If you are stuck for gift ideas, how about creating your own hamper from local produce? This doesn’t have to mean spending hours driving around to farm shops – simply head to your local Southern Co-op retail store with a Local Flavours range.
Jams, chutneys, juices, chocolate and top tipples are all made right here in Hampshire. Isle of Wight producers are also worth sampling with popular ranges from The Garlic Farm, such as their Vampires Revenge, and the IOW Cheese Company’s blue cheese.
Gemma Lacey, Southern Co-op’s Director Sustainability and Communications, said: “More than a decade ago we made a commitment to support local producers through our Local Flavours range and we are spoilt for choice. “Being based in Hampshire, we have a huge range of delicious food and drink made right here on our doorstep. Knowing where our food comes from is so important and so is supporting our local economy. Our local producers can also bring the food alive to help us understand exactly what goes into the food on our plates.”
For a family friendly hamper, Swanmore-based The Meon Spirit Company offers a range of juices made from farm picked apples including their apple and elderflower juice. Hand-baked in Bosham, Lorama Foods creates yummy sponge cakes, and Chichester’s Montezumas produces luxury chocolates from 100% black to their Sea dog chocolate flavoured with sea salt.
For those who want to include condiments in their hamper, the Perfect Pickles Company in Petersfield produces mouth-watering chutneys including pear and apple chutney and real ale chutney. Want something sweeter?
Try the strawberry jam handmade from seasonal fruit by The Real Jam & Chutney Company in the New Forest. If you want to include a special brew in your hamper then look no further than Bishop’s Waltham’s Upham Brewery with beers made from water from their very own bore hole on the brewery site. If you are more of a baker, then check out Claytons Eggs.
Freshly laid in West Wellow, their stronger taste will add flavour to any baking creation – not to mention give your sponges a yellow glow to make fellow bakers green with envy. Local Flavours ranges are stocked in the majority of Southern Coop retail stores including stores located in High Street in Bishop’s Waltham, Hambledon Road in Denmead, The Square in Wickham and The Square in Titchfield. To find out more about the Southern Co-op’s Local Flavours range, visit www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/food/local-flavours/.