Two Old Goats
Working with the seasons to create wholesome, exciting and tasty lunches; Two Old Goats have all the soups, salads, and savoury treats you could ever need for lunch, or the greatest snack-time ever.
A love of creating good, honest food, combined with a bundle of sass; mean our most recent Villagers have recently taken over our Café space and slotted straight into their new home! It feels like they've always been there. In a good way.
Hello, Two Old Goats - how it all began.
After working together in the food industry for five years, Alison and Clare had been dreaming of starting their own business. Passionate about creating food they loved and serving in their very own style, means they have recently taken that very leap into the, relatively, unknown.
As life pans out, Two Old Goats actually began a few weeks before a global pandemic struck (Sound familiar, anyone?!) so we feel very much in tune with their plight.
They had just found retail premises and were about to start work on opening, however, the impending lockdown put pay to those plans, sadly.
Nevertheless, being a positive and proactive pair, they started to focus on what they could do, rather than couldn't. So Alison started creating their own jams and chutneys from her kitchen, and Clare began walking the streets of Market Harborough, hand-delivering them to people's doorsteps.
Spurred on, they got brave and from this, their weekly lockdown menu and 'Doorstep Delivery' service evolved. A focus on producing high-quality, honest food using fresh ingredients proved a genuine lockdown treat, winning them a bank of loyal customers and increased following for their fledgeling business.
Now, who says great things can't come in the face of adversity, hey?
Why the Eco Village?
Having a riotous time at their Pop-Ups with us here at the Village during the autumn, meant Village life was a-calling for Two Old Goats.
After perfecting their natural style and flavour, the Pop-Up events meant a chance for their customers to visit them face-to-socially-distanced-face. However, they proved to be extremely popular with regular Eco Village customers too, and had sold out by mid-afternoon each time!
So when a new opportunity arose at the start of 2021, the Two Old Goats jumped at the chance to finally get the show on the road and have a permanent home for their business, one year after it originated.
For them, the chance to collaborate with other Villagers is perfectly in sync with their philosophy to serve fresh, ethical, high-quality and locally sourced ingredients. The other businesses here, and our customers alike, share like-minded views which in turn, is increasingly powerful. The strength to make proactive changes in food production and eating habits all come from working together.
For Clare and Alison, they feel our Eco Village customers really appreciate their food, and the thought and effort gone into producing it. So much so, that when an opportunity arose recently for our Café space, there was only a Goat-shaped hole that could fill it!
Sustainability factors for Two Old Goats.
As with most of our foodie business, packaging seems to be the hardest element when balancing the needs of the Eco Village ethos and the general trends for consuming food-on-the-go for customers.
Working hard to make their packaging as sustainable as possible, Alison and Clare have already made great changes, but are keen to continue making improvements wherever possible, too.
They are eager to reuse packaging where they can and have been busy working with customers to instigate returning jam jars, dip pots, labels, anything and everything that can be reused. We LOVE this approach!
And now they have taken over the Café here at the Village, they are putting this into practice even further. True to our heart, they serve locally-roasted Jute coffee into mugs or your own reusable cups only - we're a disposable coffee cup-free zone! Hooray!
The two have designed their food menu to replicate ingredients across a few dishes in order to minimise food waste, something we're all about here at the Eco Village.
Something else we're all about is growing your own; sustainable living at its very finest! And a method Two Old Goats are adapting for their business, too.
During the summer of 2020, they had 33 tomato plants growing between their two gardens, plants that people had donated to them or left on their doorsteps. Before you go feeling that these two are mother-earth-sustainability-queens, we feel we ought to share that 32 of these plants were growing in Alison's garden, and just one in Clare's. And that nearly drowned before Alison rescued it. Clare protests she is entirely blameless in this situation, but we all know whose doorstep we'll be dropping plants to this year.
Despite that (or maybe they don't know about Clare's tomato plant saga), they have contacts at the Steven's Street Allotment in Market Harborough and are on the mayday contact list for excess produce. So the two will use this for their dishes and preserves, rather than see food go to waste.
They LIVE for rhubarb season, apparently.
Continuous improvements for Two Old Goats.
Having only been in business a year, the Two Old Goats are keen to continue supporting a reduction in food waste, using all ingredients to their full potential and creating dishes to use up any surplus.
With a revived focus on packaging waste, Alison and Clare are keen to continue on this journey and are looking forward to working with our Eco Village customers to fully put their reuse system in place.
Now they have taken over the Café they have further increased their links with other local businesses too. The two are now using Waterloo Cottage Farm for all their meat, and have set up a cake corner using bakes from our own Feed Me, plus Sarah-Ruth Cakes, and savoury scones baked by Caked too!
Future goals for Two Old Goats.
Clare and Alison would love to be able to take part in more events and festivals, when such times return.
They have ambitions to become a go-to destination for lunch and are really keen to demonstrate that healthy and sustainable eating doesn't have to be boring or expensive. Two Old Goats are passionate about making sustainable food accessible for all, something that fills our heart with joy here at the Village.
Things you probably didn't know about Alison and Clare....
- Clare is a self-proclaimed music snob and loves going to festivals and gigs. She is an excellent dancer after a bottle of wine. Aren't we all.
- Clare has an unusual sock collection that she is fiercely proud of. Pretty sure she'll show you that day's pair of pride, should you ask.
- Clare is rarely (if, ever?) spotted without a bobble hat between the months of October and April, at the earliest. Some say she's been known to wear one in July, but this hasn't been independently verified.
- Clare is also a very enthusiastic hypochondriac. Don't ask her how she is. Ever.
- You cannot miss Alison with her South African accent and an undeniable level of sass.
- Coming from the rainbow nation, she likes to wear as many of those rainbow colours, at once. Often with mixed levels of success, it has to be said.
- A lesser-known fact is that Alison has various hippy tendencies at heart, and is quite content with her dreams of running through fields of daisies. Clothed, we hope.
- Alison has a love of flying; on or off the ground.
- Alison's earring collection remains unrivalled across the country, many have tried but failed. Her avocado danglies are the current favourites, and yes, we are talking earrings, thank you.
Find out more about Two Old Goats.
Our Goaty friends, and all their good food and coffee, can be found in their new home just next door to Refill, and with a second counter in the Main Room too. When together, you'll hear them laughing before you see their eclectic ensemble of colourful clothing, strange socks and wild earrings.