Cornwall LivingIssue #113
We explore some of the superb businesses that are putting Porthleven near, if not at, the top of Cornwall’s list of must-visit destinations.
Home to a vibrant array of Cornish businesses, from fresh local artisans to established firm favourites, Porthleven is a hive of activity year-round. This month we take a look at the delightful delicacies, hand-crafted keepsakes and adventure-packed activities that this picturesque harbour town has to offer.
Made to order
For any visitor to Porthleven, it’s certainly worth a trip to the Shipyard where you’ll find artisan bagel maker, Ced’s Bagels. Hand rolled and freshly baked each morning on site directly behind the hatch in the bakery, these tempting bagels are filled to order with a refreshing array of flavours, including salt beef, gherkins and mustard; smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill and red onions; and house red pepper spread, zaatar, rocket and pickled onions, with meat and vegan options available alongside an exciting weekly special!
Previously a chef, Ced saw a gap in the market for proper bagels in Cornwall, and the team make everything themselves where possible, from the salt beef which is cured in house for about a week before slow cooking for the best flavour and texture, to the vegan red pepper spread, vegan cream cheese and homemade pesto. You can buy plain bagels to take home, whether it be plain, sesame, poppy seed or everything in one, and let’s not forget the delightful cheese bites and homemade brown-butter cookies! Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm.
A focus on quality
When it comes to understanding Porthleven’s entrepreneurial growth, you can’t help but wonder if it’s coffee that fuels their community-spirit and business ideas. It certainly helps, then, that the town has some new neighbours with some long-standing coffee credentials.
Enter The Roastery, Origin Coffee’s new headquarters. While not a new business (Origin was founded in 2004), the recent move over from Helston provides an exciting new chapter for the harbour town. Consider Origin the old-new kids on the block, championing local business with a multifunctional space that serves up creative flair and passion rooted in sustainability.
Behind the smart cladded exterior sits a fully operational roastery that, as a proud B Corporation, produces direct-trade coffee centred around mindful practices. Those living locally can return their recycling at the roastery café through a recycling programme with First Mile, and for those looking to go the extra mile, there are zero-waste dispensers on hand, so visitors can purchase freshly roasted beans without any nonsense.
Pull up outside and you’ll note the PodPoint stations, enabling hybrid and electric car charge while folk refuel with local, seasonal fare from George at Blower’s Place – Origin’s chef in residency, well regarded for his minimal-waste, high-impact dishes. Inside, too, steers away from your standard café set-up. Whether it’s mastering skills with latte art and home brew classes, or sipping on an impeccably crafted cocktail, the roastery provides an engaging space for all – coffee connoisseur or not.
This west Cornwall family business can usually be found at all the major festivals and events, serving incredible food with intense flavours, including the current signature of Cornish Pulled Pork, marinated in a secret dry barbeque rub, slow cooked for over 12 hours in Cornish cider and boosted with a dark barbeque sauce. This year, alongside a booming catering business, Big Eats has brought festival food to Porthleven!
Offering an impressive menu including all of its established festival favourites, Big Eats has carved a space for itself in the picturesque harbour village of Porthleven, just steps from the water in the team’s cleverly arranged shipping container. Here you can find the signature pulled pork alongside a delicious array of freshly made burgers, generously loaded nachos and tantalising tacos to satisfy any hungry wanderer. Supporting the local community is a priority for the team who source fresh Cornish meat and ingredients like Rattler Cyder for their menu, so make sure to stop in for some fantastic festival flavours.
Coming home to Cornwall
Just Lily Jewellery
Created in 2010, and born from a frustration with the poor quality and lack of originality in jewellery on the market at the time, owner Kim Hambleton founded Just Lily Jewellery, with the ultimate aim of providing unique, beautiful and high-quality handmade jewellery at an affordable price. Kim began by sourcing a range of small, artisan makers who were able to combine good quality materials with original designs, and with demand for these stunning creations on the rise, new creators and more ranges have been introduced to the increasingly popular collection.
It’s been vital from the start that none of the Just Lily products contain lead or nickel – traits that are often the cause of allergies or discolouration – so you can be confident in wearing anything from this enchanting collection. After returning home to Cornwall, Kim launched her first permanent harbour hut in the idyllic location of Porthleven in 2021, the perfect place to showcase her extensive range, including pieces from Ear Candy, On Shore, Beaten Brass and Eden, all of which are available in the hut as well as online, so make sure to pop in and say hello!
Looking for adventure?
Launched by local brothers and keen cyclists, Matt and Chris Orchard, Shipyard Cycles offers a fantastic way to explore Cornwall, with a range of bikes and e-bikes to suit your needs for the day. “We felt the village was ready for a cycle-hire business, and with e-bikes you’ve effectively flattened Cornwall!” explains Matt. Despite being in a hilly location, your level of fitness won’t hold you back, as long as you can ride a bike you can get out and explore with a bike that will do the hard work for you.
Their e-bikes have a range of around 50 miles allowing for a full day out, with groups often leaving straight from Porthleven, but the team can deliver too so you can set off from your own home. Their adult and children’s bikes along with their range of seats and trailers mean the whole family can come along for the ride. With a multitude of adventures right on the doorstep, the only thing left to do is pick your ride and start exploring!
Out to sea
Mollie May Charters
Put on your sea legs and get ready for a day of adventure with Mollie May Charters. Fully insured, coded and qualified, you can feel at ease as you head out from Porthleven or Newlyn into a glistening expanse of blue waters in search of dolphins and diving gannets. Available for private charters for all occasions, the Mollie May offers fun and varied trips for all ages, so make sure to book your trip for an experience you’ll remember forever.
@MollieMayCharters on Facebook
Dan Dan the Lobster Man
Created by local dad and daughter team, Dan Dan the Lobster Man can be found right on the edge of the harbour, with a fantastic view of the waters at the heart of Porthleven. Jasmine, 21, came up with the idea for the business, using her Dad’s catch to offer fresh seafood to locals and visitors, straight from the boat to the plate. Promoting local, sustainable fishing is a high priority for the team who have formed a co-operative between themselves and the local fishermen, all of whom receive a fair price for their lobsters.
Fresh lobster, crab and prawn salads, sandwiches and platters are on the menu, and feel free to bring your favourite wine along with you to pop into one of the wine coolers on hand. With a team made up of local family and friends, the staff are always smiling and ready to help with anything you might need, so make sure to stop by for a real taste of Cornwall.
@dandanthelobstermanltd on Instagram
Sapling and Bud
Making the world a happier place one plant at a time, Sapling and Bud can be found in a hand-painted van called Marguerite on the very edge of Porthleven’s gorgeous harbour. The stunning array of succulents and houseplants are sure to tempt you closer, where you’re likely to find a darling living addition (or two!) to your home interior. Offering friendly advice and tips on how to care for your new plant baby, Sapling and Bud is sure to have what you’re looking for and more!
@sapling_and_bud on Instagram
Beauty by the beach
Rose Beauty Porthleven
If you find yourself in the quaint harbour-side village of Porthleven, why not indulge in a little self-care by the sea? Specialising in ‘million-dollar facials’, peels, microneedling and advanced electrolysis, Rose Beauty has over ten years’ experience in the industry, is level four qualified and continuously training. Offering medically prescribed skincare with Medi+, you’re in the safest of hands with the softest touch, so you can feel at ease within the sanctuary of Rose Beauty. Visit the website to find out more.
Fresh from the heart
Poké Food provides nutritionally balanced prepared meals and conscious catering for those who want to choose mindful eating and health. The food we eat is more than fuel, it needs to taste great too! Freshly prepared daily and delivered directly to you, this food provides a way of eating each day that fits into the way you aspire to live your life and better support how you want to feel. Poké starts with the best ingredients, cooks from the heart and lets the food do the talking.