Top 5 reasons to become a Lincolnshire Co-op member

It all starts by shopping with us…

You may or may not know that co-operatives are different, unlike other businesses we’re not run by a few wealthy shareholders. We’re owned and run by our members, local dividend card holders and every penny of our profits goes back to them and their local communities. It’s free to join us and there’s lots of benefits to being a member, here’s our top five.

CV108_LongSutton_140415Reason one – earn as you shop
Every member holds a dividend card and each time they shop with us, they earn a percentage of what they spend back, which they can spend in our stores.



treats-diviReason two – a bonus just in time for Christmas
Towards the end of each year we pay out a bonus to all members from our profits. It’s a percentage of the total amount of dividend members have earned over the year, so the more you’ve spent the bigger your bonus will be. You can save it up and spend it whenever you like. We have food stores, travel branches, a florist and more, plenty to treat yourself.


Reason three – doing good in your communitySWP-12-0167_24
We run a scheme called Community Champions where every members dividend card is linked to good causes close to where they live. The more our members shop and use their dividend card, the more money we give to their champion. It’s an easy way for you to make a difference in your community.


What's New Blood Pressure ChecksReason four – keeping healthy
We offer free health checks at our pharmacies. They only take around 15 minutes and can ease the pressure on GPs and give you an early indication of serious conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.


Reason five – be part of something specialDividend-card-people
We’re really proud of the uniqueness of our co-op. We’re independent and successful; everything we do is for our members and the communities we work in. By shopping with us you can be safe in the knowledge that we’re committed to ethical principles important to you such as Fairtrade, sourcing produce locally and supporting local people, this is what we call the co-operative difference.

With so many reasons to be a member, we can’t think of a good reason not to join us. Pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op outlet today and ask for an application form or download one from our join us page here.

Fairtrade Batemans Mocha Amaretto chocolate cake

In the spirit of the Great British Fairness Debate and the Great British Bake Off final, we thought it was only fitting to whip up a recipe that would satisfy our cake cravings now that the nights are drawing in. This rich cake uses both locally sourced and Fairtrade ingredients and is the perfect recipe for an after dinner treat.



For the cake
250ml Batemans Mocha Amaretto beer
250g The Co-operative unsalted creamery butter
75g Fairtrade cocoa powder
400g Fairtrade caster sugar
142ml The Co-operative Loved By Us British soured cream
2 large eggs (Fairburns or Lincolnshire Farm)
1 tbsp The Co-operative Loved By Us Madagascan vanilla extract
275g The Co-operative plain flour
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting
125g The Co-operative full fat soft cheese
300g Fairtrade icing sugar
50g The Co-operative unsalted creamery butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 4, butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Pour the beer into a saucepan, add the butter and warm on a medium to low heat until melted, then whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar.
  3. In a separate jug or bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla extract and pour into the pan, whisking in to combine.
  4. Finally whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, the batter is very runny, don’t worry this is how it should be.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.
  7. When completely cool, remove from the tin and sit on a flat platter or cake stand.
  8. The frosting is best made with an electric whisk but it is possible with your strongest whisking arm. Mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps and it’s combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture.
  9. Add the cream cheese and mix in slowly to start combining, then increase the speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  10. Smother all over the cake, sides and all.
  11. Dust the top with a little cocoa for an extra bit of finesse if you like.


Tip… when frosting, start by covering the cake in a very thin layer all over before adding the rest. This is called a crumb layer, it stops any pesky cake crumbs spoiling your perfect frosting.

We’ve been stocking Fairtrade products since 1992 and this year the Great British Fairness Debate is taking place from 29th September – 12th October. As part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s commitment in working to be fairer they’re asking the nation, ‘are we really as fair as we think we are?’. Take the test here: #BeFair

Cruising is the new cool

Aquapark sml

Cast off your preconceptions about cruising, it’s a holiday with something for everyone and this week in Lincolnshire Co-op travel branches we’re celebrating Cruise Week!

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is a ship that’s breaking all the rules, blending high-tech convenience with fun, luxury and glamour. The fastest internet speeds on the sea will be complemented by robotic bartenders and speedy electronic boarding.

The wide selection of activities on offer makes it a great choice for family holidays, whilst couples will love the 18-strong choice of restaurants on board. This state of the art ship launches on 2nd November with its maiden voyage taking it from Southampton to the eastern coast of the USA.

A more intimate experience can be had on Cosmos’ eight day itinerary around the Canary Islands, departing from Tenerife and stopping at five destinations around the island chain.

The smaller ships offer comfort and style, as well as the opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers better and soak up some winter sun.

For something a bit different, Cosmos also offers Russian river cruises, travelling between St Petersburg and Moscow.  As well as taking in the area’s colourful history, you’ll be able to book on to optional excursions including the stunning Moscow by night tour.

You’ll be wowed by the imposing red-brick structure of the famous Kremlin and the onion-shaped domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, while the food and entertainment on board is second to none.

We’ll be offering 3x dividend to members booking a cruise in branch between September 21st and October 5th 2014, plus a free box of chocolates and a bottle of wine to celebrate.

If that sounds too good to be true, nip in to your nearest Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch today and get on board with the trip of a lifetime.

Five cruising myths debunked!

Still not sure cruising is for you? We asked Stella Wilson, one of our friendly cruise specialists, to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding it.

cruise week boat sml

  • “Cruising just isn’t for me.”

“Anyone who doesn’t think cruising is for them just hasn’t found their perfect cruise yet,” Stella says. “From huge liners to small river cruisers and the Mediterranean to the Norwegian Fjords, there’s something to suit all tastes. Some cruise liners have formal dress codes, others are more relaxed; on some you can watch musicals and on others there are informative lectures available.”


  • “I’ll feel trapped.”

“If you like to roam, just book onto one of the larger ships available, and make sure your itinerary includes lots of excursions. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you can have as much fun off the ship as you do on it during a cruising holiday.”


  • “I won’t see anything off the beaten track.”

“There’s a popular misconception that cruises only stop off in the most touristy spots, but that isn’t true. There are extensive excursion packages available, from cultural tours to shopping trips and everything else in between!”


  • “I get bored too easily, there won’t be enough to keep me entertained on-board.”

“On board cruise ships these days you’ll find facilities including bumper cars, pools, spas, full size gyms, rock climbing walls, waterslides, internet lounges and libraries, to name but a few,” says Stella. “You’re more likely to be left wondering just how to fit it all in.”


  • “What if I get seasick?”

“This is one of the most common concerns we hear,” Stella says. “Luckily, even if it’s something you’re prone to, most modern cruise liners have stabilisers fitted, to keep the ride smooth. With careful consideration to the location of your cabin, making sure it’s located mid ship and mid deck should help to alleviate the problem.”

If you book a cruise at one of our travel branches by Saturday October 5th 2014, not only will you get 3x dividend on your booking, but you’ll also get a free box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. What’s not to love?

Why are we called yellowbellies?

Well, in short, we don’t know. But we have rounded up some of the most popular explanations – which do you think is most likely?

Yellow waistcoats

The most likely explanation we’ve heard here in Lincolnshire Co-op HQ is related to the Royal North Lincolnshire Militia, which was originally housed in the barracks that became the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

This clever bunch wore yellow waistcoats as part of their uniform, a decision we suspect may not have aided them on the battlefield – it isn’t exactly great camouflage! Because of their bright waistcoats, they were nicknamed the Lincolnshire Yellowbellies, and the nickname stuck.


Isaac Newt-on

He’s a famous yellowbelly, but the moniker might have been inspired by his namesake, the humble newt. Some sources suggest that a breed of newt common to the damp fens which has a yellow stomach could be the source, whilst others suggest frogs, or even eels.

Feeling queasy?

Malaria was prevalent in the fens in earlier centuries and fen-dwellers are reported to have self-medicated with opium, a drug closely related to morphine. This interesting alternative medicine is reported to have tinged users’ skin yellow, possibly inspiring the label.

captain jack

Land ahoy!

Some stories hold a criminal element in Cleethorpes to blame – they are said to have lured ships into shallow water using torches on the beach, in order to pillage the cargo. On one occasion, these wannabe pirates cracked open the hold, only to find a large quantity of yellow fabric.

Aware that wearing or selling the cloth would out them as the rascals they were, these ingenious delinquents put it to work as undergarments. This included yellow flannel vests, earning them the nickname Yellowbelly.

Whichever one you believe, we hope you have a fantastic Lincolnshire Day – why not check out some of our recipes, which feature our award-winning local products?

Members get more…
To help with the festivities, members will receive 10x dividend, from 28th September to 4th October, on all products in the Love Local range including Lincolnshire Quality meat andGadsby’s.

Lincolnshire sausage pasta bake

We couldn’t be prouder of our Butcher’s Choice Lincolnshire sausages here, they’re made from pork born and reared in the county. What better time is there to enjoy them than in the run-up to Lincolnshire Day on October 1st? This cheesy pasta bake is a perfect crowd-pleaser for weeknight dinners.

Cheesy sausage and pasta bake
Serves 6

6 Butcher’s Choice Lincolnshire Sausages, sliced
3 tbsp Heart of Gold rapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans chopped tomatoes
150ml water
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp mixed Italian herbs
450g penne pasta
200g grated mozzarella
50g grated parmesan


  • Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6. Add one tablespoon of oil to a large pan and brown garlic and sausage chunks.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, sugar, and herbs. Season and bring to the boil then simmer and allow to thicken for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cook and drain the penne. When the tomato sauce is ready, add the penne and remaining oil and transfer to a large casserole dish.
  • Cover with the grated mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes until golden and bubbling. To show some extra yellowbelly pride, why not substitute the parmesan for some Lincolnshire Poacher cheese for a tangy kick?

Members get more…
To help with the festivities, members will receive 10x dividend, from 28th September to 4th October, on all products in the Love Local range including Lincolnshire Quality meat and Gadsby’s.

Tips to lower your blood pressure

Having your blood pressure checked is vital for identifying potential health risks – in lots of cases high blood pressure has no symptoms but it can lead to serious problems. All Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies offer free blood pressure checks. It’s quick and easy and there’s no need to make an appointment, just pop in to your local branch.

If you have high blood pressure, don’t worry, there’s lots you can do to start lowering blood pressure today. But you don’t have to wait until you have high blood pressure to make healthy lifestyle changes – the more you can reduce your blood pressure, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke will be.

1.Eat less salt
Cutting your salt can dramatically improve your blood pressure. There is lots of hidden salt in prepared foods like bread, breakfast cereals and ready meals and very little of what we eat is down to what we add to our food. A good tip is to always check labels and choose low-salt options where possible.

2.Eat more fruit and veg
Everyone know fruit and vegetables are good for you and eating more can also help lower your blood pressure. Adults should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. A portion is 80 grams, or roughly the size of your fist.

3.Keep your weight healthy
If you are overweight a good way to lower your blood pressure is by losing weight which will reduce your risk of health problems. Choose more low-fat and low-calorie foods, and increase your physical activity but be sure to set achievable goals and changes that you can keep to for life.

4.Drink less alcohol
We all enjoy a tipple but if you drink too much alcohol, over time this will raise your blood pressure. The current recommended limits are 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and 14 units a week for women. A unit is roughly half a pint of beer or cider, a small glass of wine, or a single pub measure of spirits.

5.Get moving
At least 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week is recommended to keep your heart healthy and it can also lower your blood pressure. You don’t have to run a marathon – anything that raises your heart rate and makes you feel slightly out of breath will do. Try making small changes too like walking to a further bus stop or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Mixed fruit and jam pie with mint sweet shortcrust pastry

We’re loving every minute of this year’s Great British Bake Off, once we found out that this weeks episode is all about pies and tarts, we started looking for the perfect fruit pie recipe, which we think we’ve found for you. Our guest blogger Dominic Franks is no stranger to the pie and this one is packed with rich mixed fruit and our favourite Jenny’s Jam, all finished off with a sweet mint pastry. Take it away Dom…


It seems to be pie time again, which is not a bad thing if you’re a pastry lover like me! Pies are a beautiful way to use up a glut of fruit or if, like me, you’re running around with loads of fruit in a bowl that’s in danger of going off, a pie is a great way of using it up.


For the fresh mint sweet shortcrust pastry
280g plain flour
140g butter or margarine
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Fairtrade golden caster sugar
3 or 4 leaves of fresh mint, shredded and chopped (dried will work too)
Cold water to mix

For the pie fillingfruitpie3
1 apple – diced
1 nectarine – diced
Roughy 10 raspberries
Roughly 12 wild strawberries
1 tablespoon plain flour
Jenny’s Jam, raspberry flavour
A little Fairtrade sugar to taste

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/338°F/gas mark 4.
  1. Start with the pastry and take a large bowl into which you place the flour and butter and combine with your fingertips until you have what looks like rough breadcrumbs.
  1. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and stir together, pour in a little cold water and combine with your hand until you have a soft dough.
  1. Wrap in cling-film and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  1. For the pie filling, place the fruit and flour in a pan and stir together, then gently heat until it all begins to bubble – you may need to stir occasionally to prevent it sticking. Once it begins to soften add the Jenny’s Jam and any additional sugar and let it bubble for a few minutes or so. I don’t like my fruit too soft at this stage – take the pan off the heat and set aside.
  1. Roll out your pastry and line a pie dish, you should have enough pastry left over to create a lattice top of a plain lid.
  1. Pour the pie filling into the dish, create the pie top of your choice, brush the pastry with a little egg milk wash and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden

Eat and of course, enjoy!

By Dom Franks @ Bealleau Kitchen


Greek honey doughnuts

These tasty delights are sure to have you reaching for more. A sticky mix with local honey, crunchy walnuts and cool ice cream made by Dennetts in Spilsby.

SERVES: 4–6 (MAKES 25–30)


300g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp easy bake dried yeast
1 tbsp honey from the Love Local range
150ml milk
Vegetable oil for deep frying
150ml honey from the Love Local range
Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
15g butter
Icing sugar, ground cinnamon, to dust,
Chopped walnuts, to scatter over

Dennetts Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve


1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre. Put the honey in a jug and add 100ml of boiling water. Stir until honey dissolves then add the milk. Pour into well and mix until you have a soft dough.
2. Cover with clingfilm or damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
3. For the syrup, gently heat ingredients in a saucepan, stirring, until butter has melted and honey is runny. Simmer for 1 minute or until syrupy. Remove from heat.
4. Ten minutes before end of the dough’s proving time, fill a large saucepan ¾ full of vegetable oil. Heat gently until a small piece of the dough sizzles and browns within 30 seconds when added to the oil.
5. Dip a teaspoon in a cup of water and then scoop up a small amount of dough. Wet the palm of one hand and place dough into palm, then place back onto teaspoon (this smooths the dough and makes a ball shape). Add to oil and cook dough balls in batches, turning occasionally, for 2–3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and place in a serving dish.
6. Gently reheat syrup and remove cinnamon stick (if using). Pour over doughnuts. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon, scatter with walnuts and serve with ice cream.

Crafty co-op kids!

It’s halfway through the school holidays and parents all over the country are pulling their hair out – never fear, we’re here to save the day with some great crafty suggestions to keep your kids occupied.

We’ve chosen projects that are cheap and easy, perfect for rainy days and summer scorchers alike and you can pick up many of the supplies you’ll need for them at your local Lincolnshire Co-op.

For a rainy day project, try this melted crayon artwork. All you need is a packet of crayons (or some old broken ones) and a hairdryer. You can make this on any surface you like – to save some pennies, use a big piece of cardboard, like the back of a cereal packet.

Melted crayons

From Naptime = Craft Time


This project is a clever twist on an old favourite – by putting your child’s face in the cup, you make it extra personal. Just cut out a photo and place it in a clear plastic cup, line with cotton wool and sprinkle over cress seeds. Your kids will love their wacky new haircuts!


From Rainbows Within Reach


Get your children outdoors with this great recipe for touchable bouncing bubbles – it’ll keep them entertained for hours. It does take 24 hours to ‘age’ so make sure you make it up before you want to use it.

Bouncing bubbles

From Play at Home Mom


Let the litlle ones blow off some steam on a hot day with these clever sponge water bombs. It’s half the mess and twice the fun because these water bombs are re-usable – just kick back and relax while they chase each other around the garden.

Sponge balls

From Come Together Kids


Another classic you’re sure to remember from your school days, baking soda volcanoes have been captivating kids for decades. Jazz it up by getting them to make a paper mache volcano first and add a splash of food colouring, or keep it simple and just use a mug or bowl – either way, it’s sure to impress.

Baking soda volcano

from Educate First


Alternatively, Lincolnshire Co-op’s Junior Member events will be running all summer, you can find out more and book your place here.