At the crack of dawn, six days a week, a very special delivery arrives on our doorstep – it is a hand-picked box of seasonal fruit and vegetables from family-run grocers Munneries, based in East Wittering. This fresh, locally-grown produce is the key to the success of many of the dishes on our menu and provides chef Richard with inspiration for our specials board which celebrates the seasons.
Amazingly Munneries has been supplying high class fresh produce to shoppers and businesses along this part of the coast for 100 years and the company still prides itself on the fact that much of it is grown locally.
“Most of what we supply is grown within a 20 mile radius which means we have a big focus on the seasons – people love to know that their cauliflowers and cabbages are grown in Bosham, or punnets of wild mushrooms, which are a firm favourite around here, are cultivated just down the road in Storrington,” said Peter Barker-Muzzell, director. “Even our free-range eggs are local.”
Munneries began trading in East Wittering in 1919, in the wake of the First World War and today, is one of the largest retailers and wholesalers of high-class vegetables, salads, fruit, prepared produce and dairy in the south of England. But we love the fact they still put so much importance on local.
Munneries crop list reads like a map of this part of West Sussex. From April, the first asparagus, plucked from Midhurst, arrives on our doorstep followed by early strawberries and raspberries from Runcton. Throughout the summer, our salads include tomatoes from Nutbourne in Pulborough – Munneries supplies more than 20 different varieties – and peppery watercress from Hambrook. Not forgetting purple sprouting broccoli from Chidham and a whole vegetable garden of brassicas and potatoes from Bosham throughout the year.
We even garnish our meringues and cheesecakes with soft fruit grown nearby right into late autumn. Our chef creates the café’s specials dishes around the fresh produce deliveries -it’s why our chalkboard changes on a regular basis and why we can’t reveal our Locals Night menu until 24 hours beforehand – we are waiting to see what wonderful ingredients Munneries will bring us.
So next time you are in Billy’s enjoying a vegetarian special, such as mushroom bourguignon, a crunchy salad or simply creamy mustard mash with your fish of the day or local butcher’s sausages, take a moment to savour the flavour of West Sussex – supplied to us by our friends at Munneries.
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