Thursday, 31 March 2011
Brown and Green
Ask anyone outside the Midlands the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire? Potbanks, Wedgwood, Stoke City FC, Robbie Williams or Arnold Bennett (unlikely but hey!)? Oatcakes may sometimes be up there too but only from those educated in the delights of Stoke, or who may have once driven through The Potteries.
Born and bred in the area, I know there are so many delicacies, attractions and historical stimuli that often go unseen, unheard or untasted. That is the purpose of Potteries 'n' Pans. To shout about all that is great about food and drink in our County.
It certainly wasn't difficult to find a point of reference, a place to start and wax lyrical about the delights on offer in our often self depreciating City.
Brown and Green. Time and work permitting, I find myself drawn there several times a week. Often to the detriment of my wallet, I cannot help but be lured to the Trentham Estate site and the delights contained within. Sublimely laid out, this display of eye candy for any food lover is the most exquisite mecca of artisan foods and contains a whole host of taste bud treats.
Not only does the shop look beautiful but I am yet to purchase anything that has disappointed. Susie and the team pride themselves on sourcing and stocking local product. This is by no means some sanctimonious cap doffing to a politically correct ideology. It is a genuine belief in their produce, knowing it is of the utmost quality and taste and a testament to the carefully crafted food and drink available right on our doorstep.
Staffordshire Scotch Eggs, Titanic ales, Chatwin's bread, Lymestone beers, a plethora of chutney to die for from The Kitchens at Horsley, the list seems endless. Everything smacks of quality and pride, from the branded brown paper bags to take your wares home, to the array of olives and oils to choose from.
Such top quality, locally grown and seasonal produce often comes at a price. However when you can get 'Soup in a bag' at just £1.50, you know that Brown and Green offers so much for so little expense. This isn't a cuisine playground for a select few but a place everyone will visit again and again.
All of my friends and colleagues (especially those from further a field) - I insist on taking to what has become my favourite shop. As a flagship store for Stoke-on-Trent, I always feel a sense of pride in knowing that this place is as much a part of our community as it is a business. On my last visit I succumbed to Beetroot and Cracked Black Pepper Chutney (fantastic for lunch on a Monday with Sunday's left over roast beef) and several bottles of Freedom Brewery's organic lager (a perfect remedy for a stressful day at work!).
Unsurprisingly Brown and Green is going from strength to strength having recently opened another store in Derby. It is a pointless exercise in wishing them all the very best in their new venture as it will, without doubt, be a fantastic success.