Gourmet paradise: The Food Company in Marks Tey, Colchester

A north Essex institution, The Food Company in Marks Tey near Colchester, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Its loyal band of customers will tell you that if you need anything from sumac to fresh Mersea Island oysters to new season pink rhubarb, you are guaranteed to find it at The Food Company.

Opened in 2000, it’s a deli, butcher, fishmonger, grocer, bakery, wine shop, green grocer and thriving restaurant. Add a homeware department, florist and walk-in cheese room, and you pretty much have the whole deal. The staff are extremely knowledgable about their produce, much of which is local. If they don’t have a particular ingredient, they will source it for you.

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Some years ago I asked if they stocked Wigmore cheese; they didn’t but promised to see if they could source it. I am pleased to say Wigmore now has a permanent place in the cheese room. Sadly, this kind of customer service is hard to find, so well done.

The licensed restaurant often holds theme nights: food and wine evenings, cookery demonstrations and hands-on courses are regular features. During the summer months there is often a BBQ outside, and tables and chairs are usually occupied throughout the day. I’d say the restaurant is a destination in its own right, whether for a quick coffee, lunch, or brunch and the papers on a Sunday morning.

What The Food Company has done very successfully is become known as a place to go when you want that something special or that hard-to-find delight. It’s a real foodie emporium, where you always end up buying something.

Here’s to the next 15 years.


Ian Doughty is a passionate food lover from Essex and director of Turpin Smale Catering Consultants. To get in touch with Ian to recommend East Anglian venues or to share local food news, please email him here or Tweet him here.

Ian Doughty
The author:

Passionate local-food lover Ian lives in the heart of Essex and works for Turpin Smale Catering Consultants.