Say “cheese!” Tracey Hughes certainly has, creating Porter’s, the Denbighshire deli and go-to venue for fine local foods – especially cheese
“We started off 12 years ago with an online business that sold oils and vinegars,” explains Tracey Hughes, manager and founder of Porter’s Delicatessen in Llangollen. “Now we’ve progressed to our shop, which we opened eight years ago.”
Originally from North Yorkshire, Tracey now lives just three miles away from her Llangollen shop, which offers high-quality cheeses, charcuterie, gourmet foods and those tricky-to-find ingredients that everyone finds they need at some point in their culinary journey. In addition, the shop can provide cheese wedding cakes and luxurious holiday hampers.
“I’ve always been involved in food production, having been brought up on the family farm and then spending 20 years advising dairy farmers,” Tracey adds. “It was a long-held ambition for me and my husband – who, sadly, died suddenly last year – to be involved in selling gourmet foods, and where better to do that than in Llangollen. Porter’s is the chance to be at the other end of the chain.”
It’s clear from speaking to Tracey, however, that cheese is her main passion and the vast selection available at the shop has clearly been compiled by someone with a great deal of knowledge on the subject. There are more than 70 cheeses from all over the United Kingdom and beyond, but with a particular focus on artisan-produced Welsh cheeses, with seasonal specialities brought in throughout the year.
On the shop’s shelves you’ll find everything from Snowdonia cheeses and truckles – including the famous Black Bomber – and a choice of smoked or regular Caws Cerwyn from the Black Mountains through to Stinking Bishop, Shropshire Blue and proper West Country cheddar such as Montgomery.
“Cheese is definitely my favourite product – especially all the Welsh ones,” Tracey agrees enthusiastically. “I love choosing the new cheeses to sell, talking about cheese with customers and even discussing with prospective newlyweds which cheeses they should choose for their cheese wedding cake.”
While Tracey and her team have yet to put themselves forward for any awards, their loyal troupe of customers certainly aren’t shy when it comes to praising this gourmet treasure trove. “Lots of our customers comment on how nice it is to see a proper delicatessen,” confides the cheese-and-gourmet enthusiast. “We also have many visitors who love seeing and being able to buy so many lovely things from Wales and the Borders.”
Our fantastic local producers are certainly well represented, with products such as beers from Purple Moose Breweries, Welsh still and sparkling wines from Montgomeryshire’s Penarth Estate, Patchwork Pâtés from just over the Horseshoe Pass in Ruthin and, of course, the famous Penderyn Whisky.
Tracey really has managed to create a delicatessen that’s exactly as it should be, full of high-quality, gourmet local foods and friendly faces, both buying and selling.
Porter’s Delicatessen. Market Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire LL20 8PS. For further information, tel: 01978 862990. www.portersdeli.co.uk
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