Words Amicia de Moubray Photographs Sally Gurteen
If you are running out of food, or self isolating, don’t despair, help is at hand in the form of two enterprising local businesses, the Goods Shed and Wasted Kitchen.
The Goods Shed in Canterbury was the first covered Farmers’ Market in Britain.‘We are offering a very personal shopping service,’ says Susanna Sait. ‘All orders are tailor made for each individual customer’s requirements,’ albeit customers have to be a bit fluid as ‘it depends on what we have in stock.’ All the meat, fish, vegetables and fruit are sourced from Kent. It is not surprising to learn that customers flocked in last Saturday, spending an astonishing £3,500 on meat and vegetables.
‘An order may take a few emails pinging back and forth or a telephone discussion. We are happy to suggest substitutes – we want to be your eyes on the market floor.’ But do remember that this service is for meat, vegetables and fish only. Via email: email@example.com or 01227 459153. For customers who come on foot, the Goods Shed is open as normal. ‘Please contact us, don’t feel bad about it,’ says Susanna. ‘People are ringing up very apologetically, almost sounding guilty when placing orders.’
The service is available to customers within a radius of 15 miles of Canterbury to arrive by the day after. Go on reader, buy local. Now more than ever, we should all be supporting our local farmers and suppliers here in East Kent. Why not order a week’s supply of food, not just enough for a day or two?
Or even more exciting in these straightened times, the restaurant’s chef, Rafael, is planning to conjure up meals to be delivered. ‘You will soon be able to have a restaurant experience at home,’ says Susanna. Alternatively, you can freeze the meals.
The Goods Shed had already started an online service before the coronavirus pandemic. ‘I’ve been saying for years, why haven’t we got a secure local food supply chain,’ says Susanna. This outstanding local food heroine comes from a long line of Kent farmers. Her father, grandfather and great grandfather all farmed at Blean, just outside Canterbury.
Faversham resident, Susanna opened the Goods Shed 18 years ago, in an old railway goods shed adjacent to Canterbury West station. It is a brilliant example of how an attractive redundant building, given a new use, can breathe new life into its local community. It was built c1860. But it was so very nearly lost, as Susanna explains. ‘I sent the papers to be signed for purchasing it from Network Rail by courier – the very next day they went bust.’ The building was in a parlous state, full of pigeons, rubbish and asbestos. It was far from the light, airy place that it is today, partly because it didn’t have any windows. Tim Ellis of Claque Architects designed the scheme, taking inspiration for the windows from the Newton railworks in Ashford.
It is now justly famous way beyond the confines of East Kent. ‘Food halls are suddenly all the rage both in Britain and America,’ says Susanna. Like many successful highly original entrepreneurs, she had no formal training. ‘I left school and jumped into running a café in Whitstable. I have never had a very conventional approach to things.’
Wasted Kitchen is another excellent source of local food (see earlier Faversham Life article). ‘We started doing deliveries a few weeks back. It was always in the plan but it is ironic that this is happening,’ says Katy Newton, also a resident of Faversham. How fortunate for all of us.
Four options are currently available – of course this may change.
Freezer Fillers – delivery twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday
Six frozen Wasted Kitchen meals (generous single portion or large side for two) for £30- £32 including delivery in Faversham, Whitstable or Herne Bay. Order by midday Tuesday for Tuesday evening delivery. Midday Friday for Friday evening delivery.
Fridge Fillers – delivery once a week on Friday
Two freshly prepared meals for two plus a selection of Wasted Kitchen fresh salads, ferments and dips £30-£32 including delivery in Faversham, Whitstable or Herne Bay. Order by midday Thursday for Friday evening delivery.
There are Vegan, Veggie, Meat & Gluten Free options for Freezer Filler and Fridge Filler. Meal examples include:
Kenton Bento Salad Box, Dhal Pot or Soup Pot with salad side – all made fresh and with a four-day life in the fridge. £6 each or £15 for 3.
You can order add ons to your order including Wasted Kitchen Sausage Rolls, Brownies, Breakfast Tubs and Ferments. They are working on adding other ‘staples’ including Wild Bread Sourdough, Rosewood Acre Eggs, Coxey’s Cocktails and dry goods.
Order online at https://wastedkitchen.co.uk/collections/meal-delivery or by phone on 07970 090112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment is by transfer or PayPal (they can send a link) and delivery is to the door.
Wasted Kitchen will email a half-hour time slot on the day for the delivery. The delivery driver will knock or call to make sure the customer is aware that the delivery has arrived. There is no need to bemoan empty supermarket shelves: there are other ways of food shopping during this national crisis, as these two local institutions show.
Hurrah for localism. Three cheers for the Goods Shed and Wasted Kitchen.
The Goods Shed, Station Road West, Canterbury CT2 8AN.