Halifax Food Assembly hits major milestone

Carol Longbottom and Helen Bradley, who run the Food Assembly, outside All Saints Parish Hall, Skircoat Green.
Carol Longbottom and Helen Bradley, who run the Food Assembly, outside All Saints Parish Hall, Skircoat Green.

A service that makes it easier for Calderdale residents to enjoy fresh, local produce has reached its 1000th member.

The Halifax Food Assembly brings together local producers of cheese, sauces, fish, meat and cake and delivers their wares to signed up members at their weekly pick-up spot.

Angela Cahill, from Chapelbank Smokshouse

Angela Cahill, from Chapelbank Smokshouse

The idea is that consumers meet and mingle with producers to discuss the produce, which is healthy, ethical and above all local. And there is celebration afoot. To celebrate their 1,000th-member milestone, the Assembly are throwing on a special event next Wednesday to thank their patrons.

Carol Longbottom, its founder and host, said: “This Valentine’s Day we’re delighted to welcome Business for Calderdale to our weekly collection at All Saints Parish Hall in Skircoat Green, between 4.15pm and 6.15pm.

“To celebrate all our producers will have free tasters. Everyone’s welcome so please pop along.”

It’s a hyper-local ideal built on an international idea. There are Food Assemblies all around Europe; in Denmark, Italy, Spain and Belgium, and over 800 in the spiritual home of local food and drink trading, France.

Carol says that Halifax members are among the luckiest in the entire network, with the ever-growing range of Calderdale produce rivalling any.

“Every week we have great local food including meat farmed by KLS, free range eggs from Lower Balkram Edge Farm and milk from cows at John Haigh’s farm, all from Halifax.

“Our cheeses are made in Todmorden by Pextenement and Sowerby Bridge by Yorkshire Dama Cheese and our fish, cheeses and charcuterie meats are smoked in Ripponden by Chapelbank Smokehouse.

“Our bread is made fresh on the day by LoveBread in Brighouse and we have pies, pastries, quiches and sausage rolls freshly baked by Your Secret Gourmet in Luddendenfoot.

Francesca, from Liversedge, creates tasty Italian dishes.

“Derek from Heritage Kitchen brings his pickles and chutneys from Bacup. Stir fry sauces are made in house by Temujin in Sowerby Bridge.

“We have freshly baked cakes from Jayne, flapjack from Oat Cuisine and brownies, shortbreads and millionaire’s shortbread from RachAls, both in Halifax.

“And for ethically sourced products from Suma, based in Elland, look no further than Halifax Food Assembly Extra.”

This article is part of The Courier's Food & Drink Campaign, celebrating all that is good in Calderdale's thriving independent wining, dining and drinking scene. Read more about it in this week's edition, and if you're a landlord, cheese maker, winemaker or restaurant owner - get in touch - we want to hear your story! Email us at newsdesk@halifaxcourier.co.uk or give us a call on 01422 260209.