I met Claire Davies, founder of Grace Preserves and find out more about Yorkshire Truly, a collective of local and artisan food producers standing at York’s Newgate Market every Friday.
Yorkshire Truly was formed as a way of enabling local and independent producers to work collaboratively to sell their products, realising that as a group they would be stronger than they would as independent stall holders. They started trading over Easter at the back of Newgate Market (York’s main market, tucked away behind the tourist-haven that is The Shambles) but have now moved to a more prominent position at the back entrance of Marks & Spencer.
Other than a fantastic fish stall (Cross of York) and Delicatessen (Henshelwoods), the back end of Newgate Market is mostly filled with stalls selling mobile phone covers and polyester nighties. Yorkshire Truly is just what is needed to regenerate it and make it a real destination for locals and visitors. York is becoming much more of a foodie destination and we need a credible central market to encourage shoppers into the City Centre rather than going to the out-of-town mega markets.
Upon meeting Claire, it is instantly clear that what she does is a real labour of love. She founded Grace Preserves last year after a heart transplant operation left her fairly housebound and herself and her care assistant took up preserve-making “to keep ourselves sane”. Claire is passionate about only using seasonal, and local ingredients wherever possible and bases her recipes on pre-wartime English recipes. “We have learned to work with gluts and our customers increasingly understand that, and support us by buying seasonally too.”
As well as running Grace Preserves, and being involved with Yorkshire Truly, Claire wants to get involved with local communities, and teach them to make the most of the products around their local area. “Food-making classes are traditionally seen as a middle class activity, but I really want to go beyond that and get involved with helping all types of community to make jams and preserves’.
Yorkshire Truly is a all about supporting each other too and are always on the look out for new members. The only rules are that they must be small and make their own products. Current members include Daisy Bank who produces pasta sauces and pestos, The Gingerbread House, a chocolate maker, a rare breed sausage maker, a smoked fish producer, home-baking, vegetarian and raw food producers.
It really is a fabulous initiative and helps local producers connect with locals. Visit Yorkshire Truly at Newgate Market and see for yourself!
Yorkshire Truly is at the back of Marks & Spencers, in Newgate Market. Every Friday from 10am-3.30pm.
As well as at Yorkshire Truly, you can find Grace Preserves at the Yorkshire Pantry, Love To Eat and various Yorkshire Food Festivals.
On Friday 3rd June Sadie from York Coffee Emporium will be doing an open air coffee roasting and tasting sessions from lunch time.
Find out more on facebook.com/yorkshiretruly