You might have already noticed, but I am in operation support small business mode at the moment. I have many friends who own businesses in Milton Keynes and it’s a tough time for everyone, particularly the little guys. I have already produced an MK food guide to food businesses and vendors offering takeaway and delivery services in Milton Keynes which I am keeping fully up to date as more restaurants alter their services (or close!) I’ve had some messages asking for one about essentials because people want to support local, and the supermarkets are still proving to be a little bit of a nightmare. In this blog post, I am sharing the independent shops where you can buy food, drink and other essentials.
I am not promoting anything that is unsafe for you to do. You are still allowed to go out to buy groceries (though try and keep this to a minimum) and restaurants that offer a delivery or takeaway service are still permissible.
The rules, as per the government advice:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work.
- Stay 2 metres away from other people.
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Please bear in mind that these business owners are providing a service to you and there is also a degree of risk for them too. Be kind, considerate and understand and PLEASE adhere to their rules of social distancing. They are there for everyone’s safety.
Guide to Lockdown Shopping
What do you need?
Fruit & Vegetables
AB Fruits, Bedford
AB Fruits is a family-run business based in the Bedfordshire area. They supply many Milton Keynes restaurants like The Brasserie at MK College and are now offering a fruit and vegetable delivery service. This is a great option if you’re living with family or you have vulnerable people living nearby who can’t go out to buy food.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 4am – 5pm; 4am – 12am on Saturday.
How to Order: Call 01234 211136 or email email@example.com within opening hours to ensure next day delivery.
Best Fruits, CMK
Best Fruits is based in Central Milton Keynes’ market and is offering home delivery of fruit and vegetables. You can find a list of produce on their Facebook page. The fruit and vegetables is fantastic value and great if you can’t get a delivery slot with a supermarket.
Opening Hours: Every day. Minimum spend of £15 for Milton Keynes delivery, £25 for surrounding areas.
How to Order: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvest to the Home, Olney
Harvest to the Home is an extension of The Harvest Deli in Olney. They are only offering a £20 essentials box for collection (they are trying to limit delivery at the moment) You can pay at the time of order and collect without contact from Fountain Court in Olney.
If you are visiting the shop, they are restricting customers to two at a time and asking that you respect a two-metre distance from other customers and those in the queue.
Opening Hours: The Harvest and the Deli will remain open until further notice, 8am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
How to Order: Call on 01234 240661.
Molly’s Pantry is selling a large box of mixed fruit, seasonal vegetables, salad and potatoes for £17 with contactless delivery. They have a set route for deliveries in Milton Keynes and will come to most areas if it is financially viable for them.
Opening hours: Set delivery days – contact for details.
How to order: Message on Facebook. Website is coming soon.
Best Butchers, Great Brickhill
Butchers based in Great Brickhill who are specialists in dry-aged beef, dry-cured bacon and specialist woodland sausages. Order by Thursday for delivery on Friday.
How to Order: www.thebestbutchers.co.uk
Smith & Clay, Buckingham
Butchers in Buckingham famous for sausage rolls! Also sells homemade pies, quiches and locally sourced meat, dairy, artisan bread and British cheese.
They are still open and allowing three people in the shop at any time. You can also order online.
How to Order: www.smithandclay.com
Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen
Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen is a local coffee roaster with the most delicious coffee! He supplies the likes of Bogota Coffee Co. You can get beans or ground coffee delivered straight to your door via the post.
How to Order: www.carloscoffeekitchen.co.uk
Nonna’s, Woburn Sands
Nonna’s in Woburn Sands is doing a great service to the community by turning their restaurant space into a shop featuring goods from their suppliers. They have a range of items such as pasta, wine, chopped tomatoes and fresh produce. Please observe distancing rules, use gloves when in-store, bring your own bags and pay by contactless card.
They will also have priority hours for NHS and key works. Just bring your ID.
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm.
Woodstock’s Bakery, Stony Stratford
Woodstock’s Bakery in Stony Stratford is open as usual for all your baked goods. They are baking extra bread so accommodate more customers. Only one person is allowed in the shop at any one time.
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 4pm
Read more: A Guide to Stony Stratford
Okay, it’s not essential essential but in line with the new advice, businesses selling alcohol can do so if their license permits. These local businesses all offer contactless home delivery. If you’d buy beer in a supermarket anyway, consider supporting local.
Bucks Star Beer
Bucks Star Beer is a real ale microbrewery based just outside Wolverton producing live, unfiltered beer. It uses a traditional method of brewing using the best ingredients to deliver beer in its purest form. Simply buy a growler of beer, and when you are finished, you simply swap it out. Home delivery is available!
How to order: Online via growlerswap.beer
Read more: Bucks Star Beer Brewery Tour & Tasting
Hornes Brewery is based in Bow Brickhill and brews traditional beer. Orders over £30 are free to Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. They also do gluten-free beer.
How to Order: Via hornes.shop
MK Biergarten is delivering beers and other drinks to houses within a 15 minute drive of Wolverton. Choose from both international and local beers or even locally produced spirits. Minimum order is £20 and delivery will be ‘contactless’ as they leave it on your doorstep.
You can also order Geoff’s Artisan Bread for a delicious delivery on Saturdays (must be ordered by Thursday 9am)
How to Order: www.mkbiergarten.co.uk
Wharf Distillery is a distillery located just across the border in Northamptonshire but Laurence is a huge part of the MK food scene. They are offering a free contactless delivery service to homes within a ten-mile radius of their Pottersbury distillery.
How to order: Online via wharfdistillery.co.uk. Specify in the notes where your order can be delivered whilst maintaining a safe distance.
If you are running low on soap or shampoo, check out Conchus for eco-friendly toiletries and body care. Handmade in Milton Keynes by Camilla, these products are totally natural and plastic-free. I love the body wash bars which also double up as a much more skin-friendly soap. The Miracle Body Balm has also been a life saver as my hands are so dry from increased washing!
How to order: Online via www.conchus.co.uk
I hope you find this guide useful! As I said, you are allowed to leave the house for groceries, but please be responsible, limit contact and don’t go out too often, as per the guidelines. I will keep this post updated with more local finds so if you are offering a delivery service for groceries, please let me know!
Stay safe, support local.