Shop Local… From Your Sofa

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By Tracy Mukherjee

Colin of Ashby’s Fruit & Veg

Happy New Year to one and all!

As we look to brighter days, who thought that in 2022 we would still be living with Covid19?  But live with it we must and as such online shopping really has been a lifeline for many of us, especially when a positive test shows up or we have to self isolate for other reasons.  Time to consider not immediately turning to that go-to global delivery service.  Amaz-uming we all know who I’m talking about?  So adept at catering to our every whim, we can even get our supermarket shop this way.  What about considering an alternative; supporting the little guys, our local suppliers who deliver or provide click and collect services.  Here is the Westender guide to shopping locally from home.

A Westender’s Gotta Eat

Fruit, veg, meat, fish with a smattering of bread thrown in.  The bounty of our organic producers is extensive.  If we are looking for vegetables (as a vegetarian of some 30 years, I really don’t have an option)  the organic veggie box has become somewhat of a staple around these here parts.  My supplier of choice is the simply wonderful Seven One Seven.  Ordering organic fruit and veg boxes, milk, bread and the delicious 100th Monkey bread couldn’t be easier online.  With boxes small, medium, large in weekly or fortnightly subscriptions, it’s always a delight to see what surprises are in store.  Smoked garlic, Jerusalem artichoke… I feel risotto coming on.

Ashby’s Fruit and Veg in Hyndland is a company borne out of pandemic adversity.  Having to isolate as a family early on and with supermarkets unable to deliver, Colin and Carla decided on starting their new venture in the fruit and veg delivery trade.  Far removed from their antiques business which closed due to the pandemic, the pair note that their business “is not a lockdown thing anymore.  It’s now about convenience…why not get some of your shopping fresh from a shop like ours rather than from a supermarket?”.  As well as fruit and veg, Ashby’s grocery store and delivery service stock dairy, bread, preserves as well as eco home and beauty products.

Locavore is a grocery and delivery service with a big commitment to building sustainable food systems which have environmental, societal and local economic benefits. With stores in Garnethill, Govanhill and Partick, their delivery service is so popular, they at times have to run a waiting list.  No wonder.  With a fabulous website giving details of what will be in that week’s box and details of the source, there are even recipe ideas on what you might create with the produce. Grocery items are also available to add to the boxes, so why not check out this seriously ethical business, putting its money where its mouth is, if you’ll pardon the pun.  

For those of you needing a little more of a bite in their meals, we can still be assured of produce that is well reared and can be sourced.

Rodgers Butchers Byres Road has been a staple on the high street since 1880.   Trading online was a new move for the business due to  Covid-19. Since lockdown has eased though the team are happy to still take orders by phone then pop down and collect where your order will be waiting.  This family butcher is renowned for the quality of meat they stock, with all of their products being traceable, ensuring you know just where the animals are from and how they have been fed.  

If you have a hankering for fish tonight, we happen to live in a country boasting the best seafood in the world.  KP Fishmonger and Seafood Specialist, Great Western Road, offer free home delivery.  A phone call to see what’s fresh that day and the world’s your oyster!

Glasgow’s Fish Plaice, Byres road have an exceptional online shop.  If you spend over £25 it’s free home delivery.  With a moto stating “Want fresher fish? Buy a boat”, ordering couldn’t be easier.  Also doing a great range of game and poultry, this is an excellent choice for quality produce. 

Turning to my favourite course – CHEESE GROMIT!  There are 2 great cheesemongers locally and both do delivery.  George Mewes Byres Road has it’s regular conga-line of queuers outside – for good reason.  This multi award winning purveyor provides numerous online shopping options.  The website alone is fascinating. Not only are there cheese hampers but indeed a full run down by region of their products, cheese types and accompaniments. Orders online can be collected in store if submitted before 10 am, or indeed free delivery is available for orders over £30.  Trust me, after looking at the website, you’ll be eligible for free delivery! 

Around on Great Western Road, is the stalwart that is I.J. Mellis.  With its mouthwatering array of Stilton and nutty Prima Donna Maturo, it’s a cheese-lovers paradise.  In particular, Mellis has a comprehensive selection of Scottish artisan cheeses from small scale producers.  Their cheese subscription is a thing of genius.  Delivering every third week of the month, you can choose your subscription length and leave the selection to the experts, with tasting notes and pairing suggestions from the Mellis team.  With carefully selected wine pairings also on the website, shopping online will leave you hungry for more.

And Then There’s The Rest of Life…

Still feeling a little under the weather?  Yet Spring is on the way, and the lounge revamp won’t happen by magic.  Not to worry; with a cuppa in one hand and laptop ergonomically placed at an appropriate height, design away from your armchair. 

Farrow and Ball, Great Western Road has a virtual consultancy on their website.  There is also a fancy gizmo which calculates paint quantities.  Advice on prep and application means you’ll feel like Laurence Llewellyn Bowen by the time it comes to actually choosing your colours.  Paint swatches can be delivered, so when you are back to health you can pop down and pick up those lovely chalky finishes.

Craig and Rose, Byres Road have a wealth of information online. Their 3 ranges will appeal to all tastes, from their 1829 Vintage Collection to their bold contemporary Artisan; there is even a bespoke line to cater for your specific tastes. Also have a look at their “How to..” guide as well as design inspirations with free colour cards which can be delivered. 

The paint has been chosen, it’s looking understated yet, MAKING a statement. 

Now for the fun bit.  Home decor.

Go no further than the institution that is Nancy Smillie, Cresswell Lane.  The online shop could indeed send you into bankruptcy.  Sofas, lamps, mirrors and oh, the tables!  It’s fair to say the online furniture range is simply delectable.  With delivery or click and collect available, it’s too, TOO easy. 

Time and Tide, so good they have two West End branches.  From furniture to lighting, mirrors to wall art and those enormous wall clocks that just stop you in your tracks on Byres Road.  Stating that when opening their West End stores they went for “edgier, bolder pieces”, the website certainly reflects this.  Sumptuous lighting, quirky sideboards, with velvet soft furnishing… freeze your credit card in that ice cube.  Easy online shopping and delivery plus click and collect.

It’s The Thought That Counts

So you can’t go and handpick that birthday/anniversary/leaving gift.  It doesn’t mean our dear local gift shop can’t send it to you. 

Pink Poodle, Creswell Lane has it all.  From fashion, to accessories, baby gifts to homewares, this renowned boutique never fails to bring new ideas to the West End.  Pink Poodle is very much the definition of unique.  And with an online shop, whether shopping for a special gift for a new baby, an eye catching piece of jewellery for a friend, or indeed a glam frock for yourself, sit back, relax and peruse Poodle’s perfect products.

For quirky gifts try Decadent Riot, Park Road and online.  A very easily navigated website for online shopping allows you to view edgy Tees, clever jewellery, retro artwork and interesting games.  Unusually original and sometimes gloriously outrageous gifts. 

Crossing the road (or typing in the URL)  Hatch is owned by the designer who brought us those fabulous geometric animal prints brand Jessica Cora Creative.  Very much design led gifts, there is plenty to choose from here.  The Product Design page on the website displays just what a wealth of talented designers we have: from ceramics to textiles, woodcraft to art, if you can’t find a gift here, you won’t find one anywhere. 

Covid has impacted on every aspect of our lives, but we’ve had to adapt.  Luckily the ones we depend on have adapted too. Isolating needn’t mean we are isolated from continuing with our lives.  Let’s hear it for the little guys.

Courtesy of Hatch

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