tomatoes, local, bbc good foodWest Chiltington, the village where my wife and I run our business is in a rural part of West Sussex just north of the South Downs National Park. It is a village that is surrounded by agricultural land and still has two active dairy farms, one of them is contracted to Tesco and the others supply the big national dairies. So no local milk for us.

But West Chiltington has more than just milk producers within the parish and last week we took our first supply of very local honey from one of our customers. When I say very local I mean that the bee hives that produce this variety are within 50 metres of our front door on the village allotments. The producer’s clear honey comes from hives that are less than half a mile from our shop.

We also take our tomato supplies from a local grower during their season from March to November. They are really good tomatoes and were featured on the BBC’s recent Great British Food Revival series. The growers glass houses are less than a mile from our door.

West Chiltington’s best known producer is Nyetimber Vineyard (we can see the vines from our back door), one of the largest vineyards in England. It’s sparkling wine has won many awards during the past few years and we stock their Classic Cuvee and Premier Cuvee. There is an older vineyard in our village, Nutbourne Vineyard that produces a growing range of wine that is popular with our customers.

We also stock bread, cheese, butter and other produce from Sussex, but it our village produced wine that are our best sellers. In fact we recently sold 72 bottles of the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee to a customer for her son’s wedding and that was £1,700 in our till!