Will and Emma Evans, a couple from Monton, have started building their own unique shop in Monton called ‘The Wandering Palate’.
The shop will incorporate all of the couple’s favourite food and drink products from around the UK, and in some cases, the world. Specialising in wine, craft beer, UK cheese, and charcuterie. They also want to incorporate some coffee from local roasteries and regional roasteries.
With Emma coming from an arts and fashion background, which has allowed her to work in countries such as Bangladesh and China, and Will having expertise in craft beers and breweries, the two have decided to bring their strengths together to create a unique shop that is unlike anything else in Monton.
Will said: “Going back about 20 years – I had my own bar in Preston, and then I got more into the supply side of alcohol. I slowly got more into craft beers, so for a while, I was distributing craft beers in the North West, and then that led me onto being able to open my own brewery which is Manchester Union Brewery.
“If we went to a foreign city or a foreign country, the first thing we would do is try to find a nice restaurant or some good food, or even producers, whether that’s a vineyard or a craft brewery, you know, just hang out there for a bit
“Over the years we’ve both had different friends that are in those sort of industries, and typically they’re really into the food scene as well, so they would take us to places that would do something a bit different with food.”
Will and Emma have always wanted to bring some of the ideas that they’ve come across on their travels back to their home town, as they feel that it’s just what was missing from Monton.
“After a while, you get pretty bored of the selections that are in the Tesco Express. I never really understood why that was basically it in Monton, you know if you wanted to do some grocery shopping, it was either take it or leave it.
“I think Monton is ready for us. The idea was basically to pull together all of our different contacts, whether that’s wine, beer, cheese, meats or charcuterie. We wanted to call in all of these producers that we’ve met and spoken to along the way, and just have a one stop shop for them in our village.”
Coming from an art background, Emma has taken on the role of deciding how the shop is going to look and feel. She plays a big part in the branding and the aesthetic of Wandering Palate, as well as social media.
“We decided to keep the branding of the shop a little more reserved and classier. So, Emma’s ended up using the nice healthy green with the gold lettering, it’s nice and understated but up-market as well.”
Will explained where the name of the shop came from: “the ‘wandering’ aspect is the idea of going around different places, finding what’s good, and bringing It back. So the idea of travelling, not just European or global travel, but within the regions of the UK as well.
“The ‘palate’ obviously means tasting food and the palate of the mouth, but it’s also a play on words with Emma’s art, so it also means her art palate as well.”
Will said that out of all the places that he’s been, his favourites where Japan and Lisbon, as they had incredible food and drink. They will be taking inspiration from these countries when deciding which products to sell in their shop, as well as taking inspiration from Copenhagen’s use of local produce.
“I don’t know whether you’ve ever been to Copenhagen, but its insanely cool. They’re lightyears ahead of us in terms of sustainability and searching for local places.
“We went to Japan in November 2019 for the rugby World Cup. We’ve always wanted to go, and the food was just incredible. We’re definitely going to be stocking some Japanese whiskeys. Japanese whiskeys were as good, if not, better than the Scottish and Irish whiskeys. The food was also next level.
“Closer to home, Lisbon really stands out to me, for food and wine. Lisbon is incredible. So, we’re definitely going to take some Portuguese influence into the wine choices.
“There’s this one place where we get our charcuterie from, Farce Charcuterie. They have this Venison and Juniper carpaccio. All it takes is one slice of it, and your whole mouth just waters.
“For me, it was game-changing when I tried it, I was like ‘oh my god that’s so great’.”
As well as all this, they aim to provide freshly baked loaves of Sourdough from local bakeries in Manchester, and even speciality cakes and donuts made by Gooey Donuts in the Northern Quarter, to bring little bits of Manchester into Monton.
The couple wants their new shop to become a huge centre point in their community, and look forward to providing ‘something that everyone is going to love and enjoy’. As they love being the hosts and having friends over at home, they see the opening of Wandering Palate as not just work, but a hobby on a ‘slightly larger scale.’
“We’ll be doing different things that will get the community involved, so we’ll be running little wine, beer and cheese clubs. We can get the wine producers in and let them showcase all the different wines, same for beers.
“We want to start something in Monton that will be here even after we leave, its like that idea of planting a tree. We want to come up with ideas that will benefit the folks that live here, sharing this with Emma as well will be really enjoyable”
Listen to part of the interview with Will here:
Since the shop is still in the process of being built, the opening date is still yet to be confirmed. However, if you would like to follow their journey and keep up to date with the opening of Wandering Palate, you can follow their Instagram and Facebook