Chancellor George Osborne popped in to Cranstons Food Hall at Orton Grange yesterday. Alongside his host for the afternoon Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, he toured the Food Hall and sampled a selection of Cumbria’s most distinctive products.
The Chancellor stopped off at the Food Hall at the end of a busy day in which he delivered a key note speech in Edinburgh and visited BSL timber of Carlisle.
During the visit the Chancellor enjoyed sampling two of Cumbria’s most distinctive products, Cranstons Traditional Cumberland Sausage and Lakeland Herdwick lamb. He particularly enjoyed the Herdwick rack of lamb which he declared was ‘delicious’. He also sampled Appleby Creamery’s Eden Chieftain Cheese and a hand-made Chocolate made by Saunders less than two miles from the shop.
Cranstons Manager Peter Potts was on hand to show him around: ‘The Chancellor was keen to speak to our staff and was really interested in the local product range we offer. He was amazed at the amount of sausage we sell in a week and seemed to find it amusing that we Cumbrians buy our Cumberland in large quantities, commenting on the large size of our 5lb sausage packs!’
Following the Food Hall tour Cranstons Managing Director Philip Cranston and members of the Food Hall team were invited to talk to the Chancellor and Rory Stewart over afternoon tea in Orton Grange Cafe. The politicians were particularly keen to get the views of Cranstons apprentices past and present. Katie Marsden, who joined Cranstons when the Food Hall at Orton opened and is currently being enrolled on an apprenticeship course, explained why she wanted to be a qualified butcher and what the apprenticeship entailed.
Philip Cranston said, ‘It was great to talk to the Chancellor in a relaxed environment and give him an insight into how our business has developed with its focus on promoting local produce and developing local staff as well as the challenges that rural businesses such as ours face. He enjoyed tasting our produce so much so that he actually came back in to buy some to take home when the official visit had concluded.’