Totally Locally is launching the second part of its campaign. It highlights just how much our towns and villages rely on small businesses as their lifeblood, even in the age of supermarkets and on-line shopping.
If you scratch beneath the surface of any local business you will find lots of other local companies & people who work with and supply that business. It’s a huge web of people who are reliant on each other and support each other, which in turn affects our communities.
To demonstrate this we decided to take Triangle Emporium & Post Office, set half-way between Sowerby Bridge and Ripponden as an example.
Paddy & Michael bought Triangle Post Office back in 2005 with a strong mission in mind. To make the shop the centre of the community and to be the best supplier of local produce in the area. And looking at the shop five years on, they are well on their way to making that goal happen.
As well as being the first stop for postage and after school treats, the shop, now named The Triangle Emporium, stocks produce from over 25 Calderdale businesses, from Southowram bacon, to puddings made in Elland and eggs from just up the road. At the time of writing they were waiting for news on honey from 500 yards down the road (the bees in Calderdale have been a bit lazy this year due to the severe winter!).
Their local produce isn’t restricted to food either, as, they now supply logs for the fire from local farms, greetings cards made in Sowerby Bridge and even beautifully crafted wooden toys made in Kebroyd!
“When we first decided to look for local suppliers we went round the farmers’ markets talking to anyone who would listen” said Michael, “but after a while we started getting phone calls from people saying they had heard we wanted to stock local produce, so it took on a life of its own”.
Paddy & Michael moved from Congleton in Cheshire five years ago, after falling in love with the Ryburn Valley. This love of the area now manifests itself in the way that they see the shop as serving the people of Triangle and the villages around. They sponsor the local cricket club and get involved with Triangle Primary School, donating footballs for the summer fair, and even judging the Christmas pudding competition!
“We have always had a strong belief that using local suppliers feeds back into the community” said Paddy, “and suppliers themselves appreciate the outlet for their goods. If we sell local produce, the people that sell to us have money to buy other local produce, and most of them use local suppliers themselves”.
If you browse along the shelves you soon come across Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Parkin. Made in Elland by Thomas’s Bakery, run by the Harrison family, who have been baking in the area for over 100 years.
Charlotte (Lottie) took her old family recipe and created a parkin that has been hailed across the country, and is sold in places such as Harewood House & Castle Howard. The success has led to her producing Lottie Shaw’s Sticky Toffee Pudding & caramel sauce, with mouthwatering consequences.
“Having loyal customers such as Triangle Emporium allows us to get our breads and puddings in front of as many people as possible in Calderdale, so it’s a vital part of our business”, said Charlotte.
In turn, Charlotte recognises the importance of using local suppliers herself. “We use 20 local suppliers ourselves – including Fairbanks dairy Greetland, Labelpak in Hipperholme (for our labels and printing), Shop & Bakery Equipment, Adelaide Street, Halifax.”
The same can be said for Pextenement Cheese, makers of organic cheese in Todmorden, and sitting nicely in the Triangle fresh food section.
Owner Carl Warburton said “When we were asked to look into how many local suppliers we used, we were astounded to find they added up to 28. It’s amazing how much all the independent businesses rely on and support each other”.
So if you think that using your local independent shop just supports one business, think again.
There are lots of small businesses like Triangle Emporium where many, many Calderdale businesses benefit from that small decision of yours to buy Totally Locally.
Have a look around the site to find out more, or read our article “THE MAGIC TENNER’.