The Delicatessen Magazine April

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We reveal our favorites, from the famous Little Scarlet to a bacon jam and all in between!

ISSUE 10 l APRIL 2017

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Speciality manufacturers of UK cooked meats, including ham, beef and turkey. Stocking high quality products from carefully selected European manufacturers in Italy, Spain and Germany. Deli charcuterie can supply all of your continental meat requirements as well as an extensive range of UK cooked meats. We have over forty years of experience in the cooked meat industry and our comprehensive range of Italian and Spanish goods in particular are totally authentic. We only use the finest ingredients and we love to discuss new product ideas and development of existing products with our customers. Our business is built on customer service and Deli-charcuterie is a business that was launched specifically to serve the deli shop and coffee house trade. We welcome your order, big or small and have easy payment systems including PAYPAL. Why not give Andy a call to discuss how we can ease your sourcing troubles and supply you with all the best cooked and cured meats you will need from one easy purchasing location.



Continental & UK Cooked Meats salamis and pates Fine Hams,

Genuine Italian, spanish, UK

german & Belgian produce

Remarkable foods from around the world

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CONTENTS PAGE 6: SIMPLY GOOD FOOD TV Written by Peter Sidwell, who will be telling us more about the products he’s been working with this last month



EDITOR Chris McNeill E: ASSISTANT EDITOR Dave Eastman E: FREE-FROM FOOD WRITER Victoria McCormick E: DESIGNER Sharon Larder



PAGE 8: DELI PROFILE We catch up with the brilliant High Street Delicatessen from Powys in Wales, who are championing their local and handpicked products in store and online with great success PAGE 10: BOOJA-BOOJA Can you really eat luxury truffles and ice cream with less guilt? We find out how! PAGE 13: ANOTHER FIRST FOR FAIRFIELDS FARM Who become the first energy efficient hand-cooked crisps producer in the UK PAGE 14: CHEESEBOARD We join the Cheshire Cheese Company to learn more about their range PAGE 15: SNACKING & PACKING Ian Bates of Fairfields Farm tells us more about boxes of crisps! PAGE 16: RAISING THE STEAKS Our roundup of great brands for the BBQ! PAGE 18: PELLINI Last month we included Pellini Caffè in our coffee feature with a brief review of their capsule products. this month we wanted to delve into the brand a bit further. PAGE 20: JAMS AND PRESERVES We talk about a great mix of jams, preserves, curds and honey, from the famous Little Scarlet to a bacon jam PAGE 22: SAVOUR THE FLAVOUR! We meet the brilliant Savoursmiths brand this month, who are taking the market by storm with their interesting branding and luxurious flavour combinations PAGE 26: WILKIN & SONS OF TIPTREE We are proud to present the famous Wilkin & Sons of Tiptree PAGE 29: LUXURY POPCORN We catch up with the uk’s largest independent popcorn manufactuter Tommy Tucker and their luxury toffee popcorn range PAGE 30: EPOS EXPLAINED We meet Jonny Hunot from the Good Till Co to find out more about epos and what to watch out for PAGE 32: DELI COUNTER Alan Davies of Stephens Fresh Foods tells us more about bbq business

The Delicatessen is published monthly.

PAGE 33: SPARE FRUIT? The social enterprise helping reduce food waste, supporting british farmers and producing a wonderfully tasty and healthy snack all at the same time.

The Publisher cannot accept any liability for transparancies, disks or any written material submitted for publication. Reproduction of any written material or illustration wholly or in part for any media is expressly forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.

PAGE 34: WOMERSLEY FRUIT VINEGARS We recently spent some time with Rupert Parsons from Womersley Foods to find out more about their brilliant range of fruit vinegars

PAGE 37: THE BATH PIG We catch up with the Bath Pig, one of the largest producers of British charcuterie, and the company providing us with some very outstanding British chorizo PAGE 38: NATURELLY BRILLIANT We meet the family company behind the natural drinkable jelly PAGE 40: HOGGING THE JAM We meet Syms Pantry, the brand behind the amazing bacon jam PAGE 42: LIVING LA CHIVA LOCA We meet La Chiva snacks, the brand taking columbia’s second most popular export to the UK in style PAGE 44: LISA’S CRISPS After the recent launch of new organic snacking brand Lisa’s Organic Craft Crisps, we wanted to find out more about the company putting organic craft crisps on the UK map PAGE 46: A LITTLE BIT OF A FRESH NEW LOOK A Litle Bit Food Company unveil some new products PAGE 47: AN EXCELLENT PASTA IS… This month, columnist Sally Assinder tells us more about what makes a good pasta PAGE 48: TAKING THE PEA? We catch up with Mike Gallagher of Taking The Pea Snacks, who went from being a ‘pea hater’ to bringing out his own range of coated dried pea snacks with some great flavourings PAGE 50: GETTING THE GREEN LIGHT BOKA Foods are leading the way in creating healthier snack bars PAGE 52: TOPPINGS PIES We meet the company who has won over 40 awards, makes stupendously good pies & is a third generation family business PAGE 55: WHY IS 2017 THE YEAR OF CONTENT? Vhari Russell from the food marketing expert tells us more about the importance of social media and generating content to help support your retailers. PAGE 56: SHAKEN OR SPANKED? We meet Pinkster Gin, who teach us a thing or two about how to enjoy their wonderful gin PAGE 60: KEEP CALM AND CURRY ON We meet Hari Ghotra, whos curry kits have saved many mealtimes! PAGE 62: PLENTY PIES We meet the award winning purveyors of delectable pies! PAGE 64: WHEN IT´S NOT RUDE TO GUSTARE Meet Gustare, the Australian premium raw honey brand taking our market by storm

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from the Editor

l Welcome to our latest installment of the Delicatessen Magazine. With Spring well under way and Summer nearly upon us, we see the Great British public dusting off the barbeques and readying the tongs, and we wanted to ensure you are kept abreast of the very best we could find. This is also a good chance to welcome on board Vhari Russell, from The Food Marketing Expert, who will become one of our regular columnists, and our new Simply Good Food TV column, brought to you by celebrity chef Peter Sidwell, who’ll be telling you more about the products

he’s been working with. That’s all from me, so sit back and relax, and I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.

Chris McNeill, Editor & Publisher of The Delicatessen Magazine, CJM Media


RASPBERRY REVOLUTION Distilled in small batches, Pinkster is infused with fresh, plump raspberries grown locally to our Cambridge HQ. Deliciously dry with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish, we make a refreshingly different G&T. For teatime tipples, try our new Gin Jam made with leftover inebriated raspberries. @pinkstergin

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Work smart. Get smart.

Look smart.











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am delighted to be contributing to Delicatessen magazine, as I believe that we are blessed in the UK with so many Aladdin’s caves in the form of our great array of farm shops and deli’s. Each issue I will share the great food and drink products I have come across through filming and cooking for Simply Good Food TV. For me great cooking starts with great ingredients. I thought I’d start by showing you just a small selection of great products I’ve been busy cooking with this last month...

OUR BRAND NEW MONTHLY COLUMN BROUGHT TO YOU BY PETER SIDWELL PURE CHIMP – Matcha green tea, which is a great addition to smoothies, cakes and cookies. It also make a super health alternative latte.

the rapeseed oil is so vertaile and with such a high smoking point it is a must for me for my roast potatoes.

CAPSICANA have a wonderful range and offer great easy meal solutions. I have enjoyed the range and look forward to using as it as marinade as we head into the BBQ season as I am huge fan of cooking outdoors and on the Big Green Egg. The sauces work really well with meat, fish or vegetables.

As you are all aware gin is very much one of the drinks of the time. We have enjoyed sampling the ENGLISH DRINKS COMPANIES CUCUMBER GIN, as it is a wonderful ingredient in curing salmon and taste amazing in a jelly. We are looking forward to trying it as a syrup over a summer pavlova as we head into the joy of the summer berry season.

I have enjoyed using BLOSSOM SYRUP it is such a versatile product and a must for my larder all year round. I have recently used it in porridge and in a flapjack both of which proved really popular. This product is going to work really well coming into the summer in both cocktails, pavlovas and fruit desserts.

This PEANUT SATAY SAUCE was huge hit with left over chicken for a quick family supper. With all the filming we do we are very keen to avoid food waste, so we tend to re work what we have cooked and feed the team in the office or our familys. The Manfood range has such wonderful versaility in it, and a great for opening up the creative options for a chef.

I first came across HOLY LAMA SPICE drops at one of the many trade shows. They are another must for the larder as they are so concentrated they offer a wonderful hit of flavor and enable you to add a variety of great flavors to your cooking. We have used them in cocktails and cakes.

Chocolate spread is a very versatile product, but like many of us I am very conscious of sugar and trying to reduce it for both my family and myself. We are also seeing a demand for reduced sugar recipes on the app. So JIM JAMS is a great choice for that. We have enjoyed baking brownies, cookies and cheesecakes with the chocolate spreads.

We are filming most days either for clients or for the app and are always keen to hear about great products and cook with them and share them with our 270,000 plus foodie audience. The key for me is share great ingredients and give consumers the desire to include them in their cooking, this in turn supports the producers and retailers. l

Check back next month for another roundup of my must-haves from the Simply Good Food TV Kitchen. Take a look at for more great products and recipes.

The FARRINGTONS RANGE offers a number of musts for your larder,


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Deli Profile



here isn’t a day that goes by without us here at The Delicatessen Magazine seeing a post from The High Street Delicatessen on Twitter. This is great for us as it helps us see what products they are stocking and their opinions on subjects that we share interest on. What is also great about The High Street Delicatessen is how they actively promote the food producers who they champion through their shop, which not only helps the producer, but also

highlights their business as well. It’s a real pleasure to receive a notification from Twitter from The High Street Delicatessen, tagging us into a tweet from them wanting to highlight one of their local producers. We find this really helpful as a way of us finding new and interesting products to test out and talk about, and wanted to delve a little deeper into the people behind this fantastic deli. With this in mind, we are pleased to bring you an interview with owners Barrie and Jojo Thompson.

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We love how you are very proactive on social media, which is refreshing. How has this helped your business? Although the most important thing is to get customers across the threshold, social media allows us to create a personality for the business that people seem to like. We inject ‘Mr and Mrs Deli’ into our story by showcasing the great tastes we stock as they feature in the life we lead. We are passionate about our producers; customers want to know the stories behind them. Social media allows us to advocate for producers and to send a ripple effect about our business, our town and the amazing midWales region beyond the physical limits of our high street.

quality is the winner every time. There’s a balance to be struck. Occasionally we strike gold – Radnor Preserves and Coco Pzazz, as examples, are both ‘local’, ‘Welsh’ and ‘handpicked’.

In general, how do you normally source new products? It’s a bit about gut instinct but word of mouth, trade shows (smaller shows are better – the huge, big name ones are overwhelming) and recommendations from producers and customers. We try to be consistent – using a core of ‘iconic producers and suppliers’ – but imaginative and individual. Do you find many products to stock on social media? We do make great contacts on social media and always follow up in a human, authentic way. Sometimes that turns into stocking choices. How do you balance stocking local products with sourcing in products from elsewhere? Local and regional products are definitely part of the picture, but

We notice that you do a lot of hampers all year round, how does this work and do they do well for your business? Hampers are a key part of Christmas. We do all bespoke which is timeconsuming but overwhelmingly personal; and the individual experience is key to our ethos. We have a ‘hampers are for life, not just for Christmas’ approach and people do seem to buy into it for house gifts (weekend stays), weddings and birthdays. It is important to showcase our producers to potential new customers. Have you had many challenges since opening your delicatessen? Loads! We have no background in retail so learning how to create something special, not generic, was important. We have created a place we want to shop in, with customer service pitched at a level we would be delighted by. Energy levels are crucial. This is a demanding sector that rewards enthusiasm, passion and imagination! Where do you see the future taking the High Street Delicatessen? We are passionate about putting great tastes at the heart of our mid-Wales town. Mrs Deli produces Guild of Fine Food award-winning cakes as well as homemade chutneys and preserves. We would like to shift Deli Kitchen production to the heart of the high street. It also makes sense to focus on learning through food as well as continuing to advocate for great Welsh food producers. Maybe we can support small producers as they make their first tentative steps from the kitchen to shop shelves.

If you would like to feature your deli in the Delicatessen Magazine please email


Thank you for being the Deli Profile this issue! So, firstly, tell us a bit more about The High Street Deli. When we opened in October 2015 we thought we would source ‘local’, ‘Welsh’ and ‘Handpicked’, in that order. After nearly 18 months we would say that has switched to predominantly ‘handpicked’, especially as people get to know and trust our choices. Local and Welsh produce is important but only if it hits the high quality threshold we set.

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oming from a family with a mixture of coeliac disease and lactose intolerance, I can only wish that I had of found Booja-Booja much earlier than I did! Yes, that’s a fairly strong opening statement for an article, and bordering on ‘sales like’, however I will not apologise for this, as it is not very often that we can bring a brand to you which can be so enjoyed by anybody including those suffering allergies and intolerances. From their base in Norfolk, BoojaBooja create a wide range of hand made ice cream and chocolate truffles that not only are delicious and luxurious, but are responsibly made and also as healthy as they can possibly be too without compromising on the taste, which is a fairly rare combination that I doubt is easy to match. We feel that by stocking BoojaBooja, you have the best of both worlds. On one hand you have a range of luxury desserts that look stunning on a shelf of in the chiller, but on the other hand you have also then catered for the ‘Free-From’ customers you have too - versatility mixed with luxury at it’s finest.

We really enjoy the bespoke feeling of Booja-Booja products, from the different packaging (which includes exquisite hand painted Artist’s Collection gift boxes!), to the fact that each flavour of truffle and dairy free ice cream has its own unique production method, developed and refined over many years to ensure the perfect tastes and textures for your enjoyment. l

THE RANGE: DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM From being crowned the Best New Special Diet Product at the Natural and Organic Awards Europe 2016 to winning a Silver Award at the Lunch! Innovation Challenge 2016, plus being voted Best New Product in Natural Lifestyle Product Awards 2016 and more, it’s safe to say that whatever the flavour, you’re in safe hands with any of the Booja-Booja range.

dairy free vanilla ice cream made with cashew nuts. Great Taste Award 2016 winner! Delicatessen magazine Editor’s favorite! CARAMEL PECAN PRALINE Caramel vanilla dairy free ice cream ‘shmoozled’ with salted caramel pecan praline sauce (18%) made with cashew nuts.


RASPBERRY RIPPLE Lushly smiling dairy free vanilla ice cream with trumpets of rippling raspberry sauce (7%) made with cashew nuts.




HUNKY PUNKY CHOCOLATE Smooth and deeply truffely dairy free ice cream, made with cashew nuts. Great Taste Award 2016 winner!



KEEP SMILING VANILLA M’GORILLA Smooth and fragrantly innocent


CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL Chocolate caramel dairy free ice cream with chwoozles of salted caramel chocolate sauce (6%) made with cashew nuts.

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE Hazelnut chocolate dairy free ice cream with swoons of chocolate hazelnut truffle swirls (10%) made with cashew nuts.


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Here are the 11 different flavours of organic chocolate truffles. They are available in a variety of box sizes from exquisite hand painted Artist’s Collection gift boxes to flow-wrapped two truffle packs. Some are sold only as chilled lines.

l Almond & Sea Salt Caramel Truffles

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles 2 Star Great Taste Award 2016

l Kalamon


l Around

Midnight Espresso Chocolate Truffles

l Stem

Ginger Chocolate Truffles

l Rum

Sozzled Sultana Chocolate Truffles

Voted Best Organic Product – Your Healthy Living Awards 2016 & Bronze award in the Salted Caramel category – Academy of Chocolate Awards 2016

l Fine

de Champagne Chocolate Truffles

l Cherry

Cognac Chocolate Truffles

l Rhubarb


Olive Chocolate Truffles

& Vanilla Chocolate

l Raspberry

Chocolate Truffles

l Dark Ecuadorian Chocolate Truffles

EDITORS VERDICT l We often get sent samples of new and exciting foods and drinks here at the Delicatessen Magazine, however, when I arranged to feature BoojaBooja, I was already an expert in their range being that I treat my own family to Booja-Booja ice cream and truffles due to the history of lactose intolerance within my family. However, as these are luxury treats, they often get wheeled out for dinner parties and given as presents being that they are of such a quality and style.

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Personally, I don’t think you can beat a good innocent flavour, such as the ‘Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla’. That being said, the rest of the range challenges your senses with familiar yet interesting flavour combinations. Moving on to the truffles, here is a real chance to get creative with your palate and really test your own senses. From Kalamon olives, to sea salt caramel, there really is a flavour for everyone to enjoy. l

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ANOTHER FIRST FOR FAIRFIELDS FARM I t’s not very often we get to report on companies making such a big impact with their sustainability strategy as this example here, and being that Fairfields Farm are our local artisan crisp producer, we are very proud to tell you about this huge development. Fairfields Farm is set to open its brand new anaerobic digester, which will allow the business to become entirely energy efficient. Occupying the space of about ten football fields, the new anaerobic digester (‘AD plant’ for short) has taken two years to plan and construct and is located on Fairfields Farm in Colchester, next to the potato farm and crisp factory. In simple terms, the AD plant is rather like a huge concrete cow. It consumes organic matter (waste crisps, waste potatoes and crops such as maize and rye) and trillions of microorganisms convert this into gas. This gas is collected, filtered and then used on the farm as renewable energy. A gas turbine is also on site, which produces electricity to power the crisp factory, potato pack-house, cold storage and offices. Any oversupply of energy is sold back to the grid and provides enough power for 30,000 homes. The AD process also produces waste, which is high in nutrients and is ideal for spreading back on the fields to help future growth on the farm. Fairfields Farm has long since prided itself on its green-energy efforts, with a wind turbine and solar panels on site, the opening of the new AD plant takes this one step further. Robert Strathern, third-generation potato farmer and founder of Fairfields Farm says: “Lessening our environmental impact is very

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important to us. We’ve always made efforts to reduce waste and be as energy efficient as possible, so the new AD plant will allow us to fully realise our green potential,” “Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, the building of this AD plant will also enable us to better manage our power supply and remove the risk of future fluctuations in the energy market. This keeps us commercially lean and enables us to be viable and competitive well into the future,” We feel this really strengthens Fairfields Farm’s proposition within the market, and shows them to be a shining example of a caring business, giving something back from the very earth they grew their business from. l

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l After receiving a token of The Cheshire Cheese Company’s undying love for us on Valentines Day this year (Ok, they may have sent the same love heart cheese to some other love interests, but we like to feel we are the only magazine in their hearts). We thought we would team up to bring you a selection of their finest for this months cheeseboard feature. If they carry on wooing us and showering us with many more gift cheeses over the coming few weeks, you may even see us exploring more into their brand in the next edition, so make sure to keep an eye out for this.




Here’s a selection of what you can find from The Cheshire Cheese Company!

A smooth, well rounded mature cheddar with a slight tang. The name refers to the Black Bob cat shown on the label rather than our usual Cheshire Cat. A Silver award winner at The International Cheese Awards (ICA) in 2013, it is Vegetarian Society approved.

Britain’s oldest named cheese; we want you to discover the great taste of Cheshire Cheese. Our flagship cheese, moist and a little crumbly with a distinctive Cheshire acidity from the salt springs running under the county. Awarded bronze at the ICA in 2015, it is Vegetarian Society approved.


Our best-selling cheese is completely unique. The sweet Caramelised Onions and tasty extra mature cheddar blends superbly with the gentle tartness of the finest Spanish Rioja. Finished in a burgundy wax truckle, it makes an elegant gift. Vegetarian Society approved.


Real Irish Whiskey has been blended with sweet Stem Ginger and a mature Cheddar. The Whiskey, acting as a back note, balances the Stem Ginger to make a great dessert cheese. Gold Award winner at ICA in 2012, it is Vegetarian Society approved.


Real pieces of Toffee blended with medium cheddar, Dates and Raisins gives this a taste just like Sticky Toffee Pudding. A truly indulgent cheese. Gold Award at ICA in 2012 and Silver in 2013 & 2014, again this is Vegetarian Society approved. l

The ‘most wanted’ El Gringo combines the finest mature cheddar blended with fiery green Jalepeno Chillis, Lime and a glug of Tequila. Great on its own or delicious baked on some nachos with a side of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Again Vegetarian Society approved.

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oday in the UK we consume over 6 billion bags a year. That’s 100 per person and you guessed it, we’re leading the world in crisp consumption! Having spent over 20 years working in the packaging industry, I am often asked what packaging works best and why. So what is suitable packaging to protect and promote a fragile product like potato crisps whilst being commercially viable and sustainable? In the early 20th century crisps were packed and sold in tins or scooped from glass display jars into paper bags, then advanced into packing crisps in waxed paper bags, which were hand-sealed with a hot iron or stapled together. In Britain, Frank Smith, founder of the the Smith’s Crisp Company in 1920, was the first mass producer of potato crisps who started his business making deliveries in and around London. He originally packed his crisps in waxed paper bags. It was thanks to the invention of cellophane that crisps started to become mass produced and delivered further afield because they could be kept fresher for longer. Today crisp packs are made from metalised laminated plastic film which can be efficiently sealed and flushed with nitrogen gas. This removes oxygen and creates a stable, inert environment so that the crisps stay crisp and fresh for several months. Typically six months shelf life is possible, and before too long twelve months will be commonplace. The gas-filled printed bags with eye-catching branding not only promote the product, but also help protect the fragile slices of crisp potato. One day the film will also be made from renewable raw materials. Bio films are on the market, but commercially and technically they fall short of the mark.


I was involved in the development and supply of the Boxerchips pack when it launched across Europe and is most commonly seen onboard airlines (see inset image left). This utilises an unbleached kraft paperboard inner carton (which can open up into a bowl) with a metalised plastic outer film laminate to keep the crisps fresh. The size and shape of the pack was designed to fit neatly onboard all planes which use a common system for distributing consumer products - known as an ‘Atlas Trolley’. So what’s so special about the design? Well, compared to a Pringle tube, Boxerchips uses about 7% less space and compared to a traditional bag of crisps of equal weight, 50% less cubic volume. This is not just space-saving on board, but every part of the supply chain benefits right up until the product is consumed and the packaging waste and energy recovered. This equates to significant cost savings in a competitive environment and delivers good profits for the airlines and their suppliers.

Even though a carton with an outer air-sealing bag seems wasteful, it’s actually the opposite. I believe more crisps and snacks will be packed this way in the future because they not only work well for airlines, but also other businesses too. This includes pubs, hotels and shops because they all have one thing in common; space utilisation and profit are vital. Added to this, improved merchandising, convenience and value-adding, you begin to understand the appeal of packing crisps in boxes. Fairfields Farm is no exception with its new FF2GO pack, which includes potato crisps, Lentil Bites and Tortillas plus a small disposable pot of Scarlett & Mustard cool salsa dip. Crisps and other snacks are going through an exciting revolution using new flavour combinations, innovative pack design and dip options which will bring a growing interest in snacks eaten on-the-move. Hopefully, this will support our ever active lifestyles where good taste and variety will compete for our discerning appetites. l

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here is nothing better than to have all your friends and neighbours over for a barbeque. Especially when the weather holds out and you have found the suitable playlist of summer anthems to keep everyone happy too. The problems start arising when we feel the need to compete with the last host’s event, and in fact they had some fairly unique offerings on show too! Well, you can trust that we’ve found a selection of products that will impress even the most seasoned barbecue veterans. INDIAN INSPIRED BARBEQUE Already in this issue you can read about the wonderful Hari Ghotra, whose curry kits make home Indian cookery much more simple! However, her expertise doesn’t stop there, she’s also quite the BBQ Queen. Not only does her website has a plethora of BBQ recipes that are simply outstanding, but also there are some pure BBQ gems amongst her curry kit range that are a musthave for this summer.

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enhances the finished dish or drink. These products are great for either enhancing the meat for a barbeque, salads, or making a punch or cocktail for guests to enjoy too! These products certainly aren’t going to be left in the back of the cupboard with the amount of uses each one has, a truly versatile product well worth stocking.

Our favourite: Tandoori Curry Kit Using the Tandoori curry kit, you will be able to create authentic tandoori dishes at home. Hari suggests that you should cook these on the barbecue (Or a Tandoor oven if you have one!) This is one kit to use to impress your friends at your next BBQ, and get away from burnt sausages and burgers! Served with a wedge of lemon and some fresh coriander, you’ll be a BBQ hero in no time! WOMERSLEY FRUIT VINEGARS How often is it you can find a product that can marinate meat or fish, dress a salad and make a divine long drink all at the same time? Well, we’ve found one for you. Let us introduce Womersley Fruit Vinegars. With a range of fruit vinegars that can do so many things, it’s hard not to want to have all of them out at the same time! A dash of fruit vinegar adds another whole layer of flavour and

Some suggested uses of a few gems within the range: Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar Bring a hint of heat to all kinds of salads, both leafy and fruity. This was the winner of Gold*** at Great Taste Awards 2014 and went on to win Top 50 and the Nigel Barden Heritage Award.

Lemon, Basil, Bay and Juniper Vinegar This unique blend of zesty and herby flavours make this a lively salad dressing and makes a wonderfully tangy sauce.

Lime Blackpepper and Lavender Vinegar The sweet and sour blend brings out the freshest natural flavours in fish and poultry. A secret ingredient for a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Described by the Great Taste Award judges as “drop dead gorgeous vinegar.” Adding some rum, crushed ice and some soda water and a liberal dash of this beauty and you have yourself a version of a Mojito!

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Raspberry Vinegar Awarded Gold*** in the Great Taste Awards 2014, the famous raspberry vinegar adds a crisp, fresh finish to any salad. Complementing all flavours, mix a dash in sparkling wine for a wonderful drink. And for the ultimate salad dressing, blend with a fine British Rapeseed Oil. Strawberry and Mint Vinegar This fresh and fruity vinegar is a culinary classic. Swirl into your favourite oil for a salad dressing with a difference. Makes a brilliant cocktail too (Galvin Restaurants made their own ‘Galvin Pimms’ from this fruit vinegar!). Also perfect for marinating poultry before a BBQ!

TIGG’S - THE PERFECT MATCH? We recently wrote all about Tigg’s sauces, and although we surely don’t need to tell you twice about this fabulous growing brand, we couldn’t not include them within our barbeque feature! With a range that feels like it was always meant to be used on a barbeque, we thought it couldn’t get much better, but we were wrong. They have just released a new product to the range, and it’s a real cracker. ‘Smokin’ Tomato’ really delivers on all it’s promises and has left many meals in Delicatessen Mag HQ better off.

What we suggest: Subltle Pepper & Mustard Being naturally sweet from a expert blend of Pepper and Mustard, it’s a perfect match for meats and salads and plenty more. This sauce really helps elevate any meat, and if you are going to do burgers, this is the ultimate burger sauce! Smokin’ Tomato This smoky and spicy little number is a perfect accompaniment for meat on a BBQ, especially if you are going to do steak or ribs. Not only is this good for meat, but also makes for a brilliant dressing or dip too. A very versatile product.

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A LITTLE BIT FOOD CO Made with fresh herbs, and with a fresh re-brand on it’s way, it would be crazy to not tell you about A Little Bit Food Co’s simply stunning Fresh Mint and Raspberry dressing and marinade. A fabulous herby addition to salads, or mix this with mayonnaise for a wonderful and light sauce, great with BBQ meats, fish and shellfish We also love the rest of the A Little Bit range, including the Tomato & Rosemary Ketchup. Pour, dip or marinade, this versatile ketchup can be added to almost any dish. A unique, tangy accompaniment, packed full of tomatoes with a fresh rosemary twist! Perfect for that extra special ketchup at a barbeque you can guarantee will impress all the guests.

SCARLETT & MUSTARD Say hello to Auntie Frog’s Lime & Chilli Dressing! This really is a truly wonderful dressing in that it’s zingy, yet spicy, yet aromatic and overall really fantastic. We made a stirfry with this recently, and since then it’s been used so many times we are on the hunt for more! This dressing would make for a perfect barbeque marinade for meats or used as a dip too.

BOOJA-BOOJA To finish after a nice barbeque, there is nothing better than a nice bowl of ice cream, however, to take a barbeque to the next level, look no further than to Booja-Booja, who make a seriously good range of dairy free ice cream, here’s an idea of the range!

Hunky Punky Chocolate Smooth and deeply truffely dairy free ice cream, made with cashew nuts. Great Taste Award 2016 winner!

Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla Smooth and fragrantly innocent dairy free vanilla ice cream made with cashew nuts. Great Taste Award 2016 winner! Delicatessen Magazine Editor’s Favorite!

Caramel Pecan Praline Caramel vanilla dairy free ice cream ‘shmoozled’ with salted caramel pecan praline sauce, made with cashew nuts. Raspberry Ripple Lushly smiling dairy free vanilla ice cream with trumpets of rippling raspberry sauce, made with cashew nuts.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Chocolate caramel dairy free ice cream with chwoozles of salted caramel chocolate sauce, made with cashew nuts. Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle Hazelnut chocolate dairy free ice cream with swoons of chocolate hazelnut truffle swirls, made with cashew nuts. l

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hat is the story behind Pellini Caffè and what has made it successful? The passion for coffee of the Pellini family is behind the origin of the company founded in Verona in 1922. The rigorous approach of Pellini and the desire to give only the excellence to its customers, allowed the company to grow rapidly in reputation and develop its own history based on tradition and expertise, constantly listening to customers and in tune with the evolution of taste. Pellini invested primarily in the Italian professional channel and gained a leading role in the espresso coffee premium segment, but it was with the launch of PELLINI TOP that the brand became popular nationwide. Its quality and aromas seduced Italy so much that Pellini was identified as the icon of a “dream espresso”, also through major investments in communication that focused on the dreamlike aspect and on the multisensory experience of tasting PELLINI TOP. The attitude to continuous improvement, the loyalty to higher quality and the attention

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to the satisfaction of increasingly demanding consumers are the keys to our success in Italy and the reasons why we are now introducing our products to the UK. Coffee is a matter of style for Pellini, it is a dreamy experience.

THE RANGE The culture of Italian espresso coffee is available from Pellini in Ground Coffee, Coffee Beans and Coffee Capsules compatible with Nespresso* coffee machines. Pellini Caffè has now a complete product range, suitable for the main consumption method, from ground coffee, whole beans, and Nespresso* compatible capsules. A wide range that offers to consumers the possibility to have a high quality Italian espresso in most coffee machine and a different blends’ collection with rich aromatic profiles of coffee. PELLINI TOP is a high-quality blend of 100% Arabica beans. The delicate temperaturecontrolled roasting is at the heart of its

taste and aroma. Appreciated for its elegance and distinctiveness, it has become the icon and reference in the world of espresso coffee over the years. PELLINI TOP 100% Arabica is an espresso designed for professional coffee bars, which has also become popular among families for domestic consumption. An exclusive selection of coffee beans appreciated for its elegance and finesse. A successful brand which adds value to the entire selection of those retailers and cafés that choose Pellini. PELLINI TOP is the flagship of Pellini’s offer in the UK, available in capsules and ground coffee, also in both formats as decaffeinated coffee. The selection of Pellini Luxury Coffee Capsule is suitable to satisfy the most demanding tastes in terms of variety and complexity. From Supremo an espresso with an elegant aroma and scents of fruit and flowers through to Magnifico with a full aroma and scents of chocolate and honey. Whilst the range offers variety for all tastes Pellini never looses sight of its mission which is to always bring the quality of the true authentic Italian espresso, even in portioned coffee. Pellini BIO, organic coffee, is an espresso 100% Arabica, the care that the farmers dedicate to the conservation of the organic cultivation shows through in the outstanding flavours and aroma of Pellini BIO. Available in capsules and ground coffee. l

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We interviewed Paolo Morello, Export Director, to find out more! We love the Pellini capsules, for being an authentic high quality Italian coffee with all the ease of a capsule, however is this modern trend frowned upon in Italy itself? l Most European countries, Italy as well, are seeing tremendous growth in coffee capsules. It is an easy way to experience a good espresso at home. Coffee capsules are not the traditional way in Italy to make an espresso but it is Pellini’s philosophy to give the consumer choice and a good espresso whichever brewing method is chosen to make the espresso. Pellini uses its technology and knowledge to give the same quality coffee experience from a capsule at home that consumers can enjoy at a coffee bar.

Popularity of coffee in the UK has rocketed this last few years, however how do we compare alongside the likes of Italy for coffee sales? l The popularity of high quality coffee has grown in the UK recently with the introductions of new brands, blends and ways to drink it such as Italian espresso. It’s important to understand how coffee plays a pivotal role in Italian culture to get a feel for the amount of coffee consumed in Italy. Espresso coffee is a ritual in the everyday life of most Italians, it is a must for the start of the day, taking a break during the day and after a meal both at home and in a bar or café. A traditional Italian espresso is a concentrated dose of coffee of around 25ml, that is not just a drink to the Italians but rather a unique experience involving all of the senses. The overall assessment when experiencing an espresso considers the finesse, richness and balance which should be recognizable in each cup of good espresso coffee. In some areas of food and drink, many delicatessens prefer to buy from smaller and artisan producers, however we feel that coffee is a bit different. Can you explain why a deli should be stocking Pellini products? l Italian brands have a high value proposition in the roast and ground category in the UK and Pellini, an authentic Italian coffee roaster and blender is the perfect choice for delicatessens to be part of the proposition and trend in espresso


coffee. We believe the Pellini choice of high quality prestigious blends in beans, ground and capsules as well as a decaffeinated and an organic coffee gives delicatessens a wide choice to satisfy the needs of the majority of their customers. The elegant and distinctive packaging, emphasises the quality of Pellini’s product and the premium positioning in line with the offering found in delicatessens. Above all, Pellini is a reliable coffee company with a strong expertise and know how thanks to its identity and tradition in Italy in both retail for drink at home purposes and food service. Within the roast and ground coffee sector in the UK portionated coffee is the most important segment and within the segment Nespresso* compatible coffee capsules saw a staggering growth of 62%. Interestingly, Pellini is the only Italian brand present in the Nespresso* compatible segments in the UK, and by offering Pellini coffee capsules to their customers independent retailers could be part of this tremendous growth.

Pellini offer a large range of coffee’s with differing flavour profiles, can you briefly explain which coffee is applicable in differing situations? l There are many different sensory and flavour profiles across the range of Pellini coffee and we would find it difficult to pick the time of day most suitable for a particular blend, except perhaps the naturally decaffeinated coffee, which is a great choice later in the evening! We feel it is important consumers know the range of blends available and choose according to their preferred taste. Every Pellini coffee does contain the experience, history and knowledge that make the blends unique. For example, Pellini TOP, our flagship blend available in capsules and ground coffee, is a blend of high quality 100% Arabica beans with an elegant, well structure aroma, refined in body and intense in flavour. When tasted carefully the mosaic of flavours from chocolate through to floral and fruity can be experienced. We would say the selection of Pellini Luxury Coffee Capsules is suitable to satisfy the most demanding tastes in

terms of variety and complexity. From Supremo an espresso with an elegant aroma and scents of fruit and flowers through to Magnifico with a full aroma and scents of chocolate and honey. Flavour profile information by blend is available for anyone wishing to have the knowledge and information to help their customers choose the Pellini blend that suits them or the occasion the coffee is needed for.

What plans does Pellini have for the future within the UK? l Although Pellini is an established brand in Italy it is a new brand to the UK and our aim at the moment is to communicate our presence in the UK and the coffee ranges available to delis and independent stores, especially the true Italian espresso in the capsule format. Our distribution route to the retail stores is via UK wholesalers and we are actively looking to increase the number of wholesalers stocking the Pellini brand to reach more delis and independent stores. What advice can you give our readers about picking out a quality range of coffee to stock within their shops? l We can only advise on Italian coffee and Pellini. Italy, as you know, has a long tradition in roasting and blending coffee and at Pellini we have history, knowledge and expertise on our side, paying utmost attention to ensure all our coffee is high quality all of the time. We believe it is about choosing a coffee brand that is known for its high quality and then offering choice in home brewing methods. We would recommend a selection of beans, ground and capsules to satisfy all customers, and within each brewing method a choice of blends and flavour profiles. Everything Pellini has to offer in Italian coffee here in the UK! * The brand does not belong to Pellini Caffè S.p.A. nor its affiliated companies To find out more or to stock any Pellini products please get in contact with Specialists Foods Ltd. T: 01438 813444 E:

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elcome to the Jams & Preserves feature, we do hope you enjoy our rather interesting selection of fine products, of which can find there way into many uses and we hope you have as much fun reading as we have had trying these gems! Before the days of refrigerators, jarring and preserving food was more than just a hobby, it was one of the few ways of storing food during the cold season or a making it last a long journey. Skip forward to today and we are seeing a resurgence in this rather delightful way of enjoying some of Mother Natures finest, and we wanted to really bring to you a selection to challenge your senses.

GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE QUEEN WILKIN & SONS TIPTREE JAM Well, as you’ll read later in the magazine, I have a true love affair with Wilkin & Son’s Tiptree Jams, from growing up enjoying times spent with family in the tearoom, to doing my bit on the farm, it’s safe to say I am a fan of this company, and am delighted to share my knowledge with you. We likely all know about the Little Scarlet Jam, made from a commercially difficult but insanely tasty Little Scarlet strawberry, which was brought over to the UK by the late great C.J Wilkin after his trip to the USA where they grew in the wild. Yet, I’m keen to take you on a journey through just a small selection of rest of the range, where there is a jam, preserve, drink or sauce to match any whim of even the most difficult customer. The first ‘Tiptree’ conserves were made in 1885 on the Tiptree estate and are still made there to this day.

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FROM THE FAMOUS LITTLE SCARLET, TO A GIN JAM, SOME CURDS, HONEY AND A JAM MADE FROM BACON, WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Fruit crops include strawberries, loganberries, mulberries and damsons to name but a few. There are many that are complemented with a touch of alcohol, from the Cranberry and Cointreau or Apricot and Armagnac, to the Strawberry with Champagne. There are many with a little extra added to change the way your tastebuds expect to feel. Moving to curds, and you can expect to see a range featuring such staples as the Lemon or the Blackcurrant, yet in with these you’ll also find Passion Fruit and coffee too. We’re not even nearly done yet, they also have a lovely selection of marmalades and jellies, featuring the likes of Blood Orange, or Grapefruit, to an organic Orange option and even a Three Fruits version too. If you think you can’t get anything else amazing from a jar, think on, they even do jellies and honeys and salted caramels and chocolate too, really, there is something for everyone made lovingly in the small town of Tiptree in rural Essex.

Editors Favorite:

This is a really hard one, as I’d love to say something a little out of the ordinary is my favorite. Yet, just like James Bond, my standard ‘go-to’ preserve of choice from Wilkin & Son’s would have to be the Little Scarlet.

SCARLETT & MUSTARD Talking about Scarlett, let’s move on to the curd offering from the great Scarlett & Mustard brand, whom after sending us some devilishly good looking and tasting curds, have really turned the tables. LEMON CURD Let’s start by talking about the every day staple, the humble classic, the Lemon Curd. There isn’t much more to say other than this is a really delightful offering which instead of being overly classic instead punches through with a real tangy and ultra lemony taste, albeit within a very smooth texture. A great curd to add into Greek Yoghurt! PASSIONFRUIT & LEMON CURD What do you do when you can’t make a Lemon Curd any better? Add Passionfruit and elevate it to the next level of genius of course! A great curd for making into a wonderful cheesecake.

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RHUBARB & VANILLA CURD Bursting with fruit but with a gentle hint of vanilla, this curd lends itself very well to making a lovely ice cream ripple effect!

BLACKCURRANT & STAR ANISE CURD Oh, here’s a good one! The combination of Blackcurrant with delicate hint of aniseed is really special, we loved this curd and were disappointed when it ran out.

PINKSTER GIN JAM Often, whilst making sloe gin myself, I am in a quandary on what to do with the booze soaked fruit left behind in the process. This was something that also perplexed Pinkster Gin’s Stephen Marsh, who after some careful thinking came up with a perfect plan. After starting to sell on the raspberries left behind after making the wonderful Pinkster Gin, aptly named ‘Boozy Berries’, the idea for Gin Jam came about. This jam has a marvelous flavor; it’s not overly boozy, yet the mild tones of gin really elevate the jam. Perhaps not the best to put on your toast at breakfast if you’ve had a particularly heavy night previously as we did, albeit we can’t say we didn’t enjoy it! We love this jam on scones, but also this makes for a lovely ‘Gin ‘n’ Jam cocktail, well worth the efforts!

Not only is this a super tasty product, and already showing it’s popularity, it’s also marvelously resourceful and by stocking this, you are helping reduce food waste, what more could you want.

SYMS PANTRY BACON JAM Don’t look back and read that again, it’s really true - bacon jam is real. Many, many people’s dreams have been answered. With all the flavours and bacon on toast without the cooking or the waiting, this made for some seriously good fun amongst the team here. Yet, toast isn’t just what this jam was made for. After Syms Pantry’s owner Simon Wakefield had a Eureka moment and spent a long time experimenting and testing, he came up with the brilliant Bacon Jam range they supply today. With a growing range of products currently making a real dent in the market, we have written more about each of these later in this issue. However, the jam’s we tried as part of this feature are: SYMS BACON JAM ORIGINAL You can use this product wherever you would want to have bacon realistically. From bread, to pizza, to pasta and mashed potato – this stuff really works. Elevating your dish with a easy to use relish like this is pure bliss. We are fans of nicely crisped toast with the bacon jam spread liberally on top, a true delight. SYMS BACON JAM - SMOKED BACON Similar to the above, but made with smoked bacon, which adds a little extra luxury to the toast we had, yet will also add an extra level of richness to dishes you add this ingredient to.


SYMS BACON JAM - HABANERO CHILLI After many customers had asked Sym about variations and after giving suggestions, this wonderful unsmoked Bacon jam with habanero chilli was created. Again, this can be used the same way as above if you want a little more of a kick! To us, this is perfect in pasta, yet there are many other uses. GUSTARE HONEY Ok, we know this isn’t technically a jam or a preserve in the sense of the word we are using, honey does have preservative features, yet this also isn’t what we are talking about. We couldn’t be talking about what we love on toast without talking about Gustare’s premium organic honey. Stocked in over 100 stores in the UK after launching 8 months a go, Australian honey producer Gustare has really taken our market by storm, and rightly so. In the UK, we are used to seeing blends and lesser overly filtered products on the shelves, so the bringing of a set of quality products such as Gustare’s really helps us learn more about what we have been missing. They offer a range of raw honeys that is due to grow this year with the impending launch of a true Manuka honey. Raw honey has many benefits, including even being able to help with your hangover! Make sure you read the Gustare article elsewhere in this magazine to get the full review, however let us just say that premium raw honey on toast is the work of the gods, and one that is often hard to beat. THE BAY TREE With a range of Jams, ‘Marmajams’ and Curds like The Bay Tree’s, it would be rude to not review some of the range! The Bay Tree have a interesting range, which includes some great flavour combinations such as a ‘Lemon Marmalade with Gin & Lime’, a ‘Fig, Rum & Vanilla’ and even Orange Marmalade with Whiskey! If you aren’t looking to go ‘boozy’ then there are plenty there to chose from too, such as the Jumbleberry Jam or the Blueberry & Lemon Marmajam. We also really enjoyed the curds on offer from The Bay Tree, our favourite being the Lemon & Elderflower, which we found ourselves spreading liberally on nearly anything edible we could find. l

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hampagne and Serrano chilli? Truffle and Rosemary? Parmesan and Port? Or how about the Wagyu beef with honey and mustard? No, you’ve not just found yourself in a Michelin star restaurant, I’m talking about a packet of crisps, yes, crisps. Enter the flavour smiths behind the Savoursmiths brand! Mike and Colette Russell Smith, the married couple that between them possess refined palates, untold amounts of creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit. This dangerous if not harnessed combination has seen Savoursmiths reach out and grab the senses of many an unsuspecting crisp eater, transporting them into a realm far away from their normal snacking senses, giving them luxury and unashamedly interesting flavours that one would not normally find whilst perusing the crisp shelf of just any ordinary shop. Not to mention that one look at a Savoursmiths packet can hypnotise you into wanting to buy the packet… Ok, maybe we are taking this too far, but seriously, the packaging is very cool and is every ounce justified in its flamboyance.

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The crisp bubble of Champagne is accented with a touch of sea salt and a warming kick of Mexican mountain pepper Serrano chilli

THE FACTS To us, we like that behind the packaging and exciting flavours, they really do care about their crisps, and here’s a few points to note:

l They leave the skin on their potatoes when cooking, which keeps vital nutrients in the crisp. l They don’t use MSG’s l All their flavours are natural, nothing artificial l The Savoursmiths farm believes in sustainable agriculture l The crisps are all Gluten Free!


Fresh sprigs of rosemary is combined with a hint of the wild, earthy and decadent taste of black truffle to create a unique snacking experience


The mellow, smooth sweetness of port cuts through rich Parmesan cheese for the ultimate afterdinner snack


This famously decadent Japanese beef known for its eye-watering price tag and unparalleled marbled texture and taste is complemented with the sweet bite of honey and mustard

THE FLAVOURSMITHS Mike Russell Smith was raised on Russell Smith Farms and he has a natural love for English farming and the English countryside, later studying Agriculture at Cirencester Mike then went on to work in the Wealth Management sector, advising international businesses for over a decade before becoming Managing Partner in De Villermont, an executive search, investment introducer and advisory firm based in London. Food and farming has always been Mike’s passion and he has now moved back to the family farm taking the business in a modern direction and cofounding the SAVOURSMITHS brand. Colette Russell Smith was born in the food and wine region of South Africa and has always been a passionate


foodie. Colette is a globetrotting model with a love of the British countryside. She studied her Honours Bachelor in Commerce and before her degree she studied film at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. Colette is also a qualified Pilates Instructor and is very focused on well-being. She has been an international model for the past 10 years, working with leading agencies across three different continents, representing some of the world’s most esteemed brands in their categories. She is co-founder of the SAVOURSMITHS brand, combining quality homegrown produce with big global flavours in stylish packaging for a totally new take on a traditional snack.

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We love the branding with the images you use, can you tell us how you thought of these designs? l We really wanted to create a very eccentrically English feel that is incredibly luxurious and playful at the same time. It works for us as people, our philosophy is to live well, work hard and have a little bit of fun and luxury at the same time. We were both born in more rural areas and love animals and nature, so we figured a little bit of animal imagery would sit well with the brand and be unique to us. Your flavour combinations are not only luxurious but also interesting pairings, how do you come up with and trial these? l We wanted to say goodbye to your everyday boring flavours that have been consumed for years and come up with exciting and luxurious flavours, we started looking at delicacies and the most luxurious food in the world and put it on a crisp, this way we can all attain the luxury of having Wagyu Beef and Champagne! We had a lot of trails and tastings and ended up with what we thought were the best four flavours. However - we have some brilliant ideas for the future to tickle taste buds.

How has the reception been to the brand within retailers since starting? l We are so blessed to have had amazing reception from farmshops, delis, hotels, bars and pubs and retailers alike. We love the food to table philosophy and want to stick to it by producing hand-made, small batch products with high end natural flavouring and supply to the types of businesses and shops that appreciate these principals too. We are therefore available in mainly boutique shops, hotels, pubs and delis. We love companies that care as much about their own place and work as we do about ours! We were so grateful that Fortnum and Mason, being the ultimate of English Luxury decided to stock us and for them to be our first client. We have so many people interested in our product that are so excited about what we do.

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What do you think Savoursmiths brings to the snack market that other brands do not? l SAVOURSMITHS elevates the traditional snack through an epicurean breed of exceptionally indulgent, skin-on potato crisps in unashamedly flamboyant flavours. Our Smashing flavours, philosophy, provenance and luxurious natural flavours is something that not a lot of crisp companies offer, as most of them produce at such a large scale. We respect Vegan and Vegetarians and the health conscious, so we offer all natural flavourings, nothing artificial, no MSG’s and other nasties. Mom’s can give these snacks to their children knowing that it won’t harm them and is full of the best ingredients. Our flavor combinations offer the snack market the ultimate dinner party snack that is indulgent and looks absolutely fabulous.

We notice that you are starting to hit the major shows starting at IFE last month, how did this go for you? l We love trade shows, as it is a great way of meeting customers that we would otherwise not. We have been super busy after IFE and got lots of new and exciting interest from various customers. It went very well and we will be doing various other shows throughout the year, especially Speciality Fine Foods - which we love!

What is next for Savoursmiths? l If I told you that, I’d have to kill you… We are currently working on quite an exciting flavour that we will be launching towards the end of the year! I can’t say anymore, but surprises are good. Also, we have extended our offering and we are now producing 40g, 150g and 300g bags across all flavours.

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FRESH HERB CHAMPIONS reveal new look and new lines

NEW A trio of ambient dips NEW Two pasta cooking sauce


W: T: 07747 116905 E:



NEW Packaging across the range

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oing back to my childhood, my mother would take me to the wonderful tearoom at Wilkin & Sons Tiptree jam factory. Fast forward to my late teenage years and I found myself crawling amongst the undergrowth helping with the pest control on the farm. Fast forward again to my adulthood and I am taking my own children to the famous tearoom and museum. It’s fair to say that I know Wilkin & Sons very well, and am unashamedly a huge fan. Driving back down the back lanes of rural Essex, I found myself taking a trip down memory lane whilst heading to meet Liz Baker who looks after the branding and marketing at Wilkin & Sons. I have been so many times to the this hallowed place,

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yet this time was serious, it was for work, and I will freely admit to having butterflies in my stomach. My butterflies were made redundant rather quickly after meeting with Liz in the tearoom and reminding myself all about this historic yet forward thinking company, and it was exciting to see how the company has changed over the years but really nice to see how the business keeps to it’s original values, growing all their own fruit on their farm (except from the exotic fruits, which can’t be grown here for obvious reasons!), and also it’s lovely to hear, and taste, the new range of drinks which are made locally with the fruit from the farm.


There are many good things that come from Essex, from the whole plethora of jokes about our ladyfolk, to the large amount of food producers capitalising on the good condition of soil that East Anglia has to offer. However, one of the real gems has to be Tiptree’s Wilkin & Sons of Tiptree. From James Bond, to the Queen of England herself, there are plenty of huge names enjoying the fruits of Wilkin & Sons labour.


Many people would perhaps assume that because of Wilkin & Sons popularity and royal seal of approval, that they have grown to be a huge leviathan of a business

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using the historic branding to mask a huge corporate giant beneath – yet this is not the case at all. They stay true to their original virtues, even still in fact employ a company sign-writer, who lovingly hand paints the signage for products and factory signs alike. It gives us great pleasure to feature a business that grows their own produce, uses their own factory and packages to sell all onsite employing many local people for the tasks in hand.


Brought to Britain in the 1900’s by C.J Wilkin, a member of the Wilkin family, from the USA where the plant grew in the wild, this little gem has created what is arguably one of the most famous jams today. Even James Bond has Little Scarlet on toast for his breakfast, yet; this little strawberry is a commercial minefield in its own right. Many would suggest that to farm the Little Scarlet would be a bad idea, being that the strawberry is famously small being around one fith of the size of a normal strawberry, hard to pick and hard to grow. However, it’s attention to detail and using such a delicious variety of strawberry that has seen Wilkin & Sons make the historic and ever popular staple in their repertoire. Wilkin & Sons claim to be the only company to commercially grow the Little Scarlet, and long may they continue their efforts!


In 1885 Arthur Charles Wilkin joined with two friends to form the Britannia Fruit Preserving Company. He stipulated that the jam should be free of glucose, colouring and preservatives. The first jam was of such high quality and impressed one Australian merchant so much that he arranged to buy every last pot. As new varieties were added the distinction between jams made with home-grown fruit (Conserve) and foreign produce (Preserve) was made. Roll forwards to 1900 and the company had over 8,000 customers, over 600 acres of land has been planted with unusual fruits, including, gooseberries, cherries, damsons, quinces, crab apples, plums and Loganberries. In 1905 the company was renamed ‘Wilkin & Sons Limited’ to avoid confusion with 25 other companies trading as Britannia. The success saw the introduction of a minimum pension scheme and company housing which many employees to this date still live in.

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Albeit there was a slowing market, sales continued to flourish for Wilkin & Sons, whom at this stage extended their tearoom activities by purchasing two tearooms in nearby areas. Meanwhile 100,000 visitors annually could be expected at the visitors centre. In 2009, the Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was extended to cover the whole range of Tiptree products. Fast-forward again to 2010, and Wilkin & Sons celebrate 125 years of jam making at Tiptree. It was the company’s best year ever and a year of celebrations was completed with a visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. With Wilkin & Sons’ staff numbers swelling to record levels, it was also a time to celebrate one member of staff in particular, David Cross, who had at this point reached 50 years of helping to make the famous Tiptree preserves.


The farm is LEAF Marque accredited (Linking Environment And Farming), recognising that they work sympathetically with the environment and encourage links with the local community. Wilkin & Sons do a lot for the local community including opening up the farm for tours, allowing the public to walk part of the land, and even hosting an annual fruit picking competition! (Which we might get involved in this year as a magazine!) Their Fruit crops include strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, Morello cherries, rhubarb, damson, Victoria plum, greengage, quince and the curious medlar. Where they cannot grow their own crops, they buy the best quality fruit from trusted sources, such as Seville for the marmalade oranges.


Staff carefully inspect and prepare all the fruit by hand then cook in small batches using traditional, copperbottomed pans. As well as the jam factory, Wilkin & Sons also have an artisan bakery and a steamed pudding factory.


Another interesting side of Wilkin & Sons is the extensive range of products they sell. From conserves, marmalades, honeys, sauces, condiments, to fresh fruit, teas,

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cakes, biscuits, gift packs and even Christmas puddings, there really is something for everyone here! More recently, they have expanded the portfolio to offer natural English Fruit Juices and Fruit Gin Liqueurs,

all made using produce from their own farm; and also Chocolate Spread, Salted Caramel Spread and Banoffee Spread, using Belgian Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt from nearby town of Maldon. The really impressive feat that Wilkin & Sons have accomplished was achieved very recently – silencing the normally hard-to-hush editor of the Delicatessen Magazine! After entertaining me at the factory, and upon entering the famous shop, for one actual moment I had no words. I was awe-struck at the fact that in front of me was shelf upon shelf of different products, all made next door on a honest and hard working farm, hidden away in the Essex countryside, and after filling my bag with plenty of products, I headed back to the office filled with pride. l

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erusing the stands of the lunch! exhibition in London last year, I stumbled across a very tasty and particularly good-looking new range of popcorn. What I had in fact found was the latest offering from the UK’s largest independent popcorn manufacturer and the biggest importer of raw corn in the UK. This was Tommy Tucker, with their new Thomas Tucker Luxury Toffee Popcorn range. Supplying 95% of British cinemas, acting as an official licensed partner of the Walt Disney Company, and creating own label products for two of the Big 4 supermarket chains, this is a company who really knows and loves their snacks! The range looks perfect for any delicatessen or farm shop shelf. With classy and stylish resealable 125g pouches filled with genuinely delicious product, we had to ensure we tried every flavour! (Maybe more than once – don’t tell them that we nearly


1. The finest quality Weaver Gold mushroom corn from the American Midwest is imported into the UK by Tommy Tucker 2. The corn is popped with traditional small-batch multikettle techniques and coated with toffee in the company’s Nottinghamshire factory

will be launching its 2017 Disney range in the summer.

emptied their sampling bowls!) It’s fair to say that Tommy Tucker is generating plenty of momentum and excitement at the moment, entering The Grocer magazine’s ‘Fast 50’ at the end of last year as the fourth fastest-growing food company in the UK and reaching the finals of the Food Manufacture Excellence awards. The Thomas Tucker range and its four flavours – Raspberry Sensation, Indulgent Cocoa Nib, Tropical Coconut and Salted Caramel & Vanilla – has already been snapped up by a range of retailers, including Europe’s largest department store chain, El Corte Inglés, and the business

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Back in 2015, Tommy Tucker acquired RJ Foods, a Dorset family bakery, and relocated it to their Sheffield site, adding a range of tasty baked goods to their portfolio. A new premium flapjack range, Bak’d, will be launched this year!

IT’S SHOWTIME! The Tommy Tucker team are excited to show their products and capabilities to new customers with a calendar of trade shows and exhibitions. After attending ISM Cologne in January and IFE London in March, the team will be exhibiting at the Farm Shop & Deli Show in Birmingham in April, from Stand G41. Make sure you go and visit them! l

3. The toffee popcorn is completed with raspberry flecks, desiccated coconut, Peruvian cocoa nibs or a salted caramel and vanilla coating (depending on the flavour!) 4. The finished product is packed in its own resealable shelf-ready pouch and shipped to the customer for a tasty luxury experience!

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11/04/2017 17:16



s a appreciator of food, drinker of too much gin and all round technophobe, it is of little surprise that I do not know very much about EPOS systems, and being in the presence of The Good Till Co is enough to make me feel rather humbled by their superior knowledge of this rather fascinating and rather important piece of the retail puzzle. Many people still say remarks like “What happened to the good old fashioned paper and pen”, however, how many of them have done a stock take, or a VAT return I wonder. We are living in a digital age, and one where we should embrace what digital help we can get. We wanted to feature The Good Till Co, as we have worked together before, with many of our readers starting to work with this growing and forward thinking company, with good reviews, so it only seemed right to set some points straight for all of our benefit. Based in London, the Good Till Company is helping independent retailers, restaurants, bars and coffee shops across the UK to better compete against the dominant big names, get closer to their customers and successfully

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grow their businesses. Combining tablet computers with cutting-edge software, cloud technology and modern hardware, our POS system makes no compromises on either functionality or style… all at what seems to be a low monthly price. Point of sale solutions nowadays go much further than just taking

payments, and in fact The Good Till Co’s offering has many built in modules and reporting functions that enable you to see data on everything from stock control to profit and loss. This really helps the new breed of over worked, time lacking shop owners around the country. l

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We interviewed Jonny to find out more about EPOS, what you need to look out for and what the future holds! So Jonny, please can you tell us a bit more about what a delicatessen or a farm shop should look out for when choosing a EPOS system? l The amount of choice for EPOS systems can actually quite daunting for small businesses. The options available range from bespoke systems for huge chains, to off the shelf solutions which might cost thousands of pounds, to some of the newer cloud-based services that offer more flexibility. The key thing I would urge people to consider is the others ways that an EPOS system might benefit their business. A “till” used to be little more than a cash drawer and a calculator, but in today’s digital world, an EPOS system can be the hub of your business. It can pull in and utilise data in a way that allows you to manage stock and staff, understand and engage your customers better, make smarter business decisions and even integrate with accountancy platforms to improve efficiency and accuracy. Choosing an EPOS should be about more than just taking payments from customers, so think about your longterm business needs. Bearing in mind that many delicatessens and farm shops are fairly rural in their location, does intermittent Internet matter with POS systems? l ‘The cloud’ has revolutionised the way lots of businesses work, providing a platform to collect, analyse and utilise huge amounts of business data quickly and securely. We often hear from rural clients that they have shied away from embracing the cloud because of their unreliable or slow broadband connection, but our solution allows companies to work offline and then sync to the cloud once there is a stable internet connection available. In fact, we have many food clients who use our service at markets and festivals, as a way to take card and mobile payments in even the most remote locations.

Does an EPOS system utilising a tablet really modernise how shops run? l Aside from looking cool, a tabletbased POS system is intuitive to use and completely flexible, so each business can have something customised to their requirements


rather than being restricted by set hardware solutions. The biggest difference the EPOS will make to your business, however, is the way it enables shop owners to gather and use data intelligently. You can access real-time reporting of exactly what is selling, who is making the sales and keep on top of cash flow which can be the undoing of many small businesses. Plus, these solutions allow you to provide electronic receipts for customers. It is more eco-friendly, it cuts out the annoying bits of paper that clutter customers pockets, but most importantly, it gives you an opportunity to keep communicating to those customers and build a longerterm relationship.

With the ever-changing world of software and new developments including better ‘chip and pin’ facilities than ever before, is your system versatile and will you make changes to allow linking up with other popular systems in the future? l The key thing any EPOS should do is remove any barriers from the customer journey, and making buying as simple and convenient for customers as possible. When the payments industry launched both contactless and mobile payment technology there was a degree of scepticism of whether people would use it, but there are now around 340million contactless payments made in the UK per month, and that figure is up by 150% from the previous year. The more contactless and mobile payments are promoted by the major retailers like supermarkets and high street giants, the more customer expectations shift. Very quickly, being able to take payments in this way will become the expected standard, for even small independents. That’s why we see that it is vital for any EPOS system to keep up with the cutting edge technology, and it’s why we integrate with industry-leading companies like iZettle, SumUp and Paymentsense. Last time we spoke, we were talking about how you had helped a few of our readers with setting up new EPOS systems. Do you find

your system to be particularly popular with delicatessens and farm shops in general? l Delicatessens and farm shops are a great fit for our till solution. Aside from adding a smart, modern look to their counter, it is low cost way for these businesses to work more efficiently, build a stronger relationship with their local customers and to understand their behaviour much better. Our system is built to be as flexible as possible, which allows our deli clients to use exactly the same hardware and software for both the retail side of their business and manage orders and tables in their coffee shop or café. It also has a weight feature, so delis can sell loose items like meats or olives just as easily as pre-boxed goods with barcodes. It is actually really satisfying to see how our till has transformed the way our deli clients work, and we have loved receiving such positive feedback. Intelligently utilising data was one of the key factors in the explosive growth of many of the supermarkets and high street retail giants, so it has been great to equip some small independents with the tools they need to fight back.

Lastly from us, where do you see the future of EPOS? l The world of ‘big data’ is a reality now for even the smallest of businesses, so the key is to embrace it rather than fight it. We’ve all seen the stories about automation and robots taking people’s jobs, but the future of EPOS isn’t about cutting people out – it is about creating a central data ‘hub’ that enables people to work smarter, rather than harder, and make more informed business decisions. In today’s anonymous digital world, human interaction is increasingly scarce, which only makes people value a friendly face more than ever. This human connection is always going to be one of the things that allows delis and farm shops to build customer loyalty, so I would urge all delis and farm shops to build their business on three pillars – good produce, good people and good technology.

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TheDeli Counter


l Inevitably I felt compelled to open my article with ‘it’s that time again’ as we hurtle headlong into the Bank Holiday period and the start of BBQ season. (Hang on wasn’t it Christmas a minute ago?) It immediately prompted me to have a think about the best ways to offer something more interesting than the standard ‘burgers and sausages’. I was cheered by a fast ‘inspirational google’ to note that there are certainly more ideas and influences floating about these days from across the pond (especially in the Southern states) and ‘Down Under’. All of this is fine, but if those of us in the Deli part of the market want to make a serious dent in the Butchers share; we should turn to those foodies who’ve been enjoying meals in the outdoors for the last 2,000 years. Inspirational and simple meals from Italy, Spain and Greece. The obvious start is to construct a simple platter of colourful and tasty cured meats. The variety available these days can boggle the mind but that’s part of the fun. A little research into the regionality of Italian salumi (that’s not a typo – the collective name for Italian cooked and cured meats is salumi) can yield some excellent provenance to inspire your customers. The mythical origin of the

Finocchiona (fennel salami) is a particularly fun tale – the story goes that a cunning thief stole a salami from a fearsome Tuscan butcher, but was seen. After a desperate chase through the market the thief manages to hide from his pursuers behind the unattended herb sellers stall. Quick as a flash he stashes the salami and saunters off nonchalantly. When the fuss dies down he returns to the stall to recover his booty which is now infused with delicious taste and smell of the fennel it was hidden under. The Finocchiona is born! Many of the Italian salami varieties can have a similar look (even though tastes vary subtly) and so adding options from the other Mediterranean masters can make your platter look more colourful and interesting. Spanish chorizo always looks delightful (whichever version you like) and the addition of some strategically Feta completes the picture. A little careful planning into wine selection will persuade your customers that they don’t HAVE to go completely ‘caveman’ with their outdoor dining. Offer some ideas such as a robust Rioja or a classy Portuguese Verdelho and a fine Tempranillo. Half a cow over an open flame is fun for a while, but when the initial excitement wears off, a

stylish Mediterranean feast offers more interest than a part cooked sausage. That said of course, the draw of the open flame is still likely to feature and it’s still possible to compete with the butcher’s block. Chorizo sarta and salami (candle) style cured offers are delicious and colourful but their cooking counterpart offers a whole different and spicy option when included on the grill. As most consumers know these days, the combination of cooked chorizo and chicken is amazing. It doesn’t take much imagination to turn that cool combination into a brilliant kebab. After we have inspired our customers to explore the grand designs of Mediterranean food there are still a few options left in the UK larder. Our salami platter can be enhanced with a few slices of well-chosen traditional ham and you might even offer some thick cut slices for grilling and deliver a delightful alternative to the burger. The more imaginative customer might even add a few interesting flavours to their alternative HAM burger – marmalade and honey are the obvious choices but those rows of chutneys on the shelves behind you will work equally well – especially the onion based or apple ones. Those with an eye to lowering their calorie count will appreciate the poultry options and why not offer some cooked turkey for those who like their meat from the ‘light’ end of the counter. Olives, salads, summer style cheeses all make great partners for delicious well sourced cooked turkey. All in all we don’t HAVE to keep fixed to the same old BBQ event. After all, there is no-one better at mixing food culture than the Brits, let’s drag a few of the butcher’s customers into the deli this summer with some Euro love. l

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The Deli Counter_BBQ FEATURE.indd 2

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hilst at the International Food Exhibition this year, I found myself nibbling on some rather tasty apple and pear crisps. Enjoying the flavours so much, I went and found Ben Whitehead, founder of Spare Fruit, to get the low down about the products. Like myself, Ben is a man of the countryside, spending many hours enjoying what Mother Nature has given us. Yet, a growing issue started to eat away at Ben, when upon seeing pile upon pile of fruit left to rot, Ben realised he had the power to do something about this.

THE HARSH REALITY Around 40% of fresh produce never makes it to the shelf each year. Add to this that there is 10 million tonnes of waste food in the UK each year, and we can safely say that there is a huge problem. Spare Fruit however are rescuing as much fruit as they can and turning this otherwise perfect fruit into amazing crisps, that aren’t fried, but slowly air-dried retaining their lovely flavour but also keeping them as healthy as possible. GIVING SOMETHING BACK Amazingly, Spare Fruit also actually pay the farmers for their wasted fruit, and thus not only help to solve a huge problem, but also support British farming and agriculture. That’s


Spare Fruit support small British farmers that struggle to deal with their surplus produce, like Arthur. Spare a thought for his oversupply of undersized apples. Arthur’s orchard produces some of the finest apples on the planet - but not l

quite a lot of goodness from a small but growing company, and we’d love to see Spare Fruit gain a lot more support from our readers, as you’ll know that not only are you selling a healthy and tasty snack, but you are also helping reduce waste and supporting British farmers.

APPLES AND PEARS Air Dried Apple Crisps Made from delicious Kentish Gala apples, the 100% apple crisps are light and crispy with a naturally sweet and subtle apple tang that gradually tantalise the taste buds. Perfect for anytime on-the-go snacking, lunch boxes and healthy treat alternatives. Also a low calorie (just 66 per pack), high fibre addition to salads, cereals, dips and cheese boards. One of your five a day. 100% Fruit. Absolutely nothing added.

Air Dried Pear Crisps Made from delicious rescued Kentish Conference pears, the 100% pear crisps pack a real crunch followed by a delightful chew that releases an amazing natural caramelised taste sensation. Ideal for anytime on-the-go snacking, lunch boxes and 4pm cake alternatives. Also a low calorie (just 67 per pack), high fibre companion for salads, cereals, dips and cheese boards (especially good with blue cheese!). One of your five a day. 100% Fruit. Absolutely nothing added. Ben Whitehead Founder of Spare Fruit said: “To date we have saved all of them make the supermarket grade or find a suitable home. It might be a bumper crop due to the weather, less demand because of European competition, or a

over 12 tonnes of apples and pears to create our delicious air-dried fruit crisps. Good food is our obsession. Sustainability is our passion. A few years back we started selling snack products in local cafes made from surplus fruit gathered from our local market and allotments in St Albans. We were completely overwhelmed by the amount of produce that was going to waste and quickly realised that we were just scratching the surface. We discovered that working with small farms that struggle to deal with their surplus would enable us to transform more surplus produce, and in doing so help them become more sustainable both economically and environmentally - whilst feeding the consciousness of businesses and consumers on a much larger scale. All of our profits go back into ensuring we can transform more surplus produce into more delicious products and crucially to raise more awareness of food waste in the process.” THE FUTURE Already you can find Spare Fruit products in the likes of Selfridges, Planet Organic and Natural Kitchen London, plus a whole host of farm shops and delicatessens, yet there is many more tonnes of fruit that could do with being rescued, so if you are looking for a healthy and sustainable snack to offer, do give spare Fruit some consideration. l

surplus of storm damaged or and misshapen fruit. Either way, the reality is, out-graded or oversupply often equals unshiftable. Unshiftable means uneconomical and means Arthur is left going spare, just like his apples. Until now.

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WOMERSLEY Fruit Vinegars

FRUIT VINEGAR? Not long a go, I had an enthralling conversation with Rupert Parsons from Womersley Fruit Vinegars. Whilst discussing the woes of buying products for just one use and then banishing them to the cupboard for ever after, we deduced that either a product isn’t very versatile, or in fact maybe the person who brought the product doesn’t quite know anything else to do with it. I didn’t really want to admit it at that moment, however I thought that honesty being the best policy, I would. So, I explained to Rupert that I wouldn’t really know what to do with a fruit vinegar, and after some general banter, we thought it was best to tell everyone just how versatile these bottles of fruity joy really are! From tenderising and marinating meats and fish, to adding to salads and deserts to making a great long drink (and that’s just one product!) one bottle of fruit vinegar can have many uses, certainly not the sort of product that hides in the back of a cupboard! RECIPES GALORE Well, there appears to be more uses for fruit vinegar than I had budget to trial! From the moment on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch that Dr Morgaine Gaye enthusiastically suggested that their vinegars make excellent drinking vinegars, there has been a plethora

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WE RECENTLY SPENT SOME TIME WITH RUPERT PARSONS FROM WOMERSLEY FOODS, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THEIR BRILLIANT RANGE OF FRUIT VINEGARS of interest from cocktail bars, health enthusiasts and other ‘mixologists’ including the renowned Chris Galvin from Galvin Restaraunts who has made a rather delectable version of ‘Pimms’ using Womersley products! It doesn’t end there, with a line up of top chefs championing the products too, including chef Peter Sidwell who has used the Womersley Fruit Vinegars within recipes on his Simply Good Food TV digital show.

RANGE & USES BLACKBERRY VINEGAR This seasonal fruit vinegar gives a bramble aroma to roasted meats and warm hearty stews. With a dark, rich flavour, Blackberry is the perfect ingredient to tenderise meat and reduce sauce. Add a generous drizzle to cheesecake or chocolate pudding for a dessert with more bite. Mix into cocktails or sparkling water with mint leaves.

Blackberry and Rosemary Vinegar With a sweet and herby aroma, this vinegar perfectly complements poultry and game. Try it with a few dollops of honey as a glaze for roast duck, a marinade for turkey or a sharp base

for salad dressings. A good splash in your roasting pan will ensure a rich gravy for your Sunday joint of lamb or roast vegetables

Cherry Vinegar The cherry vinegar is a heavenly match for Italian cuisine. Marry with Parma Ham, grilled scallops and mozzarella salads, or unite with desserts that have lashings of chocolate, mascarpone and ice-cream. Also use it to add robust character to sauces for duck and turkey, or teamed with sparkling wine for a vivid aperitif Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar Bring a hint of heat to all kinds of salads, both leafy and fruity. This was the winner of Gold*** at Great Taste Awards 2014 and went on to win Top 50 and the Nigel Barden Heritage Award. This vinegar is the perfect accompaniment to poached fish and is guaranteed to liven up any catch of the day.

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Lemon, Basil, Bay and Juniper Vinegar This unique blend of zesty and herby flavours make this a lively salad dressing and tangy sauce. Drizzle over fish before baking, give stir-fried vegetables a new lease of life. For dessert, give a refreshing kick to hot and cold fruits. The firm favourite for great chefs everywhere and a great alternative to Verjuice Lime Blackpepper and Lavender Vinegar The sweet and sour blend brings out the freshest natural flavours in fish and poultry stir-fries. A secret ingredient for a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Described by the Great Taste Award judges as “drop dead gorgeous vinegar.” For a more adventurous taste, serve with pancakes and ice cream

Orange and Mace Vinegar Winner of the 2014 Gold Great Taste Awards, this warm and citrusy vinegar is extremely versatile. Thisr popular dressing brings life to any recipe, from Oriental stirfries to fresh fruit and salad dishes. A tasty essential in any kitchen, you

can even glaze your carrots with this specialist, vibrant vinegar.

Raspberry Vinegar Awarded Gold*** in the Great Taste Awards 2014, the famous raspberry vinegar adds a crisp, fresh finish to any salad. Complementing all flavours, mix a dash in sparkling wine or drizzle over Yorkshire puddings for the ultimate Sunday roast dinner. And for the ultimate salad dressing, blend with a fine British Rapeseed Oil.

Strawberry and Mint Vinegar This fresh and fruity vinegar is a culinary classic. Swirl into your favourite oil for a salad dressing with a difference (we love it with a crumbly goat’s cheese) or infuse flavour into cooked sauces for poultry and meat. Marinate strawberries in the vinegar with a little black pepper for a juicy pudding, or give a simple fruit salad a delicious kick. l

WE INTERVIEWED RUPERT PARSONS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW IT ALL BEGAN Q: So, Rupert, can you tell us a bit more about how the business originally started? l The story began in Womersley, Yorkshire, where my rather flamboyant father, Martin Parsons, planted his large kitchen garden with an array of fragrant herbs and delicious fruit... In 1979, Martin and my mother, Aline, started a local craft shop which also included their homemade jams, chutneys, fruit vinegars and jellies in the village shop. Martin’s flair for concocting cocktails in his rakish youth was put to further good use with the elaborate vinegars he devised. My brother, Richard, and I were quickly enrolled into the business, during school holidays, when we picked endless raspberries - rain or shine! By 2004, Martin and Aline decided to concentrate on the food business which by then had over 100 varieties of oils, vinegars, chutneys, dressings and jams.


Since you have taken over from your parents, have you made many changes? l Yes. In 2009-10, I took over the running of the family business and soon set about a rebrand to make our designs more colourful and appealing. This was undertaken in collaboration with The Design Council, an imaginative and enthusiastic design agency and an exceptionally talented Swedish artist. Also, I rationalised the range, choosing to concentrate on the fruit vinegars and jellies only. In 2011, we made the decision to outsource production which now takes place at the food branch of Crabtree & Evelyn in Somerset. All the recipes are still our family’s, though, which became very important in 2013 when I started looking at how to reduce the sugar in all our vinegars. We launched our entire range in 25% lower sugar in September 2015 and this has been very well received in home as well as professional kitchens.

Our heritage is very much in Yorkshire but, with me living in Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, I made the decision to relocate here in 2014. I feel very lucky to be able to work from home so I can combine my family life and walking our Jack Russell with steering the Womersley enterprise. I am a clock repairer by profession, so I am all too aware that time stands still for no man. For me, the family business must continually evolve…


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We feel your products are really versatile and can be used for many uses, including for marinating meat for the barbeque, when did you find that your products partner meat so well? l I was born in Melbourne, Australia, where my father prided himself on his regular bbq parties. He was never content to just make snags (Aussie for sausages) preferring to try marinating meat and using herbs in the meat and wrapping in foil to control the speed of cooking. We actually brought our barbecue back from Australia with us in the 1970s along with the striped garden table and huge floral parasol which fitted through the hole in the table. A few years later, Richard and I attended prep school at Summer Fields in Oxford where the annual highlight was sports day. All the parents came in their shiny cars and my parents turned up in the rusty old family Cortina estate car which was stuffed full of food and drink…AND that barbeque, table and parasol. We joined with some great friends to have our own party on the field, the bbq smoke swirling across the field past all the rather more sedate affairs. One year, the big jug of Pimms was mixed, the salads were made, the plates piled up, and all the other paraphernalia joined them on that table. A gust of wind caught the parasol and we could all see it tipping...tipping… and the cry of concern went up from all the adults in unison: “The Pimms!!!” Those are some of my earlier memories of the family routine and fun which informed my parents’ experiments with trying our vinegars to marinade meat. To this day, I still use our Strawberry & Mint or Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender Vinegar with a pinch of salt to marinade chicken; it keeps the moisture content up and gives the meat a delicious taste and tenderness.

Recently you have teamed up with celebrity chef Peter Sidwell, how has this helped with your business? l I am really proud that Womersley was the first food producer to join SGFTV and, with Peter sharing Yorkshire roots, we have a great working relationship. Always looking for new and interesting ingredients, Peter loves working with our vinegars which make many a dish shine. He has also produced several recipes for us which beautifully showcase the many different ways

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you can use fruit vinegars. SGFTV are currently running a competition on Twitter to win some of our vinegars which has already increased our following by over 800 in 3 days. The audience they have built is powerful and I look forward to working on the ideas we have planned later this year. Most of all, though, being able to offer such a huge database of recipes to consumers and retailers really helps us conquer that hurdle of how to get the best from our vinegars.

Being that the company was started by your parents many years ago, do you have any original customers originating from the humble beginnings? l When exhibiting at food shows, I can guarantee to get at least one visitor say “I remember your Dad. He used to insist we tasted his jellies and vinegars when we went to their shop in Yorkshire.” And we still sell to several fine food outlets who have seen us grow and change over the years. I cherish that loyalty. We love that you use real and wellsourced fresh fruit and herbs, can you tell us more about why you do this? l Our flagship product is our Golden Raspberry & Apache Chilli Vinegar. We have the raspberries grown for us in Scotland and East Anglia and the chillies are grown in Bedfordshire. Our vinegar base travels all the way from the North of England as well. Of course, our origins were going out to pick all those fruit and herbs in the kitchen garden at Womersley. We need to ensure consistency and quality as well as availability in our BRC kitchen these days, so we have to look further afield. This is where Crabtree & Evelyn’s similar botanical heritage matches our brand aspirations- they have a lot of experience at sourcing fine ingredients. You already have a great range of products, however are you looking to add any to your portfolio in the near future? l We have two really exciting developments this year. Firstly, we have been asked for a long time to produce a special gift pack of our vinegars. We have been working on this for a few months, now, and we have come up with a very special gift offering in 4 variants which will include a special recipe card in every box from Peter Sidwell. This should be available in the next couple of months. Also, we have gone right back to our

roots for another major development for us this year- jams! My mother still makes her own Strawberry jam and Seville marmalade at home. It was her jam making that started the food inspiration of Womersley and we have decided to bring a new, quirky twist on some jams, using our vinegar titles as inspiration. Since Crabtree are best known for their jams and marmalades, this also seemed like a logical next step and will help retailers by giving two areas for brand recognition as well as a greater understanding of the flavour combinations in different settings. We have completed the taste testing for these and they proved very popular. Lastly, what advice can you give our readers about selling your products? l The most asked question is “what do I do with Womersley Vinegars?” Being a very versatile ingredient, they can be (and are) used for: • Dressing a salad, combined with a good British Rapeseed Oil • Marinading- that acid and fruit blend is perfect for tenderising and giving a balance of flavours • Drinking in cocktails; our Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender is divine in a G&T and Raspberry Vinegar in Prosecco looks and tastes a treat • Reducing sauces where you want a real hit of flavour • Glazing - our Orange & Mace is a perfect match for glazing your carrots and it also works well to glaze the Christmas ham as the vinegar tenderises while the orange and mace give you a taste sensation • Dipping bread into as an alternative or accompaniment to oil The best way is to taste them, though, and we are happy to provide retailers with sample pots which they can use in store for tasting sessions where you get the frequent refrain of “wow, that’s a surprise!” Outlets with a café/similar find that they obtain the best results from using our litre bottles for their salads so that visitors taste them and want to get a bottle to take home. We also have lots of recipes on our website as well as on the Simply Good Food TV site. And, when enthusiasts love their creative ideas with our vinegars, they will often tweet us @WomersleyFoods to share their ideas. Overall, while vinegar has an important job to do in the kitchen, our fruit vinegars also add a delicious flavour of the fruits and herbs which transform many a dish. Maybe that is why the Great Taste Award judges described them as “drop dead gorgeous vinegars!”

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ompared to the heritage of Chorizo from our Spanish cousins, British Chorizo is still in its infancy, however with the quality of pork we have here and with our love of sausages, companies like the Bath Pig are leading the way with our very own British Chorizo. Not only are you supporting British farming by buying British Chorizo, but many tasters have also suggested that British Chorizo is very good, and often has less fat than in some Spanish variants.

THE HISTORY OF THE BATH PIG The company was born out of a mutual passion for fine foods amongst two good friends who wanted to produce a Chorizo and other charcuterie from high quality British pork. They base their Chorizo on traditional Spanish recipes, yet still manage to produce this as a British product, and using their skills in marketing and branding are making a high impact in the market. After spending some time in an Andalucian Iberico pig farm, north of Seville, the founders came back with the knowledge and idea to use the same methods as the smaller artisan Chorizo makers. After a year of experimenting with various spices, casing and curing salt mixes along with different meat to fat ratios, they came up with what they believe is the perfect Chorizo! Then, in 2009 they took their home-based idea, from home curing cupboard, to much larger facility where, they built 2 large curing rooms capable of an output of three tonnes a month! These temperature and humidity controlled rooms have been specifically designed to create the



A SELECTION OF THE RANGE The already great but growing range comprises of a selection of chorizo’s and charcuterie, in varying sizes and forms. They have products for cooking, also coming in a snacking size as well as ready to eat – whatever your charcuterie needs, they’ve likely got it covered.

Sliced Charcuterie The Bath Pig has an impressive line up of sliced charcuterie, and some exciting new launches on the way. Amongst the range are: Air Dried Ham, Air Dried Lomo, Bath Salami, Roman Salami and Saxon Salami! With many more to come, we’ll be reporting on some other great flavours in our next issue! Bath Pig Original Chorizo Based on a time-honoured recipe, this Chorizo contains the finest smoked paprika, pepper and a little ginger. This is the foundation for all of their

Chorizo. Cool, smooth texture with a slightly nutty after taste.

Bath Pig Spicy Chorizo Fundamentally similar to the original recipe, however this fiery Chorizo has extra cayenne and black pepper which leaves a lovely, long-lasting spicy taste that kicks in at the end ... wait for it!

Bath Pig Garlic & Herb Chorizo The surprise sausage! They came upon this recipe by accident during their early trials, but loved it so much they chose to keep it. Made with additional garlic, rosemary and oregano, this Chorizo has a satisfying after taste.

Red Wine & Fennel Seed Salami A new addition to the range, with very exciting flavor combinations giving an incredible taste, we’ll be reviewing this product soon. THE BATH PIGS BIG PLANS From their humble beginnings in a home kitchen, to being one of the largest producers of British Charcuterie, it’s fair to say that The Bath Pig have been very busy! With the recent development of their charcuterie range, and with the future additions on their way, (which are rumored to include a chicken chorizo, and also wild boar making an entrance), it’s worth getting in touch with this rather special and growing company. Make sure you check back in the next issue for a review of a selection of The Bath Pig’s products by us! ! l

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hen Dean & Joanne Dempsey found themselves in times of troubles, instead of turning to Mother Mary as The Beatles suggested, they turned to Mother Nature. Many parents suffer the ill-fated journey home from nursery or school where energy-spent children are looking for a snack to fill them up until their next meal, and refusing this seemingly vital snack could be very dangerous to ones ears! To address this problem, the family behind Naturelly: husband and wife Dean & Joanne ably assisted by Liam


After meeting Dean and Joanne at the IFE exhibition last month, Dean kindly gave me a few pouches to try with my own children on. One didn’t make it home as I snaffled this in the car & and thoroughly enjoyed it! My rather excited children consumed the others. I waited for an opportune moment when they l

Dean’s brother and their daughters, knew they needed to create a fulfilling refreshment, but one which was also healthy. After a lot of thinking, they came up with a jelly juice, but they then needed to investigate how to make this wanted snacks before their evening meal, and then pounced with these rather fun looking pouches of happiness. What was a real pleasure to see (and hear) was a few minutes of silence, watching my children enjoy the fruity

product healthy enough to give to their own children, let alone others too. Firstly, they discovered a special gelatin free jelly made from Lile plants called ‘Gellan Gum’. This clever yet simple jelly helps to fill little tummies in between meals, but because it’s a natural dietary fibre they found that mixing it with real fruit juice created a refreshing snack that also fulfills sweet cravings! By adding only freshly squeezed juice, and no further sugar, artificial colourings, flavours or preservatives, Naturelly was ready to be put to the test. These pouches would make for a great item to stock in any shop, a healthy squeezy pouch with enough inside to bring temporary fulfillment but without having to turn to an unhealthy alternative. l

drinkable jelly, and much happier faces when they were finished! They have often asked me for more of these when they are peckish, which is surprising considering the vast array of snacks available to them in our cupboards.

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WE INTERVIEWED DEAN AND JOANNE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THEIR RATHER UNIQUE AND WONDERFUL PRODUCTS! So, can you tell us a little more about how the brand came about? l Naturelly is a family business, me, my wife Joanne and my brother Liam. Trying to find healthy snacks was always challenging for us; especially when on days out or picking our girls up from school and nursery. Tears and tantrums would follow. We needed an on the go refreshment that would fill them up just a little, until dinner time. So, we put all of our crazy brains together to find out the stuff our kids loved and this led us to the idea of creating Naturelly. Jelly + Juice, simple!

How has the reception been from the retailers you already work with? l The biggest trends in the retail sector are naturalness, healthy snacking, free from allergens and products low in sugar, we tick all the boxes consequently we have been very well received by specialty retailers through our partners Cotswold Fayre.

We’ve featured some other genuinely better for you products in this issue; do you feel there is a sudden realisation by parents of how much sugar their children are actually consuming? l Parents are definitely looking for healthier products for their little ones to consume but for us it’s about making sure it’s fun for children as well as healthy. There is also a lot of confusing messages out there on other products. Naturelly is sweet by nature with nothing naughty added. No added sugar or sweeteners, no added colours, flavours or preservatives, only 36 kcal per pouch and it’s rich in vitamin C. A lot of other so called healthy products may say no added sugar but they are full of artificial sweeteners (which just carry on the sweet tooth cravings) or just as terrifying have 5 cubes of sugar in them!!! (Naturelly is only 1.5 cubes of naturally occurring fruit sugar.) We love working with husband and wife teams here at Delicatessen Magazine, however we feel we always need to ask the question: How do you manage the dynamic of working and living together? l Being able to work with my wife everyday is amazing. (she told me to


say that!). It’s great because we are usually both there for the kids in a morning and after school. Joanne is genuinely brilliant at what she does (I’m not sure what that is exactly) and I’m like many husbands pretty much useless so we compliment each other perfectly.

What gave you the idea of a drinkable jelly? l I used to own a creative agency in London and back in 2009 I worked on a project for large FMCG brand that was launching a sports gel with green tea targeting cyclists. During that time I did a lot of research into the Japanese market and over there jelly or gels in pouches are big business, they have all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours including coffee jelly! Then, after my wife and I had kids and starting looking into healthier snacks for them we discovered this special gelatin free, wibbly jelly and natural dietary fibre made from Lily plants called Gellan Gum and the idea came back to me.

Obviously, this is a product that has children in mind, however at IFE we saw many adults enjoying these too. How will you move the brand towards being applicable for both? l Naturelly was initially designed for nursery and primary aged children, but after feedback from mums telling us they liked them too and the kids weren’t getting a look in, we decided to remove “for kids” from our packaging. Today Naturelly is enjoyed by health conscious adults, high school kids and fitness enthusiasts as a refreshing post sports or after the gym treat due to it be so low in calories. The product is also vegetarian society approved as well as being vegan friendly so big kids can enjoy them too. Furthermore, in the near future Naturelly will be available in different formats and flavours that will broaden its appeal further, all very exciting!


The taste of summer and outdoor adventures in an easy-squeezy pouch.


Slurp up a little sunshine for a totally tropical taste with pineapples, apple, passion fruit and orange.


Crisp, juicy apple goodness straight from the trees the kids have climbed with blackcurrant. DIETARY FACTS Free from gelatin, gluten, wheat, dairy and other allergens l No added sugar or sweeteners l Low in calories (36 Kcal per pouch) l No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives l Only 7g (1.5 tea spoons) of naturally occurring sugar l

If we ran your brand, we’d spend all day slurping down your Naturelly! Do you guys manage to sneak in a few when it’s a little quiet in the day? l Me and my brother have them all the time, my wife enjoys them after the gym and the kids and their friends love them after school and at birthday parties. Our children are the chief tasters as we are always experimenting with new flavours for future ranges.

We saw you at IFE show a few weeks a go in London and every time we came to say hi the stand was packed with people! Was the show a success for you? l Yes, we were very busy and yes it was a huge success thank you, we offer something different, something fun which definitely captures the imagination plus the all the health benefits that come with it, we are certainly not a me too brand.

What advice would you give to the readers of our magazine about stocking similar products? l I’m not sure I’m qualified to give any advice really. I’d probably say just believe in what you are doing, make the best possible product you can for the best possible price and like I said earlier make it natural. Oh and always be in Beta mode, listen, learn and improve as you go. Ha ha I can’t stop dishing the advice out now! Who do I think I am?

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nyone who reads this magazine will note that we are keen on challenging the senses ever so slightly, and always try to be as ‘out there’ as possible in our features to give you all something different. Well, in the search to make a great Jam and Preserves feature, we were looking at various alternative jams out there, and the ‘wacky gods’ answered the editors prayers when stumbling across Syms Pantry with their offering of Bacon Jam, Mayonnaise and now Bacon Sprinkles! Syms Pantry started off in the owners kitchen producing the unique recipe for their great tasting jams. The business then took off and they moved into a dedicated industrial kitchen unit, which has been named ‘The Jam Shed’. Over time the Jam Shed has got bigger and more specialised as more additions to the Bacon Jam range have been created.

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NEW! SYMS BACON SPRINKLES A freeze-dried version of the bacon jam’s – a perfect accompaniment to steak, chicken, in your soup on your fried eggs or sprinkled on your pizza anything where you want that extra added bacon touch! (Sym even tells us that a sprinkle of this will elevate your Bloody Mary too!

SYMS BACON JAM - ORIGINAL This bacon relish goes perfectly with anything that you would want bacon with. It works great with snacks or to be used as part of a main meal. With a shelf life of a year, and its ability to be used in or on things, this is a truly versatile product. This long lasting product can be used with things, in things and on things. It’s ideal to be used as a relish to give your food an extra bit of flavour. Comes in a 120g jar. Serving Suggestions: Mash potato Pizza Pasta On toast with baked beans

SYMS BACON JAM - HABANERO CHILLI After many customers had asked Sym about variations and after giving suggestions, this wonderful unsmoked Bacon jamwith habanero chilli was created. Comes in a 120g jar. Serving Suggestions: Toast Pasta Pizza Mash Potato

SYMS BACON JAM - SMOKED BACON Syms Pantry Smoked Bacon Relish makes a good meal great. If you love bacon and are into the hearty taste of good food you will enjoy this offering! With a real smoky bacon relish inside, this jam will add a nice rich taste to your food. Comes in a 120g jar. Serving Suggestions: Toast Sandwiches Burgers Pasta

SYMS BACON MAYO - MAYONNAISE Made with Smoked Bacon locally sourced in Suffolk from Bramfield Meats. A great tasting mayonnaise with real smoky bacon. If you love the taste of bacon and mayonnaise, then this is ideal for you. It great with your own food or as a gift for

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another bacon dedicated fan! Comes in a 280g Jar. Serving Suggestions: Chips Burger BBQ Meat Chicken Sandwich

SYMS BACON - TOMATO KETCHUP Tomato Sauce with Bacon relish in a 320g jar made by Suffolk’s own Syms Pantry. Unlike many other bacon jam’s and relishes their products are made not in a lab but with real bacon. The difference is in the taste and texture! Serving Suggestions: With Chips in a Burger with Cheese

Great in Risotto, Spaghetti Bolognese and Chilli BBQ Meat Corned Beef Sandwich Welsh rarebit

With BBQ meats Corned beef sandwich Welsh rarebit

Serving suggestions: Chips in a Burger with Cheese Great in Risotto, Spaghetti Bolognese and Chilli

Serving Suggestions: BBQ Meat Sandwiches

SYMS BACON - BROWN SAUCE Syms Pantry own recipe Brown Sauce with Bacon in our 320g jar made in Suffolk’s by Syms Pantry. Unlike many other bacon jam’s and relishes our products are made with real bacon and the difference is in the taste and texture!

SYMS BACON JAM 280G MUSTARD Syms Pantry’s own recipe Dijon Mustard with real pieces of bacon. This isn’t bacon flavouring its real bits of bacon in with fantastic, smooth tasting Dijon Mustard. A perfect treat for any bacon and mustard lover.

We interviewed founder Simon, to find out more about Sym’s Pantry, his love of cooking and bacon, and how it all got started. So then, Simon, can you tell us a bit more about why you started Sym’s pantry? l I had been a property professional for many years and just wanted a change. I setup Syms Pantry to make hand raised pork pies and giant scotch eggs initially, I then thought I needed to make something with a longer shelf life than a week, so I could make loads in advance and not have to worry about best before dates. My Mum brought me a Jar of Bacon Jam for Christmas the year previous which was absolutely disgusting I binned it. I then had my eureka moment I will try and make that Bacon Jam so after much research and experimenting Syms Original Bacon Jam was born using unsmoked Bacon. Smoked was born not long after when my butchers sent me Smoked not Unsmoked and the Habanero came after befriending a chilli expert.

How has the reception been to your products since you launched? l Initially we sold at WI Markets, then at Snape Maltings Market it was slow to start with as people didn’t really understand what it was, is it Jam to go with Bacon? I like Bacon I like Jam but the 2 together no!!!!! But as time has gone on we have honed our tasting and selling skills and it is now a firm favourite with many many people. Our other products Bacon mayo, Bacon Ketchup, Bacon Mustard & Bacon Brown Sauce people understand and really love them.


Where do you feel your products are best suited? l Our products are best suited to Farm Shops and Deli’s where there is a more relaxed atmosphere to the buying process and time for people to try out products before they buy. This is also the case when we attend Food Events and Festival across the country, this year we start off in Framlingham and will be going as far afield as York at Christmas this year. We are also vey proud to be on sale in Harvey Nichols stores Nationwide.

Do you find that people are intrigued about the idea of Bacon Jam? l People are intrigued but once they try it and we explain that you can eat it with cheese and biscuits, spread on a burger or thicken the juices of a joint with it to make a yummy gravy they start to understand what a diverse product it is and no discerning cook should be without a Jar or 2.

We love the idea behind your newly launched Bacon Sprinkles; can you tell us a bit more about why you have launched these? l Bacon Dust or Bacon Sprinkles as per the label is something I first explored 2 years ago. I have now perfected the process using both my Smoked Bacon Jam and the Habanero and the result is an amazing seasoning packed full of flavour for use on steak, chicken, in your soup on your fried eggs or sprinkled on your pizza, but one

of the best is in a bloody mary!!!!! The Smoked will be for sale at Framlingham this weekend and the Habanero a few weeks later.

Have you had any particularly unusual uses of your products shared with you by any of your customers? l Not necessarily unusual but great tasting for instance: Mustard mash, Mustard mixed with grated cheddar and spread on grilled pork belly and grilled again. Mayo as a dip with chips or in a BLT. Ketchup used as a pasta sauce. Habanero mixed with cream cheese and tossed into pasta. The Bacon Jams on crumpets or toast with cheese. The Spinkles are great in scrambled egg. The uses are endless just play with them.

With the growth of the business and increasing range so far, do you have any plans to expand further or launch new products in the near future? l We are currently looking to Franchise the business Nationwide with 11 specific areas in the UK. This is an ideal opportunity to take a tried and tested product and make your own business in retail and events in their own specific territory/area. We will provide you with al you need to get started and continued support. The Franchise packs are near completion, if you might be interested in joining me you can email or visit our website and click on Franchise.

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ot long a go, and whilst travelling home from a trade show, I found myself craving fruit. I was hungry, tired, maybe even a tad grouchy… I was in need of a ‘pick me up’ and whilst searching around my bags and pockets I stumbled across a little bag of happiness. The outside of this little bag already had me smiling, colourful, exciting, lightweight and promising me fulfilment with limited guilt. Who could resist! The inside of this pack greeted me with the nice aroma of mango, one of which I am particularly fond of, yet what visually greeted me intrigued me ever so. La Chiva Snacks freeze dry fruit, so that we can enjoy it’s goodness in a different way, even on the go, whilst giving us convenience but fulfilling taste and vital nutrients. Eating these

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snacks is very nice, fruit which melts in your mouth, offering a crunch but also a fizz and a wallop of flavour, brilliance in a small bag.

of Strawberry, these are very easy to store and also great for children’s lunchboxes.


HEALTHY No nonsense, just freeze dried fruit. Can’t get any simpler than this, and this also makes this snack brilliant for those looking for a healthy snack (also 1 of your 5 a day!)

These packs contain around 39 calories a packet for Pineapple and Mango, but the Strawberry gets away with only giving you 23 calories! With no additives, the ingredients are really simple and take hardly any time to read what so ever… just the fruit.

THE RANGE La Chiva has a range currently comprising of three flavours, which are:

THE BENEFITS If other parents children are anything like mine, they seeminly enjoy having a packet of something, often giving me a soulless stare when I offer the idea of a piece of fruit as a snack, almost like a piece of fruit is as boring as it could get. The ability to enjoy fruit in this format opens many doors, for adults and children alike. The main benefits from our perspective would be:

PRACTICAL Carting fruit about your daily business is a risky business. Not only is it heavy, but If not looked after properly it will easily become bruised, sweaty and over ripe etc… but a durable pack of freeze dried fruit can be chucked around all you like, it doesn’t affect what’s in the package at all! l

LIGHTWEIGHT At only 10g per package of Mango or Pineapple and only 7g per packet

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WE SPOKE TO RUTH WILLIS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESS AND HOW THEY ARE SO APPLICABLE FOR DELICATESSENS! So, tell us how it all began? l It began with vivid memories of fruits I tasted in my childhood. I am Colombian and although I came to the UK over 30 years ago, never have forgotten the intense flavours of our fruits. Any time we are hungry, a piece of fruit will make us feel better. So I thought, if we can make a snack with fruits, something convenient and ready to eat at any time, that would be the ideal snack. I noticed there is a gap in the market for healthy snacks. Ours are raw, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, Zero additives, no added sugars, 100% natural and fat and gluten free. With hectic lifestyles it is difficult to eat healthy and when we need a snack it is easy to give in for something that might not be the best choice. We love the name and the branding, so can you tell us more about what ‘La Chiva’ means? l Well, Colombia has the Andes going through the country. It is difficult to take products from the farms to the markets. Chivas are the local buses (without doors) that go up and down the area. The countrymen take one sack or 2 or more of whatever they want to sell. Not only fruit and vegetables but chickens too. The products are usually tied up on the roof of the bus and sometimes young guys also climb on for a ride! La Chiva represents bringing the fruit from Colombia to the UK.

You mention about being Colombia’s second most famous export, can you tell us a little more about this? l Some people might think about something else, but we talking about Coffee! Fruits represent a large percentage of Colombian exports. Having all climates and being blessed with sunshine all year round, it makes the ideal environment for excellent crops. Our fruits are sun ripen for optimal flavour.

When you started to sell your products, did you ever realise how successful they would become? l Yes, we thought the market was ready for healthy delicious snacks. Our stockists include The Health Store Wholesalers in Nottingham, Morton Cafes, Bean Bag Natural Health, DeliLicoius, Millets Farm in Oxfordshire, Andreas in London, Express Gift Service in Coventry and other large orders will follow for a health food chain.

Can you tell our readers a bit more about the process of Freeze Drying and how this is beneficial? l The process is very simply. Fresh fruit at the optimal point of ripeness, which is sliced and then frozen. Once the fruit is solid, it is dried very quickly without going through the thawing phase, this ensures the lovely crispness without cooking or adding anything at all.

We first tasted your snacks at Speciality Fine Food Fair last year, and was pleasantly surprised at how light the packets are, but how fulfilling the contents are also – was this an intentional move? l Yes, we very carefully measured the contents to ensure that 1 portion of fruit is delivered in each pack. So it makes it easy to count as 1 of your 5 a day. It is handy ready to eat packet that will make you feel as if you have eaten a portion of fresh fruit.

We feel this is a great snack for adults and children alike, however, where do you see this snack being best placed in the market? l We feel it is for health- conscious adults, children, and adults with children (the packets fit in a pocket and there is no mess!) that are looking for a healthy and delicious snack. Someone who has a busy lifestyle who doesn’t have the time to prepare the fruit.   Lastly, could you tell our readers a few unique selling points of your snacks? l They are 100% natural, Gluten Free, Suitable Vegetarians and Vegans, with no Additives or added Sugars, Raw, and virtually Fat Free – Just fruit!!

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ade using artisan Apline ingredients, the Lisa’s range is the latest development from the team at Tyrells, who acquired Alps based organic crisp manufacturer Aroma Snacks in 2016. Each batch is made using only the finest, hand selected, Biolandcertified organic potatoes to create golden yellow crisps with truly impreccable tate. Lisa’s crisps are then seasoned from Apline ingredients harvested from the doorstep, in four varieties; Alpine Rock Salt, Alpine Salt & Vinegar, Emmental & Onion and Mixed Alpine Herb. Further to the already

impressive fact that their potatoes are organic, the herbs used within the varieties are handpicked by the farmers that grew them at an altitude of over 1,000ft! Commenting on the Lisa’s launch, Brand Manager Julie Davies said; “Organic and ‘Craft’ are exciting trends right now, and the Lisa’s range, made in the foothills of the Alps from organic potatoes, allows us to bring a unique proposition to the UK snacks category. Made with incredible ingredients and hand cooked to a perfect crisp, we’re excited to create a craft crisp movement to compliment the surge in interest in other craft products such as ales and gins”.

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ORGANIC & NATURAL A bit of a rarity in the crisp market, all the potato crisps are completely, uncompromisingly organic. Made in the Alps, where the air is freshest and the standards tip-top, they’d never dream of changing them.

KEEPING IT LITTLE As there is a finite supply of organic potatoes, this limits the number of crisps they can make. Because storing spuds ‘organically’ can be tricky, so very few farmers actually do it. However, they feel it’s a blessing as it means that every crisp made gets the attention it needs. OFF-PISTE ALPINE INGREDIENTS The chefs are always coming up with brilliantly unique recipes that make the most of the wonderful Alpine ingredients being produced on their beautiful and remote doorstep.

THE RANGE! l ALPINE ROCK SALT Lightly seasoned with Alpine rock salt mined in Bad Reichenhall, these organic potato crisps are a simple, crowd-pleasing classic. They’re delicious on their own and their thick cut makes them a brilliantly reliable vehicle for dipping. l EMMENTAL

& ONION An Alpine take on a classic, these hand-cooked organic potato crisps have been

seasoned with a mild Austrian Emmental cheese and a hint of organic onion. The first of their kind, these are crisps that get people talking.


SALT & VINEGAR Brilliantly zingy, these moreish organic potato crisps have been seasoned with Bad Reichenhall rock salt and a good dash of organic cider vinegar, making for a perfectly jazzy bite.


ALPINE HERB A brilliantly aromatic celebration of the Alps, these organic potato crisps have been hand-cooked with a fragrant mix of freshly foraged, all-singing all-dancing Swiss herbs. These crisps are their ‘signature dish’ – a special ode to their home. Lisa’s Organic Craft Crisps are available in both 40g and 140g with a RRP of £0.99p and £2.49.

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his April, visitors to Farm Shop & Deli will be amongst the first to see the exclusive launch of A Little Bit Food Company’s rebranded packaging. The business’ green fingered founder, Sophie Lane Fox, has always pioneered the use of fresh herbs in her recipe development. Her decision to undergo a redesign has been to emphasise this USP enhancing the proposition for retailers by clearly communicating the range’s point of difference. With an impressive horticultural linage, Sophie wanted the new-look to highlight this heritage and the inspiration behind A Little Bit; “When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m happiest, trowel in hand, pottering about in my garden. Cultivating and harvesting your own fresh produce has been an important life lesson that I was exposed to from a very early age. A Little Bit developed from wanting to capture the just picked taste of fresh herbs in my recipes. From there things have really escalated, particularly in the past twelve months, since first showcasing my original four dressings at Farm Shop & Deli 2016!” In addition to the new packaging, Sophie has also been busy with new product development which again


will launch at the NEC this April. Firstly, there are two new, versatile pasta sauces – Fresh Basil & Tomato and Fresh Oregano, Olive & Tomato. Secondly, there is also an exciting range of ambient dips. With a twelve month shelf life, the 200g jars do not require refrigeration – making them a flexible option for deli owners and an all-natural,

on-the-go food solution for consumers. Perfect for picnics and lunchboxes, the trio of herb packed flavours are; Fresh Mint, Beetroot & Feta; Fresh Thyme & Butternut Squash; and Fresh Oregano & Aubergine. Sophie is keen to see how retailers respond to the new launches. “With the four original dressings, the Fresh Rosemary & Tomato Ketchup and the trio of pasta sauces and now the new ambient dips – A Little Bit provides a really comprehensive offering. Using fresh herbs makes a huge difference to the final flavour so I’m keen for people to come and try them.” Be the first to sample Sophie’s new products; visit A Little Bit on Stand L68 at Farm Shop & Deli Show.l

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wheat semolina and water. With only two ingredients it would be difficult to make a premium top quality pasta if the best wheat was not used. It is the quality and quantity of the gluten present that primarily determines the quality of the wheat. When the wheat is mixed with the water to form the dough this starts a process that integrates two proteins in the wheat to make gluten. The gluten forms a structure around the starch that has also come from the wheat, forming a uniform textured dough ready to make pasta. The much sort after al dente texture of cooked pasta is a result of the gluten working its hardest to protect the internal structure of the pasta and giving it strength as it is cooked in boiling water. If the water that the pasta is cooked in remains colourless then you can be assured that the gluten has done a good job and kept the starch under control; the result al dente pasta. Out of control the starch will absorb the cooking water and swell until it breaks; the result cloudy cooking water and soggy pasta. At Garofalo all the wheat pasta is made using robust durum wheat semolina and because of the immense importance of the wheat, one of only two ingredients in all the traditional pasta made by Garofalo, rigorous checks are made


on every batch of wheat arriving at the factory in Gragnano. Various checks and measures determine the strength of the gluten present in each batch of wheat, and only wheat with the premium quality and right quantity of gluten is used in Garofalo Signature pasta. The consistency of every batch of Garofalo pasta is a result of stringent checks even before

the pasta making begins. The only variable of the two dishes of pasta is the quality of the wheat used. The dish in the top image uses high quality durum wheat semolina and the dish in the bottom image uses low quality durum wheat semolina. The structure of the pasta after cooking holds with the high quality wheat. l

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TAKING THE PEA? I ’d be lying if I told you I enjoyed eating peas, in fact I’ll go one step further and say that growing up, I was never particularly fond of vegetables at all (Don’t tell my mother but I believe that how they were cooked had something to do with it!). As I’ve aged, I’ve found myself enjoying vegetables much more yet I have always had a rocky relationship with the humble pea. Meeting Mike from Taking The Pea Snacks Ltd gave me a smile as I had found someone who has shared a similar distaste for the pea, the only real difference being that Mike got up and done something about it! Mike is an Australian, now living in the UK, who


Being that I am similar to Mike in that I shy away from eating peas, I found myself throwing a handful of the Wasabi peas in the hatch and suddenly remembering the key term ‘kick’ when all of a sudden the Wasabi hit me like a steam train! Yet, I couldn’t seem to stop myself eating more and more of the packet, until l


finally gave peas a chance when he tried his first wasabi pea. To his surprise he quite enjoyed the crunchy texture and eye watering kick it came with. Being a health conscious, gymgoing chap, he was delighted with the nutritional benefits of this new format for peas. However, after pining for his favourite crisp flavours on peas, he decided he was going to

launch ‘Taking The Pea’ and that it was time for Mike to give peas a chance. Soon after the initial idea was thought of, Mike founded the first brand to offer a range of delicious dried peas available in 4 familiar flavours; Wacky Wasabi (of course), Smoked Ham, Sweet Chilli Salsa and Cheesy Peasy & Onion. l

finally being rather disappointed I had run out. I swiftly moved on to trying out the Smoked Ham flavour next, which I must say is rather delightful, It is the sort of flavour combo that brings back to me the feeling of a dinner at my grans almost, a truly delightful snack. To truly challenge Taking The Pea’s snacks, I thought I would put the

some of these snacks into my own children’s’ lunch boxes to see what would happen. I expected that upon returning home that evening I would find the snacks still in the packaging I put them in. I was wrong, and albeit elated that my kids ate their peas with no fuss, I was also disappointed to have not had the full share of the other two flavours!

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INTERVIEW WITH MIKE GALLAGHER, FOUNDER OF TAKING THE PEA SNACKS LTD So, tell us how it all began? l It was a bit an eureka moment, really. I’ve always been into health and fitness and I was looking for a snack that came with protein and fibre and wasn’t loaded with calories like nuts or crisps. As much as I love nuts I could easily eat large pack in one sitting. That’s more calories than a big mac! It was then suggested that I try Wasabi Peas. Two things, I have never EVER liked peas! And I also didn’t like wasabi much either. I gave it ago and I really liked the texture and even the pea so I figured I’d go and find some other flavours. This is when I realised there weren’t any, so we set about launching a range of pea snacks in flavours that we’re all familiar with. Of course, we had to include the traditional Wasabi flavour too. Not only did we win a Great Taste Award in 2016 for the Wacky Wasabi but it’s also our best seller so we’re glad we did. We think the name is brilliant! How did you come up with the idea, and do people often talk about this? l Coming up with the name took about 10 seconds. I have to give credit to my partner Sharmain for this. It must have been suggestion number one or two. Once we said it there was really no point in listening to any other ideas. It was 100% yes from the beginning. The name puts a smile on people’s faces. They want to know more about what’s inside and of course taste the products. Whenever we’re at Tradeshows the response is always fantastic. People would see us from a distance and make their way over chuckling as they walked towards us. It’s catchy and fun and of course they taste great! We hear that you aren’t or weren’t a fan of peas in other forms, is this still the case? l God yes. Peas were my archenemy as a kid, I could force down any other vegetable but peas I simply couldn’t. Needless to say I was very surprised when I tried our different flavours for the first time. I’m still not a fan of the garden pea and continue to hide them under my mash potato at dinnertime but I can eat our peas all day long.


When you started to sell your products, did you ever realise how successful they would become? l No! We love the product but until you get the first sale you can’t help but wonder what the hell you are doing. You wonder how you’re going to compete with the big brands. But being accepted into Selfridges not long after launching and then Ocado we realised that we not only have a great product but we also had a real chance at growing a great brand to sit in the snack food aisle. Virgin Trains also approached us and they successfully launched Wacky Wasabi on their trains in August last year. Around the same time we got the call to say Whole Food Markets wanted to launch all four of our flavours in all of their stores. One new stockist leads to another in this business, and so it happened that we were spotted by a buyer from a large Danish retailer –Tiger; they subsequently made an order for 3 of our flavours to be stocked in circa 730 Tiger stores all around Europe. Can you tell our readers a bit more about how you picked your wonderful and wacky flavours? l Before we launched in early 2014 wasabi peas and pulse snacks for that matter, were still very much London centric and even in London popcorn, nuts and crisps were the dominant snack of choice. Therefore, we needed to do our market research and find out what flavours consumers would want. The feedback we received was that wasabi made sense – people had heard and even tried this flavour, they were familiar and we felt this would be the ideal entry product


We all know its good to eat your peas, however sometimes when a good ingredient is manipulated, it can be turned into something far less healthy than it started, so let’s take a look at the science behind Taking The Pea’s snacks. Each pack contains 40 grams of dried coated crunch marrowfat peas. Taking The Pea claim that they combine “nice with just the right amount of naughty”, and here are some quick facts: l

Each pack contains only 145 calories l They have less fat than peanuts l They have more fibre and protein than crisps

for new consumers. Other people offered feedback suggesting familiar crisp flavours but only suggestions that seemed to go well with the pea e.g. smoked ham. With this feedback we narrowed it down to about six to eight different flavours and then set about working with our flavouring company to get the taste just right. We had to work with the sweetness and texture of the pea and flavours you think would work – just didn’t. After a lot of back and forth and follow up consumer research we finally agreed on our final four flavours; Sweet chilli salsa, Wacky wasabi, Cheesy peasy and onion and Smoked ham and we couldn’t have been happier.

Our favourite flavour is the Wasabi, as it has a really nice kick straight after biting, however, what is your favourite flavour personally? l Cheesy Peasy & Onion all day long, followed closely by the Smoked Ham. Wasabi is our best seller though, so I think many of our consumers will agree with you - not to mention, the Great Taste judging team!

Already you have won Great Taste awards, as well as having four great flavours, however are you due to add any more flavours to your range anytime soon? l We have so many ideas and in the food start up world, we have learnt that we have to prioritise and make sure we develop in areas that will be the most successful. At the moment we are considering new pack formats, flavours and also using other pulses. So watch this space. Lastly, could you tell our readers a few unique selling points of your snacks? l Sure. Our English grown peas are high in fibre, a veggie source of protein and are less than 150 calories per pack. In fact, we’re higher in fibre and protein than crisps and lower in fat than nuts. Which means our peas will keep you fuller, bridging the gap between meals. They offer you an alternative tasty, savoury snack –plus our cheeky brand will hopefully make you smile for good measure.

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fter recently speaking with Caroline Beer of Boka Food, I learnt that alarmingly, many snack bar companies aren’t using the ‘traffic light’ system for their nutrition facts, and in fact, are less healthy than you’d assume, some being loaded with sugar. After agreeing about how bad that is, and returning home for the evening, I found myself thinking to myself “I wonder what I have in the cupboard”, and so with that, and whilst my wife was watching ghastly soap, I decided to launch an household internal enquiry, let’s call it ‘The cupboardgate scandal’. It was true, Caroline was right. I in fact had been letting in to my sacred cupboards many healthy looking bars, which in fact were actually loaded with sugar and other nasties. Then came the arduous task of uncovering how this happened and what I was going to do to rectify it. Caroline kindly sent me a selection of actual healthy bars and snacks to console me, albeit I never got a look in at many of these as either staff had some and then whilst excited about trialling a healthy version of marshmallows, I saw my own young child eating the last of the packet! However, the bars I had were simply sublime, healthy and guilt free but full of flavour and a nice texture too! They have a nice range of products that we’ll explore in more detail as we go through.

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WE MEET BOKA FOOD, WHO ARE LEADING THE WAY IN CREATING HEALTHIER SNACK BARS WITHOUT LOSING ANY OF THE TASTE! BEHIND THE BOKA Franco Beer, food development specialist and Founder of Boka, was looking to give his children the treats they really loved, but without adding more sugar to their diets. With his keen interest in nutrition and his Italian passion for good food, he was able to get something together! It took a long time for Franco to get the combination of taste and healthiness right. But the result is Boka, which, is unique in that it has a full set of four green traffic lights that’s the official way of showing that the products are very low in sugar, fat, saturates and salt. With Each Caramel, Strawberry or Apple & Cinnamon Boka bar having just 1.6g of sugar and only 99 calories, it means they really ARE healthy treats . After creating this new super bar, Franco call the bar ‘Boka’ (after ‘bocca’, which is Italian for ‘mouth’).


BOKA CEREAL BARS CHOCO MALLOW The newest flavour in the range, and one to really satisfy your sweet cravings!

APPLE & CINNAMON Treat yourself to the appetising apple with a hint of cinnamon. CARAMEL Indulge yourself with the classic Caramel. Goes great with a coffee.

STRAWBERRY Scrumptious Strawberry with real freeze-dried strawberries.


BOKA TREAT MARSHMALLOWS All the green light, sugar free marshmallows that are really tasty and guilt free! BOKA GRANOLA Coming in either a 50g grab and go pot, or soon to be released as a 500g family bag, this Granola again has all four green lights, ready to go!. l

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WE INTERVIEWED CAROLINE BEER TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BOKA BUT ALSO TO GET HER OPINION ON HOW TO STOCK A HEALTHY RANGE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS So, can you tell us a little bit more about how Boka Foods started? l Boka Food was born when the founder and owner Franco wanted to give his children the treats they loved but without adding lots more sugar to their diets. So he set about making tasty delicious cereal bars that are also low in sugar and fat. The result was the initial range of Boka bars; Apple & Cinnamon, Caramel and Strawberry. This range of all green traffic light cereal bars now includes a fourth flavour Choco mallow, the sweetest most indulgent bar in the range. Boka Food has also this year added two more ‘all green traffic light’ products to the Boka Food range, these are Boka Treat, sugar free marshmallows and Boka Pot a 50g grab and go pots of granola Granola will also be available in 500g bags for family at home. Where does the ‘Boka’ name come from? l The name Boka is a play on words and comes from Bocca which means mouth in Italian. Franco chose this as a nod to his Italian heritage, learning to cook from his nonna (grandma) and the importance of flavour and taste in everything we eat.

How has the reception been to the brand since starting? l Since launching in the summer last year, the reception to the Boka brand and cereal bars has been great, really exciting! There has been early adoption by hospitals, food services for corporate restaurants and cafes, independent schools, leisure centres and independent stores. The bars are popular in staff and visitor restaurants and cafes as they are a great substitute for high sugar snacks and now employers, hospitals and Catering managers are aware they should be providing healthier snack choices and alternatives to the high sugar, fat and salt (HSSS) snacks that are readily available and offered everywhere. Boka is really pleased to hear stories of our bars being used as part of healthy meal deals and from our online customers using them in children’s lunch boxes, in their own snack drawers at work and keeping them in their cars and gym bags for a healthy snack.


We see that you recently exhibited at IFE Exhibition, how did the show go for you? l The show was a great success, we made lots of new friends and had a great deal of interest in the Boka bars and granola particularly from overseas, absolutely reflecting the International element of the show. We also had visits from and requests for our bars from many independent cafe owners, garden centres and leisure attractions looking for a healthier snack to offer to their customers of all ages. Will you be attending many other trade shows this year where our readers can find you? l At the moment we plan to be at FML Food Matters Live in November again at Excel, where we will be exhibiting in the Enterprise zone. We exhibited at FML in 2016 and it was a great success.

We love that you use and are proud of the traffic light system for showing how healthy a product is, do you feel that shop customers are actively looking for signs like this before buying nowadays? l Since Boka launched last year consumers are becoming more aware of the nutritional traffic light system, this is also being promoted by Food Smart in schools and GP surgery. Also with the government’s drive to reduce sugar by 20% in confectionary, cakes, cereals biscuits and drinks, customers are becoming more aware of foods that contain sugar and how much sugar is in certain food types and the hidden sugar in many perceived healthy products. Most cereal bars, flapjacks and natural fruit bars will be high in sugar and many also high in fat and calories. We believe the traffic light system is the simplest and clearest way for a customer to see at a glance whether what they are choosing is high in sugar, fats or salt, as this is clearly displayed by a red traffic light. This system is easy to understand for children and adults, it also means you do not have to keep squinting at labels or rummaging for your reading glasses to understand what you are about to consume. The traffic light system is favoured by Public Health England, dieticians and nutritionists and has been adopted by major supermarkets

and brands. Of course the only reason you would not want to use it is if your products are HSSS, therefore have red traffic lights for sugar, fat and salt. If a product does not use the traffic light system it is worth asking yourself why?

It is often said that it is hard to make something so healthy actually taste nice… what’s your secret? l Our secret is to use a mixture of instinct, experience and science... The most important thing to Franco the founder, with his background as a chef was to start with taste and keep taste the driving factor for a successful bar. It is no good producing something healthy that does not taste delicious or satisfies any sweet craving. After three years of in house development, innovation, trial-and-error, many trial productions, tweaking and retweaking Boka finally had a Eureka! moment and a fabulous tasting bar.

What advice would you give our readers about picking a good set of healthy snacks to stock in their delicatessen? l In any healthy snack range always include some fruit and nuts, then look for any products with all green nutritional traffic lights or mostly green and one amber. There are many products in the market place purporting to be healthy but are often the complete opposite, it just takes a bit of research to find the truly healthier snacks. Try and build a range of snacks to include bars, cereals, drinks, bags of sweet and savoury treats, this can be achieved with a selection of different low fat options and low sugar options. Then share with the consumer POS literature to help them make a healthier more informed choice.

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TOPPINGS PIES L ast year at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, the editor of our magazine was going about his normal business perusing various products at the show, when suddenly he caught a scent, and like a bloodhound was off hurrying in the direction of the Topping Pie Company stand. Fortunately for our editor, but unfortunately for Toppings Pies, he had not yet had lunch and there was many a pie on offer for a cheeky trial… but then, all of a sudden the usually brash editor was fixated upon the sight of a game pie. For those who don’t know, our editor heavily supports the movement to grow the popularity of game and wild meat to reduce waste and bring back some terrific recipes. After trying and falling in love with the game pie, our editor went away and vowed to one-day feature the very company behind this hallowed pie in the Delicatessen Magazine, and this time is now. FROM BUTCHERS TO BAKERS When Bill Topping opened his butcher’s shop in South Yorkshire in



1961 little did he know that it was the start of a multi award-winning company whose products would one day grace the deli counters at Selfridges, Harrods and Booths.

A FAMILY AFFAIR One of the reasons we love Toppings Pies is that they are a third generation family business. Bill hung up his butchers apron in 1989 handing the baton to son Roger alongside his wife Maggie who took over the butchery firm - but it was Maggie’s talent and passion for home baking that was to change the shape of the business. In 1991 Maggie took some of her family’s favourite original homemade pies made to her own recipes to sell in the butcher’s shop. The reputation of the tasty traditional Topping pies, some inspired by

historical recipes dating back to Victorian and Tudor times, quickly spread and within two years Maggie and Roger had set up a separate bakery division and moved to bigger premises to keep pace with customer appetite for family-inspired products.

IN TO THE MILLENIUM By 2000 the company had once again outgrown its premises and The Topping Pie Company was officially born when Roger and Maggie bought a new bakery. In 2010 Roger’s youngest son Matthew was brought into the business, and since joining Matthew has worked alongside dad Roger and rolled up his baking sleeves in all aspects of the business, moving the Topping brand forwards. l

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An Interview with Roger Topping So, tell us how it all began? l We diversified into pies in 1991 from our original butcher’s shop business founded by my late father, Bill Topping in 1961, largely due to the impact on fresh meat sales caused by the BSE disease. My wife, Maggie, has always been a great home baker so it wasn’t difficult to develop an initial range of hot eating savoury pies. In the beginning we didn’t know how to make hot water crust pastry, until I ran into an old friend of my father’s who had made pork pies when he had been in business. I always enjoyed making pork pies rather than hot eating products, that is why all our awards are for pork based products. Sales of our pies in our own business went from strength to strength, so I thought if we can do so well with them then so could other businesses . So we decided to join The Yorkshire Pantry, which enabled us to exhibit and sell our pies at the Yorkshire Show and the Harrogate Flower Shows and attend our first trade shows. We entered our first competition at the N.E.C in 1995 and took a silver award for our Pate and Cranberry Christmas pie [which we still make today]. Then in 1997 we took six products to the Slavacto Trade Show in Utrecht, Holland, this was a key international trade show held every three years, which included a product evaluation competition with global entries. We came home with five Golds with stars and one Silver. That was the first of many awards we have received for our Game pie and the first of 43 awards we have to date.

We love your pies, especially your game pie, however what is your favourite? l Our Game pie is one of the first pies we developed in our cutting pie range and is still very popular today, so much so that we have presented Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne with one on two separate occasions. We developed a 450g pie a couple of years ago due to seasonal demand at Christmas. They are also available on some blue chip cruise lines going all around the world. My personal favourite pie must be (as well as our traditional pork pie) The Yorkshire Farmers pie. A base layer of British Red Tractor pork pie


WHY CHOOSE TOPPINGS PIES? l Family run business – 3 generations of Toppings family l Traditional family butchers and baking

business for more than 50 years

l Pies made with only the best quality

British meat and poultry, locally sourced Red Tractor standard – UK’s largest food assurance production standard

meat with, diced chicken and ham marinated in a whole grain honey mustard. Incidentally The Yorkshire Farmers Pie is going to be our ‘Piecycle’ this year celebrating the iconic Tour de Yorkshire, which will be available in all the press tents covering the race, as well as all good retailers.

When you started to make pies, did you ever realise how successful they would become? l When we first had the idea of making handcrafted pies, our mission statement was - We want to become the best pie manufacturer in the country. That is a very bold statement to make and is of course impossible to determine. All I can point to is how proud we are to have picked up 43 awards, 33 of which are Gold, so that must count for the quality and taste of our pies. We have entered 10 products in this year’s Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Foods, so let’s see how we do. We are delighted that our pies are listed by some very high end customers, including Selfridges, Fenwick’s, [Booths Lancashire] House of Bruer [Scotland] and some very prestigious farm shops and delis all over the country. Last year we started exporting to Jersey and Guernsey, and last, but certainly not least, to New Zealand. Who would have believed it, from a 4ft counter in Doncaster Market Hall to all around the world. We also baked a special commemorative ‘Queen’s pie’ to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday last year and was delighted to be invited to deliver it to the Royal Chef for her to enjoy. One tale I love to tell is how we won the Fenwick’s business. We had just triumphed with our first Gold Great Taste Awards, and Tony Howard, the MD of Lewis and Coopers secured an appointment for me with the Fenwick’s buyer. The buyer was happy with his current supplier and only saw me on the recommendation of Tony.

l Premium quality British pies made by

hand with passion

l Made to Maggie Topping’s original

homemade family recipes, some taking inspiration from Victorian and Tudor times

l Upper crust guest – The Topping Pie Company’s success was honoured with a Royal visit in 2009 when the Princess Royal visited and toured the bakery l Award-winning – more than 40 awards,

including the coveted and prestigious 3 star Gold Great Taste Awards given by the UK’s Guild of Fine Food

Four years later that buyer, who is now a firm friend, arrived at our NEC stand and asked to try our Game Pie, admitted it was very good and asked if we could develop a Chicken and Ham Pie for him. They listed us and the Chicken and Ham Pie took a Gold Award and Best Speciality Product from Yorkshire the following year!

We hear that some of your products are from Victorian and even Tudor recipes, how did you come across these? Also, do you find that the historical nature of the products make them more popular? l When Maggie and I went on our travels, she would seek out second hand book shops looking for old cook books and traditional Victorian and Tudor pie recipes. We got the idea for our Game Pie from one of these recipes, which she adapted and incidentally one of the first Game pies noted down was made in Yorkshire and was sent down to London for Henry VIII’s Coronation


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(How on earth they managed that we’ll never know, as it weighed a tonne and they had no refrigeration!) We find that our customers love that we take our inspiration from historical recipes and reinvent them with our own family favourite style. The fact that they look homemade is appealing and they continue to be very popular.

We first met you at last years Farm Shop & Deli show, and we hear you are exhibiting again this year. Just how important are delicatessens and farm shops to your business? l The Farm Shop and Deli Show is the highlight of our year, it is the only trade show we take part in. We find that attendees are serious buyers and are our target customer base. Farm shops and garden centres are the new high street. The public know that the products they sell are as a rule of the best quality and they are discerning customers. Because we are retailers as well as manufactures, we can offer new customers more than just pies and quiches. We go into stores; dress

longer in demand and we make very few now, but the Game pie is still the most popular large cutting pie along with firm favourite the Chicken and Ham pie. So much so that we are working on a hot eating game pie, we are not quite there yet, because we want to get it right. So yes it is still very popular and there is still a healthy demand for game meat in the pie sector.

their windows; train their staff, run in-store tastings and talk to their customers ie establish our products for the new retail customer. It is a win win relationship.

We love that you do a game pie in your range, have you found there to be a rise in the demand for game meat within pies in the last few years? l The Game pie was one of two cutting pies we first developed, the other being our Apricot and poultry product. The latter is no

Lastly, what advice would you give to our readers on how to select a range of pies to stock? l The easiest question to answer – Toppings Pies. We offer a range of speciality handcrafted pies and quiche and they have all the provenance you could want from locally sourced British Red Tractor pork meat and flour milled just up the road, to lard produced in Doncaster and a groaning trophy cabinet full of more than 40 awards. My youngest son, Matthew, our Sales Director, could sell ice cream to eskimos, backed up with customer service from Debbie and Karen, our sales team who also run some of our in-store tastings.

Experience the sensational taste and health benefits of raw, unblended Australian Eucalyptus honey. A NATURAL ANTISEPTIC RELIEVES RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS RENOWNED TO HAVE ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – IDEAL FOR REDUCING SWELLING GREAT FOR MILD COUGHS AND COLDS Each honey has a distinctive flavour originating from the respective Eucalyptus tree from which it was harvested. With health and well-being benefits, each honey can be enjoyed on its own, in culinary recipes, or added to beverages.

Pure delicious raw honey from Australia To stock Gustare Honey products and to order POS items contact Pride In Food on 0115 9232623 or email

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ou may have heard many marketers talking about 2017 being the year of content, why is that? Consumers are increasingly wanting content to engage and share. This is a wonderful opportunity for brands and retailers to drive this new method of communication. The content is an opportunity to drive consumers into store (both physical store and online stores) to buy and engage. With Consumers are demanding more content worth sharing and less updates about NPD according to a recent survey from agency UM. How do you create content and use it to drive sales we here you ask? Share images of your delicious products these can be shared on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest or via your newsletter or as recipes cards. The growing demand for content is a wonderful opportunity to share video’s of your shop or recipes with your products so that you can increase visitor numbers and drive sales. Many of the food trends for 2017 such as meal kits are driven by the consumer being time-poor so feed their imagination with culinary inspiration solutions. You can create your content around key weeks, trending hashtags or events such as #MeatFreeMonday, #BBQ,, Summer Picnics, everyone loves suggestions and the endless problem of what to cook for lunch or supper made for them. Remember to take images, as tweets with images have an 80% better engagement rate. We recommend a ratio of 20-80, 20% sales messages and 80% other content, and always think share. Instagram is all about great content in the form of images and short videos. Share your delicious specials of the day, new listings, ways to serve your products and remember to tag in the brands, or retailers so you can benefit from there social media reach too. Facebook is a great platform to share recipes and



use Facebook live to share events and show potential customers the shop event you are attending. Newsletters are a great tool in which to share you content. These give you a wonderful opportunity to share recipes, offers and events. If you don’t have recipes yourself ask for your suppliers as many producers will have created them and will be delighted to support you and share them. Don’t make your newsletter too long as it goes back to our time-poor nation. You are more likely to keep a higher open rate and engaged mailing list if you are short and informative. Make sure your customers can be added to your mailing list easily

at events, instore or online, it is vital that you keep growing your list. We are not saying that you have to have a presence on all social media platforms it is about using the ones you are on regularly and growing and engaging with your followers. Ensure you mix it up with images, questions, events and be consistent. Below left are examples of a great way to support your retailers and offer great content for the consumers. Womersley have created a series of recipe cards to suggest to consumers how they can use their vinegars. To drive sales you need to feed the customers imagination so that your product is in their shopping basket every week. The most important thing to remember is enjoy sharing your news and products, keep to the 80 -20 ratio and the more you share the more consumers will know you and shop with you. l For more tips on social media, please check out our website www.

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’ll jump right into it as you are probably wondering why we are talking about spanking with regard to gin, it’s simple – by ‘spanking’ (slapping the herb between ones hands) you extract the optimum flavour from a herb without over crushing or bruising the leaf. A technique we were taught to get the most from a sprig of mint, which we used to add extra twist to our Pinkster Gin as suggested by Will Holt, one of the Directors of Pinkster Gin. With the sun making an appearance and suddenly many invites to outdoor festivities being received, we were looking for a good, yet different gin to take with us. Therefore, we got in touch with Pinkster to see what their gin has to offer!

THE DREADED A.R.I (ALCOHOL RELATED INCIDENT) On a sunny weekend, I found myself armed with a 70cl bottle of the fine Pinkster gin, and after a small outdoor foray with the neighbours, turning into a rather lengthy tasting session, I managed to find myself tumbling about the street. Then disaster struck, drink, more bringing a feeling of literally, when upon trying to re-enter curiosity to see how this will taste. my house. I managed to completely The pink hue isn’t added by any forget about the step. After taking a colourings, in fact, it was found to spectacular tumble, culminating in a turn pink purely by chance from when rather bruised ego, and a very painful founder Stephen was trailing different bump, I realised just how much I had fruits from his fruit bowl within gin enjoyed the Pinkster gin. and found that raspberry worked Going back to business, and talking the best, but then left a rather mild about aesthetics, I felt that the bottle pinkness to the drink. not only looked great, but also felt great in the hand. This may seem a LOOKING FOR GINSPIRATION little over the top to mention this, but Pinkster came about from when first impressions really do matter and founder Stephen realised wine one hold of a Pinkster bottle and you and beer no longer agreed with are wanting to empty out it’s contents him. A keen maker of sloe liqueurs in double time. and other concoctions, he turned What was nice to see is that his attention to spirits and started the gin itself has a gentle experimenting at home, pink hue, which makes mashing assorted fruits with the bottle stand out, different spirit strengths. but it’s garish or over After it was decided SEE NEXT the top – it doesn’t that raspberry was the feel like a statement best fruit to use, G&J PAGE FOR AN



Distillers, one of the world’s oldest gin distilleries, was recruited to the cause. They produce the core spirit with five botanicals to Pinksters original recipe. They then macerate with a further three botanicals, including fresh raspberries grown locally to the rural Cambridge based headquarters.

INTOXICATED FRUIT! After using the raspberries to make the now famous gin, it seemed to the team that it was a ghastly waste to just discard this fruit. So, with this in mind, the idea to turn these now intoxicated berries into products was formed.

BOOZY BERRIES & GIN JAM You would have already read about the Gin Jam back in the Jam’s and Preserves feature earlier in the magazine, however we didn’t mention much about the Boozy Berries! These gin laced berries are delicious dipped in chocolate, used in a sorbet, mixed in with a pudding, or even added to a Pinkster G&T. The Boozy Berries and Gin Jam are selling well within delicatessens and farm shops, and would make for an interesting product to have on the shelf, not just because of the unique flavour, but also as a way of supporting less waste of marvellous English grown fruit. l

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WE INTERVIEWED WILL HOLT, DIRECTOR OF PINKSTER GIN So, tell us, how did Pinkster come about? l A kitchen table, a frustrated accountant, a midlife crisis, and a bottle of gin. Perhaps more the ingredients for a game of Cluedo, but that’s how the business was born. When founder Stephen Marsh, a keen maker of sloe liqueurs and other concoctions, realised that wine and beer no longer agreed with him, and wanting to make a gin to accompany food, he turned his attention to spirits and started experimenting at home, mashing assorted fruits with different spirit strengths.

What came first, the gin or the name? l Well, we didn’t set out to make a pink drink. It’s just that after working our way through a fruit bowl, we realised that raspberry delivered the best flavour. The name came later (after a good lunch).

With a pink gin, do you find your audience to be overwhelmingly female? l Pinkster devotees are gin lovers looking for something a little quirky and unusual. Whilst we certainly have a loyal female following, we have many male fans that are quick to refuel.

We love the aesthetics of the bottle, a really nice quality glass bottle which feels nice to hold, with slightly uneven inside edges which give it an edge, how did you chose your packaging? l Thank you. We were looking for a handsome bottle that reflects our premium positioning, is eye-catching and stands out on-shelf. As you can imagine, it’s not the cheapest bottle to buy in but it’s worth every penny. We like the ‘Agreeably British Gin’ statement, where does this come from? l Ahem, probably the same long lunch as the name. It just seemed to fit the bill. On the BBC’s programme ‘The Apprentice’, one task was to make gins and one team was scolded heavily for adding an artificial colour to their gin. How does the colour come about in your gin? l The core spirit is distilled with

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five botanicals by G&J, one of the world’s oldest gin producers. We then hand-steep with another three botanicals including fresh, plump raspberries that are grown locally to our rural HQ outside Cambridge. However, Pinkster is first and foremost designed as a long drink. Deliciously dry with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish, it makes a refreshingly different G&T when served with a raspberry and a sprig of fresh, well-spanked mint.

A nice little surprise for us was your ‘Gin Jam’. We love the flavour of this, and the editor in fact ate most of the jar before anyone else saw a look in… how did this come about? l Our first by-product was Boozy Berries, which use inebriated raspberries left over from making Pinkster. This quickly went down a storm with our delicatessen, farm shop and food hall customers, prompting us to think what to do with the raspberries that were too squishy (technical term) for Boozy Berries. And so Gin Jam was born in January.

Mildly alcoholic, it’ll certainly put the tipple in your teatime. Importantly, this all reinforces the natural qualities of Pinkster and is a highly sustainable and elegant way of minimising food waste.

In a fairly crowded market with the sudden boom of gin, how has the reception been to Pinkster gin? l No two ways about it, the gin category is going ballistic with new brands popping up every week. We’re pleased to report that since our launch in 2013, Pinkster is flying. Our colour and flavour gives us a vital point of difference in such a competitive market. We’re picking up accolades and awards, and sales are doubling on a yearby-year basis. We like to call it the ‘raspberry revolution’. Do you think there will be any more products coming from you guys in the near future? l Never say never. We already have QB, a fruit liqueur made with quince and bullace hand foraged from Suffolk hedgerows. Another fruity gin is most probably next on the cards.

Lastly from us, what advice can you give our readers about picking a selection of gins for their shops? l Be brave. If shoppers want a mainstream brand they can go to the high street names. We’d suggest picking a local gin or two, then add in a few with unusual botanicals, arresting design, and a characterful back story. That way the gins will become a talking point and will sell themselves.

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et’s start this piece with a confession: I’m a terrible at Indian cooking. Yes, I try hard, and in fact likely too hard. During my many attempts, there has been some fantastic colours, smells, and noises coming from the pans but then there’s the taste. I can only describe my version of Indian cooking as a confused scramble of flavours; all too confused to know which flavour should be sticking it’s head up with pride. Solemnly admitting my woes to Vhari Russell from The Food Marketing Expert, she took the chance to introduce me to Hari Ghotra and her range of curry kits, and I am

very glad that she did! I was sent a selection of curry kits, including a Makhani, a Rogan Josh, a Bhuna and a Tikka Masala. My initial thoughts were that if I could create something even a small percentage of the greatness in the picture on the front, I’d be very happy. My next thought was that should I be embarrassed to use a kit and not be able to do this my self? No, there is no shame in using a kit like this, letting the expert put together a package of spices to assist in the cooking of a meal. In fact, this is a great time saver and for many delicatessens, a way of offering your customers a way of getting involved in Indian cookery, without having to stock a whole plethora of separate spices.

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Each kit is a portable lifesaver. Inside the neatly made package is separately packed bags containing different ingredients and spices. Then, inside the packaging as you open the pack up, you’ll find the method clearly set out for what you need to do, how to create a Indian inspired masterpiece of your very own. Of course, you’ll need to add in some ingredients to make the meal, yet the ingredients left for you to find are very easily accessible and also Hari includes some alternative ingredients too, very convenient!

Incidentally, the aim of these kits isn’t to take away from you the ability to cook, the kits help you learn and understand how to cook Indian food, and if you do get a little stuck, there is a QR code on the inside of the packaging that if you click through via a smart phone or tablet, you can bring up a video and effectively cook this dish with Hari herself! That’s what I call service. The main benefit of using a curry kit, is that the kit takes away from you the hassle of sourcing specialized ingredients, having to precisely

So Hari, what made you enter the market with your curry kits? l I’ve been teaching people how to make curry from scratch for a long time now and it seems that using spices effectively is a really stumbling block for most. Everything I do is based around getting people back into the kitchen to cook from scratch so my kits are designed for people who want to cook, who love Indian food but just need a little helping hand.

for – homely, natural, down to earth, fresh and hands on.

measure out ingredients and spices you may not even heard of before, let alone managed to find. Also, for the occasion you want to cook an Indian meal to impress or just to enjoy on your own, you may not require a huge container of one certain spice. Overall, Hari doesn’t take away from you the bragging rights after creating a masterpiece from her kit, what she gives you is the confidence to be able to cook a truly memorable Indian meal. l

We thought we’d interview Hari to find out a little more about her and the brand.

There are already a few out there in the market at the moment, we know why we’d stock your kits, but can you explain to our readers a bit more about what makes your kits unique? l The kits are not spice blends that you sprinkle into your dish or a curry powder that contains a mixture of spices. These kits are designed to help you understand how to cook Indian food from scratch. They are made for the cook who wants to experience authentic flavours and understand the process of putting an Indian dish together. They are about putting the theatre of cooking back in the kitchen where you are grinding your own spices, you are using new and exciting ingredients but they are versatile so the fresh produce and protein you add is down to you. We love the photography and branding on your products, does much time and efforts go into this side of your work? l The branding and style of photography is very important and it took a lot of time and work to get it right. Yes, it’s about the product standing out on the shelf edge so people will see and hopefully buy it. But it’s also about communicating everything that Hari Ghotra stands


We feel that these kits offer a nice balance of convenience but also the feeling of home cooking; do you find any customers who still struggle to make a good finished product with your kits? l Not really, the kits are about simplifying what can be for some a daunting process and have been designed in a way that takes the customer through the cooking process one step at a time. The instructions are easy and simply laid out and if that’s not enough you can click onto the QR code which takes you to a video where I can cook it with you. How hard would it be in reality for a normal every day home cook to source a recipe and all the ingredients to a similar curry to your kits? l It is doable and each kit is very different and the recipes vary, some ingredients may be easier to come by then others. Our spices are sourced from farms in India and we work with a number of producers ensuring the high quality of the spices selected for the kits. Ingredients like tamarind, asafoetida can be tricky to find and the problem is that most customers don’t want to buy jar and then have to throw the rest away as it won’t be used. The kits take the hassle out of your curry evening leaving you to enjoy the cooking bit. Being that you product the kits, do you ever use your own kits at home yourself? l They are great to have in the cupboard and make the cooking bit

easier especially on a weeknight and I have used the tandoori mix a few times but my larder is packed floor to ceiling with jars of spices so I have no excuse (except laziness)!

What’s next for you with your products and when? l We are hoping to really push the kits this year and would love to get them stocked is as many stores as possible. I have another range of 6 that are ready to go too so watch this space!

Lastly, what advice would you give our customers about selecting and stocking curry kits for their shops? l Indian food is such a love in this country and customers are looking for different ways to cook the dishes at home that’s not just about opening a pre made sauce. These kits are about giving customers another choice and educating them about how to use spices and create authentic Indian flavours from scratch. The feedback has been phenomenal because customers are telling us that they feel like these kits help them to understand the process of making great Indian food and they feel a sense of pride when they present the final dish because they have cooked it all themselves.

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ack in November 2010, Plenty! Pies was born. Marc and Kate Birch set their Gloucestershire bakery up after a life long love of cooking and the countryside. Marc had taken over a pheasant shoot in the Cotswolds and after realising he couldn’t use all the tasty and healthy pheasant meat he had on his own, he channelled his inner ‘Midlands Lad’ mind-set and started using this quality meat in pies, enter Plenty! Pies. There is an on-going issue in the UK with game meat going to waste. Currently, the demand for shooting outweighs the demand for eating the lovely game birds at the end, and this is a real shame. However, thanks to more and more food producers like Plenty! Pies, using game in part of their offering, this makes the wonderfully versatile, healthy and natural game meat more accessible to the public. With this action, and celebrity chef endorsement, we are seeing a huge growth in popularity for game now, and long may it continue! IT’S NOT ALL A GAME With over 150 recipes to fill their crisp, golden pies, they select at least six fillings to bake each week. Their choice depends on what is best for the season and their latest inspirations. Typically, during the summer months you’ll find fresh herb inspired pies, with a variety of seasonal vegetables and lighter, cream based fillings that work as well cold as hot for the fish, chicken, gammon and vegetarian options. These pies make for a good picnic treat. As the weather cools off, more fulfilling stock based pies feature strongly on the menu. During this time, you’ll find the hugely popular Cotswold venison as a filling, as well as partridge and pheasant for the

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game lovers out there too. Albeit that there is a huge variety, their award winning and very popular ‘Breton Chicken’ and the lusciously rich ‘OverNight Shin of Beef’ are baked year round. PROVENENCE It’s of little surprise that a company founded by a true countryside couple, who take pride in the natural fauna around them, that the provenance and quality of ingredients is key. Most of their ingredients are local, such as their beef, which comes from Todenham Manor, situated three miles from Moreton in Marsh. Aberdeen Angus and South Devon cattle graze the farm’s pastureland and the owners are dedicated to ethical farming practices. However, Marc says that he’s not your typical devotee of the ‘holy grail of local’ unless the quality is top notch, and as such will look to source quality ingredients from elsewhere if they supersede what can be found locally, such as their specially sourced Spanish chorizo. PLENTY OF AWARDS! During the recent 2017 British Pie Awards, Plenty! Pies won a ‘highly commended’ for their overnight shin of beef. A ‘highly commended’ award tops gold, silver and bronze awards. This

year is the fourth time they’ve entered the national competition, staggeringly winning awards each year. As well as this year’s ‘highly commended’ award, they also got four silvers; for the wild boar & chorizo, Cotswold venison and Devon duck in the ‘speciality meat & game’ class, and for the Breton chicken in the ‘chicken & other meat’ class. Staggeringly, they have won at least one award for every pie they have entered each year they have attended, Including back in 2014, the first year that they entered the British Pie Awards, they won the top accolade of ‘champion’ pie for their Breton chicken pie. Plenty! Pies director Marc Birch said, “Having won awards each year that we’ve entered the competition, the pressure gets greater each time! Our shin of beef is particularly popular with our publicans as they tell us they’re pleased to offer their customers something more special than a beef & ale pie. We’re delighted that the judges gave it such high marks!” MOVING TOWARD THE FUTURE We would bet that by now, you are wondering how you can get hold of these pies! A question that we posed to Plenty! Pies, was to ask if they could possibly supply delicatessens and farm shops around the country, and the answer is yes. With the brand growing nicely and a large customer base in their local area, Plenty! Pies have taken a great step forward by offering their pies singly packed, helping retailers with the stocking and selling of these wonderful pies. As well as the single packing, Plenty! Pies are also now offering a mail order service too. l

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WE INTERVIEW MARC BIRCH OF PLENTY! PIES So, please can you tell us a bit more about the humble beginnings of Plenty Pies? l They are indeed humble! I’d taken on a pheasant shoot, naively believing that it would be as fun to manage as to be a gun (how wrong I was, but that’s another story!) I loved taking home and cooking the birds, but even I couldn’t manage more than a couple of brace. It seemed criminal to send the rest of the bag to a game dealer, so, being a Midland lad, my mind turned to pies, since I had a ‘on tap’ supply of game at least…. Borrowing the kitchen of the restaurant where my nephew was then working in Stroud, I bought a ‘Little Champion’ pie machine (a wonderful contraption that looks straight out of a Wallace & Gromit film) and began experimenting…. I must have been doing something right, as word, interest and demand spread among local pubs. From the start, I was determined to create pies that were very different from the dozens of ‘steak & ale’ and ‘chicken & mushroom’ varieties that can be bought anywhere and everywhere. I’d always enjoyed experimenting with flavours, so began creating recipes for fillings that we think are truly special. How has the business grown since you started? l Well, from being just me and my wife Kate, whom I persuaded to give up a perfectly respectable job in the NHS to reluctantly chop onions, we now have a great team, headed by production manager Sophie. We bought our own premises last year and have invested in equipment that means we’re geared up and set to conquer the pie world! Although we have fantastic capacity, we’re determined not to ‘sell out’, either by buying in ready made pastry or supplying supermarkets. Exclusivity for our deli and other trade customers is, with, of course, quality, the most important principle for our business.

We notice that you regularly make different game pies, which we are really keen on given the sustainability and taste factor, do you get much feedback on this range? l Well, I’m still on a mission to convert everyone to the pleasures of a tremendous, free range, healthy source of meat! Rest assured that


the lunch trade, and sell the wrapped ones alongside as part of their take home offering.

there will always be game options in our range. Our current game pie, Cotswold venison, is popular with our pub trade customers – so much so that we now bake it all year, and not just Autumn and winter.

We like that you often change recipes and your range, this is a good way of being unique, however do you ever get people wanting to see old recipes back? l As Kate will concur, I am a hideous recipe bore – permanently thinking about new combinations of ingredients and tweaking the fillings. We bake our two ‘best sellers’, Breton chicken and overnight shin of beef, year round, and introduce new recipes, usually seasonally. We do listen to customers though, and have indeed brought back fillings that have been popular, or when we’ve received threats of a mass protest at the bakery if we don’t bake them again!

We hear that you are launching a mail order service as well as a single pie wrapping for your products, what brought this about? l Space! the move to our own, much bigger premises meant that we could finally store all the packaging for chilled overnight deliveries – we’ve now got to work through the many requests we’ve had over the last six years to supply shops all over the country! We’d always resisted individually packaging the pies – their appearance, with the distinguishing toppings for each filling and golden, shiny glaze ‘sells’ them brilliantly, so why cover up that? However, we’ve been persuaded by the quality of wrapping – think posh, pleated cellophane. Together with the beautiful labels we’ve had designed, means that hopefully they’ll look just as appealing…. We’ve had a lot of interest from our customers, telling us that they plan to stock both unwrapped pies, to use for

We see that you are regularly successful at the British Pie Awards, what was in the limelight this year? l Proud boast alert – we’ve entered the Pie Awards four times – and come home with a stash of awards each year! It does mean that the pressure grows every time of course….. We entered our shin of beef in the pub pie category this year and won ‘highly commended’: better than the golds, silver and bronze awards. We also won several silvers in other classes; our wild boar & chorizo, Cotswold venison, Breton chicken and Devon duck.

One important factor in a lot of buyers minds now days is about ingredient sourcing and provenance, how do you source your ingredients? l Customers of our deli and trade outlets and customers with whom we speak every week at (the multi awardwinning) Stroud farmers’ market quite rightly want to know about the provenance of our ingredients and meat in particular. We research our suppliers and visit them. Although they are mostly local, such as family farm Todenham Manor, who supply our Angus beef, I’m not a devotee of the holy grail of local unless the quality is top notch. So, the chorizo we use is from an importer because I’ve found Spanish to be the best. We feel every delicatessen should have a good selection of pies to chose from, however, we would say that! What advice would you give to the readers about selecting good range of pies? l We’d say that too of course! We encourage our customers to stock the range (we bake at least eight fillings a week), because it’s a constant surprise which filling sells strongest in which outlet. Our range is a deliberate mix of gravy style dark sauces, and lighter cream based fillings, and those, like say, the wild boar & chorizo, and Devon duck which are neither, but work well hot or cold. We firmly believe that the key to a good selection, of pies or come to that, anything sold in a deli, is that something special that a customer won’t find in the supermarket…..

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hose who know our editor well will know he often can be heard telling people about the health benefits of raw honey, whilst sipping one of his rather quirky water infusions and smoothies each day with raw honey added. Raw honey has many benefits and we will explore these with the help of the wonderful brand Gustare Honey. BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY Not only is raw honey a Good Source of antioxidants, surprisingly, it is even said to be a simple hangover cure. It’s acclaimed by scientists for its ability to help the body break down alcohol, helpfully relieving you of the dreaded headache. Thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties, honey is said to neutralize the toxins that are created when you drink alcohol, which is lucky as we had plenty to hand after our gin tasting escapades in this issue! BRINGING THE BEST OF OZ TO THE UK! After only being in the UK for 8

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WE MEET THE PREMIUM RAW HONEY BRAND FROM AUSTRALIA WHOSE PRODUCTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK AND ARE TAKING OUR MARKET BY STORM! months, Gustare have already made it into over 100 stores. There is a reason for this success, and it’s not just their miracle working tasting team, it’s the product itself. Recently at a trade show, we witnessed a member of the Gustare team convert a non honey liker into a Gustare honey fiend. We wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and after trying the entire range in one sitting, we left the stand feeling enlightened. Gustare’s premium raw honey is produced by artisan beekeepers from Australia’s pristine natural wilderness. The bees are never exposed to chemicals or antibiotics, increasing their natural resistance and health, to provide

a tastier, purer honey. Each variety is produced seasonally in its own provenance and distinctive terroir, resulting in a truly unique product.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE There are many reasons why Gustare Honey is different, firstly, it’s produced in Australia, harvested from the flora of individual species of Eucalyptus trees native to Australia, which yield a more fragrant, monofloral honey. Secondly, Gustare don’t do anything to their honey to spoil the way the bees intended it to be. It comes straight out of the hive, goes through a filter to trap any debris and then it’s straight into the jar and in your mouth. Raw honey has many natural health benefits not found in many consumer honeys in the UK, which are often blends, and suffer from over filtration. l

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THE RANGE DELICATE – YELLOW BOX l Harvested from the Eucalyptus Melliodora tree in Western Victoria, New South Wales to south central Queensland. Smooth and delicate to taste, light in colour, with a generous aroma and widely regarded as one of Australia’s premier honeys. MILD – GREY IRON BARK

l Harvested from the Eucalyptus

Paniculata tree found mostly in eastern New South Wales. This Grey Iron Bark Honey is light in colour and has a mild, warm and subtle flavour with a slight nutty and toffee aftertaste.

RICH – STRINGY BARK from the Eucalyptus Caliginosa tree in the Northern Tablelands and North Western slopes of eastern New South Wales. A darker coloured honey boasting an intense and rich aromatic flavour, with hints of smoky coffee.

l Harvested

STRONG – APPLE TREE from the Angophora Floribunda tree found mostly on the Western Slopes in the eastern areas of the New England Tablelands of New South Wales. A strong flavoured, dark coloured honey with a silky texture and toffee apple undertones.

l Harvested

COMING SOON! MANUKA – JELLY BUSH Due for release May/June 2017 l Gustare is pleased to announce a new Manuka honey to their product range which is to be released this summer!. Unlike New Zealand Manuka honey, our Australian Manuka Jelly Bush variety has no medicinal taste, is sweet and fragrant, yet still possesses the powerful antibacterial health benefits.


So, with launching in the UK last year, how have you found the reception to Gustare honey in the UK from delicatessens and farm shops? l We’re very pleased that after only 8 months on the market in the UK, Gustare is now selling in over 100 stores in the UK. We’re on the shelves of independent health and wellbeing stores all over the country and in Fenwick’s Department Store in Newcastle. We have had an amazing reception from customers who have tasted our honey, the typical response


usually involves a ‘wow!’ or ‘mmm’ but on a recent tasting event, a health foods store assistant we met claimed that our Stringy Bark honey was the “best honey ever!” which was a particularly proud moment for the team. We’ve also received positive feedback from several top chefs across the UK and one renowned chef, James Graham – who is now a collaborative partner of Gustare Honey - pronounced it was the “best honey he had ever tasted.”

How does the UK market compare to the Australian market for buying honey? l Although demand in the UK market is much larger than the Australian market in numerical terms, there is a significant difference in the qualities of the honeys available to consumers in each country. Australian consumers are more used to buying high quality raw honeys from supermarkets and are familiar with the differences in

taste of Australian Grey Iron Bark honey and the more common Yellow Box honey. British consumers more typically buy honey blends and are less familiar with the pure taste of raw honeys.

We’ve seen members of Gustare staff convert non-honey liking trade show visitors into enjoying samples of your honey, we think this shows the quality of your product, however can you tell our readers a little more about why this could be? l Our range of Australian raw monofloral Eucalyptus honeys bear a very different taste to European honeys. The short supply of honey in the UK and Europe means that most honeys sold in the market are blends of European and Non-European honeys which are often mixed with syrups or sugar and pasteurised, resulting in a bland, chemical taste. The consumer will have little idea of the provenance of this kind of product and is unlikely


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to savour its taste. Gustare’s honey is as it is in the hive, it has a fragrant, floral flavour and a richer, sweeter and purer taste in comparison to the honeys our customers have tried previously. Through our tastings sessions, we are gradually educating the public on the benefits of choosing Australian raw honey.

On the subject of trade shows, we see Gustare at a fair few, what are the main events where our readers can find you this year? l This year, we have attended two major events at ExCel London – the International Food and Drink Event in March and the Natural and Organic Products Europe show at the beginning of April. We are also conducting a series of honey tastings in health and wellbeing stores around the country, which is proving to be very popular. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to be informed about these tastings. There is a list of stockists on our website we will soon be selling on-line ourselves. Getting back to your products, how important is the background of the bees to producing a great final product? l Our bees are never exposed to chemicals or antibiotics which increases their natural resistance and health and ultimately helps to make a tastier, purer honey. Our artisan beekeepers work in Australia’s pristine natural wilderness. They transport the bees to different forests to individual eucalyptus forests to pollinate flowering trees and bush. The bees ultimately produce honey bearing the flavour of the nectar of the flowers in these forests. The taste of the honey is also influenced by climatic conditions such as temperature and rainfall which can vary dramatically in the Australian bush. The flavours of the four products in our current range are very different, all influenced by the flower of the various Eucalyptus trees – Yellow Box, Grey Iron Bark, Stringy Bark and Apple Tree – from which they derive.

Often, UK delicatessens like to buy local and obviously Australian honey couldn’t be any further away from our shores. However, there is a few very good reasons why it’s good to stock Australian honey, can you run our readers through these? l The UK’s domestic beekeeping industry can only supply 10 per cent

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of the demand for honey in the UK. The honey production season in the UK is very short – only two months - compared to about ten months in Australia. In the UK and much of the rest of the northern hemisphere, bee colonies are in dramatic decline so honey from this part of the world is in short supply. Bee colonies are much stronger in Australia. Our artisan beekeepers produce a range of mono-floral premium raw honeys with a clear provenance and distinctive terroir. Australian honey is quite different from European honey as it is produced from the flora of a range of Eucalypt species unique to the Australian continent, resulting in fragrant, delicious honeys. We are introducing a new Australian Manuka (Jelly Bush) to the UK market in coming weeks. Manuka honeys are only produced in New Zealand and Australia.

We love your Manuka honey, we find the taste profile really amazing and nothing like other manukas we’ve tried, and as reported there isn’t a medicinal taste in your product – can you tell us why this is? l Like New Zealand’s renowned Manuka honeys, the Australian equivalents are derived from the flora of the Leptospermum plant species and have similar health benefits. Our Manuka honey is derived from the flora of Leptospermum polygalifolium, popularly known in Australia as Jelly Bush. It has a sweeter taste than most New Zealand Manuka honeys, which are derived from the flora of Leptospermum scoparium. We hope this sweeter taste - which is all down to the flower of the Jelly Bush plant and seasonal climatic conditions - will entice new customers to enjoy the health benefits of this very special honey.

In the article we reviewed the benefits of raw honey, how do you consume your honey the most? l Although our honey tastes great on toasts and crumpets, I use it widely in my diet. I put a teaspoon of honey in the fruit juice I blend up every morning for breakfast and in smoothies for my kids. I combine a tablespoon of honey with soy sauce, lemon and garlic to make a delicious sauce for chicken or fish dishes. Honey-glazed carrots are delicious. But by far my favourite way to consume our honey is to drizzle our mild (Grey Iron Bark) honey over Stilton cheese. It’s a sublime combination. You’ve already got an impressive range of products, however we’ve heard on the grapevine there is to be more brought out at any time, when can we expect to see more products joining the range? l We are very excited to launch our first Manuka honey in the UK next month, at a price point that will be very attractive to customers. We expect to be bringing more Manuka products, with higher activity levels and enhanced health benefits, to the market. We will also be bringing new honeys to the UK. Some of these are derived from plants that only flower every few years. We are proud to be promoting the best of Australian honeys in the UK and are hoping to bring other Australian superfoods to the UK and Europe in the future.

Lastly, what advice can you give our readers about picking a good selection of honey to stock? l Gustare’s own selection of raw Eucalyptus honeys has a variety of flavours to appeal to different tastes. We have defined these as delicate, mild, rich and strong. Picking the right honey depends on how you like to consume your honey and your personal taste preferences. Our Stringy Bark honey has a unique rich and particularly delicious flavour which has proved very popular in the health and well-being market. The best choice you can make when shopping for honey is to choose raw, unadulterated and unblended honeys so you can enjoy the original and pure taste of the honey, as made by the honeybees.

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