Meat from the butcher, bread from the baker, eggs from a farm; they all seem to taste nicer and produce better meals than their shop or supermarket bought counterparts, don’t they?
I have always wanted to try and shop local and support local businesses but unfortunately, in the real world, nipping to the supermarket or having your shopping delivered to your door is significantly easier and less time consuming than going to individual retailers for specific items.
However, a new service has recently launched in Dundee which is hoping to change this belief and allow individuals and families to buy a range of products directly from the source. Neighbourfood is an online service that lets you select and order items from a range of different local farms, bakeries and so on and pay, and collect from one central location. Given my love for food stuffs that haven’t been prepacked and shipped around the country, I decided to give it a go and order a range of items to see how it went.
Neighbourfood is available in many areas of the country but by simply typing in Dundee, it allowed me straight away to see what was available in this area. My first stop was adding Free Range Eggs from Incheoch Farm outside Alyth to my basket, quickly followed by potatoes and carrots from The Wright Root in Blairgowrie. Mini Pizza’s and a loaf of bread from Love of Loaves Perth before lastly adding some raspberries from Pittormie Farm and classic glass bottles of Milk from Kerr’s Dairy. This was only a small selection of the available items that I decided to pick. My husband was drooling at the selection of meat available from Woodmill Game and I was tempted by Cairn O ’Mohr but we decided to keep things simple for our first time.
Ordering was as simple as any other online shop, stick it in the basket and pay at the end. As quick and easy as the online order process is, the only real drawback is that because the products are all locally sourced, the online market is only open for orders Friday to Tuesday and you collect your food on Thursday. This isn’t the most convenient but it is a small price to pay for locally sourced and easily purchased foodstuffs. Plus, like many others we do a weekly food shop so if we plan in advance what we want, we can make sure we have the freshest of meat, veg and dairy the following week. You can sign up for reminder emails which let you know when the online market opens each week which is a lifesaver.
Thursday came and I nipped over to collect my shopping from the collection point at Gate Church International on Perth Road in Dundee. Taylor, who was running the show that day, was an absolute delight to chat with and quickly had my order ready to take home. Even for those who don’t drive, Neighbourfood offers delivery to Tayport and other surrounding areas within a 7 mile radius at a very reasonable rate in their own electric vehicles.
As I expected, the products themselves were wonderful although the potatoes and carrots took a good scrubbing to clean up given they were mud fresh from the fields. There wasn’t a single item we bought which I didn’t prefer to our usual supermarket bought options and it was all well priced which makes a huge difference too.
Obviously, there are some items you cannot order and you will still need to get at the local shops or supermarket but Neighbourfood provides a brilliantly simple way to shop locally without having to go from shop to shop to shop and that is something that I will definitely be keen to do again. I am very glad to have found a more sustainable way to shop locally, will you be giving Neighbourfood a try?