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Unicorn News

Veg news 20th June

The summer solstice and these endless daylight hours mean the UK berry and currant range is growing by the day. There are local gooseberries from Alan Hewitt in Dunham Massey and strawberries and redcurrants from Martin Soble in Herefordshire. The first blackcurrants will be available this weekend, and raspberries will not be far behind.

The first UK cherries arrive on Friday from Joe Pardoe in Herefordshire. The crop has been badly affected by the harsh frosts in early May and we’ve been told to expect a short window of availability this season. For similar reasons, we’rereceiving mixed reports from pear and apple orchards regarding the autumn crop

We’ll be moving to a primarily UK supply of carrots from this weekend; despite the need to be rinsed before eating, we really recommend trying these early unwashed arrivals – not only do they keep longer but they are fresh, sweet and juicy too.

Local coriander and flat parsley from Glebelands is looking and tasting fantastic, while dill from Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire joins an ever-expanding UK herb range. The UK brassica range is back to full strength – kale, caulis, cabbages and broccoli are all vying for our attention this week.

Finally a mention for stone fruits from fellow cooperatives! Look out for peaches, nectarines and apricots from Agricoop in Sicily and Agrobiodrom in France. Agrobiodrom are a partnership of growers from around Drôme, Ardèche and Provence.

Price comparison – June 20th 2017 (Morrisons non-organic vs Unicorn organic)

Lemon: Morrisions (medium) - 31p Spain, Unicorn (large) - 35p Sicily

Peach: Morrisons (medium) - 51p Spain, Unicorn (medium) - 49p France

Cherry tomatoes on the vine: Morrisons *organic - £4.80/kg Spain, Unicorn -
£5.26/kg UK

Kiwi: Morrisons (large) – 35p Italy, Unicorn (medium) – 25p Chile.

Last Modified - 20th June 2017

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Veg news 11th May

Today we welcome our first dig of new potatoes from Cornwall – lovely in summery salads or just lightly boiled, the Colleen variety is usually very reliable & tasty.

Spring onions, notoriously tricky to grow, are abundant at the moment, our supply is coming from Glebeland’s Woodbank site in Stockport, Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk and Ward & Thompson near The Fylde coast.

Also new are Gielty’s pak choi – the smaller bok choi variety – great in a stir fry with his spring onions and some smoky tofu.

Salad leaves, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and radish are all plentiful too, perfect in this BBQ weather. But while we’re all enjoying the warm spell, farmers are hoping this weekend’s forecast rain will be enough to quench thirsty crops after an extremely dry April.

Looking beyond the channel we have an excellent range of stone fruits from Europe, tasting good for this time of year. Charentais melons from Morocco are sweet and beautifully flavoured, while French basil continues to delight.

Last Modified - 11th May 2017

Veg news 11th May

Today we welcome our first dig of new potatoes from Cornwall – lovely in summery salads or just lightly boiled, the Colleen variety is usually very reliable & tasty.

Spring onions, notoriously tricky to grow, are abundant at the moment, our supply is coming from Glebeland’s Woodbank site in Stockport, Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk and Ward & Thompson near The Fylde coast.

Also new are Gielty’s pak choi – the smaller bok choi variety – great in a stir fry with his spring onions and some smoky tofu.

Salad leaves, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and radish are all plentiful too, perfect in this BBQ weather. But while we’re all enjoying the warm spell, farmers are hoping this weekend’s forecast rain will be enough to quench thirsty crops after an extremely dry April.

Looking beyond the channel we have an excellent range of stone fruits from Europe, tasting good for this time of year. Charentais melons from Morocco are sweet and beautifully flavoured, while French basil continues to delight.

Last Modified - 11th May 2017

Veg news 11th May

Today we welcome our first dig of new potatoes from Cornwall – lovely in summery salads or just lightly boiled, the Colleen variety is usually very reliable & tasty.

Spring onions, notoriously tricky to grow, are abundant at the moment, our supply is coming from Glebeland’s Woodbank site Stockport, Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk and Ward & Thompson near The Fylde coast.

Also new are Gielty’s pak choi – the smaller bok choi variety – great in a stir fry with his spring onions and some smoky tofu.

Salad leaves, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and radish are all plentiful too, perfect in this BBQ weather. But while we’re all enjoying the warm spell, farmers are hoping this weekend’s forecast rain will be enough to quench thirsty crops after an extremely dry April.

Looking beyond the channel we have an excellent range of stone fruits from Europe, tasting good for this time of year. Charentais melons from Morocco are sweet and beautifully flavoured, while French basil continues to delight.

Last Modified - 11th May 2017

Veg news 11th May

Today we welcome our first dig of new potatoes from Cornwall – lovely in summery salads or just lightly boiled, the Colleen variety is usually very reliable & tasty.

Spring onions, notoriously tricky to grow, are abundant at the moment, our supply is coming from Glebeland’s Woodbank site Stockport, Duncan Gielty in Ormskirk and Ward & Thompson near The Fylde coast.

Also new are Gielty’s pak choi – the smaller bok choi variety – great in a stir fry with his spring onions and some smoky tofu.

Salad leaves, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and radish are all plentiful too, perfect in this BBQ weather. But while we’re all enjoying the warm spell, farmers are hoping this weekend’s forecast rain will be enough to quench thirsty crops after an extremely dry April.

Looking beyond the channel we have an excellent range of stone fruits from Europe, tasting good for this time of year. Charentais melons from Morocco are sweet and beautifully flavoured, while French basil continues to delight.

Last Modified - 11th May 2017

Veg news 11th April

Enjoy the kale through the beginning of the week… Last weekend’s blast of warm sunny weather has caused it to flower and most growers are reporting a smaller yield. So here begins our annual kale gap – most likely to last through to June.

While the mild weather means the last of this season’s kale, it looks likely to bring an abundance of UK spring crops a couple of weeks earlier than in 2016. This week, that’s most evident in the fresh herbs from Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire – mint being the latest addition, plus a continued abundance of leafy greens (ruby chard, perpetual spinach etc). Next week we anticipate a growing selection of lettuce varieties, plus a sprinkling of radishes and spring onions. UK asparagus is even being whispered about!

From the continent, calabrese broccoli remains tricky, but Cornish purple sprouting is fortunately abundant. The blood orange and clementine seasons are drawing to a close, but there’s a wealth of Spanish berries to provide a good range of fruit across the top shelf.

Tomatoes! We’re starting our much-loved Isle of Wight supply this week. The cherry vines in particular taste a little special.

Last Modified - 11th April 2017

Veg news 11th April

Enjoy the kale through the beginning of the week… Last weekend’s blast of warm sunny weather has caused it to flower and most growers are reporting a smaller yield. So here begins our annual kale gap – most likely to last through to June.

While the mild weather means the last of this season’s kale, it looks likely to bring an abundance of UK spring crops a couple of weeks earlier than in 2016. This week, that’s most evident in the fresh herbs from Strawberry Fields in Lincolnshire – mint being the latest addition, plus a continued abundance of leafy greens (ruby chard, perpetual spinach etc). Next week we anticipate a growing selection of lettuce varieties, plus a sprinkling of radishes and spring onions. UK asparagus is even being whispered about!

From the continent, calabrese broccoli remains tricky, but Cornish purple sprouting is fortunately abundant. The blood orange and clementine seasons are drawing to a close, but there’s a wealth of Spanish berries to provide a good range of fruit across the top shelf.

Tomatoes! We’re starting our much-loved Isle of Wight supply this week. The cherry vines in particular taste a little special.

Last Modified - 11th April 2017

Grow a Grocery

We think there’s room for a Unicorn-type store in every city, and perhaps more besides. We have no plans to expand outside the one shop, so we’ve put together a guide intended to help facilitate the emergence of new stores run on similar lines.

Starting a new business is a daunting process. The guide is based on the model Unicorn has tried & tested since 1996, and walks potential grocers through all areas of the business, in the hope that it will make starting a new shop an easier process and help existing shops improve and/or expand.


Read the guide here

Last Modified - 10th October 2013

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