Lovers of Northamptonshire's homegrown food and drink will be able to find their favourite county-made treats and tipples for sale all under one roof at Rushden Lakes
Made In Northamptonshire (MIN), a co-operative of food and drink producers whose members include bakers, distillers and brewers, has teamed-up with East Northamptonshire Council to offer visitors to the retail park the opportunity to take home produce that has been lovingly created in our county.
In collaboration with The Crown Estate, owners of the shopping and leisure destination, the partners have been given a prime retail space beneath the multiplex cinema and opened today (Friday).
Made In Northamptonshire, founded in 2011 by Rachel Mallows, director of The Mallows Company, backs the county's food and drink producers.
Rachel said: "The opportunity to showcase some of the county’s artisan producers in one place is a dream come true.
“When we launched MIN, the aim was to lend our backing to our fabulous producers, helping to raise their profile, finding stockists and promoting their wonderful wares to more people”
“Now, thanks to both The Crown Estate and East Northamptonshire Council, we’ve found the perfect way to celebrate our ten-year anniversary with our very own shop, where buyers can come in, try some of the treats themselves and go home laden with local, quality produce, knowing it’s all been made just a stone’s throw from where they’re standing.
“With ciders, cheeses, chocolates and chutneys among our array of tasty treats, I reckon we may have just solved a few people’s Christmas gift dilemmas in one fell swoop."
Among those many county producers to be stocked on its shelves is Stonyfield Wine at Blisworth, whose Stonyfield Rosé 2016 was recently awarded a Gold in the ‘Artisan Local Drink of the Year’ category in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.
John Folliott-Vaughan of Stonyfield Wine said: "We are thrilled to have this exciting opportunity to reach out to more wine-lovers. MIN is a large part of a remarkable success story putting Northamptonshire firmly on the food and drink map and, over the last decade, they have gone out of their way to support and promote local producers, leading in our case to our success in the Awards and now the chance to showcase our wine in this new shop.
“For a small family concern like us they have made a huge difference and we are truly delighted to support this exciting initiative, both as suppliers and, you can be sure, as customers, and will be lifting a glass of top-quality English sparkling wine in celebration of this fantastic venture."
Alongside MIN, East Northamptonshire Council’s business hub has been set up to continue and extend its ‘Recovery Through Enterprise’ scheme, offering help to businesses by providing one-to-one advice as well as access to a wide range of support webinars and resources.
The hub will complement existing provision rom the University of Northampton and the Enterprise Centre East Northants.
East Northamptonshire Council leader, Cllr Steven North, said: "The new facility is a great addition to our portfolio. The new hub will help local businesses and job seekers to tackle the challenges of Covid-19.
"With our partners, we want to do all we can to provide the practical help and support that people need to get through these difficult times and reach a place where they can flourish.”
Hayley Turley, senior asset manager for The Crown Estate, added: “Working with East Northamptonshire Council and Made In Northamptonshire, to bring a unique offering to Rushden Lakes, is a brilliant demonstration of what can be achieved through strong collaboration.
"This will be the first of its kind anywhere in our portfolio, and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to the local community.”
For details of the MIN shop opening times, please visit its Facebook page at @MINFoodandDrink while for more information about MIN, including becoming a member, call 01933 664437, or email [email protected]
For further details of the wide range of services offered through ENC’s free ‘Recovery Through Enterprise’ scheme, please visit www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/recovery