in the shop and which have developed something of a local cult following (if you want one get to the shop before mid-day, they always sell out).
We also now stock wine made just six miles from the shop at Blackdown Ridge Winery. The winery’s first vines were planted in 2010 and the first wines were made in 2013. Their still white wine, “Chiaro”, is made from the Bacchus grape variety, ideally suited to the cool English climate, and won a bronze award in the 2015 International Decanter Awards. The red wine, “Carmine”, is made from the Triomphe grape variety, it has a bright, mid-cherry colour, with ripe cherry aromas and hints of spice and roasted red peppers.
A combination of good weather, bank holidays, cricket, film crews and blood sweat and tears resulted in a busy April with net sales of just over £26,000, this took the sales for the shop’s first quarter to £71,000 an increase of 40% over the same quarter last year (during which the shop refurb took place). At time of writing, it looks like net sales in May will be the highest monthly sales in the shops history and might just hit the £30,000 mark. Many thanks to all who provide blood, sweat, tears and custom.
The Shop’s healthy coffers have allowed for a few equipment upgrades. A new microwave and a commercial grade toastie maker are in place and a new commercial dishwasher is on the way. All will help to improve productivity in the cafe/deli, which now makes up 40% of the shop turnover. Hopefully there will also be a few less chafed hands in the village.
Good progress continues on the shop toilet, watch this space for news on the grand christening. Suggestions on a postcard please for which local personality should be the first to make their mark. Also, this month has seen the construction of an eco friendly child’s play area and a rustic bike rack.
Wines of the Month
June’s wines of the month will be a white and once again a rosé (in May the rosé wine of the month sold out halfway through the month, so we’re going to keep riding that pony).
The white is the Chateau Saint Cyrgues Blanc (£7.60), recently said by Forbes magazine to be one of the best white wines under $20. This Costieres de Nimes Blanc is a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc and is unoaked. A lemon-yellow in colour. Scents of rose petals, honeycomb, candied lemon and white pepper. Medium-bodied on the palate with notes of honey and sweet spice leading to a lingering and spicy finish.
The rosé this month is the De Martino Estate Cinsault Rosé (£9.80). The grapes are from vines grown in the cool climate area of Itata in the south of Chile and this dry and refreshing Provence style pink is packed with fresh summer red-berry flavours and makes for a great aperitif or accompaniment to fish and seafood. A delicate salmon pink in colour. Aromas of plums and strawberries. The palate is dry and intense with notes of cherry and raspberry leading to a refreshing finish. Make sure you have a spare in the fridge as the first one won’t last long.