A Tale of Two Shops

Welcome to our very first blog post here at Faulkner and Wells and The Goring Grocer. For those of you who we have not met, thank you for thinking to visit us. We are a small, family run, independent business located in the heart of Oxfordshire. My name is Tiyah and I manage both shops under the expertise of chef-extraordinaire, owner and most importantly, my wonderful step-mother, Caroline. 

In 2015, Caroline and my dad Stuart opened the Goring Grocer, a haven of intoxicating smells, sights and the ever-changing sounds of Dad’s impeccable record collection. After 15 years of running pubs and restaurants in and around the quaint village of Goring and Streatley, the pair decided that perhaps a deli would allow them to continue to bring the community local, seasonal and exciting produce but might also allow them slightly more time to themselves, a feat that those in hospitality know to be notoriously difficult.

And just like that, The Goring Grocer became the bustling, booming and down-right incredible deli that we all know and love. What truly set Caroline and Stuart apart is that every morning at about 3.30 when the village rests, BBC Radio 6 gets switched on and our ovens are ignited for their first taste of the day’s pastries. All of our food is prepared and made on sight by us and our small, very-talented team of kitchen elves. From the salsa verde in our mackerel sandwiches to the folds on the chicken and ham turnover’s flaky pastry, each and every food item is made freshly by hand every single morning. 

This attitude to local, fresh and high-quality ingredients meant that Caroline and Stuart were not just running a deli. They were changing an entire village’s mentality to how they cook, eat and learn about food. Encouraging the use of local farmers means that our fruit and vegetable range is constantly full to the brim with varieties of goodies. If by the end of the day, we still had that morning’s produce remaining, the cavolo nero on the veg counter would quickly find its way into a quiche. The unsold croissants would get filled with fresh frangipani and would blossom into the nicest almond croissants you could hope to fill your stomach with. They aimed to prove that using high quality, local and fresh ingredients reaped rewards when it came to flavours and taste.

With this ethos, 2018 brought a momentous win for The Goring Grocer, becoming the winner of the UK’s Best Deli. It was a huge opportunity for Caroline and Stuart to celebrate their incredible achievements and for The Goring Grocer to become a deli known across the country. Sadly, a month later, after celebrating his 61st birthday, Stuart passed away while on a run in the enchanting Hastings countryside. The night before, he had gorged on local, fresh fish cooked by Caroline and himself, outside on a roaring fire. And that’s how he will always be remembered, celebrating the outdoors and eating the highest-quality, seasonal and local foods.

Caroline was then left to take the reins of a highly-successful business and had to navigate the challenges of unexpectedly becoming the sole business owner and sole chef of The Goring Grocer. As a trained chef, Caroline stepped up to the challenge and continues to produce only the tastiest nourishment for our customers. It is widely known that Caroline’s spinach, coconut and lentil dahl is second to none. Yet, October 2018 brought a whole new opportunity to the Pierrepont family.

A small shop, just across the road from The Goring Grocer became available. Having always thought about eventually downsizing, Caroline saw an opportunity to take the deli one step further and have a sister shop still celebrating local, seasonal and exceptional quality products but outside of food. And that is where I come in. Moving from Australia to be with my family once more, I helped Caroline set up Faulkner and Wells to become the go-to retail outlet for British-made wares.

We work alongside small, independent craftspeople that marry utilitarian practicality with aesthetically beautiful products. Each piece is hand-selected by us for its design, sustainability and ethos. We are committed to supporting makers here in Britain, fostering a culture that moves towards supporting local, natural materials and celebrating the talent that is on our very doorstep. We are proud of tradition and simplicity and hope that our curated selection of products whets your appetite for the gorgeous goods available here in the British Isles.

So far, our two shops are working together to champion the local farmers, the artisan makers, the independent craftspeople that live just next door. We only hope that The Goring Grocer and Faulkner and Wells will become a part of the discourse in why it is so integral to shop sustainably, ethically, locally and above all, deliciously.  

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