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Josh Carter
8th February 2022

‘Doing your bit’ doesn’t mean totally writing off your shopping life, it can mean simply switching up your habits such as supporting big name online stores to a more personal and local shopping experience by going local. Equally, while many of us think of craft fairs and small farm stores, shopping near to you can mean supporting your favourite nearby businesses that pool together those small creators and up and coming food producers. Not only does it help everyone involved but you might uncover something you’ve never tasted or used before, as well as eating as fresh as possible to supporting an individual or family!

The Isle of Thanet

As you make your way onto the Isle you’ll see it’s a haven of produce and that is reflected in its green and full markets and local outlets. If you’ve been during the first weekend of October you may have come for the hugely popular Broadstairs Food Festival, but if you want those goods all year round head to Cliftonville Farmers Market which takes place on the last Sunday of each month, or take a journey to Quex Barn in Birchington for a selection of no less than a florist, bakery, delicatessen and more.


With a care for the community at the centre of what they do, Macknade is no less than an icon of Kent’s food and drink scene, a must-stop for those looking for a new taste adventure. With 170 years of working with local farmers and producers, it’s a one stop shop that will give you peace of mind for the journey of farm to table. The heart of the business is in Faversham where its flagship food hall stands.

Ashford Designer Outlet

We live in a world of fast fashion and when you take a look at how much goes to waste, it can make you second guess a purchase. This is where Bond Street to Your Street at the Ashford Designer Outlet comes in. Stocking a plethora of pre-loved items from luxury goods brands, you can grab a timeless classic bag to the scarf you’ve always wanted, with each item authenticated and cleaned before it's put out, all the while with a cleaner conscience too.

Reuthe's - The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks

If you're looking for a rural escape where you can stock up on your produce, baked goods and homewares then Reuthe's - The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks is your place. On the first Friday of each month the Farmers Market is there to give you the stalls foodie dreams are made of - from breads and cakes to local fruit and veg - you might need a wander around their woodland shortly after! On the third Sunday of the month, there's the Craft & Unique Market, serving you exactly what you'd think - a complete lineup of artisan crafts, bric-a-brac and homewares brought to you by local businesses so each visit will certainly be individual. 

Penshurst Place

While you may be a little confused as to why one of Kent’s most magnificent country houses has made the list, it’s the onsite shop that will bring the goods home. Open all year round, the store stocks everything you know the area for – from Biddenden Ciders to jams and chutneys and cakes. Yet it’s not just foodie fayre that you’ll find, with candles and skincare and other homeware all being handmade nearby.

Grown local

With spring right around the corner, you might be considering where to get those bulbs, potted plants and more. Helpfully, many of your favourite gardens have onsite nurseries or areas where they sell plants grown right on-site by their gardeners. For instance, Godinton House may not have a shop but it sells plants and produce from their ticket office which are all grown metres away; and Great Comp Garden has Dyson’s, which is run by its curator and opens in mid-April selling a whole host of plants, setting you up for a beautiful summer.

Taste local

With a number of independent distilleries and brewers appearing in recent years, Kent has sure got its fair share. Sitting inside many of these speciality producers, such as Maidstone Distillery, Copper Rivet Distillery and The Foundry Brew Pub are their little boutiques, selling the wares you may have just learnt all about. Even if you don’t head on a tour, the shops inside these producers are there for any drop-ins so you can pick up a locally made weekend treat or a present for those who don’t live nearby to sample a taste of Kent.

Photo: amyjhphotos (Instagram)


With plenty of transport connections such as Southeastern’s two stations (Canterbury East & West) and Stagecoach taking you right into the centre, keeping the environment in mind and shopping goes hand in hand in Canterbury. With its back streets full of small independent stores, from toys that go above and beyond the plastic we see our shelves so full of, to plenty of cafes and waste-free stores. Be sure to take a look at Canterbury BID’s MyCanterbury website which has helpful maps and special offers.

Produced in Kent 

Getting a little lost in finding some of Kent’s finest producers? Don’t worry, our friends are Produced in Kent are here to help with all the lowdown on the freshest local produce and award-winning food and drink.