Book-ish Café

Crickhowell Café owner makes the argument for buying local food.

Locally sourced food should not carry a premium price tag, according to 'Totally Locally' campaigner.

Locally sourced food should not carry a premium price tag, according to ‘Totally Locally Crickhowell’ campaigner and Book-ish Café owner, Emma Corfield Walters.

“The idea of upping the price of a dish because it contains local ingredients or is produced locally would be very off-putting to some people.  Most of all, it would upset people who live here, who can see those ingredients growing all around them and feel they should be able to enjoy it just as much as visitors to the town,” Emma said.

Book-ish Café in Crickhowell High Street offers a range of home-cooked light café meals and coffee to people who come to browse the adjoining Book-shop.   Many of the ingredients are local or are prepared locally: salmon from Crickhowell’s Black Mountains Smokery, cooked ham from Cashell’s butcher, bread from Askew’s bakery 50 metres away, hot chocolate from Pip’s in Pontypool, Grey Trees Ales from Aberdare, the list goes on.

“I choose these ingredients because I love them,” Emma said, “and because I want to support local producers as much as they support my business by coming in here.   It would be easier just to get it all from a wholesaler, but I don’t want a soulless café.  I want people to come in here and enjoy what they eat and be excited that they can walk out the door and buy the same ham, or salmon or teacakes from the shops down the road.”

So, what other factors influence Emma’s choice of supplier? “Quality and price is a factor. We aim at a certain sector of the market below The Bear and Dragon, and we won’t put something on the menu which will put our prices up to another bracket.   We like the fact that our ingredients are local, but the price should be the same as other places because otherwise, people won’t feel they get any benefit from shopping local.  Some people think that Crickhowell is expensive, but if they add on the cost of travel and parking and so on of going elsewhere, they are getting a good deal and we want them to continue to feel that way.”

Emma will try out local suppliers. She will barter coffee and cake for local garden produce and uses fresh local fruit for compote when the supply is plentiful. “We are always willing to give something new a try,” she said.

Article and photographs by Tim Jones, As You See It Media


Book-ish Café

Address 18 High St, Crickhowell NP8 1BD
Telephone 01873 811256
We sell/serve locally made food from
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