At a meeting where the food is almost as important as the horses, it is fitting that Unsworth’s Yard will be sponsoring the very last race of the two-day card at Cartmel this weekend. The Unswoth’s Yard Handicap Hurdle brings down the curtain on the track’s Barbecue meeting on Monday, a race which celebrates one of the biggest success stories in Cartmel’s recent history.
In little more than a decade, Unsworth’s Yard has been transformed from a struggling garage and car repair workshop into a thriving, vibrant foodie’s paradise.
It boasts its own brewery, a wonderful cheese store which also sells artisan breads, a shop which started with one shelf of wines and now sells a wide range from around the world, a shop dedicated to kitchenalia, an excellent café and a gents’ barber shop.
On the back of the success of these enterprises, Cartmel Food Market has been established and every Friday the village is abuzz with shoppers looking to stock up their larders from the mix of local produce and world foods sold from stalls in the shadow of the famous Priory.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved” says Peter Unsworth, who with brother-in-law Mike Grunnill, runs the flourishing brewery, one which has recently doubled its capacity to meet the growing local demand.
“My grandfather Ernest Unsworth founded Unsworth’s Yard in 1922 as a haulage and garage business and it did very well, but things began to decline about 15 years ago and we knew we had to change direction” he said.
That change of course has taken the Yard into completely new waters, but with Cartmel Cheeses now established as one of the region’s best purveyors of high quality cheese and both the brewery and wine stores very much in demand, the future looks bright indeed.
Cartmel’s two-day Barbecue meeting gets underway on Saturday when the feature races are the £25,000 Totepool Cumbria Crystal Hurdle, the £10,000 McGuinness Feeds Lady Riders Hurdle and the Champagne Louis Roederer Handicap Chase and concludes on Monday with another valuable card featuring the £10,000 Weatherbys Bank Hurdle.
In the barbecue stakes, there are prizes on both Saturday and Monday for the most stylish barbecue on course while punters who want to get involved, but don’t have their own barbecue can take part in the on-course competition Ready Steady Q organised by the International BBQ Network.
CAPTION: In the shadow of the ancient Cartmel Priory, Unsworth’s Yard is one of the village’s success stories