Why you should support small traders in Cornwall
Cornwall is full of talented people who create some truly exquisite items by hand. From artisan food to fine pieces of artwork and stylish clothing, you are sure to find something special to take home from your Cornwall holiday parks getaway either for yourself or someone else.
We spoke to shop owners and bloggers from Cornwall to find out about some of the interesting items available in the county and why it is so important to shop locally and support independent businesses.
Atlantic Blankets is a family-run business which launched in Perranporth in 2007. The business designs soft interior throws and blankets as well as stylish outdoor picnic blankets, rugs, travel wraps and scarves. The blankets are made from a variety of textures including wool, lambswool, mohair and recycled cotton.
The business, which is run by Gemma, Al and their two children Ruby and Jago, was born out of the “need to find the cosiest and softest blanket to comfort a child”.
Gemma said: “You can choose from stripes, herringbone, geometric patterns, block colour or fluid patterns in a colour palette ranging from vivid and hot tropical hues through soft sorbet shades to the classics and neutrals; there’s something to suit everyone. Every blanket comes with a handpicked shell from the beach to heighten our connection to the sea and location of Cornwall.”
Supporting local businesses such as Atlantic Blankets is helping to create happy and flourishing communities, Gemma told us. “Plus supporting a local business makes you feel good; you get to meet local business owners and you know that they care and really do have a happy dance about each and every sale.”
Buttermilk is a family-run confectionery business which was set up in Padstow in 1964. Fudge, honeycomb, nut brittles and chocolates are just some of the delectable treats on offer. Each item is made in-house and stirred over open flames in traditional copper pans.
The bite-sized treats are the perfect gift to surprise someone special or to enjoy on your journey home. The products come in a variety of flavours including hot cross bun fudge, caramel sea salt honeycomb and crunchy peanut brittle.
Buttermilk’s marketing director Olivia said: “Fudge is synonymous with Cornwall, so many people hunt for their favourite flavour while on holiday.” We also asked Olivia why shopping local is important, she told us: “If you buy from a small company, every sale makes someone do a little jig! Also, by buying locally you are helping the economy and local employment which is important for a seasonal economy like Cornwall.”
Cornish Rock Gin
Cornish Rock Gin was started by four friends after they enjoyed a walk on Rock Beach near Wadebridge. The team creates hand distilled small batches of gin using Cornish spring water and botanicals. The gin is made near the beach in St Tudy with pink pepper, grapefruit, lemon, juniper and coriander. A bottle of local Gin could be the perfect tipple to enjoy when you get home to remind you of your holiday.
Angie, one of the founders of the company, said: “People should support the local shops and local food and drink as it is all craft made – it’s all made locally by hand in most cases and creates employment for local people.”
If there is a wine connoisseur in your group then a visit to Trevibban Mill vineyard while on holiday is a must. You can book a place on the Grand Walking Tour which takes place every Sunday and includes a stroll through the vineyard, orchard and around the lake before enjoying tasting eight of their wines and lunch.
Other activities on offer include the guided tour on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. This activity includes a walk through the vineyard and winery. After your tour, you will sample five of the company’s wines.
Trevibban Mill, near Padstow, make and sell a variety of wine, cider, brut and spirits perfect for you to take home. Products include the sparkling pink brut 2014, pinot noir sparkling 2014, and sparkling Cornish cider.
We asked Engin, the owner of Trevibban Mill, why buying Cornish-made products is important. He told us: “I think the benefits of shopping locally are that money stays within the local economy and as a result impact is higher. If I buy £100 worth of goods from Amazon, the money leaves the local economy and won’t impact wealth creation locally. However, if I buy £100 worth of goods from a local shop, the money will stay in the shop.”
For a truly special memento from your holiday to Cornwall or a present for a friend or family member look no further than frosted, tumbled sea glass jewellery. Sadie Jewellery is an independent designer in Newquay who combs the Cornish beaches searching for distinctive and colourful sea glass to include in her pieces.
Sadie told us why her products are special: “My sea glass jewellery is ethically conscious and they’re a genuine little piece of Cornwall that you can take with you wherever you go. Each piece is completely unique, no two will ever be the same and I feel that’s what makes my work the perfect gift for someone.”
We also asked Sadie why people should shop locally: “If you support local independent business’s not only will you receive a true product and service, but you’re also enabling someone’s dream to be a reality. Keeping community spirits high, enrich and fulfilled.”
Beach Street Art
A piece of artwork can rejuvenate any room in your house and the perfect piece can bring such joy. Sue, owner of Beach Street Art, explores the shoreline to find pieces of flotsam and jetsam to create unique pieces of artwork. She has a love of sea glass, although she doesn’t search for jewellery grade sea tumbled glass, instead she “picks up the bits everyone else leaves behind, the odd square piece, wiggly shaped pieces and beautiful long shards of smooth, frosted glass”.
Sue creates a variety of sea glass and pebble pieces of framed artwork. She told us: “My products are quirky and unique – created from the magical little gems of sea glass picked up from the beach – they make a wonderful memory of a special holiday by the sea to keep forever.”
She went on to explain that “Supporting independent shops helps to keep communities alive and vibrant and they are such a joy to visit”.
There are many towns and villages throughout Cornwall which have an abundance of independent shops. Chloe, who runs the blog Life Unexpected, lives in Cornwall and shops locally as much as possible. She said: “We shop in all the local farm shops and we favour independent eateries and coffee shops over chains. We like to go to independent shops and craft fairs more than the big retailers.
“We find it is important to do this to not only keep businesses alive but also to keep people in Cornwall. Shopping locally supports local families and in turn, most of the independent stores we do shop in are usually run by active members of the community, or they support community-based projects, so it is a lovely circle.”
No matter how you decide to spend your time on your holiday to Cornwall remember to visit some of the markets and independent shops because you are sure to find something special, and in turn, help our local businesses.