A new food store which specialises in artisan products has opened in Northumberland.

The Pantry Stocksfield opened its doors to the public on Tuesday April 6 in Mickley and stocks a range of artisanal food and drink from local companies. It also stocks food from across the country, and even as far as Greece.

The local companies stocked at The Pantry include Ponteland’s Wilde Farm and Newcastle’s Big River Bakery.

Wilde Farm supplies Scotch eggs, home-made pies, and quiches; while the Big River Bakery supplies bread. Products from further afield include honey, olives, and oil - while the shop also sells flowers.

Steve Wilde, who runs the Pantry, said: “I’ve always thought that the area really needed somewhere that you could go and get fresh artisan breads, cheeses and meats. Just before Christmas, I saw that the unit that I’m now in was going to be free and everything just evolved from that idea.”

“If you want a well-known

brand, you can get it anywhere. I don’t mind spending a little more money if I’m going to get something a lot better - especially when it comes to things like bread and cheese. And from the reaction I’ve had so far, that’s what a lot of people want too.”

Steve had been able to open the shop before the lifting of lockdown restrictions on Monday 12 April as it is classed as essential retail, He said: “It’s hard to forecast what will happen over the next few months, but I think the need for what I’m offering will always be there. So far, there’s been a nice, steady stream of customers coming in.”

Gluten free and vegan products have been particularly popular in the Pantry’s first few days and Steve is looking to increase the selection of those products. He said: “I’m looking into stocking more gluten free bread and cakes and have a few things coming soon.”

The Pantry is open daily from 11am - 5pm. You can find out more on Facebook.