Trained chefs Stuart & Caroline Pierrepoint were moving to Dorset. They had sold their cafe in the beautiful village of Goring-on-Thames, next to the North Wessex Downs and were ready for the off! Their house sale fell through at the last minute, which serendipitously turned into them buying an empty shop in the same village and creating their third business and foodie heaven, The Goring Grocer, in November 2015.
It is a total delight on the senses, as everything is beautifully merchandised and the food all looks and smells delicious. Owner Stuart creates the delicious food on site every day, along with the talented Alison. As you can watch them creating at the back of the shop, it is easy to ask them what they are making and whether things are gluten free (in my case, as I am Coeliac!). They are always open to suggestions from their customers.
Having been trading in the village for 16 years, they have already built up the know, like and trust factor and have a big fan base for Stuart’s cooking!
You only have to walk past the outside of the shop to know that it is definitely somewhere you want to go in.
The visual merchandising in the shop really makes the already visually appealing products even more irresistible. Caroline says she has no background in it but being on a small budget generally makes you more creative! Once inside, you know it is definitely somewhere you will be buying something, whether for your lunch or as a gift for someone else.
They have some really cool packaged products, such as the bottles from Two Cocks Brewery with real feathers on! This is entirely intentional and one of their brand values: to sell quality, interesting, beautifully packaged products from small producers in the UK.
Stuart & Caroline get their inspiration from Instagram and by reading up on products and visiting other farm shops and delis. Provenance is important to them and their customers and they pride themselves on stocking products that you wouldn’t necessarily find in supermarkets.
The power of the independent shop is back on the up!
They are open for late night shopping on Friday 2nd December and have a tasting with Neal’s Yard Dairy if you are interested in popping in. They will also be at the Goring Food Festival at the village hall from 10am until 3pm, where you can pick up a Christmas hamper or some of their delicious cheese.
If you are passing I can highly recommend their squash, red rice, quinoa, rocket, goats cheese & sun dried tomato pot for lunch, especially if you are Coeliac!
The Goring Grocer, 17a High Street, Goring on Thames, RG8 9AR
All images taken by Katie Spicer & may not be reproduced without permission.