With a new Sainsbury's Local opening in St Andrews in time for summer, it is important to remember the many independent food retailers that fill the town. Although their products can be slightly more expensive than supermarket alternatives, it’s easy to forgive this when you realise the quality of the produce, the range and the advice the retailers have to offer. Here is a list of my top five independent food shops to persuade you to put down the Tesco basket and try something local.
5. Luvians, Market Street
Although technically not a food retailer, this bottle shop had to feature on the list because of its impressive range of whiskies, wines and Champagne. The owners will gladly recommend a wine to suit your dinner that evening and answer any questions about their whiskies and spirits. The shop has a bottle for every budget, from a reasonable £10-15 to a staggering £10,000!
4. John Birrell and Son, South Street
This small greengrocer is always stocked with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. The staff are very friendly and will advise you on what's in season (and therefore cheaper!). If you don't want to buy a whole punnet of plums or packet of parsley, this is the place for you – they sell you only what you need, reducing your cost and waste.
3. Minick of St Andrews, South Street
This butchers offers a wide selection of meat as well as selling eggs, milk and other dairy products. If you aren't sure what to have for dinner, go in and see what they have on their 'specials' board and they'll advise you on how to cook it. For the person who knows what they want, the butcher will cut your meat however you like it – don’t be scared to ask!
2. Keracher & Co., South Street
This fishmonger is unique in that, in addition to a wide selection of fish and seafood, it sells a variety of game meats. The quality and freshness of the food is unrivalled by the large supermarkets. Who wants Tesco fish transported from goodness knows where when you can enjoy seafood fresh out of the North Sea!
1. The Little Italian Shop, Bell Street
I add this shop to the list with a heavy heart. Unfortunately, The Little Italian Shop is closing and currently having a 20% closing down sale. This discount will allow you to enjoy some of their vast range of Italian foods at a reduced cost before they go. Definitely stock up on their high quality olive oil, rare pastas and Italian sweets and candies in the coming weeks.
Main image sourced from Black Eiffel, shop photographs by Annie Cornwell.