Bee9 Honey started in 2016 when Tim Vivian was working for a company based in Digbeth’s Custard Factory, a stone’s throw from the Bullring in Birmingham. One day he found the door to the roof had been accidentally left open and went for a look around. A beekeeper for over 20 years, Tim discovered that the rooftop would be a fantastic spot for some beehives and fortunately, the management of the Custard Factory agreed and there have been three beehives on the roof ever since.
A second site (apiary in beekeeping terms) has now been established at Birmingham City University at Millennium Point with more planned for the future. Bees fly up to 1.5 miles to find flowers in the city to collect nectar from and while they are, the bees pollinate flowers growing in the city centre, supporting biodiversity and urban greening.
Blackbirds are a family-run micro bakery led by Nzinga and Zak and based in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham. Nzinga and Zak are passionate about making real honest bread and cakes using high quality, locally and ethically sourced ingredients. They make real sourdough bread, cakes, brownies and cookies using organic flour from two local mills in the Cotswolds – Shipton Mill and Matthews Cotswold Flour.
While the menu changes each month you can always find their classic Blackbirds Sour loaf, made with organic flour, water, sea salt and plenty of time, as well as a monthly bread special, an enriched sourdough sweet bread and a selection of brownies and biscuits. All orders are packaged in Eco Friendly packaging.
The brine springs beneath Droitwich Spa have naturally existed for millions of years and helped the town become one of the most prosperous in the country from Medieval Times right through to the 20th Century. In the mid 19th Century Droitwich Salt won international recognition and was awarded a ‘Premier Class No 41’ designation. Today, Churchfield Salt Works are using this unique resource to make one of the purest, natural brine spring salts in the world, which was added to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste in 2022.
What started as a community festival in 2018 to celebrate the hidden potential of Ladywood residents, Eat Make Play is now a not-for-profit organisation that uses sharing and other donut economy based ideas to be “neighbours on purpose”. Their community garden is space for residents to share ways to nurture soil, plants and imagination. Directors Kate Smith and Sam Ewell are both founding members of Slow FoodBirmingham.
Local to Ladywood produce is grown at their community garden or made from local produce, they are uncertified organic producers. EMP also manages the compost drop off from 1000 Trades.
Founded in 2017, Heritage Cheese know all their cheesemakers personally and work closely with them. Every cheese tells a beautiful story of how, where and by whom it was made and they are privileged to share that with you. You can find Heritage Cheese at Borough Market, at their store in Dulwich and online on the JQ Hub.
Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson founded Hodmedod in 2012 to supply beans and other products from British farms. They work with British farms to source a range of top quality ingredients and delicious foods. They’re particularly passionate about seeking out less well-known foods, like the fava bean – grown in Britain since the Iron Age but now almost forgotten – and black badger peas.
MacNeil’s Smokehouse is an artisan small scale producer of delicately smoked products all made in their British Smokehouse. McNeil’s use an imported Norwegian smoking kiln and load racks, smoke and produce everything by hand to their own recipe.
Peter Cooks Bread are an award winning bakery based in the Malvern Hills and their range of breads, sourdoughs and pastries have been developed over the past 30 years. Every loaf is made slowly by hand, using just four ingredients – ﬂour, water, yeast (mostly wild) and salt before being delivered freshly baked to the JQ Hub in Birmingham.
Their Spelt & Honey Sourdough won the top prize of 3*** in 2018 at the Great Taste Awards with their best-selling Ledbury Loaf also scooping 2**.
Established in Harborne in 1938, Roger Brown Butchers has been voted Birmingham’s best family butcher by the Birmingham Society. They bring top quality ethically reared produce to the JQ Hub, including grass-fed beef from Shropshire, free range Packington pork, Welsh Salt Marsh lamb (available July-September), Welsh border lamb, free range chicken, ethically reared veal, wild game and free range Christmas poultry. All of which are outdoor reared and free from growth promoters.
They also produce their own sausages on the premises, using only the finest prime cuts of shoulder, leg and belly. 82 years later their founder, Roger Brown is still making them along with his son Jason Brown.
Sole of Discretion are a collective of small-scale fishers fishing out of Plymouth harbour who are committed to procuring fish and shellfish that have been caught with as little damage to the marine environment as possible. The collective is community owned meaning that the fishers are paid an agreed price rather than market price and profits go back into their fishing communities. All fishers use boats under 10 metres long, minimising the impact on the seabed and its ecosystem.
Their 10 point manifesto promises to ensure that not only do you receive, high quality, sustainably caught fish but in supporting the collective you are supporting fishing communities and know exactly where your purchase comes from, right down to the boat that landed it.
Top Barn is a family owned farm shop in the Severn Valley. They aim to source as many of our vegetables as locally as possible and their carrots, parsnips, leeks and cabbages are all Worcestershire grown. Top Barn provide us with our Veg Boxes, a selection of locally grown seasonal produce collected together and available in various sizes from our JQ Hub that should get you through the week – healthily, sustainably and deliciously.
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