The Roots of LHStores

Traditional rural grocers

We have a lot of new customers and it has made me really aware that maybe not everyone really knows what we are about.  So...

Little Hadham Stores is a tiny shop in rural Herts, we have been open since May 2018, (2 days a week since last September), our fresh food is all seasonal, local and cooked, baked, and delivered on a Thursday, to order.  We have mostly organic dried goods available to weigh and take away in customers’ own containers, artisan crafts and environmentally friendly body, lifestyle and household products.

When my husband and I bought our house in Little Hadham, it was mostly for the big, wild, over grown back garden.  The attached Victorian butcher’s shop was in a pretty poor state.  After much work (it has been a store room, our children's playroom and our kitchen) the shop has finally been returned to its’ original purpose, a traditional village store, selling fresh, local, seasonal food.

chez panisse inspiration

I lived for 8 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and volunteered with friends on amazing edible school yard and permaculture projects in Northern California.  Upon returning home to the UK, in 2000, I found the lack of environmental awareness amongst my friends and family amazing.  But, I think, like many people, it was having my first child (Una) that really opened my eyes to the toxicity of the environment that we are creating on our beautiful planet.  

organic lunch

I very much believe in sustainability as the key to solving so many problems.  As such, my business's sustainable ethos is based on the carefully curated and tested products we stock, it's support of small, local, ethical, businesses and in its’ evolution.  My business has to be sustainable too.  It has to fit into my family’s life and be a warm and welcoming place for my community, it’s growth can be as slow as it likes, as long as it is going in the right direction.

farmers market business cards

When I first moved from East London to Hertfordshire I assumed I would be connected into a wonderful network of local food growers and producers.  It’s the countryside right?  It’s where the food comes from.  But I actually found it quite hard to find good quality, ethically produced food.  In 2017 I took over the running of Little Hadham’s monthly farmers’ market.  Already a great way to reduce your food miles, I banned plastic bags and have been trying to improve it’s eco credentials ever since.  

veg outside grocers

In the process of trying to increase numbers at the farmers’ market, I surveyed our regulars and asked them what they would like to see more of.  The most typical response was simply; more market.  For the stallholders that attend the farmers’ market this wasn’t possible.  And so Little Hadham Stores was born in a very organic way; in an attempt to offer customers access to some of the market’s produce during the rest of the month.

organic veg box

But I also support an organic smaller holder based in Sawbridgeworth, not just by stocking their veg boxes, but also giving my time to help with their online presence and promotion.  Little Hadham Stores regularly changing, fresh, seasonal food includes foraged ingredients and tries to highlight great under-rated British crops; like winter purslane and medlars.   We sell beautiful British cut flowers from a local grower in her first year of business, another mum inspired to find work that fits with her children.

organic free range eggs

I like to think that when you come into Stores, you’re being welcomed into my home.  The eggs in the shop are from my own hens, herbs and some veggies, from my garden, beeswax products from my bees.  I know the story of and I’m passionate about everything in my shop, from the bread to the gluten free pasta, the rapeseed oil to the tinned tomatoes, everything has been chosen carefully by me. 
mutti tomatoes

But Stores has evolved so much since we opened, and we offer more than just food.   We have regular evening events, including talks, craft workshops and Supper Clubs.  Little Hadham Stores is all about a community of makers and growers supporting each other.  And trying to offer their community another way of consuming that is gentler on the planet.  The fact that Stores is also my home I think makes it all the more special, as we are literally welcoming our community in.

dogs outside vintage  grocers

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