LATEST UPDATE: Monday 18th January 2021
With lockdown three well underway, I thought my guide to essential shopping was well overdue an update for 2021. I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to avoid the supermarkets as much as possible at the moment and that means more shopping local. In this blog post, you will find a comprehensive guide to local businesses, shops and producers that are classed as essential and can therefore remain open. From tasty sweet treats to fruit and veg, there’s plenty of choice in this guide.
Where to shop during lockdown in Milton Keynes
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- General groceries and pantry items
- Speciality supermarkets
- Baked goods
- Chocolates and desserts
- Chutneys and deli items
- Tea and coffee
Fresh fruit & vegetables
AB Fruits, Bedford
AB Fruits is a family-run fresh produce supplier in Bedford. Run by two brothers, Giovanni and Sabino, it was founded in 1982 by their father. They usually supply the catering industry (MK customers include The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College) but due to mass restaurant closure, AB Fruits had to diversify to offer home delivery. You can purchase individual items or pre-picked produce boxes which are great for vulnerable people who might not be able to get to a supermarket.
The ‘Fruit & Veg Box’ is great value at £24.95. Delivery to areas outside of Bedford is £3.95 but it’s certainly worth it for the quality. Order online via abfruitsathome.co.uk
The Online Greengrocer
The Online Greengrocer has fast become a favourite for fruit and vegetable delivery in Milton Keynes. The market stall remains open at MK Market, but you can order online. Pre-picked boxes are available or you can shop for individual items. Minimum spend of £20 for MK delivery. You can order online via theonlinegreengrocer.com.
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. You can pay at the time of order and collect without contact from Fountain Court in Olney. The Harvest is open from 8am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Follow them on Facebook for the latest information.
Molly’s Pantry, Bletchley
Molly’s Pantry is a brilliant local business that started in the first lockdown offering home delivery of British grown fruit and vegetables. Now, there’s a shop that you can visit to pick up your fruit and veg from, as well as pantry items from the new refill station. Molly’s Pantry is open from 10am, Tuesday – Saturday. You can still order for home delivery online via www.mollyspantry.co.uk.
More places to find fresh fruit produce:
- Markethill Greengrocers, Newport Pagnell
Best Butchers, Great Brickhill
Best Butchers is based in Great Brickhill and are specialists in dry-aged beef, dry-cured bacon and specialist woodland sausages. They are offering home delivery for their range of meats. Order by Thursday for delivery on Friday. I recommend the Brickhill black bacon – it’s incredible. Order via 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 via www.smithandclay.com.
Woburn Country Foods
Woburn Country Foods is a Bedfordshire, family-run business providing excellent meats to the surrounding areas. It already supplies the likes of Phil Fanning at Paris House and Nonna’s in Woburn Sands. Home delivery is available on their website with contactless delivery as standard. Order via www.woburncountryfoods.com or find some items stocked on Local Market MK.
General groceries & pantry items
Jasper’s is a home delivery service for all your weekly grocery needs – this is ideal for older or vulnerable relatives as the deliveries come in bags. They offer a variety of fruit, veg, free-range eggs, milk, cheese, bread and meat from Best Butchers in Great Brickhill. You can order before 2pm for next day delivery via www.jaspersmksafefood2u.com
Local Market MK
Local Market MK is your one-stop destination for over thirty local brands. You can buy local beers, charcuterie, cheese, preserves, bread, meat and more. It is all delivered straight to your door! If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, hampers are also available. Order by 10pm on Monday for Wednesday/Thursday delivery or by Wednesday 10pm for Friday/Saturday delivery. Shop via www.localmarketmk.co.uk.
Read the feature: Everything you need to know about Local Market MK
My Refill Market
My Refill Market is a zero-waste grocery store. From Tuesday 19th May, the shop in Stony Stratford (Open Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday, 9-5pm) Please adhere to social distancing guidelines!
You can still order for delivery if you are self-isolating and orders are delivered on Wednesday. Your order will be packed into paper bags and delivered in.a cardboard box on your doorstep. For liquids, you’ll need to buy the quantity of your container size and leave it on your doorstep. Just order then leave your cardboard box on your doorstep!
How to order: www.myrefillmarket.com/shop/
Nothing Wasted opened at the end of 2020. It is a family-run refill shop. You can find flour, pasta, rice, lentils and more in their refill section. Personal care products and cleaning products are also available. Don’t forget to take your containers! Nothing Wasted is open from 9am Monday – Saturday.
This is a little more niche, but you can still pick up plenty of your essentials from Central Oriental in Stacey Bushes (where Mii & U is!) As well as all your Asian cooking cupboard essentials like soy, oils, and sake, it also sell a small selection of fresh vegetables and trays of eggs. I also managed to buy flour from here too! Central Oriental is open daily. Mii & U is also open for takeaway.
Blerrie Lekker is a South African supermarket based in Stacey Bushes, near Central Oriental. It sells a range of African Foods such as Tastic rice, Ouma rusks and NikNaks. You will also find biltong, droewors and boerewors! Blerrie Lekker is open daily from 10am. Home delivery is available. Please see their Facebook for the latest updates.
Bakeries & Sweet Treats
Mrs Mac’s Sweet Treats
Mrs Mac’s Sweet Treat’s shop in Woburn Sands remains closed and home delivery will return soon. Please see their website for the latest info: www.mrsmacssweettreats.co.uk
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
Chocolate & desserts
The Chocolate Mill MK
The Chocolate Mill is great for a little treat for yourself or a gift for someone else. You can choose from their range of delicious homemade truffles to create your own bespoke chocolate box! Keep an eye on their Facebook page as they are still operating at some markets such as Odell’s Yard.
How to buy: Order online – www.thechocolatemillmk.co.uk
Linny Lane Chocolatière
Linny Lane is a Chocolatière based in Woburn Sands. She also runs the Woburn Sands community market. Linny Lane is producing bespoke assortment boxes of homemade chocolates, as well as monthly boxes with a selection of seasonal flavours. The chocolates come beautifully presented in gift boxes and are absolutely delicious! Delivery is free to Woburn Sands and within a 10-mile radius (including Milton Keynes!) Boxes can also be posted for UK wide delivery.
Order online via www.linnylane.co.uk
Willen Ice Cream Company
Willen Ice Cream Company is a small batch ice cream manufacturer that uses locally sourced milk and ingredients to create unique flavours of dairy and dairy-free ice cream. All flavours come in 450ml tubs and for orders of three or more tubs, delivery in the MK area is free. I’d recommend the Salted Almond Caramel, Mint Choc Chip and chocolate sorbet! Vegan options are available. Order online via: www.willenicecream.co.uk.
Chutneys & deli items
Delicious homemade samosas from a lovely local business! Choose from chicken, lamb or veggie samosa that are delivered freshly made and ready to fry or freeze or ready to eat. They are delivered to your door. Message on Instagram to order.
The Indian Orchard makes the most delicious chutneys and pickles, inspired by flavours of India. It’s one of my favourite local brands and one I’ve supported for several years – The spicy apple chutney is wonderful! We have stock of beautiful homemade chutneys, pickles, savoury snacks (limited stock), vegetable samosas and takeaway curries (these are made fresh so are also freezable)!
They are offering free contactless delivery within a 10-mile radius of MK3 on orders over £20.
Labour of Love Preserves
Based in Aspley Guise and owned by the lovely jane, Labour of Love creates delicious homemade jams, chutneys and other tasty preserves from locally sourced and foraged ingredients. I am a HUGE fan of Jane’s lemon and limoncello curd. Doorstep collection only. You can order via Instagram or Facebook.
Tea & Coffee
Bogota Coffee Co.
Your favourite coffee shop in Milton Keynes can deliver their delicious coffee! Bogota has the best coffee blend in MK so whilst it’s not open, you can try and recreate it at home. They can deliver UK wide. If you would like your coffee ground, just drop them an email to request what you would like it ground for – cafetiere, stovetop, filter, V60, Aeropress etc. Order via www.bogotacoffee.co.uk.
Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen
Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen is a local coffee roaster with the most delicious coffee. You can get beans or ground coffee delivered straight to your door via the post. Order by Monday for same day roast and dispatch.
How to Order: www.carloscoffeekitchen.co.uk
Out of Office Coffee
Whilst the coffee houses are closed, you can order your home brewing coffee essentials and sweet treats like cinnamon swirls from Geoff’s Artisan Bread. Order via order.outofofficecoffee.co.uk.
Tea Lab Company
Tea Lab is one of my favourite places to get loose leaf tea from! As well as traditional teas, they have some really funky flavours. Strawberry rooibos anyone? Tea Lab is based just across the border in Northamptonshire and is offering delivery UK wide with free delivery over £30. Order via www.tealab.co.uk.
Wooden Hill Coffee
Another great local coffee roaster based in Bedford. The house blend is delicious and a beautiful well rounded cup of coffee. Wooden Hill is stocked in Molly’s Pantry and Nothing Wasted but you can also order direct: woodenhillcoffee.co.uk.
Blackened Sun Brewing Company
Blackened Sun is based in Stacey Bushes and is a great independent brewery that is an asset to the MK beer scene. The taproom may be closed at the moment, but you can still go and buy your beers from their shop. They are offering take out only at the moment (though MK Biergarten sometimes has their beer available for delivery). You can bring your own growler for filling up.
Opening Hours: Friday 5pm – 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 4pm
Browse the beers: www.blackenedsunbrewing.co.uk
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. Order oline 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. 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) Order via the webshop: www.mkbiergarten.co.uk
My favourite cider ever – I won’t buy anything else! My favourite is Saxby’s rhubarb cider – it’s perfect for enjoying on a hot day. Based just across the border in Northamptonshire, you can purchase Saxby’s via MK Biergarten’s delivery service or order directly from the website for home delivery.
How to order: www.saxbyscider.co.uk
The Fruity Farmer make fruit gins and liqueurs that really are delicious – my favourite is The Seville Orange gin which is award-winning. There is also have a fabulous range of fruity vodkas, perfect for those spring weekends spent in the garden. They also sell cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
Delivery is free to addresses within 10 miles of Stoke Goldington with a small charge for further. They can accept prepayment and leave it on your doorstep too.
Message The Fruity Farmer on Facebook, or buy via Local Market MK.
If you are missing cocktails, then you don’t have to miss them for much longer! Prococktails, the sister company of The Whisk Kitchen is offering home delivery of premixed bottled cocktails. All you need to do is shake, pour and enjoy. Order via www.prococktails.shop
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. Order online via wharfdistillery.co.uk. [AD affiliate link].
Woburn Wine Cellar
If you’re bored of your usual supermarket selection, Woburn Wine Cellar is offering free delivery within 15 miles of the shop on its vast range of wines. Discounts are also available for bigger orders and delivery is usually same day or next day. The shop remains open as an essential shop, but you can also order via www.thewinecellar.wine.
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 open throughout lockdown for essential items, please let me know.
Where have you been purchasing your essential items during lockdown? Have you tried any of these?
Other posts you might like:
- The ultimate guide to lockdown takeaways in Milton Keynes
- A foodie’s guide to celebrating at home during lockdown
- Best cake deliveries in Milton Keynes