A perfect pickle
The universe has certainly thrown down a few challenges lately, and for the McLean family, a fire in early 2019 threatened to leave them without a home or business.
In February, a spark from a chimney fire spread through the thatched roof of their 17th century cottage, cloaking the whole village in a dense, dark smoke. Six teams of firefighters from three counties worked through the night to pump water from the village's Willow Brook onto the smouldering thatch, saturating the wattle and daub walls, their much-loved village shop and everything inside with a million gallons of water! Thankfully, everyone was fine, and after the initial shock (and with a lot of help from friends and family), a plan to restore their shop and cottage was hatched.
Following the fire, the wonderful Matthew Cox not only invited the McLeans to live in the Stamford house he shares with their daughter (me!), he also designed 'The Pickled Shop mark two', which our brilliant studio and workshop team brought to fruition in August 2020 with help from Grace (our lead maker's girlfriend) who made the beautiful raw linen curtains, cushions and aprons.
Matthew always knew that returning to Bulwick would be emotional for the McLeans, so he created a warm and optimistic space that would serve its purpose perfectly yet retain the original charm of the little shop. Although budgets and layouts were constrained, by working closely with Camille and family, the resulting space has been hugely effective. A glazed door onto the tea terrace was added for natural light. The existing, water-damaged zinc till was removed in favour of a more domestic space. 19th century Carrara marble worktops show off a generous display of pickles, cheeses and locally-sourced speciality foods, walls of larder shelves and a bespoke douglas fir work table create a welcoming kitchen-y feel, encouraging customers to feel at home in the shop. Sales and spirits have soared. The Pickled Shop has risen again!
Thank you to Matthew and team from the whole McLean/Borneo family.