A South Tyneside based businessman specialising in graphic design and print is branching out to help promote the best of locally produced food and drink from the region.

Ian Gibson from South Shields started his North East Larder business while recovering from Cancer. Having been hospitalised and housebound for a considerable time, Ian was eventually able to visit places and events during his recuperation.

To fuel his passion for excellent cuisine, he attended the South Tyneside Proper Food and Drink Festival where he bought a variety of local fayre including sauces, drinks and confectionary. Once his doctors gave Ian the all clear, he set out to buy more locally sourced products online.

“ I noticed that each supplier was selling their goods on their own website at reasonable prices. However, once you added a delivery charge it made relatively inexpensive goods less affordable.”

“It was then that I decided to see if there was a demand for bespoke packages of food and drink or even on a hamper basis using the best products I could source,” he said.

“Bringing lots of goods under one roof I was staggered at how many people said they would use the service with many hinting they were going to send them to people living away from the region. I’ve been in touch with a lot of suppliers and can now offer customers quality food and drink delivered to their homes with good value postal costs.”

North East Larder offers a wide selection of gift packs; themed hampers such as the ‘Geordie Hamper’ and drinks packages using including locally produced flavoured Gin. He is currently working on a ‘Taste of Ocean Road’ Hamper that will celebrate the wide range of Asian foods available in his hometown.

As well as supplying packs to people who are unable to visit food markets, Ian believes that there is a demand from North East exiles, ex pats and family members living abroad.

“My Sister-in-Law lives in Canada and craves things like Saveloy Dips and Pease Pudding. I’m hoping that I can spread the taste of the North East worldwide by providing cost effective quality food and at the same time I’m helping to promote the hard working people who have developed their own jams, drinks, sauces and a whole host more.”

“With the growing amount of men and women working away in various parts, the delivery of a reminder of home would hopefully make them think of their loved ones back in the North East. “

Ian is now gearing up for the busy pre-Christmas rush and is currently working on a Hamper for a client in New Zealand who among other things is looking forward to receiving his Brown Ale, Pease Pudding, Macaroons and locally made Chocolate.

“Food and nostalgia go hand in hand,” said Ian. “People like to look back at “old fashioned food” but for many it’s impossible to get it if they live away from the North East. I’m aiming to plug that gap and bring a taste of our wonderful part of the world to them no matter where they are.”