How Sauced Here is changing the Peak District food industry
PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 June 2018
Combining supermarket convenience with artisan quality, SaucedHere.co.uk is revolutionising the Peak District food industry, one delivery at a time
The Peak District has long enchanted visitors and residents with its landscapes, heritage and historic towns and villages. Now, thanks to a unique local business, at the simple click of a mouse tourists can sample the area’s finest food and drink and locals can shop more conveniently from the region’s producers.
Online delivery service SaucedHere.co.uk was founded by Luke Osborne in 2016 with the aim of making it as easy as possible for people to purchase food and drink produced in the Peak District – or, as he enthusiastically refers to it, ‘the unsung food capital of the UK.’
Taking away the effort required to shop responsibly, whilst providing an opportunity to discover local food and drink, the website sources products directly from local producers and delivers them to your home, holiday cottage, camper van or tent in one flexible delivery.
Baskets can include a diverse range of produce from fresh fruit and vegetables to free-range meat, poultry, deli items, cheese, eggs, dairy products, alcohol, soft drinks, tea bags, coffee beans, fresh bread and delicious cakes.
Passionate foodie Luke lived in Bakewell in the heart of the Peak for over a decade with his wife Naomi and two daughters, building up an extensive knowledge of the Peak District and its produce, but it was in another National Park that the inspiration for Sauced Here began.
Luke explains: ‘I went on a self-catering holiday to the Lake District in 2013. We booked a cottage in the countryside and a supermarket delivery for when we arrived, only to spend the next day kicking ourselves as we discovered all the amazing shops in the local village. We’d missed out due to lack of local knowledge and a need for convenience.’
From that day on, Luke began to notice how many local businesses in Bakewell were closing down and wondered whether they were being passed by for similar reasons.
‘Meanwhile, I was busy working a full time job in medical education, then my children arrived. As toddlers, they’d gleefully knock bottles off the shelf when I was trying to buy wine at John Hattersley’s in Bakewell. If I was in Hartington choosing cheese, they’d want the toilet! I thought “there has to be a different way of shopping locally” and Sauced Here was born.’
Officially launching in November 2016, SaucedHere.co.uk now works with over 40 producers and has access to over 1,500 products, all produced in and around the Peak District.
‘I’ve always shopped locally whenever I could and I love good quality food, so I had a rough idea of where the best food and drink was,’ says Luke. ‘Most importantly, the items need to taste great and have traceable origins. Thankfully, we are spoilt for choice in Derbyshire.’
Instead of storing products in a warehouse, once a customer places an order online Luke collects each item directly from the producer. ‘After all, they are the experts on how best to store their products,’ he says. ‘We’ve got a little depot near Ashford in the Water and we’re a small, local team. They all do this part-time alongside “normal” jobs because they are so passionate about it. We love supporting hardworking producers and showing off the area’s great food and drink.’
The team’s combined local knowledge and expertise in navigating the Peak District’s roads meant that even the ‘Beast from the East’ didn’t stop deliveries taking place.
‘We can deliver all the way up to Edale, Buxton, Longnor, the fringes of Sheffield and Chesterfield, right down to Fenny Bentley near Ashbourne, covering everything from homes and large accommodation providers to cottages and even campsites. As long as a customer tells us what colour tent they’re in, we’ll be able to find them!’ Luke says.
‘I’ll often visit the accommodation before guests arrive and unpack their order so once they open the door, they’ve got a fully stocked house and a chilled beer from a local brewery in the fridge – ready to start their holiday in the best way.’
On an average day, the team might visit Bakewell to pick up freshly-baked bread and Bakewell Pudding from Bloomers Bakery, followed by handmade chocolates from Holdsworth’s before heading over to foraging specialists, Charlie’s Country Garden, to collect home-made raspberry and lavender conserve.
‘We cover every food genre,’ Luke says. ‘And even though we’re a landlocked county, we can still source the freshest, sustainable fish through suppliers such as RG Morris and Son in Buxton. They get fish from the market at 2am, pretty much straight off the boat, arriving back here for 8am so we can deliver it to a customer at 1pm the same day.’
The items change with the seasons so depending on when you place your order, you’ll get a flavour of the Peak District to suit the time of year.
‘We’ve started offering vegetable and salad boxes from the Lane End Farm Trust near Millers Dale,’ says Luke. ‘The range changes – pretty much weekly – depending on what’s in season and it’s a charity, so every purchase makes a difference.’
Beyond food and drink, SaucedHere.co.uk stocks pet, gardening and beauty products and even offers experiences such as private chefs, mushroom foraging and fitness camps.
Food orders have a minimum value of £35 but SaucedHere.co.uk has taken huge orders that will feed over 25 people for a week. ‘The best part is, that money would have gone to a national supermarket and instead, it is being drawn back into the local area. I’m really proud of that,’ he says.
There are 1.25 million tourists who stay in self-catering accommodation in the Peak District each year and if just 10 per cent of those shopped locally, the impact on the economy would be huge, Luke points out.
‘There’s a statistic that for every £1 spent locally, 70p of that money recirculates in the area. When people shop locally they are genuinely having a positive impact,’ he enthuses.
Such is his commitment to the cause, Luke still buys items that can’t be produced in the area from local village shops and the website also showcases ‘the faces behind the food’.
‘We never hide the producers we work with,’ Luke says. ‘In fact, we want everyone to know about them! They have amazing stories to tell and it’s great to support them. One of the best things is that because we highlight the contact details of the producers, after trying an item in one of our deliveries, customers will often go back to them to buy more.’
‘It’s all about creating a positive network between locals, producers, accommodation providers and tourists – joining all the dots,’ he adds. ‘We should all be rooting for each other, supporting each other and saying “the Peak District is brilliant!”’
Looking to the future, a national delivery service is in the pipeline but Luke’s main aim is to inspire people to rethink their shopping habits – whether they are visiting the area or are lucky enough to live here.
‘If the website can help bring back shoppers who normally reach for the supermarkets because they just don’t have time to buy direct from the people and producers, then that makes me a very happy man,’ he adds.
‘My dream is that one day, a producer says to me “I’ve had to employ another person just to look after your orders.” That would be absolutely amazing!’