Chinty’s eco-shop and cafe in Keswick was the scene of celebrations after it received an award for innovation from the High Sheriff of Cumbria Julie Barton.
Chinty Turnbull earned the Outstanding Micro Business Innovation Award at an online event – and this week the High Sheriff called in to the shop in St John’s Street to personally congratulate her and see what the business is all about.
The shop and cafe opened in February 2020 just weeks before the first lock-down but that didn’t phase Chinty who over the last year has adpated the business to fit the ever-changing circumstances.
Chinty said: “I was really surprised but delighted to win the award. I suppose I have had a difficult first year – but it is all I have known, so it is just normal!”
At the moment, the business is operating as a eco shop and take-away but over the last year Chinty has developed a fresh veg delivery service across the town – using her own distinctive 1970s Morris Minor van.
As well as fruit and vegetables which she also sells in the shop she, provides many other staples including milk, bread, eggs and cheese, provided by a father and son team from Aspatria, and with surplus ingredients she makes her own soups, scones and muffins.
“My philosophy is not to let anything go to waste, so if I have anything left over, I will use it in cooking, making items such as homity pie, which has proved popular, or cauliflower muffins. Just this week I made up a batch of chutney using up broccoli, onions and apples.
“What I have found is that it is our customers who call in and stop for a chat that make the shop what it is,” she added.
The high sheriff said: “Chinty’s is an outstanding sustainable eco shop, serving home-made and locally sourced food that is free from plastic. The business has shown great resilience as it has adapted and has been a lifeline to many who were shielding.
“Chinty’s became a hub for recycling and developed a range of online strategies to engage with customers.
“The panel of judges were very impressed by the many ways Chinty’s has adapted with flair and creativity, and brought outstanding support and re-assurance to others.”