Celebrating Independent Retailer Month

July is Independent Retailer Month, a celebration of all the amazing independent retailers out there who contribute so much to the economy and to their local communities.

At Aegg, we are packaging partners with a whole range of businesses from small independents to global brands and supermarkets. 

This Independent Retailer Month, we are highlighting one of the  fantastic independent retailers we partner with: Auntie Val's, a charity producing artisan preserves and chutneys hand made by people with disabilities.

How it all started

Auntie Val's journey began with her passion for creating delicious jams and chutneys for the Billingshurst WI market. Today, her incredible range of preserves has gained popularity not only in the UK but also worldwide! What makes Auntie Val's even more special is that the proceeds from their artisan products go towards the training and social programs at Auntie Val's Ability Centre, where individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to shine. With her background in the care sector, Auntie Val's dedication to helping people with disabilities is evident in every jar of their award-winning marmalade, jams, and chutneys produced under the Auntie Val's and Downsman brands. Additionally, they have expanded their reach by creating products for other companies under their own label. It's truly inspiring to see how Auntie Val's Ability Centre is transforming lives and making a difference in the community.


Supporting people with disabilities

Every step of the production process, from the thoughtfully designed kitchens to the meticulous labelling, efficient warehousing, smooth distribution, and well-organized offices, has been carefully crafted to empower individuals with physical or mental disabilities. The centre proudly creates an extensive range of exceptional marmalade, jams, and chutneys under the renowned Auntie Val's and Downsman brands, while also lending their expertise to a growing number of other companies under their own distinctive label.

Auntie Val's Ability Centre collaborates with various partners, such as the British Legion and the county council, to offer work experience and training to a wide range of individuals facing challenges, providing them with valuable opportunities to enhance their lives.

Future plans

Auntie Val's Ability Centre is currently in the process of creating an inclusive community hub that will cater to the needs of people with disabilities and also serve as a venue for service providers, including therapists and clinics. Excitingly, the new hub will also feature a charming café for everyone to enjoy.

Where the products are stocked

Auntie Val's artisan preserves, marmalades and chutneys can now be found at department stores and food halls, discerning food shops, delicatessens, farm shops, garden centres, visitor attractions, greengrocers, hamper companies and also online.

Andy Challis, a dedicated Trustee at Auntie Val's, expressed his pride in their longstanding partnership with Aegg Creative Packaging. For several years, Aegg has been supplying Auntie Val's with pallets of their glass jars, providing the perfect vessels for their artisan preserves. This collaboration plays a vital role in Auntie Val's supply chain, enabling them to continue their important work and support individuals with disabilities.


Richard Drayson, the Sales Director at Aegg, added "I have such a deep admiration for Auntie Val's and their commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. I am also delighted to hear about Auntie Val's expansion plans and wish them continued success in their charitable endeavors."


Aegg is a dedicated food and beverage packaging company supplying drinks bottles, pots, bowls, jars, and sauce bottles into global markets.  Aegg packaging can be found on premium shelves of major supermarkets, on airline meals and in foodservice outlets.  To find out how we can help your organisation, please get in touch