Simply Local is a popular, well-established village store which has been serving Sunniside and its surrounding areas in Gateshead since 1910 – and has been in Andy Singh’s family since 1989.
It’s a store with a difference, stocking a wide range of local produce from jams and chutneys to sausages and curry sauces, all alongside everyday essentials such as fresh fruit, vegetables and bread.
Here, customers can come and do their full shop, mixing branded products with independent items. A lot of shoppers choose to come here to buy goods to make up Christmas hampers or foodie gifts for friends and family as there is such a lovely range on sale.
Simply Local also hosts pop-up and tasting events of new products by artisan producers to show members of the public how to use them in their home cooking.
“We want the shop to inspire people,” says Andy, “and for it to be a place where we can share ideas with our customers – and they share their ideas with us too.”
Andy really champions local producers and this year has introduced The Sophia Ella Collection – a luxury gifts, homeware, and food and drink range. Included in the collection are products from Ringtons, Durham Gin, The Nut Roaster, Calder’s Kitchen and The Honey Store.
Andy says: “Shopping at independents is important because it is an ethical choice, by doing so you will be boosting the local economy and you will be supporting small British businesses.”
Firebrick Brewery is a craft brewery based in Blaydon-on-Tyne which produces 14 different beer brands. Its heritage range reflects North East England and includes Tyne 9, Blaydon Brick, Toon Broon and Wey-Aye P.A.
Geordie Bangers offers hand-crafted sausages made from recipes that have been passed down the family for three generations, from the banks of the River Tyne. David MacDonald came from a butchery background and knew if he wanted to be successful, his sausages had to be of a high quality and taste amazing, and they do.
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
Mandala Express provides authentic Indian sauces and spice kits, which are made in Newcastle. The Tikka and Tandoori spice mixes are great for marinading chicken breasts, and the curry sauces range from mild Murgh Makhani to the extremely hot Ghost Phall.