In many an old farm house there is a door off the kitchen, maybe down a step or two, to a small room with thick brick walls, no windows, and a smell that draws you in. Tip-toe in late at night, and flick on the light – you’re peckish but don’t know what you fancy – there’s a table, with a cold slab on it, and on that slab you never know what you’ll find. Sometimes half a loaf of bread with a block of butter, sometimes a joint of meat and a sharp knife, and sometimes a home-made pie and a few veggies.
Look up to the shelves and there’ll be relishes, maybe a block of cheese wrapped in cloth and a slice or two of a delicious cake. It’s all simple stuff, but it’s all home-made, and you can be sure the owner of this house, and its larder, knows where every item came from.
Welcome to our Larder. It’s no country kitchen, we’re a tad more modern, but you get the idea.
High-grade coffee beans hand-roasted in the UK by people we know, and sourced through meaningful long-term direct trade relationships. Artisan breads baked daily by Christophe and the team at Boulangerie Jade, cakes from a roster of local all-natural bakers. Organic milk from our local dairy and free-range eggs, meats from Andy our high-street butcher and cheeses from Neal’s Yard, produced on farms you can find on a map by people with names, not from a distribution warehouse on the outskirts of Dusseldorf. It’s impossible for every last product to have this level of provenance, but where we can, we do, and we always use whole-food natural ingredients. It costs a bit more, but Larder customers feel it’s worth it.
We’re makers too – the pickled cabbage in our halloumi sandwich could be easily popped out of a jar, but we prefer to make it to our own cure, made in small batches as we do with many of the relishes and sauces in our dishes. Same for our nut brownies, the fresh scones baked each day, and soon our compotes too. Cold-brew? We brew it. Cold-press? We press it. Fresh-smoothies? You get the picture, if we can make it, we’re on it.
The Larder’s atmospheric spaces have a few more credits to their name too – regularly featuring on TV shows, both print and TV adverts, as well as in editorial shots. So do get in touch, or check our film hire page for more details.
Whilst trying to bring the best of everything to the table, we believe firmly in leaving the smallest environmental footprint we can. We can’t save the world on our own, nor be 100% green in every way, but we know that every small step we take, along with every small step everyone else takes, will add up.
We’ve already got incentives for customers to use their own KeepCups for hot drinks, and for them to bring Tupperware for takeaway food, whilst having 95% of soft drinks in glass or cans, limiting single-use plastics. We’re using paper straws and paper bags and card boxes for takeaway.
You’ll see re-used, re-purposed and upcycled items in every café, and we’ve got trials and projects running at some sites, ready to roll out further, like the separation of food-waste from non-foods, having our coffee grounds picked up by bike for distribution to local gardens, and an upcoming move into zero-waste principles in Wanstead for certain packaged products.
For outside catering we use biodegradable bamboo plates and wooden cutlery, and at the most recent Walthamstow Garden Party we were first to use champagne flutes made from potato-starch (rest assured the flavour was not affected!). We’re partnering up with ZED, for a soon to launch zero-emission brunch and lunch delivery service, with the ZED team whizzing the food to you by cargo bike.
We’ve teamed up with Wild Wanstead to fill our outdoor planters with pollinator-friendly wild flowers, and day by day we’re hunting practical ways to do more to reduce food miles, reduce waste and do our bit.
Hope to see you soon.