Joy At Portobello

Some thoughts on 'regenuary'

While we’re stuck at home spending time scrolling the ‘gram it’s hard to avoid the life hacks about how best to eat your way through the New Year…a splayed-out avocado has never looked so out of place as it does on our feed right now.

When we started JOY in July last year we had a clear ethos in mind – to create something fresh, exciting and new – something to help take our minds off the pandemic – and something which took advantage of, and supported the wonderful network of Kentish producers that sits on London’s doorstep.

Almost everything we buy (and sell at our shop) comes from Canterbury-based The Goods Shed – in buying from us and supporting them, you really are supporting the local farming infrastructure in Kent. We do work with a few other suppliers to get certain types of produce when it’s as it’s very best and most authentic into the shop, (we have Yorkshire rhubarb and winter citrus fruits from Natoora) but it’s mainly top-quality Kentish stuff right now.

Stevie has known Susanna – owner of The Goods Shed – for some time and while the incredible quality of all the wonderful produce amassed under her guidance has never been in question (proudly feeding Canterbury for over 20 years!) it was the forcible closure of much of the hospitality industry and the negative knock-on effect it had to so many independent suppliers that highlighted a need to get behind local – it’s something we have been proud to champion at JOY ever since we opened, and it’s even more relevant now as we approach the middle of winter.

As a Nation we’ve got used to getting whatever we want, whenever we want and therein lies a problem – we buy stuff in from far afield, ignorant of seasonality and the outrageous carbon footprint behind it.  Right now, if you eat meat, you should enjoy eating meat.

At The Goods Shed meat is brought in from small producers who employ excellent animal husbandry.  Animals are slaughtered individually at local abattoirs, with every single bit of the carcass used. An animal won't likely see a single piece of plastic from farm to slaughter to market to plate

If you do eat meat, maybe just eat better meat - It can be done and of course, it’s available through our online shop.  We have Sussex-breed beef from Duncan Anderson’s farm, incredible pork coming from Oxford and Sandy black breed pigs from Snoad Farm, free-range Kentish ranger chickens from Laughton Poultry and Suffolk Cross lamb from Al Parmar’s farm in Shottenden.

We’re not against Veganuary either, far from it, we just think it could be moved to a more bountiful, summer month when there’s much more fantastic produce - grown locally - to choose from.

Right now we’re enjoying earthy greens and root vegetables plucked from the ground – we love Dickie Ovenden’s Cavolo Nero and the stacks of brassicas we receive from his Green Lane Farm.  You can boil, stir-fry, steam or even dress lightly and eat Cavolo Nero raw – we like to blitz it up into a sauce and mix it into our fresh pasta – check out Stevie’s recipe here.

We also have brilliant chard - it’s smaller than the supermarket chard because it’s grown under winter conditions and wasn’t picked last year and kept in a chilled warehouse for several months – plus several varieties of potatoes, celeriac, swede, turnips, leeks and even winter radishes from the guys at Wonky Parsnip to choose from right now.  It’s all spray-free, grown locally and tasting utterly fresh and delicious right now.

If you haven’t already then we’d urge you to have a look at our online shop – we deliver to homes twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays and have now expanded our delivery radius to 15 miles.  We’re working on a brand new interface as well which we’ll bring you soon.

You can, of course, also visit us at JOY to shop for you groceries – we’re open every day between 10am – 6pm.

Happy Shopping.

Team JOY

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Joy at Portobello

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