I have made a couple of orders from the Southbourne Food Assembly and have been happy with what I got.
I was able to buy Dorset Blue Vinney, white and golden beetroot and fresh hand made pasta.
There have been comments made about whether this is supporting local businesses and especially the Grove. I am in full support of the Grove and its businesses, independent or not. That doesn’t mean that I buy everything there nor does it have everything I need.
I personally haven’t seen golden beetroot on sale and have been dying to get it to do a salad based on meal I had up in London at Ottolenghi.
I see no conflict, I just see it as complimentary. Having bought the pasta, it could mean I need more ingredients that I also get locally, or that it gives me the impetus to try the squid ink pasta from Deli Rocks. Or crackers for my cheese and so on.
The organiser, Lyndsey Fisher-Cooke, is local and she is trying to do something new that pulls people out from their homes, get to meet suppliers and fellow assemblers alike. Fair play to that I say.
This kind of collaboration opens things up, so people can explore more, as opposed to being too defensive of the status quo. For me, to shop local for groceries just means shopping Saturday because I am at work all day long till late, or then it is the supermarket brands. With the food assembly, I get the option of picking up till 7.30pm.