What? A food and drink blog singing the praises of a supermarket? Shouldn’t I be banging on about farmer’s markets and craft ales? Be a localvore. Go organic. Blah blah blah.
Well, in this case, the praise is fully deserved. E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd was founded in June 1847 by Edwin Henry Booth, a 19-year-old tea dealer no less. His first shop “The China House” was opened in Blackpool, and it went to to sell wines and spirits, and then further stores opened. And it is still owned by the same family today.
They win awards for responsible business practice, they pay farmers more for their milk than any other supermarket. They even have speciality food shops inside their main shops. And they stock excellent products. There’s all of the “normal stuff” that you’d expect to find, from Robinson’s squash to Kit Kats to Dairylea Dunkers (are they still a thing?) and plenty of fresh local produce, fruit and veg, meat and cheeses, bread and cakes.
Alongside this is a fantastic range of ales and ciders, without a doubt the best in the country. And this is one of the main reasons why I love them so. Again, they have the “big names” such as those of the Marston’s empire – Marston’s, Banks’s, Jennings, Ringwood and Wychwood, and then descending through the fame stakes until you find lots of little gems such as Beavertown, Camden Town brewery, local favourites like Barngates, Hawkshead brewery, Stringers, Ulverston brewery, Hardknott and Coniston as well as imports from the US craft ale scene such as Flying Dog and Founders.
Look at this little lot:-
What a great selection, and you probably won’t find any of them at another UK supermarket. Cheers to Booths!