www.bakersandlarners.co.uk | Article published in Feast, issue 45 – April 2020
The iconic Bakers and Larners in Holt celebrates its 250th anniversary this year with the launch of four specially created own brand food products – with three produced in association with leading local suppliers.
The first to be unveiled was a special mature Cheddar cheese, called Morton’s Vintage, which is made near Bristol. Produced from cow’s milk, it is matured for 12 months and contains salt crystals so it has a lovely crunch!
Next up is a new gin called 250 Gin, which was created by Fakenham-based Black Shuck gin. Distilled with eight botanicals including pear, lime and ginger, it is a bright crisp gin which is best served with lime and fresh mint.
Just 500 bottles of this gin, which retails at £37.50, have been made, and £4 from each bottle sold is going to the store’s chosen charity, EACH, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, so don’t dither over getting one!
These launches are followed by two more this month – a dark chocolate and salted caramel chocolate from Southwold-based Harris and James, and a new beer, a pale ale using the county’s finest malts, Maris Otter, and the heritage Chevalier malt, from Norfolk Brewhouse, based in Hindringham, near Fakenham.
The store is also selling four lovely commemorative items, again all specially produced for the celebratory year and with a percentage of the proceeds going to the store’s chosen charity. There is Baker Bear (a cuddly teddy bear), a mug, a shopping bag, and a tea-towel with designs by leading local artist, Kieron Williamson.
Marketing and communications manager Louise Cowell says: ‘Kieron is also painting a large owl for us – it is 1.6m high so is quite spectacular. We hope to have it on show in one of the shop windows, and it will then go on display at his exhibition in the town in July. We are thinking about ways in which the owl will helps us raise lots of money for EACH. We haven’t seen it yet and can’t wait.’
The store, right in the centre of Holt, is operating very much business as usual, with customers made as welcome as always. The Food Hall, which also boasts its own bakery, offers a wide selection of locally-sourced food and drink, plus a selection of international goodies. And the wine department has more than 1000 wine variations in stock so there is literally something for everyone!
Online deliveries, with deliveries to your doorstep, are also available.
Several events are in the planning stage for later this year, with wine talks and tastings looking likely. So it is a case of watch this space.
The store hopes to raise £25,000 for EACH this year, with Louise saying: ‘We raised £7000 in just January and February which was incredible.’
Jane Gurney-Read, Acting Managing Director and Chairman of CT Baker Group, says: ‘I am immensely proud to be a part of Bakers & Larners as we mark 250 years of our unique, award-winning store. It is an opportunity for the team to say thank you to our staff and customers for their enduring support and loyalty and to involve the local community that we feel a very strong part of.
‘It has been a remarkable journey and nine monarchs and four centuries later, our exceptional department store stands as one of the oldest retailers in East Anglia and one of the few in the country to remain under the ownership and control of the founding family.’