For a taste of the finest French snails, Russian Chatka king crab or laverbread, locals in the Norfolk town of Holt don't need to take a trip to London's fine food retailers All they do is go to their local store.

Not just any shop, of course, but independent department store Bakers & Larners of Holt, affectionately known to locals as the Fortnum & Mason of East Anglia.

The food hall has become a local institution for selling exotic and unusual fare. "We stock products from all over the world," says food hall manager Anthony Cude. "From monkfish liver to laverbread, some of the more unusual lines we stock are proving very popular."

Tasting sessions held twice a week introduce customers to the more unusual ingredients. A chef is also on hand to demonstrate how to cook a whole meal using them. "People gather round to watch and our sales improve," says Cude. "These events are a great success."

The food hall always strives to stock as many local lines as possible. "It can be difficult to get all of our products from the UK," says Cude. "We try to support local produce wherever possible. The more we support local produce, the better it is for the area."

Its flour comes from a flour mill just two miles away, its ice cream is made by the local dairy, and its eggs, ham and bacon are also local. It also stocks at least three or four cheeses from Norfolk, its herbs and honey are from suppliers less than 20 miles from the store and its range of bread and cakes is delivered daily by four local bakeries. One of its most popular lines is also local - apple juice sourced from the royal fruit farms in Sandringham.

"Food miles are such an important issue," says Cude. "Customers are actively seeking local produce and want to reduce food miles, so we always flag up our local food."

In spring and summer, the store becomes particularly busy at weekends as tourists flock to the Norfolk coast. Cude has been able to capitalise on the tourist trade by selling gift hampers, which are sold both in-store or via the company's website.

The store's nearest supermarket competitors are Tesco and Morrisons more than 10 miles away. However, Cude does not class the multiples as direct competition. "If they stock something, there is no point in us stocking it as well because we simply can't compete with their prices," he says. "Instead, we aim to stock something different and focus on quality."

The food hall's 16 staff also give the store a strong point of difference. A quarter of the staff have worked there for more than 10 years. "We've been here a long time so we're experts," he says.

That expertise is applied to constantly looking out for the latest trends. "At the moment, rapeseed oil is selling well because of the health benefits associated with it and because the TV chefs are using it more," says Cude. "Delia Smith is from Norfolk and anything she cooks usually increases our sales."

Next year the store plans to increase its already impressive delicatessen, extend its fresh foods range and double the space it devotes to gluten-free and diabetic products. Locals may never need to leave Holt again.