Category Archives: Our Team

Why We Love Miss Matty

miss mattyWho is Miss Matty and where does she come from?

She is the Wares of Knutsford mascot. Readers of the novel ‘Cranford’ by Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell will be familiar with the character and her sister Miss Deborah, a couple of spinsters who punctuate the life of the story’s narrator, Mary Smith. The main event in the novel is the return of the sisters’ brother, Peter Jenkyns, to Cranford.

The novel first appeared in serial form in the magazine Household Words in 1851 before being published as a complete novel in 1853. It has since been adapted for television three times by the BBC, with Miss Matty played variously by Gabrielle Hamilton and Judi Dench.

Cranford as featured in the novel is based upon Knutsford, the home of Elizabeth Gaskell in the early 1800s. Gaskell’s writing is notable for its social commentaries upon Victorian life and the role of women, with the author part of an illustrious literary circle including Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charlotte Bronte. Gaskell’s best known works are probably ‘North and South’ and ‘Wives and Daughters.’

Who is Miss Matty to Wares of Knutsford customers?

Wares of Knutsford customers will be familiar with the icon we use next to some of our products. She is there to highlight particular features of certain products and give tips and helpful advice on how items can be used.

The character was chosen to represent Wares of Knutsford’s traditional values of customer service and value for money.

When the shop originally opened in the town in 1992, focusing on hardware items, the owner placed a book on the counter and asked customers to note down in it which products they would like the shop to stock. Wares has always believed in supplying what our customers want, at the right price and in a friendly and efficient manner. Retail culture may have changed dramatically with the advent of the internet but the philosophy still applies as represented by our mascot.

The mainstay of the company is bottles, jars and preserving equipment but the Wares of Knutsford kitchen range has expanded enormously over the past few years to include all manner of traditional kitchen goods such as enamelware, baking and cooking equipment from well known brands such as Mason Cash and Kitchen Craft and a number of more modern kitchen tools and gadgets.

Furthermore, Wares of Knutsford is part of a thriving online community with busy Facebook and Twitter pages plus a regular blog and newsletter where customers can find recipes, competitions and a number of useful tips and ideas on cooking and various household subjects.

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Hi Guys, Jess Here!


I’m just passionate about cooking, kitchenware and all things chefy

Hi guys, I’m Jess, 46 years of age, married to Sue and a bit of a preserveaholic. I love life, laughter and sticking things in jars!

I got involved with Wares of Knutsford after Val stumbled across my website and asked me if I’d like to become the “chef in residence,” for her new website. Naturally, I was delighted. I’ve always liked Wares, their product range hits the mark in every area, from jam jars to kitchenware. What I think is more important though is their level of customer service. There is a genuine old fashioned friendliness and attention to detail so sadly lacking from the retail experience today. Of course when she explained her wider plans to me I got even more excited. The prospect of a cooking community, where we can all get involved and share our triumphs and disasters in the kitchen, supported by Val and her team, seemed like a dream come true.

So here we are at the launch of the new website and the very beginnings of our shared experience. If you’re new to Wares you might be asking “well what do they have to offer?” The answer is a range of glass and kitchenware that has been chosen by people who know what we cooks want.


When it comes to glassware it would be hard to find a wider range with the level of quality and value for money. I of course have my favourites. The gourmet food jars, I think, are absolutely beautiful and with the new website allowing you to see what each jar looks like with all the different lid options available, the blue and red gingham have to take the prize. One of Wares gourmet food jars full of strawberry jelly topped with a blue gingham lid is, in my opinion, a work of art!

Although important to Val, glassware is by no means the whole story. Kitchenware has always featured heavily in the Wares line up and I’m told that a considerable expansion in the kitchenware department is well on the cards. Already though, I think the range is pretty impressive. The jam making section alone leaves nothing wanting from Maslin Pans to thermometers, they’ve got the lot and all of the highest quality at sensible prices. The thing I love about the kitchenware section is the feeling that you’re going to be able to find that “something” that has been eluding you elsewhere.

An unconventional use of kitchenware!

You know I’d looked everywhere for a plain old fashioned hand crank mincer. Oh, I could find one all right, but they were all dolled up to the nines with a price tag to match. Letting you into a little secret I only wanted mine for mincing up smelly old mackerel for fishing bait, so when I saw Val’s no nonsense offering at a no nonsense price I snapped one up. Good practical kitchenware at reasonable prices is hard to find. To be honest I think that is in no small part down to the age of celebrity chefs. Retailer’s are quick to see they can charge higher prices if they add a bit of glamour to their products. But who needs a lemon juicer made from Murano glass; I ask you! No, Wares have their kitchenware range pitch just right and if Val reckons she’s going to be expanding it soon then all the better I say.

Well, that’s enough from me for now, I just wanted to introduce myself and hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of each other as our little community starts to expand. Don’t forget if you have any questions, from jam making to choosing the right kitchenware, then pop onto our forum and leave me a question. I’ll be glad to answer it and if I can’t I’m sure one of our other members will.

Take care and see you soon,

Jess xx

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Welcome to Wares

jam jars

Meet the crew – jam jars anyone?

Well I’m so excited! Who’d of thought, when I started Wares of Knutsford in 1992, twenty years on we’d be launching our second generation website. Why, when I looked out on King Street that warm summer’s morning all those years ago the internet had barely been invented. Many jam jars and oil bottles have passed through our hands since then. We’ve made some wonderful friends and loyal customers along the way, so it’s with more than a little pride, that I want to welcome you all to our new website.

There’s been a few trials and tribulations along the way but I’ve had tremendous fun putting it all together. Our range has remained as extensive as ever, but is now presented in a more user friendly fashion. Our wonderful drop down menus across the top give you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for. What’s more by some enormous feat of technical wizardry, when you find the chutney or jam jars you are after with some clever mouse work you can see what they look like with all the available lid options. You can even zoom in to any section of the jam jars you wish to get a close up look at all their features. In addition to all those wonderful jam jars you will find an extensive range of kitchenware which is expanding all the time. There are, as ever, bargains galore to be had with our bulk packs of jam jars, not to mention “Sale Corner” where you can pick up all our best deals. Purchasing is made easy with our shopping cart and all major credit and debit cards are accepted, safely SSL secured by GeoTrust. No matter what size your order our mainland UK post and packing rate remains the same, £4.95.

It’s not all just jam jars you know

Now that’s all wonderful and I’m sure you’ll find buying your chutney and jam jars along with all the other goodies a much enriched experience over the old site. But I wanted to use the opportunity of putting a new site together to give my friends and customers more than just a place to buy jam jars, and this is where things get really exciting. About a year ago I was introduced to Jess. Jess is by his own admission a presevaholic. He has been making pickle and jams now for many years and knows a thing or two about the art. As luck would have it we hit it off straight away and so now he is our resident chef on the site. You’ll find a link to his blog which is packed full of recipes, hints, tips and funny stories of a jammy nature. He has also agreed to run our forum for us. So when you have a question on anything to do with making jams or preserves you can go straight to the forum, post a question and Jess will get right back to you. Of course feel free to use the forum along with our Facebook page to chat to other members of our community and don’t forget to follow us on twitter. And you know that’s the key, I want this new site to be a community. Now that might sound like wishful thinking but really I mean it. I’ve been around a long time now and there is more to life than just making a living. What I want to provide here is a space where, yes of course you can buy your jam jars and other kitchen goods, but more importantly, we can all come together and share our love for the art of preserving.

Love to you all, and welcome to our community!

Val x

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