Food Journey: Tebay Services (Westmoreland)

This Food Journey is an essential visit for any Foodie based in the North of England. The first I heard of Tebay Services was listening to a radio interview with the Stereophonics when they were asked where was their favourite place to go on tour and the lead singer, Kelly Jones, responded without blinking: ‘Tebay Services’. So from then on I had to go and visit it.

In my opinion Tebay Services represents direction for all new specialist food shops as they have managed to make a destination out of a motorway services where people not only visit them in passing, but visit them as an end destination. Over the years Tebay has developed impressively boasting ever growing turnover and visitor numbers.

All good food establishments are constantly evolving and I wanted to pay a visit to see how their fantastic offering had developed into 2016.

The fresh food is famed at Tebay and the café is still offering some fantastic, freshly made products at a reasonable price in an environment that is not in keeping with a motorway. The group has also enhanced their offering by introducing a ‘Made to Go’ section at the front of the site for a convenient and quick meal solution for hungry travellers.

The shop was still thriving and bustling but I wanted to dig a little deeper into the shop to look at what had changed.

Disappointingly, the first thing that hits you as a shopper is a large display of chocolate. Ordinarily I’d be delighted by this in a farm shop or deli but it’s chocolate from Cadbury’s. I don’t have anything against Cadbury’s chocolate, in fact I’m a fan, but I don’t expect to find it a flagship store such as Tebay especially not in such a key location and with so much footage. Having been a buyer I appreciate that the attraction of cash incentives offered by big companies is very tempting but I don’t believe that this matches the site’s image. There are a plethora of fantastic chocolatiers and confectioners based in the North West that would have sat proudly in Cadbury’s seat.

Despite my initial disappointment I explored further perusing some of the fantastic fresh baked goods, butchery and pastries. There are some fantastic artisan brands within the walls of Tebay that are all beautifully merchandised on wooden fixtures or wicker baskets.

I love Tebay and I love what it represents, which is a huge leap forward for transient food sites. If you’re travelling on the M6 north of Preston please don’t settle for a sweaty Ginsters and a packet of Walker’s – treat yourself to a handmade pork pie topped with bramley apple and black pudding with a portion of cheese flavoured gourmet popcorn.

Northern Munkee.


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