A to Z of Suffolk’s independent food and drink producers
PUBLISHED: 15:36 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 18 September 2020
We’ve gathered some of the best of Suffolk’s producers from ale brewers to zucchini growers to celebrate local independent businesses
A is for ale. Adnams is beloved countrywide but it was started by the Adnams brothers and has its headquarters in Southwold – there are dedicated Adnams shops with the full range of beers and many local pubs will have at least one of the beers on tap. Popular tipples include Ghost Ship Pale Ale, Ease Up IPA and Southwold Bitter, order a mixed pack of six to find your favourites.
B is for beef. For free range beef from local farms, try Lavenham Butchers. With high welfare standards and desire to support local farms, this shop has beef from native Suffolk breed Red Poll, Aberdeen Angus and more, so your barbecue or Sunday roast can be made with the best of local.
C is for chocolate. Now a sensation nationally and even further afield, Suffolk can proudly lay claim to the artisan chocolate from Pump Street Bakery. Nestled in a pink, thatch-roofed cottage in the quaint village of Orford, this bakery is a favourite for locals and the attractively-packaged chocolate is shipped out to delicatessens and department stores everywhere and can even be ordered online.
D is for dairy. Fen Farm Dairy is tucked away in the Waveney River Valley where a herd of beautiful Montbeliarde cows graze. The cow’s milk is used raw or made into skyr yoghurt, butter and tempting cheeses. Order online for delivery or visit the farm 24/7 for self-serve milk, coffee or cheese!
E is for eggs. The dreamily named Maple Farm in Saxmundham is family owned and rears free ranging chickens that exist in small flocks for maximum happiness. Grab your weekly organic eggs, flour and more from the farm shop.
F is for food. Ipswich’s Suffolk Food Hall is packed with goodies from local producers from fish to vegetables to sweet treats and pantry essentials. Grab ready prepared food from the delicatessen or stop off at the café for lunch and a coffee.
G is for gin. With the rise in popularity of gin in recent years, it’s great to be able to support local producers when enjoying a G&T at home. Suffolk Distillery’s offerings include classic dry gin or more fruity flavours such as rhubarb or strawberry and cucumber.
H is for honey. Hillfarm is known for its coldpressed rapeseed oils but it also produces a tasty honey. The bees are kept at Hill Farm and visit the rape and local woodland collecting pollen and producing honey that’s won a Great Taste Award.
I is for ice cream. The Little Ice Cream Company is just that, a small, independent ice cream makers from Felixstowe. With over 80 flavours that are constantly rotated, everyone is bound to find the right scoop for them.
J is for juice. For juices, it has to be James White. From a farm in Ashbocking, these juices are expertly pressed and bottled in a variety of flavours including apple varieties cox, russet, bramley alongside carrot, prune, beetroot and more inventive flavours such as apple and ginger or apple and elderflower.
K is for kombucha. Fermented foods are reportedly miracle workers for gut health. Foods like kimchi and sauerkraut aren’t necessarily all going to be big hits but kombucha can be a sweet, delicious way to get more fermented goodness in. Try LA Brewery’s strawberry and black pepper flavour or the tangy lemongrass.
L is for latte. The Suffolk Coffee Company sources beans from around the world which are roasted in its Peasenhall roastery. Order online with bags up to one kilo in size for many cups of locally produced coffee to enjoy for breakfast.
M is for mustard. Products from Stokes are now nationally recognised and readily available even in major supermarkets, but let’s not forget the brand’s humble Suffolk beginnings.
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N is for no meat. For the Suffolk vegans, Hank’s is a dreamland. Order your weekly food shop from the 100% vegan supermarket, opt for decadent takeaway food or visit the pub which are all dotted around Ipswich.
O is for oats. One of the more beautiful locations to pick up your local Suffolk produce is Pakenham Windmill. Grab your eggs, flour, honey or porridge oats from the early 19th century mill in Pakenham near Bury St Edmunds.
P is for preserves. High House Fruit Farm in Sudbourne sells fresh fruit, juices but also makes its own jams including the sweet yet sour loganberry jam. Visit the shop to pick yours up and make a day out of it with the pick your own fruit system. Check ahead to see what is seasonally available to pick.
Q is for quack. For lovers of duck, head to Procters Sausages in Ipswich which on top of lovingly made pork sausages, has a range of beef, lamb, venison and poultry sausages. Try the aromatic Gressingham duck sausage with with five spice, hoi sin and soy sauce.
R is for ricotta. For fromagephiles, Suffolk has a great selection of cheese makers. The family run Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses has been established for over 30 years. Try the light and creamy Suffolk Blue or the semi-hard Suffolk Gold.
S is for seafood. Pinneys of Orford is the one stop shop for all things seafood. Expect smoked fish and salmon, fresh osyters, smoked eel and much more. The eel has a two gold star Great Taste award and all the smoked fish and seafood is smoked in house.
T is for Tea. It wouldn’t be a proper British round up without a good cup of tea. Butterworth and Son is the coffee roasters and teasmiths based in Bury St Edmunds with a selection of great teas which can be bought online.
U is for umami. The adorably named Hodmedod’s is based near Brampton and is all about pulses, beans and grains. For the umami flavour (the unique savoury taste found in Japanese cuisine), try the fava bean umami paste, which has won Great Taste awards, and bring a richness to your broths and noodle soups.
V is for venison. For game lovers, the Wild Meat Company in Sweffling offers great options such as the Rendlesham Forest Venison. Whicher cut you need or whatever the venison dish you’re creating, order venison sausages, burgers, steaks, mince and more on the website, along with a host of other game, poultry and free range meats.
W is for wine. And Wyken. Wyken Vineyards is based near Bury St Edmunds and the beautiful vineyards are a pleasure to visit in themselves, but you’ll want towalk away with armfuls of wine. Try the Moonshine, an attractively labelled sparkling wine or one of the whites that scoop up awards for their taste.
X is for xmas turkey. Nothing beats a locally reared turkey as the main attraction for a Christmas Day spread, so make sure to order yours from P.A. Mobbs of Cratfield. Free range turkeys can be ordered and collected from the farm, ordered directly to your door or bought from one of the farm’s suppliers which are available to see on the website.
Y is for yeast. For the most simple of foods, perfection is required, which is why so many flock to Bardwell’s Wooster’s Bakery for bread. And it’s not just bread on offer, expect tasty pastries too.
Z is for zucchini. Order your organic vegetables from Happy Food in Wetherden. With a passion for growing healthy vegetables and looking after the land it grows on, this co-operative offers weekly vegetable boxes for £15. These are packed with healthy, seasonal produce and best of all, grown nearby.