With so many local businesses popping up across our high streets to our farms in the countryside, there's never been a better time to shop local. Here are some of the best Kent independent businesses you can support right now, and get some amazing products while you're at it - so we thought we’d share with you some of the ways you can support our Kent community. One of the best ways to do this? Buy local of course!
You only need to look at our geography to know you're in for a treat, whether it's fruit picked in our farmland or our coastline producing fresh fish, or perhaps the rolling hills primed for wine, there are so many natural products for us to choose from. While you're at it, be sure to also look out for the local makers, who all have unique products to pick up, with their own Kent character.
Corkk is an award-winning wine shop in the heart of the historical city of Canterbury. Offering a selection of English and Kentish wines, wine sampling and tasting, as well as delicious locally sourced food so you can sit back and enjoy some local goodies from your favourite Kent suppliers.
Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham is a fantastic place all year round to get all your local groceries, and now they're making sure they have as much as they can for you to do your grocery shopping locally. To make sure you get everything as fresh as possible, they also offer a home delivery service! Keep an eye on their Instagram page over at @macknade for the latest news and offers too.
The Goods Shed is the home to so many independent businesses under the same roof, so when you pop in to store, you'll be supporting a plethora of local people in the community. The Goods Shed is open for your essential foods, alongside lots of speciality products and organic goods. We can only recommend you go in in person so you can really gather all of the smells and sights for yourself!
One of the prettiest Kent shopping areas, The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells is well worth a visit even just for the photo opportunities! Businesses like Framptons, Sankeys The Old Fish Market and Kirthon are staples of the area, which offer some delicious cuisine, as is The Cake Shed, which is absolutely one of our essentials. For those looking for a personable shopping experience, head to one of the areas shops which range from camera stores to quality household items.
The Castle Farm Shop, situated near Sevenoaks in West Kent has a wonderful lavender-loaded store which has everything from body lotions and potions, to biscuits and tea - all created using the locally grown lavender itself. Pop outside to their fields to take it all in for yourself, as when times get stressful, the soothing smell of lavender is sure to ease the tension!
The Garden of England’s abundance of fantastic produce is showcased in refined style at The Garden Room restaurant at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. Inventive dishes celebrate the very best of Kentish produce, with a strong commitment to seasonality and championing local artisan suppliers. All produce is sustainably sourced, with fruit and vegetables fresh from the park’s kitchen garden at Walmestone Growers in Wingham, and served in a sophisticated yet relaxed space with a tranquil Mediterranean garden ambience.
Grape harvest begins in September at Biddenden, with the full process taking place on site. Visitors taking a Self-Guided Tour have the opportunity to see harvest in full swing, before heading back to the Vineyard Shop for a taste of the fruits of Biddenden’s labour! Each vintage is released in the following spring, available both direct from the cellar door and online for home delivery. Visit Biddenden’s website for up to date details on visiting and opening times.
The Wine Garden of England wineries are a collective of Kentish wine producers who working hard to get you a glass of your favourite tipple during this time. You can buy a bottle at your local supermarket, or get them delivered straight to your door, as a number of them offer home delivery - nice and easy! For the full experience, head out to their vineyards themselves, wander where the wine is produced and stop by their shop. If we have to buy an extra bottle or two, we're just doing our bit to help out!
If you'd prefer to open a beer than a bottle of wine, we're spoilt for choice in Kent, as we're not only home to Britain's Oldest Brewer, Shepherd Neame, but our friends at Old Dairy, Goody Ales and Curious Brewery are open for visits to their sites, with a stacked events calendar and open days, each with shops all on site stocked with their best produce!
The ice cream on offer at Solley’s is produced using local milk from the neighbouring farm, before being made into the sweet treat at their on-site ice cream factory – you can’t get much more local than that! Open to the public over the summer months, Solley’s also offers home delivery of their full range throughout Kent, so you can ensure you’re well stocked up all year round. With over 20 delicious flavours to choose from, including traditional dairy ice cream, sorbets and dairy free vegan ice cream, there’s sure to be a flavour (or three!) to suit all tastes.
Based just outside of Canterbury, The Beardy Baker is always making sure our sweet needs are met! Order online and get them delivered right to your door via their website - we'd recommend the brownies, or perhaps the loaf cakes, yet equally check out the seasonal menu... (can you tell we wrote this when hungry!), so whether you fancy a treat come cold or warm days there's something for you.
There are plenty of local food heroes out there in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate! From Quex Barn which is a staple farm shop of the area, or pub delights with a view at The Belle Vue Tavern, to delicious seafood delicacies such as Buoy & Oyster. For those looking for some local charm, head to towns themselves and their winding streets which are all home to a plethora of independent businesses.