Thomas of Helmsley
You might have noticed over in our sidebar a bit of a reference to our sister shop, Thomas of Helmsley. While our shops are all primarily bakers, this one branches out a little bit, so I’m here today to tell you a bit more about it. Based in Helmsley, this shop has gone through a few changes over the years. When I was little, I knew it as the butchers, Nicholson’s, run by one of my best friend’s family. See that man in the top photo there? That’s my friend’s dad, Ben Nicholson, and one of the original butchers from Nicholson’s all those years ago. In the intervening time he was a minister and a postman, before turning back to butchery – you can see a pretty interesting photo of him combining his interests at the Gazette and Herald!
We’ve had the shop for a few years now, and have slowly been adding more and more quality products, both of our own and from other places, to it. It is now known as a butchers and a delicatessen, with an affordable grocery range too. You can pop in and grab something for lunch from the deli counter, buy gifts for special occasions, or just purchase a joint of local meat for your Sunday roast.
Above is the deli counter and its team, showing off a few of their products: Trevor Hall, Muriel Tinsley, Kenda Sayers, Margaret Hurst, and Nicola McKensie. All the team are very knowledgeable and passionate about their own counters. For example, the day I went in to get these photos, I was treated to a sample of one of the most interesting and best selling cheeses, the Northumberland Nettle Cheese by Margaret. She explained to me that it’s a topped tier Wensleydale, meaning that it is from the top layer of the cheese and matured in a cloth. It was unusual but definitely tasty, and it was fascinating to find out a bit more about what I was eating. Why not pop in for a complimentary sample? They are only too happy to let you know a bit more about what they have on offer, just ask! There’s everything from a King Richard III, made from an old recipe using old methods, to locally made Harrogate Blue and Yorkshire Brie, which are perfect as a talking point at dinner parties. If you’re having one yourself and want some after dinner cheese, pop in the week before to let one of the deli team know and they’ll recommend the perfect ones for you and have them all prepared for your night.
The deli counter also serves up a manner of all treats in cooked meats. Trevor told me all about the local Yorkshire ham and that it’s a favourite among our customers, with all different kinds including roast, honey and mustard and boiled. My grandad’s particular favourite is apparently the rolled bacon! They also produce their own sausage rolls, such as the one above that is complimented with black pudding, as well as quiches, made freshly every day.
Over at the other side of the shop is the butcher’s counter, where we have Ben Nicholson, Grant Baildon and Mark Thomson. The meat over at the butchers’ counter is all locally sourced, and we even have a few more interesting bits and pieces that you won’t find at many other places such as local shot partridge (above). The butchers are always coming up with new recipes for their meats to keep you coming back more, such as trying out new flavours in sausages, but they’ve always got all your favourites.
In addition to the deli and butchers, we also have a selection of fresh fruit and veg, some of which comes from my grandma and grandad’s garden; a few freshly baked products from the bakery, including artisan breads; some groceries; a selection of our own preserves and chutneys; and a range of special items that are perfect for gifts and your dinner parties such as wines, coffee and nibbles. There’s so much to offer that I can’t possibly list it all, but we’ve picked only the best for our customers, so make sure to pop in if you’re in the area and have a look around – you won’t be disappointed!