AN organisation that champions local food, drink and arts and crafts producers is giving dozens of micro-brands a route to market, as it prepares to mark its second birthday.
Discovering Durham, which is run by passionate entrepreneurs Liza Johnson of The Tea Enthusiasts, Dawn Wilson of The Glass Raven and Matty Booth, who founded the Working Hand Brewery, supports over 70 producers from across the County Durham area who are looking to increase awareness of their products.
Through its shop at Prince Bishop’s Place in Durham city centre, the Community Interest Company (CIC) gives local traders an outlet for them to sell their goods.
There are dozens of products all made in and around County Durham found within the shop including from brands including Screaming Chimp, the Canny Candy Gadgies, Wiga Wagga, Durham Coffee, Quaker Distillery and Weardale Cheese.
Discovering Durham has also supported businesswoman Zoe Rutter, who recently opened her second chocolate school, La Chocolatrice, in Coxhoe, located at Coronation Terrace next to the factory which stocks her range of chocolate bars, bon bons and buttons.
Now, as it prepares for its second anniversary on March 6, the organisation is urging up and coming businesses that need extra support to get their goods to a wider audience to get in touch as they look to shine the spotlight on even more independent producers.
Liza Johnson said: “The Discovering Durham team is so passionate about helping local producers, and as local producers ourselves we know just how important it is to have platforms like ours to showcase the fantastic range of goods made by independent businesses in the area.
“County Durham is home to some of the most wonderful and unique brands and our mission is to help them reach the retail market, to really highlight just how fantastic they are.
“We’ve seen a big increase in demand for the products we stock, as more and more people are choosing to shop local, to support businesses on their doorstep and help grow their area’s economy.
“As Discovering Durham continues to grow and we move into year three, we want to support even more local producers, so if you’re a business from in and around County Durham get in touch with us and let’s see if we can help you get your product to market.”
Discovering Durham also employs a Kick Start trainee, Jordan Rice.