Favourite Things: Taste of life in Sheffield - a city that appreciates trading fairly
Jenny Coleman, with her husband Rob, are the directors of Good Taste '“ the Sheffield Fair Trade Shop in Broomhill. Jenny trained as an oncology nurse in London and worked at several hospitals in Sheffield before retiring two years ago to open Good Taste. Before opening the shop she had sold fair trade crafts from home for many years and travelled to Peru, India and Thailand to visit some of the craft producers and see the artisans at work for herself. Seeing first hand the difference that fair trade makes through giving dignified work to the producers and artisans was inspirational, and when the opportunity came up to take over the shop in Broomhill, Jenny and Rob were excited to be in a position to try and make it a success. The shop is largely volunteer run and all profits go to support a charity working in Nigeria to bring clean, safe water to rural areas - visit www.taste.org.uk for details.
Sheffield people are a friendly lot. We felt at home straight away when we moved here with our three children 25 years ago so Rob could take up work at Weston Park Hospital. We live on a very sociable road too - our street party get together with neighbours every summer is a highlight of the calendar. Everyone brings their own food to barbecue and a salad and pudding to share, along with a bottle or two for the shared bar. We shivered under blankets on the Queen’s Jubilee but still had a great time.
Stanage Edge is one of the places we most love to go. When our children were younger they risked life and limb jumping from rock to rock, and climbing up the crevices between the boulders. It’s great to see our daughter and her husband taking their three little ones there now and continuing the tradition. We are so fortunate to have such fantastic countryside right on our doorstep.
Rob and I have been regulars at Thyme since it opened and love the friendliness of the staff as well as the great food. The pies are one of my personal favourites, although I can also be tempted by the risottos and the salmon. In fact, they don’t do much that I don’t like! Carl and his team provide a service which helps to make Broomhill a magnet for many – although we don’t have far to walk after closing at the shop.
Discovering Henderson’s Relish was an early high-point after we arrived in Sheffield. Lavishly sprinkled on one of the Nottingham House pub’s pies it is fantastic, and I also have a wonderful beef casserole recipe which relies on the savoury taste to make it complete. I love cooking and sharing food with my family and friends, and this is a particularly handy ingredient to have in the cupboard and one that puts Sheffield firmly on the food map of the UK!
Going to the theatre is one of our top treats and we try to see as many things each year as we can fit in. We are fairly relaxed about what we go to see and see a wide variety of things. I always choose seats on the front row if at all possible – I like to have an uninterrupted view of the actors and love being close enough to see every expression on their faces. My mum was a huge snooker fan and she and I went every year to the Crucible to the World Championship, which was a memorable experience.
I spend most of my time in my shop, so it’s just as well I like it! I love choosing the products and trying to ensure the shop is attractive and welcoming. We are very lucky to have friendly, enthusiastic volunteers to help us each day and try to always be available to chat to customers, to help them understand the stories behind the products. We feel friendly service is very important and value all of our customers. I would love the shop to be a hub of the community of Broomhill, and hope people will pop in to see what’s new. We have a huge range of different foods, gifts and greetings cards, all of which make a real difference to the lives of the people who have produced them. Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday and aims to raise awareness of the many fairtrade products for sale. We will be offering all of our customers a Fairtrade Break of a cup of coffee or tea and a slice or two of homemade cake on both Saturdays - March 4 and 11 - and would love to see as many people as possible.