Locally sourced and produced food and drink is back on the rise, according to PJ Aldred, co-owner of Horsham store Crates Local.
The town centre store only opened in August of last year but has quickly established itself thanks to a ‘loyal’ customer base and the guidance of PJ and Marion Carter, the pair behind Horsham Markets.
PJ said: “We have had an awful lot of people say ‘I’ve been waiting for a shop like this for years’.
“Horsham is getting a real name for itself for food and every time there is a new independent opening the customers seem to love it.
“I think Horsham will see a rise in independent food shops over the next couple of years.”
All produce sold in Crates comes from within 40 miles of Horsham.
It is the tried and tested formula of years gone by, with the store’s success proving there is a place for independent produce stores.
PJ said: “We have built a really good, loyal base of customers that just seem to love what we are doing.
“Every week we are getting more and more customers through the door.
“We couldn’t do it without the community getting behind it and people understanding the importance of local produce.”
PJ and Marion are preparing for their first summer in business, and PJ added their range of tomatoes will be a highlight.
She said: “We have up to 20 or 25 varieties of locally sourced tomatoes, and the taste is far beyond anything you can buy in supermarkets.”
She recommended Crates’ potatoes, fresh bread, ham and smoked salmon, adding that a summery range of beers and wines will also be a treat.
Crates Local was recognised at the Dressed for Success awards earlier this year, scooping the County Times’ award for shop design.