The people at Barter Books have come up with a novel idea – their very own signature hot dog, which signals a new chapter in quick-fire catering in the Station Buffet at their former Alnwick Station headquarters.
And the word is that the Frankfurter-style offering is already proving ‘hot diggety dog’ among diners in the café, at what is generally regarded the world’s most famous second-hand bookshop, launched in 1991 based on a swap system and now a tourist attraction in its own right, attracting some 350,000 global visitors a year.
Having their own hot dog was the brainchild of Barter Books’ American-born founder Mary Manley and her husband Stuart, from County Durham, who turned to Alnwick’s best-known butcher, Turnbull’s, for ideas and inspiration.
The Market Street shop has for many years been supplying The Station Buffet, now a food destination in its own right, with award-winning bangers, bacon and burgers.
When approached by Barter Books, Daniel Turnbull, 23-year-old son of owner Mark Turnbull, was tasked with creating a hot dog exclusively for its café in the landmark Victorian building.
After experimenting with several different recipes, Daniel came up a pork and beef-based hot dog using local Northumbrian produce, seasoned with a ‘secret’ blend of curing salts and slightly smoked on the outside.
Mrs Manley said: “We had the concept. We were after a hot dog with a difference – one with a bigger bite destined to become man, woman and children’s best friend! We always try to use local suppliers and Turnbull’s Butchers took the lead and turned our dream into reality.
“They say that every dog has its day and, like our books, our new hot dogs are literally flying off the shelves each and every day. We were confident they’d be bound to succeed. Now we wouldn’t swap them for the world!”
Turnbull’s Butchers, a member of the elite national Butchers Q Guild, is renowned for product innovation.
Mark Turnbull, the Guild’s north-east regional chairman and national vice-chairman, said: “We don’t necessarily believe in doing everything by the book! Imagination and inspiration are central to new product development and we’re chuffed to bits that our Frankfurter-style hot dog is already fast becoming a best seller in the Station Buffet at Barter Books.”