WIN a food hamper worth £150!

PUBLISHED: 09:39 26 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 02 November 2020

The Artisan General Store hamper

The Artisan General Store hamper

Archant

We’ve teamed up with The Artisan General Store in Fetcham to offer one winner a hamper worth £150

Steve Reice set up The Artisan General Store operating online and from Fetcham Park in 2017. The company promotes luxury, ethical food and drink products made by some of the UK’s finest artisan producers.

What inspired you to set up The Artisan General Store?

I wanted to do something that followed my passion for fine, artisan products. I was also fed up with supermarkets and the way they were supposedly promoting high-end artisan products but without really telling the story of the people behind the product. I’d become disillusioned with the level of customer service you find in supermarkets too and felt both customers and artisan producers deserved more.

What’s different about the store?

While we don’t have a physical shop yet we are very much a store. There are other websites out there selling artisan products but they are generally listings sites, a bit like Amazon, where you place your orders but they then come direct from the producer. If you order a number of items you’re likely to receive lots of different packages, whereas I physically pack up the products into straw-lined cardboard boxes, which are then delivered by a carbon-neutral delivery company so it’s more eco-friendly. I try all the products and will only add them to our carefully curated collection if I enjoy them. I want buying to be a real experience for the customer and so I can offer recommendations based on people’s favourite foods. I even do tastings at Fetcham Park or at people’s homes.

What were your first products?

Clare’s Preserves in Cornwall. Clare makes her marmalade in the traditional way, in open pots in her own kitchen. Her Seville Marmalade with Dartmoor Honey has won Double Gold, the highest award possible in the Dalemain Marmalade Awards.

Do you have any favourites?

I only put forward products on our website that I taste and like. Artisan products usually have a great back story. Neema chilli pastes, for example were born because the founder’s mum went to boarding school as a child and found the meals so bland that she made sauces to liven up the food.

Why should people shop with you?

We offer Harrods or Fortnum & Mason-style service but for everyone. Good customer service and stunning artisan products should not be seen as something only accessible to the middle and upper classes. Historically artisan producers made their goods in small workshops by hand and then sold them to the locals. While the artisan has remained true to this ethos, it does seem that the perception has changed around who can afford their products.

Tell us about your hampers...

We have eight Christmas hampers starting at £70 this year but can also create bespoke hampers for people who are after something specific – we’ve done themed hampers for fans of chilli for example. My advice to those putting together a hamper is to pick things that will accent their Christmas – don’t just go for the usual.

theartisangeneralstore.co.uk

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