September means that school is back in session and with Dorset being the home of several colleges and Bournemouth University, which has campuses in both Bournemouth and Poole, the region is likely to see an influx of students, both new and returning. Whether you’re a new student or a seasoned pro, you’ll know that there are a lot of things that you need to get to make sure you’re ready for the new term. One thing that is absolutely essential is making sure that your kitchen is well stocked and lucky for you, you’re now a student in Dorset, which means that a whole host of fabulous local produce is right at your fingertips, so here are some kitchen cupboard essentials and suggestions of where to find them!

Salt and Pepper

Use them in cooking or if you’re not quite ready to commit to being head chef yourself, use them to season whatever it is you’ve bought for your dinner. The Dorset Sea Salt Company hand harvest their products directly, guaranteeing you the best-tasting salt in the county!

Herbs and Spices

Much like salt and pepper, herbs and spices are an important addition to any kitchen, particularly for those of you aiming to save money by cooking from scratch. There are a number of producers in Dorset creating all manner of herbs and spices perfect for adding to your favourite meals. You can find a whole range of herbs for flavouring your foods or for making your own inexpensive gifts from Dorset Herbs and Essence Farm. Alternatively, Hari Hari’s herbs and spices bring a little taste of Sri Lanka to your dinner table and for those of you who like spice, take a look at the Wasabi Company who create a number of award-winning products from their Wasabi plants.


Everyone needs oil in their kitchen cupboards, so make sure you get some from a local Dorset producer like Elaionaki Single Estate Extra Virgin Oil who are based in Poundbury. Cook with it, use it as a dressing… The possibilities are endless.


Whether you like a traditional loaf or something fancier, you can find a whole host of bakers producing incredible bread in Dorset. Take a look at the whole range of them here. Even those of you who are gluten intolerant can get involved with the standard student meals of sandwiches and beans on toast by visiting one of the region’s free from producers. Find out more here.


In the immortal words of Sam Gamgee, you can boil em, mash em, put em in a stew… The possibilities are endless where potatoes are concerned. However you like them, look out for the ones that are grown locally.

Tea and Coffee

Look, you might think student life is all about boozing, but you’d be surprised how often you need a tea or a coffee to get you through an all-night study session or as a way to bond with your new housemates at 4 am. There are loads of businesses in Dorset producing coffee and tea blends using locally sourced flavours and ingredients, such as Clipper and Dorset Tea. Find out more tea producers here and coffee producers here.

Other very important things:

The above should be enough to get you started but you should also make sure that your cupboards are well stocked with things like stock cubes, gravy, soup, beans, ketchup, chopped tomatoes, pasta, sugar and hardy items like garlic and onions. Also, don’t forget to eat a vegetable once in a while. You can thank us later.

Now you’ve got your kitchen sorted, you have one less thing to worry about and can focus on making friends and having fun!

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