Win a hamper of Sourced Locally treats from the East of England Co-op

co-op festive fare pics

co-op festive fare pics - Credit: Archant

The East Anglian Daily Times and EALife are proud to promote locally made produce.

co-op festive fare pics

co-op festive fare pics - Credit: Archant

And what a bounty we have!

From east coast fish, to artisan cheeses, and some of the very finest pork and beef in the country – there’s a lot to love.

Another business that’s just as passionate about local food is the East of England Co-op, which has taken established and fledgling products under its wing through the award-winning Sourced Locally initiative.

This Christmas there are more delicious, festive goodies to buy from your Co-op than ever before.

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Here’s a run-down of some of our favourites from the range. Make sure you include some (or all) of them on your shopping list in the coming weeks.

Coles Puddings

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Made in Great Chesterford in Essex, in a special ‘pudding room’, these are quite simply some of the very very best Christmas puddings in the country.

Coles is part of the Wilkin and Sons group (think Tiptree preserves) but the basic recipe originated when Albert Cole found his grandmother’s top secret recipe in a book 75 years ago.

After a little tweaking and a few finishing touches here and there, the classic recipe was born.

Coles produce several types of pudding, but this Christmas in Co-op stores you’ll find the classic, made with the finest vine fruits, Tiptree tawny marmalade and Suffolk Old Growler Ale, for a plump, juicy finish you won’t forget in a hurry.

Dan Hull Goods

From his Burnham on Crouch farm shop Dan Hull uses the best ingredients to make homemade pies, ready meals, parfaits, coleslaw and more.

For Co-op stores in Essex this Christmas he’s whipping up batches of smooth chicken liver parfait and game terrine, made using local meat and sold in glass jars.

Fairfields Farm

Based in north Essex, Fairfields is one of the only farms in the country that grows, picks, grades, stores, washes, hand cooks and distributes its products.

The potato farm diversified to sell gourmet crisps, which are now available in Co-op stores, made using ingredients from other local producers, such as chorizo from Suffolk, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, Suffolk Gold, Wicks Manor bacon and Aspall Cyder.

For Christmas they’ve teamed up with famous Essex turkey producer Kelly Bronze to make a flavoursome turkey, sage and onion flavour with a hint of citrus zing.

Hamish Johnston Fine Cheeses

Will Johnston has had a fine cheese shop in London for many years and, on moving to Suffolk in 1999, decided to established a wholesale business, utilising his expertise of artisan and fine fromages.

Today Will and business partner Mark Newman supply loads of delis, cafes, restaurants, pubs, farm shops and others in East Anglia, as well as filling the deli counters at selected Co-op stores.

During the Christmas period, as part of the Sourced Locally range Hamish Johnston will bring baby Binham Blue, mini Suffolk Blue and mini Suffolk Gold cheeses to the stores.

Hill Top Smokehouse

The Smith family had farmed in Suffolk and Essex for over 100 years before they took on the butchery in Needham Market in the late 70s and then a smokehouse in Rayleigh two years later.

Today, the family smokes hams and bacon (mainly using Blythburgh pork), and makes pies and quiches especially for the Co-op.

In selected stores across East Anglia this Christmas look out for their glazed mini ham joints, smoked mini ham joints, and pork, turkey, stuffing and cranberry pie.

Hollybush Farm Produce

This Stowmarket-based food business hand makes its products using local ingredients – from the meat, right down to the flour used in making pastry.

For Christmas at the Co-op they are creating sage and onion buffet sausage rolls, family quiche lorraines and vegetable quiches, game pie wedges, large sage and onion buffet sausage rolls and luxury roast chicken, sage and onion pies.

James White Drinks

For more than 20 years James White Drinks has been producing fine single blend juices and cordials to much acclaim.

In fact, the Big Tom spiced tomato juice even has the Royal seal of approval!

Try Big Tom in your Bloody Mary’s this Christmas, or buy a bottle of Uncle Cornelius Finest Spiced Ginger, which is fabulous warm, poured over ice cream or mixed with a tot of whiskey.

As the festive season winds down, look out too for James White’s Beet It – a vivid purple beetroot juice that’s packed with nutrients and excellent when you feel you need a bit of ‘cleansing’.

Lane Farm Country Foods

Ian and Sue Whitehead had no idea when they bought their pig breeding business in Brundish in 1987, that they’d be making headlines with their produce – or working with Delia Smith.

With their daughter Rebecca, the Whiteheads make sausages, ham, chorizo, bacon and more from their farm.

Working with Delia they have also produced a pork, sage and onion sausage meat that’s ideal for sausage rolls over the holiday season, with the recipe passed down to Delia from her mother.

The couple said: “We have enjoyed the support of Delia for a number of years and while chatting one day the question was asked as to why you can’t get a decent sage and onion stuffing these days - one where you can really taste the sage and onion? Well there is nothing like a challenge, so after many trials we have developed the sausagemeat that we have today which uses heaps of sage together with some diced onion and pepper. The sausage meat stuffing can be used for Delia’s traditional stuffing and to make her fabulous sausage rolls. Full recipes are available on If this is your first attempt to make homemade sausage rolls there is also a step-by-step video to show you how.”

Find the sausagemeat at selected Co-op stores.


This award-winning dairy in Rendham uses milk from its own farm and selected others in Suffolk to create thick, luscious yoghurts, ice creams and ‘gold star’ crème fraiche.

Marybelle’s fresh double cream is just the thing to trickle over your pudding this Christmas.

Mauldons Brewery in Sudbury started life in 1795 and went on to have 30 tied public houses, a wine and spirit business and even a small farm.

Today the brewery continues to use traditional methods to produce its award-winning beers, without the need for artificial colours, flavours or additives.

At selected Co-op stores in Essex and Suffolk this Christmas try Mauldons’ Bah Humbug- a strong red bitter with malty, fruity aromas, that’s brewed with Goldings hops and Maris Otter malted barley.

Scarlett and Mustard

As well as having lots of tangy dressings and a tasty new curd range to savour over Christmas, Scarlett and Mustard will have their Rudolph’s Leftovers sauce in selected Co-op stores this winter.

The oil-free Coronation-style dressing has spicy, fresh flavours and pairs beautifully with leftover roast turkey, chicken – or even roast potatoes.

Stoke Farm Orchards

David and Rebecca Upson started out as pig farmers over 30 years ago and also started to grow their own fruit. But it wasn’t until 1993 they began to think about making juice. And thank goodness they did, because their single variety juices, Discovery and Cox being bottled for the Co-op as part of Sourced Locally, are some of best, truest flavoured in the industry.

This winter, to ring the festive season, Stoke Farm Orchards have created a limited edition spiced apple juice that is simply splendid warmed. With a mince pie, of course.

Stokes Sauces

From the ‘saucery’ at Rendlesham Hall, Stokes have been using good quality ingredients and traditional methods to make relishes, chutneys, pickles and sauces for over 10 years.

Their tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and various relishes are must-haves for any Suffolk kitchen.

Don’t forget to visit your local Co-op to buy jars of the brand’s lovely cranberry sauce and mouth-wateringly good creamed horseradish – available from all East of England Co-op stores.

Wolff-Evans & Sons

Selling Wolff-Evans & Sons gourmet Scotch eggs places the East of England Co-op in good company, as the only other place that currently sells them is London’s Fortnum and Mason.

Cooked to perfection with a soft set yolk (from Suffolk eggs) and surrounded with lean Dingley Dell pork shoulder and belly, they are flying of the Co-op shelves.

For Christmas try the cranberry and turkey or sage and onion varieties.


EALife has teamed-up with the East of England Co-op to give away a hamper stuffed with Sourced Locally goodies to the value of over £200.

The prize includes: 1 bottle Adnams Champagne, 2 bottles Sourced Locally wine (1 red, 1 white), James White and Stoke Farm Orchards drinks, Stokes cranberry sauce, local rapeseed oil, a selection of chutney, mustard and pickles, Coles Christmas pudding, Hadleigh Maid chocolates, Fairfields crisps, biscuits for cheese, local cheese selection, local beer selection, smoked salmon, Scarlett and Mustard Rudolf sauce, Wolff Evans scotch eggs, Leggs Bakery mince pies.

To enter simply answer the following question.

Q: Which type of beer is used in a Coles Christmas pudding?

Send your answer to: Co-op Hamper Competition, C/O Charlotte Smith-Jarvis, EADT, Press House, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

Or email your answer to

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 17 and Archant competition rules apply.

Please send your name, address, email address and daytime contact number.

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