We’ve included a bit of information about our suppliers so you can have a look at their websites, visit their shops or meet them at the markets. Buying local food is about supporting local producers and supporting the Island economy. If you know where your food comes from, you can ‘eat the view’ as you drive, walk, sail or ride around the Island! And, it tastes pretty good too – many of our suppliers have won national competitions to prove that they’re the best.
Beef and lamb expertly reared on the Island, grazing in and around Shorwell.
Farmer Ben Brown is passionate about getting food from the field to your plate with the minimal delay in between! He grows small crops of seasonal foods, predominantly for local supply and his strawberries, sweet corn, baby salad leaves, pumpkins and squashes are enjoyed by customers Island wide who buy from Real Island Food, Farmer Jacks Farm Shop at Arreton, other local outlets, and from restaurants and cafes across the Island. Ben organises the annual Sweetcorn Festival at Arreton Barns in late September – come and see us there!
Briddlesford Lodge Farm is a family farm producing milk from their pedigree herd of Guernsey cows. Guernsey milk is wonderfully creamy and rich.
Paul and Sue Brownrigg raise free-range chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese on their farms at Godshill and Calbourne. Chicken and duck is available all year-round, with turkey and goose at Christmas. They also produce free-range chicken eggs year-round. If you drive down Sheepwash Lane, you will have to slow down to let the chickens cross the road; Sue calls them “traffic calming hens”.
Sue is a champion of the Island Farmers Market and you can buy from them every Friday morning in St Thomas Square, Newport. www.brownriggonline.co.uk
Three Gates Farm, Shalfleet is the Cawood family dairy farm and home to Calbourne Classics. They make a mouth-watering range of luxury desserts from milk from their own herd, and they use milk and cream from other island dairy farms.
Island clotted cream is unique to Calbourne Classics, and is made in a pan rather than individual pots, so that you get the yummy gooey bits all the way through, not just on the top. Clotted cream ice cream, cheesecakes, country cakes, traybakes and quiches all make your mouth water, and some have won ‘Great Taste Awards’, so don’t just take our word for it!
You can visit Three Gates Farm for their farm shop and café, and meet the team at the Farmers Market on Friday mornings in St Thomas Square, Newport and at other markets on the mainland.
The Garlic Farm is the UK’s premier grower of garlic and source of all things garlic.
Established by Colin Boswell and his family over 30 years ago, the passion for garlic and anything to do with garlic has become the driving force for himself, his wife Jenny and their five children, who are all involved in the business in different ways.
Intrigued by the ancient origins of garlic and its wide range of culinary, health and mythical properties, the farm business has developed to become certainly the UK’s if not Europe’s leading authority on garlic. This passion and expertise has grown into a thriving food business providing the best range of garlic to eat, grow and learn about. This includes a range of garlic themed pickles, relishes and chutneys produced from the on-site kitchen facilities as well as an array of chilled produce.
You can visit the Garlic Farm shop and teashop in Newchurch all year round (check their website for opening times).
Goddard’s Brewery at Barnsley Farm in Ryde started brewing real ales in 1993. Since then the company has expanded to supply 6 fabulous beers, some of which are seasonally available. You can buy Goddards in bottles and on tap at some of the better Island pubs (see their website for a list), and they are also big ‘exporters’ to the mainland!
Goodard’s beers have won over 21 awards in national and regional competitions, and we agree – they’re great!
Graces Bakery is a family run business run by Ray and Carole Redrup, setting out to provide the Island with a high quality, traditionally baked range of bread and cakes. With a full bakery in Ryde, and four shops based around the Island, breakfast lunch and tea are fast becoming a Graces affair! We particularly love their traditional cob loaves, soft and delicious Farmhouse tins, their bread rolls are top of the taste test, and the Berry Danish Pastries are sampled just a little too often in our office! It’s proper bread from a proper baker. Baked fresh on the day of your delivery.
Based in Newport, Hamiltons Fine Foods is run by father and daughter Andy and Kerry Gustar. Respected across the Island as the source of all knowledge on everything meat and butchery related, Andy has been supplying the highest quality meats and cooked meats to Island consumers and trade customers for over 30 years. Andy works closely with Island and mainland farmers to offer a range of tender, well matured, and expertly butchered meat. Hamiltons are also very good at making savoury and sweet pies, sausage rolls and snacks. Hamiltons have shops in Newport, Ryde, Wootton and Cowes and can be found also be found at the Vectis Producers Market in Newport on a Friday morning. All our meat is sourced from the Island where possible, and cut to your order by Hamiltons, guaranteeing freshness and quality.
Leslie Evans and her daughter Kelly make a truly mouthwatering selection of hand made chocolate truffles, pralines and ganaches, using Isle of Wight cream and butter. With exquisite packaging, and sizes and prices to suit all budgets Island Chocolates make the perfect gift – or treat for yourself! The chocolates are made at their shop Straw Bonnet, in Union Street, Ryde.
Island Kitchen is based at Whitwell and is dedicated to proper food! With flavour and local sourcing a priority, Island Kitchen make a range of ready to cook meals using Island meats, vegetables and fruits. The meals are made in small batches, without artificial flavourings or unnecessary additives.Available from farm shops and independent shops as well as home delivery from Real Island Food.
Mother and son team Julie and Rich Hodgson make the fabulous Isle of Wight Soft and Blue cheeses in Queen Bower from unpasteurised Guernsey milk produced just feet from their dairy. The Isle of Wight Blue won the 2007 Best English Cheese at the IFE food exhibition in London – we think its smashing on a slice of Market Bakery wholemeal bread, preferably with a glass of something in the other hand. Rich is looking to expand the range of cheeses and a cheddar is eagerly awaited.
You can meet the Hodgsons at the Farmers Markets in Newport on Friday mornings and Ryde on Saturday mornings.
‘The World’s Most Delicious Ice Cream’ said the Sunday Times Style Magazine in May 2007, and we’d agree. The Minghella family started making ice cream on the Island in 1950, and they now produce over 140 varieties of ice cream and sorbet in Wootton. All made to the highest standards with the best natural ingredients, including Island milk and
The company has won 44 Great Taste Awards and their range includes luxury Italian-style ice creams, sorbets with more than just a dash of alcohol and even ice cream suitable for dieters (we think that’s a great idea!). Which are our favourites – so hard to choose, but we love Raspberry Ripple Romance for a grown-up version of a childhood favourite, and the sublime Gin and Pink Grapefruit sorbet.
Suze Keynes of Mimi’s CupCakery is developing a fine reputation for the most exquisite cup cakes and themed birthday cakes. Hand made in Ventnor, on the South of the Island, Mimi’s cakes come in all colours, flavours and designs. Her ‘tea party in a box’ is truly wonderful and her chocolate brownies are currently listed as the best thing I have ever eaten! You can make someone very happy by offering them a tea party in a box. Suze has a small but perfectly formed shop in Ventnor town centre.
Osel is an Island based charity business, dedicated to employing local people with disabilities. Wight Crystal water, available in still, sparkling and a variety of flavours, comes from a spring in the chalk downs around Newport.
Owners Jeff Dove and his two daughters are the Island font of knowledge for seafood, smoked fish and fresh fish. With an impressive reputation for their smoked salmon, Phillips’s shop at Northwood near Cowes is a popular destination at Christmas and during Cowes Week.
Quirky Cakes was started in 2008 by Tessa Barlow of Shorwell and aims to put the fun back into cakes! A highly experienced chef, Tess was head chef at the Quay Arts and has apparently fed Royalty! Tess makes a fabulous range of both traditional and quirky cake flavours –from fruit and Madeira to carrot, sweet potato and chocolate fudge, as well as flap jacks, chocolate brownies and ginger cake. Tess’s celebration cakes and special cakes for Easter and Christmas look and taste stunning – a wonderful treat to share or give as a gift. Tess is also expert in vegetarian dishes. See our vegetarian ready meals for inspiration.
Based in the Arreton valley in the fertile lush centre of the Island, Rew Valley make butter using milk sourced from many Island farms. Rew Valley also supply us savoury and sweet biscuits.
Rosemary Vineyard outside Ryde is one of the biggest in southern England (bet you didn’t know that!) and covers 30 acres of south facing hillside. The winery was planted in 1986 and now produces whites, reds, sparking and country wines – the Elderberry liqueur and Elderberry wine both won silvers at the Great Taste Awards in 2006. Our favourite is the Island Dry White, but don’t be swayed by our preferences!
You can visit the vineyard, shop and café and even take a guided tour. Please check the website for more information.
Rod Thompson started planting the 10 acres of Rossiters Vineyard in 1990 on a beautiful south-facing hill in Wellow. The vineyard now produces very nice (in our opinion) whites, reds and a rosé. Many of their wines have been awarded ‘regional wine status’, which means they are of a higher quality than table wine. Look for ‘Isle of Wight Regional Wine’ on the label. So its not just us who likes Rossiters wine then!
You can visit the vineyard and arrange tours. Please check their website for more details. Rossiters Vineyard incorporates Wellow Post Office – what a great combination!
Sharon McNally farms apples from her extensive orchards at Ashey, Nr Ryde, to make apple juices, ciders and chutneys. You can visit her orchard and shop near SmallBrook Stadium at Ashey. She is also a regular member of the Farmers Market in Newport on a Friday morning.
The Tomato Stall are a specialist tomato company selling a wide range of Island grown toms, and making wonderful sauces, juices and roast tomatoes. Increasingly popular, their products are sold at markets across the South of England. Because they get their toms just after picking – sometimes on the same day – the flavour is like nothing you’ll experience at the supermarket. The Tomato Stall also have unusual varieties and some organic varieties. Run by tomato specialist Jeff McDonald, there is great foodie passion at this Newchurch based business.
Crab pasties made by Jimmy and Mandy Wheeler at Steephill Cove near Ventnor. Car-free Steephill Cove is a real jewel, and what makes the Island such a fabulous place for locals and visitors. The crabs are brought ashore at the Cove, and are cooked and magically made into pasties by Mandy.
There are self catering cottages and a B&B at Steephill Cove, as well as the summertime Boathouse restaurant. Please see their website for more information.
Matt Bowen’s Stoneground Flour Company is based on an organic farm on the downs above Havenstreet. Traditional granite millstones are used in a modern mill to create a wide range of flours for commercial and home baking. Matt grows organic certified cereals on Little Duxmore Farm for his own flours, and also mills flour for other Island and mainland producers.
You can buy organic flour for home baking and bread making, or if you don’t like DIY, Market Bakery makes bread for us from Matt’s flour. Matt also makes organic pasta from wheat and spelt – try it with a simple sauce made from Island tomatoes and garlic.
Matt doesn’t have a website, but you can meet him and buy flour and bread made from his flour at the Farmers Market in St Thomas Square Newport on Friday mornings.
Brewed by the two David Yates, senior and junior, Yates’ is the Real Island Food Company’s local brewery (their office is next door!). Brewed in St Lawrence since 2000, David has won several national and regional beer competitions with the 4 main ales, and they also produce seasonal specials.
Our favourite is the Blonde Ale – but we would say that, wouldn’t we? Yates’ ales can be found in some of the better island pubs and hotels.
Based in Whitwell, The Village Nursery makes the most fabulously fruity jams, chutneys, jellies, sauces and everything else you can imagine. Specialising in preserves made from fruit grown on the Island, Caroline Brown grows the fruit and sister Maggie Ridley turns it into jam with the minimum of added ingredients. We think the jam tastes amazingly fruity – don’t go near a jar of jam with a spoon if no one else is around, as you’ll scoff the lot before it even gets to your bread.The Village Nursery also grows potted plants and cut flowers.