Penrith. J&J Graham

If you need proof of Cumbria’s riches of food and drink producers, head for this well known and long established shop in the centre of Penrith.

Housed in one of Penrith’s most handsome and recognisable buildings, J&J Graham is replete with locally made jams, chutneys, sauces, cheeses, honey, flour, vodka, beer, gin, liqueurs, cakes, mustard, tea, coffee, muesli, rape seed oil and more.

Produced even closer to home are the breads - wholemeal, white, granary, mixed seed and sourdough - which are baked on the premises six days a week, alongside pies, pasties, scones and sausage rolls.

James and John Graham first started business in 1793, selling seeds, fertilisers and household goods to farmers and their families. Almost 40 years ago it shifted emphasis to food and drink and Graham’s became one of Cumbria’s early delicatessens. 

Straight ahead as you enter the shop is a large counter with up to 100 cheeses on display at the front, including those from Appleby Creamery and Thornby Moor Dairy near Carlisle. Cold meats, pies and pasties are displayed at the back while around the walls are shelves stacked with much of the produce mentioned above. 

So here’s a roll call of many of those names; Lakeland Artisan, Cumbrian Ales, Bowness Bay Brewing, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Mr Vikki’s, The Toffee Shop, Kin Toffee Vodka, Hawkshead Relish, Country Flavour, Nook Farm honey, Jim Lowther’s Lake District honey, Claire’s Handmade, Farrer’s and John Watt’s coffee, Cumbrian Tea, Dalemain marmalade, Cartmell Farm Foods damson ketchup, Wild and Fruitful, Warwick Bridge Corn Mill flour, Carr’s flour, Bedrock gin, Lakeland Mues, Cumberland Mustard, Hesket Newmarket Brewery and Eden Yard rapeseed oil. 

Look out for the set dressing of the shop: the old tea caddies, the milk churns and containers, the wicker baskets and the lovely old delivery bike hanging on the wall. 

And look out for the room at the back where you’ll find confectionery and hampers. Hampers are obviously very popular at Christmas but pop in at any time and you can make up your own from this huge wealth of Cumbrian produce.

J&J Graham, 6-7 Market Square, Penrith CA11 7BS: 01768 862281,

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