The craft of Colchester: 6 local companies we love

While we love our top fashion and beauty brands at Fenwick, we're also committed to helping local businesses and designers to grow. 

As an important part of the community and heritage of Colchester, Williams & Griffin aim to help grow the town's economy and keep the local spirit going strong by introducing local businesses, big and small, into the store.

From gins to jams and beers to (coffee) beans, read on to discover the stories behind some of the most unique companies stocked at Fenwick Colchester...

TIPTREE WILKIN & SON'S

Local jam, gin and candles

Farming at Tiptree, Essex, since 1757 (with a number of Royal Warrants under their belt), the Wilkin family have been growing a wide range of traditional English fruits to make quality preserves (and more recently, gin and candles) since 1885.

The farm is LEAF Marque accredited (Linking Environment And Farming), meaning the company work sympathetically with the environment and encourage links with the local community, buying fruit from trusted sources when they cannot grow their own crops, which include the likes of strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, morello cherries and rhubarb. The farm's signature fruit is the Little Scarlet strawberry, a tiny wild variety unique to the farm, originally brought to the UK by the Wilkin family in the early 1900's. 

As well as the jam factory, the company boasts an artisan bakery, a steamed pudding factory, ten quintessentially English Tea Rooms and a Museum of Jam-Making.

Shop the range of Tiptree products at Fenwick Colchester or find out more at www.tiptree.com.

THE MALDON BREWING COMPANY

Ales

The Maldon Brewing Company, also known as Farmer’s Ales, was founded by  beer lovers Nigel and Christine Farmer in 2002.With son Michael now on the team as Business Manager, the brewery supplies beer in cask to pubs, hotels, beer festivals and outside events, and bottles to tea rooms and cafes throughout Essex, but you won’t find any of the beers in any of the big chain supermarkets.

The brewery, one of the smallest micro-breweries in Essex found in the heart of the historic town of Maldon, names many of its beers after local places or people and has gone on to win a number of Regional beer competitions.

Shop Maldon Ales at Fenwick Colchester

DEDHAM VALE VINEYARDS

Wine and Sparkling Wine

New to Fenwick Colchester this year, the Dedham Vale Vineyard is local to Williams & Griffin and produces award-winning wines and ciders using locally grown fruit from a 40 acre estate in the heart of Constable Country.

The small team, currently managed by Ben and Tom Bunting, share an enthusiasm for quality and taste. The Vineyard, which is open to the public, produces 25,000 bottles per year, supplementing its own produce with grapes bought from nearby vineyards.

Shop Dedham Vale wines at Fenwick Colchester

PADDY & SCOTT'S

Coffee

Paddy & Scott's began with a genuine love of great tasting coffee between two friends. In 2007 Paddy Bishopp and Scott Russell started roasting coffee in Scott’s garage over a flame on an old roaster, creating new blends and delivering coffee from the boot of their car.

Now, with artisan coffee is taking on a whole new meaning as consumers demand a premium experience, Paddy & Scott believe that "coffee isn't complex", keeping it simple by producing coffee that suits time of day drinking. Try the morning coffee “Wakey Wakey!” with a croissant or the full bodied “Chit, Chat” when you're sharing a coffee with friends.

Shop Paddy & Scott coffee at Fenwick Colchester, coming this autumn.

ALSTONS

Furniture

Stocked at Colchester for over 15 years, Alstons Upholstery Ltd is an award winning family-run business and one of the leading upholstery manufacturers in the UK. Established in 1951, every piece of furniture is crafted in Alstons Colchester factory by craftsmen who individually hand-build each frame using timber from renewable sources. Each item is carefully constructed to ensure it will stand the test of time, with special attention paid to comfort - the foam seat cushion fillings are guaranteed for 10 years.

Shop Alston's furniture at Fenwick Colchester

LEONARD SMITH

Greeting Cards

Based in Coggeshall, husband and wife team Leonard Smith create greeting cards with a story behind every photograph. Inspired by Leonard's love of photography throughout his life and a seven week expedition to East Greenland in his younger years, the duo jumped on board the greeting card boom in the 1980s and made an impact in the market as a niche photographic card publisher when art photography on cards was rare.

"Being the photographer and publisher means that we know the story behind each of our images and we also take huge pride in responding to suggestions from our customers." - Leonard Smith

Shop Leonard Smith greeting cards at Fenwick Colchester

By Alison Millington