Our Northumberland-based food partner, Food Heaven, provides locally-sourced groceries, unpacked and put away in your holiday cottage prior to your arrival. We spoke to them about this stress-free service and their family business dating back to the early 1920s.
Tell us a bit about your family business…
Our business originally began in 1923 when Graham’s grandfather; Harry Atkinson, opened Crowe & Atkinson- our family butchers. Since then, the business has been passed down through four generations, and has still very much remained a family business, with the fourth generation still involved, despite having their own careers. In recent years, our business has diversified in a variety of ways, and now consists of our butcher’s shop, a local Meals on Wheels Delivery Service, as well as the more recent addition- Food Heaven.
What’s unique about your food delivery service for holidaymakers?
All of the produce that you can see on our website is handpicked by ourselves, to always ensure that the best quality is delivered to our customers. We also deliver your products prior to your arrival, and unpack it for you, to help get your holiday off to the best, stress free start as possible.
What kind of things can guests order from yourselves?
What can’t our customers order from Food Heaven! We have a diverse range from locally sourced fruit and veg, to locally brewed ales and matured cheeses. We even have a range of locally made candles, perfect for a romantic getaway. However, if there is anything that you can’t find on our website that would make your holiday even more special, than we will do our utmost to try and source it for you.
What’s your most popular product?
I would say that our most popular product is our Holiday Cottage Kit. This kit brings together all of the essentials you are likely to need for your next trip to the North East, as well as a few more luxury items. Our customers really enjoy the convenience that this kit provides, bringing all of our most sought after products together, and available at one click of a button. It saves our customers time – but always delivers the best quality.
What local producers do you source your products from?
We handpick all our suppliers ourselves to ensure that we always deliver the best quality. Wrights of Bedlington supply us with their fresh breads and cakes, Proof of the Pudding based in Alnwick provide us with their mouth-watering puddings, Marlish Water supply us with their water from the Northumbrian Hills, and The Fruit Kitchen supply us with their delicious fruit cordials.
What do you make yourselves?
Many of the products you see on the Food Heaven website are made and supplied by ourselves. All of the meats, sausages, ready meals and cooked meats are supplied by Crowe and Atkinson- our family butchers. We cure our own bacon on the premises, and even have our own sausage- the Blyth Banger, named after our hometown!
We hear you once went out of your way to do a rush order of your jam because one of our guests loved it so much? Tell us more…
Last summer one of our customers ordered rhubarb jam. Unfortunately, we were unable to source any from our usual supplier in time for the order being delivered, and so we decided to make our own. We had plenty of rhubarb in our garden at home, and so Christina got busy in the kitchen. Our customer then moved on to her second Coastal Retreats holiday cottage, and placed another order on the Food Heaven website. Little did we know that she’d ordered more rhubarb jam, so we had to get the jam pan out again! As I’m sure you can imagine- we were all out of rhubarb by the end!
What do you love the most about Northumberland?
Northumberland really is the most beautiful region in the country. There is a wide variety of market towns, castles, coastal areas and picturesque landscapes- and there really is something for everyone. We might be being a bit biased, but personally we would say that the thing we love most about Northumberland is the food and drink that the region has to offer!