I'm Joanne, founder of The Staffordshire Craft Hamper Company. During the first national, and quite frankly, oppressive lockdown I felt inspired by watching how small businesses local to me worked tirelessly. Do you agree - the challenges of 2020 teach us, amongst other things, the importance of looking after one another and supporting our local communities? I do.
Once lockdown ‘easing’ was in full swing this summer, I went on a one-woman quest to find a way that I could contribute to bringing focus back onto small Midlands businesses. Through Google searches (late at night), farmers/ producer market trawls (with baby and husband in tow) and speaking to friends (to find out who made the best brownies in Burntwood), I unearthed the delicious local foods and drinks that feature in our festive hampers.
Finding producers to be involved in the hamper wasn’t hard – Midlander’s we have great artisans! But, I had a check list; Foodie passion... Do they make their product by hand in small batches…Are they well known (I didn’t want them to be, those people don’t need our support)…Is the product tasty and does offer its consumer something different. I recall my conversation with The Casuals- “the blend we’re developing is a little different” [Gareth], “that’s great, who wants to offer the same as everyone else” [me].
From Cheddleton to Stirchley, face mask and social distancing in place, I met with producers, sampled their edibles (tough job!) and observed the amazing workmanship that is genuinely in every mouthful of each item.
...I could go on. I won’t. And here we all are, back in lockdown 2.0 but having curated (just in the nick of time) two Limited Edition local hampers. Both containing small batch, handmade foods and drinks sourced from producers in Stirchley to Cheddleton - the Midlands.
Now its over to you guys – be awesome Midlanders, buy a hamper and support our artisans!