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Congleton Sustainability Group gets a home of its own in Back River Street


Coop home


Congleton Apple Juice and Ciders has been looking for a home for its projects, ideally in Congleton Town Centre. Happily, we have found just the right place – the Old Saw Mill in Back River Street, off Antrobus Street.


There is lots and lots of work to do but we plan by late Spring to have facilities emerging for much needed workshops, cafe, shop, and community space – all very exciting.

Workshops to make and store our internationally acclaimed Congleton Apple Juice and Ciders. A Shop to sell it from, along with other local produce and crafts. A Cafe to sample it all AND Community Space because there are so many groups struggling to find space in the town and surrounds – all for a nominal fee.


We envisage the Community Space providing a meeting place for groups and charities struggling to find the right space and facilities. Our vision is for it to be a space that can celebrate all that’s best in Congleton & surrounds. A venue where local talent can come and exhibit its skills and a place where everyone feels part of the “goings-on” – youth and senior youth alike – something for everyone!


Congleton Sustainability Group are forming Congleton Community Co-Op to manage the Old Saw Mill and, soon, everyone will be able to join this new – very local – cooperative for an annual subscription and become a member receiving a “divi” of 3%. We shall be publishing further information on this exciting opportunity in due course.


Congleton Co-op small

This is a very exciting Community initiative where everyone can get involved and benefit from it and we welcome your input in whatever way you can.


For further information, contact, either, Stewart Halliday on 07710 946 053 or Peter Aston on 07971 805 372.


We look forward to meeting you all.





Congleton Cider and the Olde Kings Arms come together


We have joined forces with the Olde Kings Arms so that the town can enjoy the cider on draught, cheers!


The cider is a still cider and is available as either medium dry, medium sweet or mixed with blackcurrant, so there’s one to suit all tastes.


Kings arms







Dominic Irving, new landlord of the Kings Arms welcomed the opportunity create a centre for CSG projects in the town for the first time: potentially hosting events and workshops for people in the town to explore more sustainable living with a good pint to ease the thinking!







The unique logo for the cider on draught in the picture above.


The Olde Kings Arms is one of the oldest pubs in the town, dating back to at least the 17th Century; legend has it that condemned prisoners would be brought through tunnels and the cellar to have one last drink. No wonder stories of the pub being haunted abound! The pub one of 9 locally owned by Titanic Breweries based in Burslem, founded in 1985, now run by brothers Dave and Keith Bott, whose ethos is still the same; to brew great beer locally for local people.


Titanic Breweries are holding an open day at their Burslem premises, Callender Place, Lingard Street, Burslem, ST6 1JL on Saturday 14th November where Congleton Cider will feature alongside their great beers. People will be spoilt for choice!


The Congleton Apple Juice is one of Congleton Sustainability Group (CSG) projects, formed in June 2009 entirely of volunteers to nudge the Town towards a greener, more climate change friendly way of living.


At one of their first events – a Seed Swap in October 2009 – amongst all the bartering of plants and seeds people bought apples to swap, but many apples were left – they weren’t very pretty apples!


In conversation it was said that surely they could be used to make apple juice?


CSG contacted Eddisbury Fruit Farm, they then made Cheshire fruit juices commercially, who agreed that if CSG took more than 100 kilos of apples they could be kept separate through their production process and be bottled and labelled just for Congleton.


Congleton Apple Juice was born!


The apples varieties given are many and varied, cooking and desert apples, all shapes and sizes, good and unremarkable but all donated by Congleton residents. Everyone who donates apples receives a free bottle of juice.


Apple trees



Profits from the juice and ciders together with funding from Congleton Inclosure Trust and The William Dean Trust have enabled CSG to plant over 240 apple trees to create mini-orchards in all 16 Congleton Schools. In 2012 a Community Orchard was planted at Astbury Mere Country Park.


In 2013 Eddisbury Fruit Farm closed down so now Durham Massey Apple Juice have stepped into the breach with the added bonus that they produce modern craft ciders too!


Hence, the appearance of Congleton Ciders at the Olde Kings Arms, go and try a pint secure in the knowledge that you’ll be enjoying cider made from apples that would otherwise go to waste and that will provide funds for future food schemes in the town.



Find out about how Sustainable Food Cities are helping urban areas to take a holistic approach to food. To read their latest newsletter please click here.



The Congleton Food and Drink Festival team would like to send our heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to Purple Laura on winning a Silver Award for her ‘Deepest Darkest Peru‘ marmalade at the Worlds Original Marmalade Festival. To find out more about the awards please click here.





THE NORTH WEST FOOD LOVERS FESTIVAL with over 120 food and drink stalls selling produce from across the region.  At Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6QN.  Normal opening times and Park entry charges apply.  For further details Tel: 01244 405615.




The Real Food Company has been named the winner of the Natural Lifestyle Retailer of the year 2012!


Carol, Nick and Silvie at The Real Food Company are delighted to announce that they have been awarded the title “Natural Lifestyle Retailer of the year 2012″ . They were chosen from over 200 stores nationally that entered the competition.


The National Association of Health Stores said of all the finalists, “Their stores were shining examples of how a health store should be run and their commitment to their customers and the community is exemplary”


And of The Real Food Company they said, “Bursting with passion, commitment, and innovative ideas, The Real Food Company is a wonderful example of a diverse health food store. They are all highly trained, and truly embody natural health, believing strongly in the products they sell.”


As a thank-you to all the customers who took the time to vote, The Real Food Company are offering a 10% discount on BioKult probiotics throughout August. These are excellent probiotics, and can be used to support many conditions and help with digestion, immunity, energy, detoxification and so much more!


To see why they won simply pop in store to view their amazing selection of products! Make sure you use of your LLL card to take advantage of their amazing offers which can be found HERE.




I’m really thrilled to announce that Galore! has won three Great Taste Awards for the following products:


2 Star Gold        Plum and Star Anise Preserve

1 Star Gold        Piccalilli

1 Star Gold        Golden Seville Marmalade with Tatton Gold Ale


If you have any queries about the above products please don’t hesitate to get in touch. They will shortly be available for orders once GTA stickers have been received.

Claire Plover




Check out the latest MLFW Newsletter for lots of information all about local food.




Do you want to increase the profitability of your business by raising skills levels?

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) can help you.



The objective of this funding is to develop the skills base of rural businesses with less than 10 employees as well as those involved in the agricultural, food and forestry sectors.

To download  the PROGRAMME FOR APRIL 2012 please click here.




Real Bread Campaign

Are fighting for better bread in Britain. They have so much to find out about and loads of interesting articles about bread and what you can do with it.

For more information on events coming up soon please visit their website or email READ MORE.





The next time you are in Manchester why not check out one of our past stall holders – The Tibetan Kitchen who now have a pop-up café there? For more details and opening times download their February bulletin.




The MLFW November newsletter is now available.


There is a wealth of information on subjects like:-


MLFW conference announced, Fighting back on food prices, Calling
all students!, Stocking Local event success, International CSA inspiration and Declaration
of food independence.


Read this interesting Case study titled ‘The Community Farm
shares its success!’ Plus new resources, toolkits and publications, and a
round-up of the latest sector news.




Possible funding opportunities for North West food and drink producers (if you can see through the technical jargon):


Food & Drink Growth Programme


The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) have approved £8.1m to support the growth of one of our regions priority sectors.

The programme will be delivered through 4 main themes and will include a variety of projects that will provide:


Specialist technical support to food and drink SMEs in the Northwest – fund assistance to SMEs to assimilate and use shoppers purchasing data, and fund specific technical advice for approx 250 SMEs and a further 750 in areas such as market data, product development, labelling and packaging


Regional and speciality food and drink – support for the central regional co-ordination of regional speciality food and drink by Food Northwest and sub regional delivery for the food and drink sub sector. This incorporates the creation and maintenance of a regional source of market intelligence, coordinating a timetable of consumer and trade shows, local food communications campaign and work on routes to market.


Health and safety/food hygiene/business continuity planning – providing SMEs with the tools to risk assess critical aspects of their businesses above and beyond the legal requirements, and develop action plans.


Organic/ethnic – provide support so that the region’s producers can take advantage of the organic/ethnic high growth sectors. Continuation of funding for the supply of information from the Northwest Organic Centre to enable support of up to 60 businesses and individuals with specific organic technical support.  To map the scope of the NW Ethnic Food sub sector, leading to the creation of up to 100 private enterprises within mainstream and ethnic food sub sectors and creating 10 new ethnic supply chains.


See more information at




Recipe of the day from BBC Good food


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