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October 2011 · Vol 12 Issue 9

at the heart of speciality food and drink


Stock up on jams and marmalades with our pick of the preserves IN THIS ISSUE 2011-12 TASTE BACK TOGOLD 2011-12 THE GARDEN This year’s finest food & drink judged by the experts

SUPREME CHAMPION McCartney’s of Moira takes the GTA crown


The suspense is over for Clifton’s Arch House


‘Fusion has been going on for centuries’



Getting down to

FEATURING OVER earth on Norfolk’s 200 GREAT TASTE Astley Estate AWARD WINNERS Extra copies available FREE to delis, farm shops and food halls. Call 01963 824464 for more details.

Vol.12 Issue 9 路 October 2011



in this issue

The internet is a wondrous thing. I typed the words ‘Tesco’, ‘new’ and ‘jobs’ into Google and in under half a second the screen revealed 15.3 million results. Who from my generation could have imagined that 20 years ago? In less time than it takes to blink an eye, I can read countless stories from newspapers and listen to or watch broadcasts from local and national TV and radio. And I marvel at how many new jobs Tesco will create each time it plans to open a new store. I read endless testaments of promise that convince government, local planners, and a public weaned onto cheap food that granting permission for another out-of-town superstore will generate hundreds of new jobs. And please don’t worry about the possibility of jobs being lost when independent high street shops are forced out of business, because the message couldn’t be clearer: there is always going to be a net gain in local employment. Having read the latest figures from the British Council of Shopping Centres, I find that very reassuring. Their report claims high streets are declining at their fastest rate ever and one in 10 shops is likely to remain vacant for the ‘foreseeable future’. I’m eager for more words of comfort and a fresh search leads me to Tesco’s financial statements, which reveal the group’s statistics on new store openings and employment. What fascinating reading! The supermarket chain has increased its UK store count by 578 since 2008 while adding the equivalent of 7,049 new full-time jobs. That’s an employment-crisis-busting average of 12 full-time positions per additional store. Impressive! I’m on a roll now so I Google Sainsbury’s financials, which show the group increased its UK stores by 80 between 2009 and 2010. During the same period, the overall number of people employed appears to have remained static, although full-time jobs decreased. How can that work? Research recently commissioned by the Guild of Fine Food and the Speciality & Fine Food Fair suggests employment levels in delicatessens and farm shops actually grew by 16.9% over the last 12 months and yet Tesco can only notch up a measly 3.6% increase in UK full-time jobs since 2008. If you divide total turnover by numbers of employees, the average turnover per Tesco employee is currently £199,620, whereas the Guild’s survey suggests the same employee in a deli or farm shop needs a turnover of just £39,625 to keep them in work. I’m not the brightest star in the solar system but I’m thinking that spending my food budget in independent shops might sustain more full-time jobs than the same amount spent in Tesco. Stop sucking up to supermarkets, Mr Cameron. Small businesses are where the new jobs are created.

❝Tesco only notched up a measly 3.6% increase in UK full-time jobs since 2008❞

Bob Farrand Bob Farrand is publisher of Fine Food Digest and national director of the Guild of Fine Food

What they’re saying ❝The word ‘spice’ has been lost in this country. People think ‘spicy’ means ‘hot’, just like they think a curry house is about blowing your head off. But spice is about flavour. It’s a beautiful thing.❞ Antonio Smith, The Backyard Company – page 35

fine food news

Daylesford dishes out advice to delis as it prepares to open up to 10 c-store-size units p4

great taste awards 2011: the big winners

We report on the major trophy winners at this year’s GTAs p15

product update: jams and preserves

Lynda Searby goes in search of the best new jams, marmalades and compotes p31

focus on: spicy sauces

Producers with African and Afro-Caribbean roots tell us why heat isn’t everything p34

case study: EPoS Andrew Don talks to Apley Farm Shop about its new Eureka system p37

focus on: asian food

With supermarkets filling entire aisles with Asian foods, how can delis find a niche? p40


news deli of the month deli chef cheesewire shelf talk

4 22 25 27 47

EDITORIAL Editor: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Michael Lane News editor: Patrick McGuigan Art director: Mark Windsor Editorial production: Richard Charnley Contributors: Menna Davies, Lynda Searby, Andrew Don ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey, Gavin Weeks Circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Publisher & managing director: Bob Farrand Associate publisher & director: John Farrand THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD Membership secretary & director: Linda Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates, Nik Davies Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance

t: 01963 824464 Fax: 01963 824651 e: w: Published by: Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd. Fine Food Digest is published 10 times a year and is available on subscription for £40pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Advent Colour, Hants © Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2011. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Vol.11 Issue 1 · January-February 2010

fine food news The posh people’s farm shop chain aims to offer a ‘top-up shopping’ range in new high street units

Daylesford boss warns struggling delis against ‘destructive cycle’ of range cuts By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Daylesford Organic aims to avoid what is calls the “classic” merchandising and ranging errors made by many delis as it rolls out a chain of up to 10 smaller format stores in London and the South West. The top-end farm shop chain plans to open between six and 10 stores with cafés, varying in size from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft, in London and in towns close to its flagship Cotswolds farm shop over the next three to four years. After researching the deli market ahead of the roll-out, CEO Jamie Mitchell said a key challenge for independent delis was understanding “why and how customers use them”. “One option is to be a specialist, like a butcher or greengrocer,” he told FFD, “but for a general store our assessment suggests you need a pretty full range to meet the needs of the top-up shopper.” Unless customers can be sure of finding a broad product selection in-store, he said, they won’t visit. So delis that respond to low sales from a poor, badly merchandised range by cutting it back even further can find themselves in a “destructive cycle”. He said that recognising this problem had helped Daylesford achieve 20% year-on-year sales growth in two of its stores last year. Mitchell, who was previously MD of smoothies company Innocent, estimates the new convenience storesized shops will boost Daylesford’s sales by around £15m. The company has also launched a virtual farm shop with upmarket online retailer Ocado, selling over 130 products through a dedicated Daylesford microsite. The moves are part of a strategy to make the company, owned by Lady Carole Bamford, profitable by 2013 after losing around £27m in its first seven years of trading. Its 2010 accounts are expected to show a loss of £3.5m, falling to £1m this year. Mitchell said other challenges facing independents included getting the right balance between retail and foodservice and not “over-populating their stores with tables and chairs” in pursuit of higher foodservice margins. “People simply don’t like shopping around other people

Jamie Mitchell: Daylesford saw a 20% sales hike in stores where it addressed ranging and merchandising

sitting down. If you want to be a café, be a café – you will probably make more money. If you want to be a retailer, make the offer attractive to customers.” At Farrington’s Farm Shop near Bristol, business manager and FFD columnist Paul Castle said opening smaller format outlets was a “shrewd move” by Daylesford. “The key will be getting the right locations,” he said. “Convenience stores are already perceived as being expensive, so their stores will have to be located in areas with a very affluent demographic. “In the Cotswolds, places such as Cheltenham, Cirencester and Broadway could support a 1,000 sq ft Daylesford – larger stores than that will have to be in London.”

Organic stores on a roll despite market slump Despite sales of organic food falling dramatically in the past two years, Daylesford is one of several organic retailers intending to expand. Last month FFD reported on Whole Foods Market’s plans to roll out its organic, natural and local food stores across the country, while London-based Planet Organic has recently opened its fifth branch in the City and has announced ambitions to grow the 4 October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

chain to around 20 shops over the next five years. Organic supermarket chain As Nature Intended has also opened a new-concept store in the new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, which joins existing outlets in Balham, Ealing and Chiswick. The ‘optimal wellbeing’ store sells natural skincare products, supplements and organic food.

shopfitting Asda lines up suppliers for own-brand local food ranges Asda plans to work with regional food and drink producers across the country to develop locally sourced ranges under its mid-tier Chosen By You house brand. The new initiative will begin with a range of Chosen By You products made by producers in Scotland for stores north of the border, before being rolled out to Northern Ireland, Wales and regions in England. It’s the first time a major supermarket has launched regional own-brand products and marks a new level of sophistication in the market for local food. The Chosen By You Scotland range comprises 22 lines covering pies, cakes and bread supplied by three companies. While big brand Hovis is supplying a Scottish batch loaf, the other lines are produced by two relatively small companies. Family-owned Swords, which supplies independents across Scotland, is manufacturing products such as Scotch pies and steak & gravy pies for Asda, while craft bakery Mathiesons is supplying a range of fruit tarts and cakes. “This is a massive opportunity for some of our local food suppliers who already sell their branded

products in our stores, but will also now be able to make products for our Chosen By You range,” said a spokeswoman. The move is part of a renewed focus at Asda on local sourcing, which has seen it hold a round of meet-the-buyer events across the country to increase its roster of small suppliers. A Scottish food showcase was held at Asda House in Leeds last month to introduce new products to the retailer's executive team, while 10 Scottish firms are taking part in a supplier development programme with Asda, which focuses on areas such as product development, food safety and marketing. In the Midlands, buyers from Asda have been working with regional food group Heart of England Fine Foods (HEFF) to expand its range of local lines in categories including bakery, dairy, prepared foods, ice cream and condiments. A meet-the-buyer event in August saw 16 HEFF members, including the Shropshire Cheese Company, Just Oil and Ringswood Ice Cream, meet with Asda’s local sourcing team to discuss potential products to go into 31 stores during Spring 2012. THE CHOSEN FEW: HEFF supply chain development manager Rachel Berry (second left) with Asda local sourcing executives Terri Saunders, Alison Hamlett and Jon Hollingsworth

More battles at Borough Market despite departure of top executives By PATRICK McGUIGAN

London’s Borough Market is embroiled in another dispute over a rival market opening in the area following the departures of its controversial chairman and managing director. The iconic market, which made the headlines earlier this year for evicting seven traders for selling at rival foodie destination Maltby Street, has invoked an ancient law to prevent visitor attraction Vinopolis from setting up a wine market nearby. The move comes after the market confirmed that MD Glenis Reagon left in August, followed by chairman Peter Wilkinson last month. The pair were central to the controversial decision to evict the Maltby Street traders, who now call themselves the Bermondsey Seven. Earlier this year Vinopolis applied for planning permission to set up a wine market as part of the Vinopolis Yard bakery, restaurant and shopping boulevard currently under construction close to Borough Market. Parent company Wine World London said that the development would “complement rather than compete” with Borough, but the market has lodged an objection with the council, citing a 1756 Act of Parliament that established Borough Market and restricted what could be sold in the surrounding streets. “Borough Market is a community market and it is our aim to protect the livelihoods of our traders, the quality of the experience for our shoppers and the long term future of the market," said Keith Davis, a former local government executive who has replaced Glenis Reagon as MD. Peter Wilkinson has been replaced by Donald Hyslop, a trustee at the market since 2010, until a new chairman is formally elected. Borough Market: now in dispute with Vinopolis

LAST NIGHT OF THE PRONGS: This year’s ‘Golden Forks’ – the major trophies in the annual Great Taste Awards – were presented at London’s Royal Garden Hotel last month. Top award winners included McCartney’s of Moira, which took the Supreme Champion title for its hand-made corned beef, and Quicke’s Traditional, named Speciality Producer of the Year. Cheese wholesaler Tim Rowcliffe received the Guild of Fine Food’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while BBC Radio 4’s Sheila Dillon collected a new Great Taste Champion award for her contribution to the local food sector. Pictured (l-r) are Tim Rowcliffe; Simon Burdess of Fortnum & Mason and George McCartney of McCartneys of Moira; Sheila Dillon; and Mary Quicke of Quicke’s Traditional with awards presenter and BBC Radio 2 food correspondent Nigel Barden. Full report starts on p15. Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011

inbrief Hawkshead Relish has signed up with a Russian distributor after a trade mission run by UK Trade and Investment. The Cumbrian firm has shipped six pallets, containing more than 10,000 jars of preserves, to St Petersburg for importer and distributor Omega Standards. ● The head of upmarket North West supermarket chain Booth’s, which is sponsoring Slow Food UK’s Ark of Taste project, has called for other multiples to follow its lead in stocking struggling British specialities such as Morecambe Bay shrimps and Lyth Valley Damsons. Edwin Booth said the group plans to introduce around seven new Ark foods each season.

Norfolk charcuterie maker and retailer Jules Jackson is targeting trade customers with hand-made salamis and sausages after selling a stake in his shop-based De-Lish business to two local foodies. Former deli-café owner Lin Murray and online marketeer Gary Dickenson have each taken a 26% share in the Wells-NextThe-Sea firm, which has been renamed The Norfolk Deli Co. ● The Guild of Fine Food is asking retailers to help identify the bestselling fine foods brands of 2011. Complete our survey online now and you could win a place on the star-studded judging panel at the World Cheese Awards this November. The results will be published later this year.

Laverstoke Park Farm has refitted its Hampshire farm shop and added a tearoom. ● London-based Hubbub, which delivers products from local independent shops to the public in Islington, is expanding into London’s East End and has plans to roll out nationally. The firm delivers products from Ginger Pig, Jonathan Norris and E5 Bakehouse among others.

Worcestershire’s new Coopers Farm Shop welcomed more than 500 people to a grand opening last month. The shop is taking part in Heart of England Fine Food’s Savour the Flavour retail scheme, which encourages stores to stock locally sourced products. 6

October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

news ‘Relying on a percentage of sales is not a sustainable model,’ says chairman

West Country food group scraps regional distribution scheme By MICK WHITWORTH

Food group Taste of the West (TotW) is giving up its regional distribution scheme to focus on membership services and its annual awards. Speaking to FFD at last month’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair, TotW chairman John Whitechurch said the range was not producing enough income to fund TotW longterm. “Relying on a percentage on product sales is not a sustainable model,” he said. TotW created its Taste of the West Range, a one-stop shop for products from supplier members across the South West, as part of its move towards commercial funding as Government support for regional food groups dried up. Distribution has been handled by Whitechurch’s family business, Exeter-based J&R Food Service, with TotW marketing the scheme and managing customer accounts in return for a percentage of sales. The food group will now rely on membership fees and

the “thousands and thousands of pounds of sponsorship” generated by its annual awards, which Whitechurch says is a more reliable source of income. J&R itself is a major TotW awards sponsor, as is Musgrave, the wholesaler and distributor behind the Londis and Budgens retail fascias. Whitechurch also revealed a major expansion by J&R in the speciality food sector with the takeover of niche distributor Best of the West (see panel below). J&R is currently working on a model that would enable TotW retail members to buy from the Best of the West catalogue at a discounted price. Whitechurch said this would encourage more companies to become Taste of the West members – including buyers from outside the region – bringing more membership fees into the food group’s coffers, increasing Best of the West’s sales volumes and lowering the overall cost of distribution.

Best of the West takeover promises easier route to London for South West suppliers By MICK WHITWORTH

Exeter-based J&R Food Service plans to open a hub near Reading to target the lucrative London market after taking over fellow Devon-based distributor Best of the West. While J&R has built a £10m business distributing to hotels, pubs, farm shops and institutional caterers across the South West, the purchase of the much smaller Best of the West – announced at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair last month – gives it immediate access to key retailers in the South East as well as to more delis and farm shops on its home territory. J&R, owned by Taste of the West chairman John Whitechurch, has annual sales of £10m, of which around £2m currently comes from delivering speciality brands such as Burts crisps and Chunk pies within the region. The Whitechurch family also owns Cornwall’s Tregida Smokehouse, which supplies fish for veg box operator Abel & Cole. The Best of the West deal will immediately add around

10% to J&R’s sales, but Whitechurch told FFD: “‘As a strategic purchase we would hope it would add £5m in due course.” Although it has a low profile outside its home patch, Best of the West already delivers speciality foods to key outlets including Fortnum & Mason, Union Market and Neal’s Yard. Whitechurch continued: “J&R’s abilities, in terms of logistics, are far more advanced than Best of the West – we’re a 24-hours-a-day, full service operation – so we bring the logistics and financial clout but they bring the client base and the knowledge of local products.” Best of the West also back-hauls products from the London area to the West Country, including organic and health food lines from wholesaler Marigold and speciality ingredients for Devon producers like Rod & Ben’s and Tom’s Pies. Best of the West’s former owners, Nigel and Mandy Schofield, are staying with the business as consultants for three years. WEST FRIENDS: Pictured (l-r) on the Taste of the West stand at Olympia last month are J&R sales director John Oaten, Mandy and Nigel Schofield of Best of the West, J&R owner John Whitechurch, Devon cheesemaker Mary Quicke and Taste of the West chief executive John Sheaves

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If I’d known news then what I know now… Independents forecast Alastair Jessel, Taywell Farm Shop, Goudhurst, Kent There are different talents required for retailing and manufacturing, and it’s a very hard ask to do both at the same time. I should know, I've got a farm shop and an ice cream company, and it’s a constant battle to keep across both sides of the business. I used to be in the stone tiling business, but took over the 300-acre family fruit farm in 2005 when my tenant farmers decided to leave. Nobody had managed to make a profit on it for 20 years, so I decided to diversify by opening a farm shop and an ice cream business, which both use our fruit. We planted up strawberries, blueberries, tayberries and gooseberries to go with our apples, pears and plums and got off to a good start. The farm shop went along very nicely and the ice cream business grew steadily. When our raspberry sorbet won a Great Taste Award in 2007 and we appeared on BBC1’s The Apprentice in 2008, the ice cream business really took off and started to take up more and more of my time.

“Lots of people came in and had a look around but they only wanted a coffee” My original intention was always to open more farm shops, so two years ago we opened a second outlet in Tunbridge Wells, but it just didn't work. Lots of people came in and had a look around, but they only wanted a cup of coffee and not to buy anything. When you’re in the high street and you have rents and rates of £71,000 a year, you need to be selling a lot of fruit and ice cream. After six months and a very large sum of money I closed it down. There was one good thing that came out of it – Tunbridge Wells discovered our ice cream and demand carried on at a rapid pace. The problem with that was that I had to expand my ice cream premises and the council wouldn’t allow me to do that on the farm, so I moved production 11 miles down the road. At that point I also decided to sell the farm, but the purchaser didn’t want to keep the original farm shop. I have a manager that runs the shop for me, but to be honest it's become a bit of a distraction, especially as I'm so far away. You can make a nice living out of a farm shop if you run it yourself, but if you’re paying someone else to do it there’s not much left over. It’s hard to concentrate on the retail side because the ice cream business is growing so fast and it’s getting to the stage where I'm looking for a buyer. There are lots of farm shops out there considering moving into manufacturing these days, but my experience should act as a warning. Doing both things well is not easy. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN


March 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 2

sales growth this year More than half of independent retailers expect their turnover to increase in the next year, according to new research among delis, farm shops and food hall operators. A survey by Fusion Communications for the Guild of Fine Food and the Speciality & Fine Foods Fair found 56% of respondents expected to see turnover rise in the year to June 2012. This was despite 50% reporting either flat sales or a drop in turnover for the 12 months to June 2011, as customer spend, visitor numbers, and

Supermarket sweep •13.8% automatically de-list any food and drink lines that appear in their local supermarket •29.4% check what their local supermarkets are stocking on a weekly basis •66% say supermarkets sell the same food and drink lines at a lower price than them •But 38.5% will never attempt to price match

their gross margins stagnated. The survey also suggests employment in the sector jumped by nearly 17% in the last year. The research, released at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia, also highlighted how independent fine food stores continue to diversify, with 60% now providing catering services for private functions, 65% saying they offered foodto-go and 38% with on-premises dining. Income from cafés and restaurants has risen in the last two years, by two percentage points. Meanwhile, pure retail sales now contribute slightly less to retailers’ total incomes than they did two years ago. Those surveyed showed a tough attitude to competition from supermarkets (see box), with many refusing to price-match against multiples Retailers also appear to be margin-conscious, with 42% stating that they never priced products based on suppliers’ recommended prices. A further 45% said they set their own prices in most instances.

Victory for British cider brandy makers Somerset Cider Brandy has finally been awarded Protected Food Name status under EU laws after a long legal battle with the Spanish government, which had tried to get it renamed ‘cider spirit’. The EU had come under pressure from the Spanish government, lobbying on behalf of its brandy industry, to ban the term ‘brandy’ for spirits not made from grapes. But following four years of counter-lobbying by the three remaining producers of the 300-year-old spirit, Somerset Cider Brandy has now gained Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status and has been reinstated as an official brandy. “We have a legal name again, but more importantly, we have a future," said Julian Temperley of the Somerset Cider Brandy Company, who spearheaded the campaign. Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West Graham Watson lobbied on behalf of the producers in Brussels, even serving the drink to Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso. “This is excellent news that all 27 member states are supporting PGI status for Cider Brandy,” he said. “We have achieved a victory against a modern-day Spanish Armada.”

Temperley: ‘We have a future’

Whistlestop trials Small Producers section More than 80 products from speciality food and drink producers are being trialled in Whistlestop railway station stores under the Quality from Small Producers umbrella brand. Products from suppliers such as James White Drinks, Roots & Wings, Darling Spuds and Tim’s Dairy are on sale in seven Whistlestop outlets and may be rolled out across the entire 24-shop chain if the trial is successful. Heavily promoted in store with point-of-sale material, including photos of the producers, the products are marketed under the Quality from Small Producers brand, which is the brainchild of

Stephanie Rice, a former marketing director at Musgrave, the wholesaler behind Budgens and Londis. Her company, Rice Retail Marketing, launched the umbrella brand three years ago in Maloney’s Budgens in Ascot, handling category management, in-store merchandising and marketing for the retailer. The range has since been adopted by other Budgens stores and independent supermarket Fishers of Gerrards Cross. The company currently works with around 50 producers, but Rice said she is always looking for new products.

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news Bay Tree absorbs Forest to form £7.5m business By MICHAEL LANE

The Bay Tree Food Co’s merger with Dorsetbased private-label specialist Forest Products will create a company with a combined turnover of £7.5m, director Emma Macdonald has revealed. Speaking exclusively to FFD, Macdonald said Somerset-based The Bay Tree is the majority stakeholder of the new business following the merger, which took place in September. Although the operations will continue to run separately, Forest’s directors Mark Teideman and Gavin Brooking have joined The Bay Tree’s board. “Basically what has happened is that Forest has joined us,” Macdonald said. “It means there are more of us to drive the business forward and we’ll be able to offer more products to more customers. Forest has 1,000 customers that we don’t currently operate with.” Macdonald said the merger would allow The Bay Tree to move into the tourism, foodservice and gift markets, where Forest already trades. She said The Bay Tree will now have more production and NPD capacity, particularly in the foodservice sector. The Bay Tree was founded in 1994 as a chutney and marmalade producer before adding a distribution operation that handles West Country

brands such as Olives Et Al and Gustosecco. Forest Products is known chiefly as a producer of personalised or private-label preserves and confectionery for delis, farm shops, food halls and upmarket visitor attractions. w w

Emma Macdonald: deal opens new markets

RECORD-BREAKER: Celebrity cheese-maker Alex James poses with the World’s Largest Cheeseboard, created at the World Cheese Awards 2010. The mammoth 1,122.5 kg collection of cheeses features in Guinness World Records 2012, published last month. October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9


Crisp manufacturer Tyrrells has insisted it remains committed to independent retailers despite striking a deal to supply 1,350 Tesco stores across the UK. The move comes four years after a muchpublicised row between the supermarket and Tyrrells’ former owner Will Chase. Chase had refused to sell to Tesco, believing it would drive down prices, but the chain bypassed his sales force and began buying Tyrrells crisps through third parties. Despite the U-turn, Tyrrells’ marketing director Oliver Rudgard told FFD independents were a “foundation block” of the brand. “Our commitment to independents is stronger than ever,” he said. “We’re investing in increasing our customer-facing team for the independent trade and have opened more independent customer accounts than we did last year.”

M&S seeks staff for new delis

World Cheese Awards open for entries


Tyrrells ‘committed’ to independents despite Tesco deal

The World Cheese Awards, which last year drew more than 2,000 cheeses from around the globe, is now open for entries. The 2011 awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, will be again be held alongside the BBC Good Food show at the NEC in Birmingham. Judging day is November 23, but many of the cheeses will be available for tasting by consumers throughout the show, which runs until November 27. Any company can enter online at the Guild of Fine Food’s website. Dedicated consolidation centres have been set up to make it easier for entrants to get their cheese to the awards. Guild director John Farrand said WCA 2011 would be more consumer friendly with improved signage on display tables and a multimedia guide to the judging process. Lead sponsor Le Gruyère AOC will have an interactive exhibit guiding visitors through every stage of the cheesemaking process from milk production through to finishing and tasting. Farrand said: “The scale of the cheese on the tables will, in itself, be a feature. We want to bring the process of enjoying and tasting cheese to a wider audience.”

Marks & Spencer looks set to open in-store delis in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London as part of a £600m countrywide store revamp announced last month. An advert placed on the retailer’s website said it is looking for specialist deli staff in London, Bromley in Kent, Sheffield, Leeds, and Handforth Dean in Cheshire. M&S declined to comment on the locations of its new delis – one of several store features to be rolled out over the next two years – and how many it planned to open in total. The firm unveiled its new concepts at its High Street Kensington store and its new outlet at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre next to London’s Olympic Park. A further 14 redeveloped pilot stores were slated to be open across the UK in September, four of which are expected to have delis.

M&S: pilot delis

Litchfield fits jams start-up around her deli day-job Two-store Surrey deli operation Cullenders is benefiting from the preserve-making prowess of one of its employees as she works to expand her own start-up business. Rebecca Litchfield, who works for the retailer part-time, also runs a home-based preserves company called No 98, which supplies Cullenders shops in Reigate and Redhill as well as selling through Covent Garden market. The preserves-maker has devised an exclusive lime pickle called Cor Limey! and a chutney called Cullenders’ Classic for the deli, which retail alongside other products in the range including strawberry summer cocktail jam, made with Pimm’s, and apricot & vanilla jam. Joelle Cullender, who runs the shops with husband Marc, said the handmade preserves added a point of difference,

Rebecca Litchfield: home-made preserves

especially when Litchfield was on hand to talk to customers. “We’re always looking for products that you can’t get in the supermarkets – something different that customers will come back for,” she said. “We make our own cakes on site, but simply don’t have the time or facilities to make these sorts of products, so it’s brilliant to have Rebecca’s amazing jams and pickles, and for her to work here. We really hope the business takes off for her.” Litchfield said that there were several benefits to selling her products in a shop where she also worked. “Not only can I talk to customers about what they’re looking for, but I’m able to give them a more in-depth explanation about the products and how I get inspiration for flavours,” she said. “It’s also great to be a small business connected to another small business. It’s provided an incredibly valuable support network and morale boost.” Litchfield is in talks to supply other retailers and attend more markets, and is also interested in developing bespoke products for other delis. “I like the idea of having exclusive items for different retailers,” she said, “but it’s a difficult thing to offer as it’s more expensive and time consuming. “That said, I think I’d find it hard to say ‘no’ if someone had a very clear idea of a product they wanted. Building new flavours is an exciting challenge.”

Cross Lanes: eco-building features a ‘living roof’

Cross Lanes gives A66 travellers an eco-option An eco-friendly farm shop and organic restaurant, featuring a ‘living roof’ and a commercial greenhouse growing organic fruit and vegetables, is due to open later this month in Teesdale. Cross Lanes Organic Farm, located on the A66 near Barnard Castle, is the vision of stonemason Peter Coverdale and his wife Sue, who have put their experience in restoration and eco-building projects to good use. The newly constructed building, which was part-funded with an RDPE grant, is made from recycled sandstone, straw bale insulation with traditional lime plaster and solar panels to heat water collected with a rainwater harvesting system. The roof is planted with sedum on the south side and meadow turf on the north side, while the large greenhouse is heated using a permaculture thermal heating system. It grows salad leaves, tomatoes, herbs and other organic fruit and vegetables to be sold through the store. The focal point of the open-plan shop and 60-seater restaurant is to be a traditional wood-fired oven, which will be used to bake bread and pizzas and roast meat. While the café kitchen will be completely organic, the farm shop will also stock locally sourced non-organic products from within a 20-mile radius and will include extensive butcher’s and deli counters, a bakery and sections dedicated to fresh produce, whole foods, patisserie and chocolates. “We hope to pick up a lot of passing trade from the A66 and to become a destination that people will drive out to,” said Coverdale. According to the Soil Association, sales of organic food fell by 5.9% last year, although Coverdale said the figures were skewed by the influence of the multiples. “Supermarkets have moved away from organic, but there is still a growing market for organic food,” he said. “If you look at the market, it’s value retailers like Aldi that have done well at one end and top-end premium retailers at the other, which is where we aim to fit in.”

Quince Tree to ‘reinvent’ the British pub A new venture near Henley-on-Thames aims to reinvent the British country pub by including it as part of a food and drink destination. The Quince Tree, which opens next month, is housed in a 12,000 sq ft restored and extended coaching inn in the village of Stonor, and includes a farm shop, cafe, restaurant and function space. “Each part of the business will support the others with lots of opportunity for cross-selling and reducing wastage,” said owner Bobby Yerburgh. “The charcuterie you have with your beer in the pub will also be on sale in the farm shop or if people like the salads we sell in the shop they will be able to order them in the café.”

Yerburgh said the idea for the “multifaceted” business came after he kept seeing pub chefs with nothing to do on Mondays and Tuesdays because trade was so slow. “There’s still life left in the great institution that is the British pub, so we’ve set about reinventing it,” he said. “We’re trying to promote different things so there’s a reason to visit at different times of the day and different days of the week.” Food will be sourced from local and British suppliers with the building’s decor given a “lighter, contemporary” look to attract female customers. An electric delivery van will also be used to supply local residents.

The Quince Tree will form part of a food ‘destination’ Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


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October 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 9

Letter from Farrington’s

news Waitrose set to share space with local food centre on Truro site Planners in Cornwall are set to decide next month whether a new retail concept, combining a Waitrose supermarket and a Cornish food hall, can go ahead in Truro. If it gets the green light, the Cornish Food Centre will house a 6,000 sq ft food hall selling food and drink from Cornish producers next to a 15,000 sq ft Waitrose store, under the same roof and with a common entrance. It aims to generate £6m-£8m in additional sales for producers in the region and will be linked to a demonstration kitchen garden and community allotments. The retail site is one element of the Truro Eastern District Centre development, which includes a parkand-ride, household waste recycling centre and 98 new houses on land to the east of Truro. The project is a partnership between Cornwall Council and the Duchy of Cornwall, which own the land, plus Waitrose and a consortium of food producers called The Taste of Cornwall. However, the scheme has received objections from some local residents, who say it will increase congestion.

Elwyn Jones, chairman of Taste of Cornwall, said discussions had been taking place with Waitrose for a Cornish Food Centre for 10 years but they had previously struggled to find a site. “None of the supermarkets would normally sacrifice valuable retail space for this,” said Jones, “but this a unique site and project because of the need for a park-and-ride scheme and the involvement of the Duchy of Cornwall. It’s a bit of an experiment for Waitrose.” He continued: “Our intention is to spread the net widely throughout the whole of Cornwall and go direct to small and large suppliers. If you’re a small producer that is not supplying one of the supermarkets you are left with just 7% of the market. It can be hard to get above the farm shop and farmers’ market level, so we are going to be that missing link. Waitrose gets 17,000 transactions a week coming through its doors, so it’s a great opportunity for local producers.” If planning permission is granted, the centre is expected to open in 2013. Truro Eastern District Centre would include retail, housing and park-andride facilities

McEwens chain opens first food hall “In the recession, I would never have tried to Scottish department store McEwens has opened a open something like this on the high street,” said food hall concession in its Perth homewares shop Fehrle, “but within McEwens it makes much more and could roll out the concept to its other outlets sense. It means we immediately have access to across Scotland. 15,000 loyalty card holders.” The 120 sq m food hall, specialising in top-of-the In addition to its Perth store, McEwens has range Italian and Scottish foods, is the brainchild outlets in Inverness, Oban, Ballater and Aberdeen. of chef Andreas Fehrle, who operates the store’s Orchid Cafe, and café manager Alistair Grant. “We’ve seen footfall triple since we opened and the café has already seen takings increase 30%,” said Fehrle, whose Thistle Catering company operates cafés at visitor attractions across Scotland. “We’ll see how the business develops, but there are definitely opportunities to open in other McEwens branches.” Products on sale in the food hall include 100-year-old balsamic vinegars, 36-month aged Parmesan, Dammann Frères tea and chocolates from Ian Burnett, ‘the Highland Chocolatier’. The food hall format could be rolled out to other outlets

A new EPoS package has sparked an overhaul of security measures too, says PAUL CASTLE Theft is always tough to deal with. It hits right at the heart of a business and if it’s not faced head on it will damage your profits big-time. This year we’ve seen a marked increase in shoplifting. A few months ago we lost fillets of beef worth £40 or more and our initial reaction was to take the stock off the chiller shelves and put it behind the counter. But the result was a massive drop in sales. Merchandising the beef in a space that was highly visible to staff, checking stock levels regularly and being more aware of what customers are doing seems to have stopped that problem without damaging turnover. We changed our till system just before Christmas 2010 and have been learning its capabilities over the last 10 months. We’ve highlighted stock anomalies, increases in some cost prices and even the odd delivery discrepancy. The biggest gain has been at the sharp end – the tills – but the improvement hasn’t been without some pain. Once we began monitoring them more closely we noticed high levels of refunds. On the face of it

“People are struggling financially and some think theft is justifiable. Well, it’s not.’’ everything seemed above board, but further digging revealed the worst possible scenario – internal theft – culminating in a member of staff leaving the business and winding up in Bath Magistrates Court last month. We found the culprit by plotting trends, tightening up on security PINs for the till operators and studying CCTV footage alongside new till reports. We have been burnt by this experience and it’s led to a full overhaul of our systems. We now have more robust staff shopping rules, till sign-on PINs are changed more regularly, more till functions are management/supervisor access only, and a staff stopand-search procedure is now in place. We believe a mobile phone was being used to record other staff members’ PINs and the amounts stolen, so a phone ban is now enforced fully. Till discrepancies are investigated and the results logged against individual till operators. We have introduced all these measures with the support and understanding of our team, as they now feel protected. Times are tough, people are struggling financially and some think theft is justifiable. Well, it’s not. Protecting profits is as important as selling more product, so don’t get caught napping as we were. • Paul Castle is business manager at Farrington’s Farm Shop near Bristol, named British Local Food Champion in the 2011 Countryside Alliance Awards Vol.12 Issue 3 · April 2011


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big winners

McCartney’s is top of the pops To kick off our four-page report on September’s GTA finale, we take a look at the night corned beef joined the fine food elite A sixth generation family butcher in County Down took the 2011 Great Taste Awards Supreme Champion title with an old-fashioned corned beef, made by hand using dry-aged local beef and a traditional meat press. George McCartney of McCartney’s of Moira was presented with the top award by Fortnum & Mason food supremo Simon Burdess at the climax of last month’s GTA awards dinner, held at London’s Royal Garden Hotel. The Supreme Judging panel, which included TV chef Antonio Carluccio and Masterchef winner Dhruv Baker, were said to have been “blown away” by the winning product, made with heels of silverside, dry-cured for 12 days, shredded by hand and pressed into blocks for sale on deli counters. Awards organiser Bob Farrand, national director of the Guild of Fine Food, said: “Often the best food is all about doing the simple things really well, and you can’t find a better example than this.” As well as the Supreme Champion, the regional and national award winners also received their ‘golden forks’ (see winners overleaf). The trophy for Olives Et Al’s Deli of the Year, which went to Arch House Deli in Clifton Bristol, was also presented. More than 350 invited guests from the food industry enjoyed an evening designed to celebrate not just the ‘golden fork’ winners but all of the GTA’s threestar gold winners. During a drinks reception featuring a Dark Devon Storm cocktail (rum and muscavado with Luscombe’s lime crush and hot ginger beer), producers showed off their three-star products and conducted tastings for guests. The menu for this year’s awards dinner, incorporating more three-star winning products, was designed by the Royal Garden Hotel’s executive chef Steve Munkley. Over £7,000 was raised for Action Against Hunger through a raffle and auction, with the top prize being a trip by helicopter for lunch at the Lime Wood Hotel in Hampshire’s New Forest.

George McCartney, pictured (right) with his Supreme Champion trophy, joined other three-star gold winners in running a pre-dinner tasting session on awards night

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011



big winners

2011 Supreme Champion

Speciality Producer of the Year Quickes Traditional

McCartney’s of Moira Corned Beef

Award-winner Mary Quicke is pictured with Ian Willard of Partridges (left) and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

Award sponsored by

George McCartney of McCartney’s of Moira (right) collects the Supreme Champion trophy from Fortnum & Mason trading director Simon Burdess

Speciality Importer of the Year Wan Ling Tea House

(l-r) Soraya Gadelrab of Speciality & Fine Food Fair organiser Fresh RM, Wan Ling Tea House owners James Grayland and Cai Wan-Ling, and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

Award sponsored by

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Best First-Time Entrant Alternative Meats

Guild of Fine Food Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 Tim Rowcliffe Tim Rowcliffe (centre) collects his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Fine Food’s Bob Farrand and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

Award sponsored by (l-r) Bee Hodge of sponsor InkREADible, Alternative Meats’ Rachel Godwin and Jeanette Edgar, and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

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Thanks to all our customers who visited our stand at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair and for the kind words about the quality and range we had on display. Thanks also for the congratulations received on behalf of Tim Rowcliffe who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Fine Food. In true Rowcliffe fashion we celebrated the Award in style. For those of you who did not make it to Olympia for the show, our stand focussed on our exclusive suppliers, which included Negroni Italian meats and salamis, Castellino Italian olives and Deli – cious oils and vinegars. The cheese counter was dominated by our stunning range of artisan French cheeses, which were a taste sensation! Thanks also to Ford Farm who also supported us with their Nantwich award-winning Cave-aged Cheddar.

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Stratta owners Mary and John Stratton (centre) receive their award from Mike Hogg of sponsor Petty Wood (left) and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

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Best Scottish Speciality J Lawrie & Sons Jaffy’s Mallaig Kippers

Winner George McCartney (centre) with Fiona Lavery from sponsor Invest Northern Ireland and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

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Best Irish Speciality Green Pastures (Donegal) Yeats Country Organic Full Fat Soft Cheese

Green Pastures’ John D Molloy (centre) collects the Irish award from Maria Stokes of Bord Bia and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden

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big winners Best Speciality from the Midlands and East Anglia Hill Top Smokehouse Beech Smoked Gammon

Olive Et Al Deli of the Year 2011 Arch House Deli Clifton, Bristol


(l-r) Arch House’s Debbie Atherton, Fine Food Digest editor Mick Whitworth, Arch House’s David Greenman, with awards host Nigel Barden from BBC Radio 2

Best Speciality from the South West Denhay Farms Duchy Originals Dry Cured Unsmoked Bacon

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(l–r) Mary Macneal from Mad for Food, Denhay’s Richard Hogg and George Streatfeild

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Great Taste Champion 2011 Sheila Dillon

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(l–r) Award sponsor David Hider, Spurreli’s Katie and Nick Spurr, and BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

BBC Radio 4’s Sheila Dillon (centre) receives her award from the Guild of Fine Food’s Bob Farrand (right) and host Nigel Barden

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Vol.12 Issue 9 路 October 2011


deli of the month

House of fun

Two years ago they were ‘naïve but keen’. Now their deli is named the best in Britain.


ebbie Atherton’s smile is not just infectious, it may be incurable. I’ve just walked into Arch House Deli, the Clifton store she runs with partner David Greenman, and she’s wearing exactly the same huge grin as the last time we met, a good fortnight earlier. That was in the bar of London’s Royal Garden Hotel, straight after the Great Taste Awards dinner on September 5, where I had presented them with the Olives Et Al Deli of the Year trophy. Midnight had come and gone but the excitable Atherton was still buzzing. So it’s no surprise, when we sit down in Arch House’s café section for a post-awards chinwag, to hear she slept for about two hours that night. “I was awake at 4am, bouncing up and down, asking Dave if it was too early to text people.” And who wouldn’t be excited? It’s less than two years since the couple took over their deli-café in ‘Clifton Village’ – the trendiest part of this leafy, affluent suburb of Bristol – with no trade experience beyond a bit of food blogging by Atherton. Yet by July of this year Arch House had been named SouthWest regional winner in the Deli of the Year, and by August was shortlisted for the top title alongside London stores El’s Kitchen and Deli Downstairs. Over-excited they may have been on awards night, but by the morning of September 6 the pair were in Fortnum & Mason on a spying mission, getting “marginally depressed” by the scale and skill of the


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

ARCH HOUSE MUST-STOCKS ●L  a Mortuacienne pink lemonade ●V  alrhona chocolate (catch-weight


●H  obbs

House Bakery fig & walnut loaf ●M  endip Moments vanilla ice cream ●K  itchen Garden blackberry vinegar ●H  enshelwoods ‘chutney for cheese’ ●Z  aramama pop-a-cob popcorn ●D  eli-cious loose oils ●T  om’s Pies chicken & leek pie ●M  ontgomery cheddar ●R  achel washed rind goats’ cheese ●L  ocal honey (Brian Steadman) ●L  ahloo tea ●A  rch House gluten-free polenta cakes ●C  amaya chocolates ●M  elting Pot fudge ●C  hoc Chic chocolate shoes (Clifton Cakes) ●L  uca English roast ham ●A  rch House mixed salad boxes

Piccadilly store’s merchandising. Which gives you a clue about how they picked up a big national award after such a relatively short time: even when sleepdeprived, they take the business very seriously. I first visited Arch House as a Deli of the Year judge in late July, when it was the blend of fun and business focus that struck me most forcibly. The owners were enjoying themselves, but were also constantly analysing the retail and café operation. In my notes for the competition judging panel, I wrote: ‘They say they’ve tried to create a sense of fun and engagement, because that was missing before, and to avoid intimidating people with obscure products and ‘lots of French things with labels no-one could understand’. David told me: “It’s about trying to

Interview by MICK WHITWORTH break down some of those barriers, because they do impact on sales.” So even the fun has a point to it. Greenman and Atherton are seasoned business people. They sold their shares in software marketing business Smart Focus just before recession struck, pocketing enough cash to take a year off while deciding what to do next. Returning from New Zealand in early 2009, as the banks were collapsing, they felt it was the wrong time to set up an IT consultancy but the right time to pick up a deli at a sensible price and indulge their mutual love of fine grub – and specifically Greenman’s interest in cheese. “Once we’d decided what we were doing,” he says, “we put ourselves on a course with [cheese consultant] Juliet Harbutt, where she basically tried to talk us out of it – which was the right thing to do. We were naïve, but keen.” Arch House had been a deli-café for a while but had run into cash-flow trouble. When the new owners moved in, just before Christmas 2009, Plan A was to run it largely as a cheese shop, without a café, but they soon saw this was a bad idea financially and operationally. Atherton says: “The people who’d gone bust in the recession were the ones that just had a café or just had retail. By having a café you can have more deli lines, because you’ve got a means of using them up. Without a café, there are a lot of products you’d be reluctant to take on.” And “take on a lot of products” is exactly what they’ve done. Keen to put down a marker as a “local and British” store, they have extended their roster of suppliers from 70 to around 220, replacing national or imported lines with regional lines wherever possible. For example, Greenman says, the previous owners were selling Normandy cider, “which seemed to us like coals to Newcastle when you have a dozen cider-makers on your doorstep”. So now they stock “Sheppy’s for the real man and Polgoon for the girls”, from Somerset and Cornwall respectively. Among their most local lines – aside from the gluten-free cakes made in-house by chef Jo McNab, – is honey from a small producer whose two hives are within a mile or so of the shop. There’s also Diggy Tennant, who lives round the corner and makes jellies from the herbs and flowers in her garden. Smoked salmon – used in the café’s bestselling smoked salmon fish cake – comes from The Valley Smokehouse, at nearby Dundry. Greenman says: “Working with independent suppliers, especially nearby, has a lot of benefits. Local products appeal to tourists and they also turn up straight away – you don’t have to wait a week for the next delivery slot. If there’s a problem we can go round ourselves or they can be here in half an hour.” Atherton adds: “A lot of the suppliers we’ve chosen are family-run, so they’re like us and totally passionate about it. The knowledge they can pass on

is vast compared with huge distributors.” The store runs a constant round of in-store tastings with brands like Cornish Crisps, the Bristol Beer Factory, Cracotti biscuits and Hobbs House Bakery. (The couple had to wait until local deli rival Chandos ended its exclusive deal with Hobbs House before they could introduce the Gloucestershire baker’s range, but it has doubled their bread sales). Walking the store on my first visit, it was instructive to hear its owners’ evolving ideas on ranging and merchandising. “The immediacy of this job is rewarding,” says Atherton. “You can try something out, and see on the same day if it works.” A Deli-cious self-service oils range, for example, was positioned a little way from the tills so nervous customers wouldn’t feel too intimidated to pick up a bottle and choose an oil to fill it. Spices are sold loose by weight from an oldfashioned spice cupboard, so shoppers can buy just as much as they need. “It doesn’t make us a lot of money,” says Atherton, “but it makes people happy – and then they’ll buy something else.” And there’s one valuable idea inherited from the last owners: Valrhona chocolate, bought in VAT-free bulk catering blocks that are then broken up in-store and repacked in cellophane catch-weight packs. The cheese counter is well ticketed with informal but informative descriptions. (You’ll also spot the occasional sugar mouse in the counter, giving youngsters something to search for.) And good cheese descriptors are something Greenman extends to his cheese wedding cakes, which have proved a useful diversification. “Dave doesn’t just sell the venue some cheese,” says his partner. “He takes it in, gives them tasting notes and trains the serving staff. And he’ll give them information they can cut and paste onto their menus.” According to Debbie Atherton, many of the skills the couple learned in their past life have proved useful at the deli. “So many food businesses have collapsed in the two years we’ve been here. While a lot of people have chef skills they don’t have the business acumen to make things scaleable and repeatable and to be constantly aware of the bottom line.” Systems have now been put in place at Arch House for everything from staff training to outside catering, all contributing to a rise in sales from £280k in year one to around £350k in year two. Now, given the award that has pride of place in their window, Greenman and Atherton say they are looking to step things up a gear. They are revisiting their range, excising anything that can be found in mainstream grocers and upping the standard of products in categories including charcuterie, olives and coffee. If you’re going to be Britain’s top deli, they tell me, you’d better be sure you’re on top of your game.

“We’ve realised that while a lot of people have chef skills they don’t have the business acumen to make things scaleable and repeatable”

David Greenman and Debbie Atherton (main picture) say they’re enjoying the ‘immediacy’ of running a deli, where the results of new merchandising or ranging ideas can often be seen on the same day

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


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October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9


putting deli ingredients to work


Damion Farah Jacobs & Field, Oxford


aitrose’s expansion plans are so ambitious and wide ranging that it must sometimes feel like there’s a story on the upmarket retailer in every issue of Fine Food Digest. This month we reveal that the supermarket’s latest wheeze is to open a store in conjunction with a Cornish food hall, but we’ve also reported on its plans to roll out hundreds of Little Waitrose convenience stores, launch outlets in motorway service stations and even build its own farm shop on the Leckford Estate. For most delis and farm shops, the thought of a Waitrose stuffed with farmhouse cheeses and organic sausages opening next door is an intimidating prospect, but Jacobs & Field in Oxford is proof that independents can more than hold their own against the retailer. In a remarkably brave move, owners Johnny Pugsley and Damion Farah actually chose to open their deli next to an existing Waitrose store last year and use their deli kitchen to create an all-important point of difference. The tactic has been so successful that the retailer was named the best in the South East in this year’s Olives El Al Deli of the Year competition. “We opened the shop because we knew Waitrose was here,” says Farah. “They bring the right kind of people to the area from all over Oxfordshire – the kind of people that like to come to our deli. There’s no café in Waitrose, so it means we get lots of their customers coming here to eat and drink, and to buy the products that we make on-site.” Using second hand equipment bought from eBay, the tiny deli kitchen churns out an amazing array of food. Alongside the obligatory sandwiches, salads and soups, the 43-seater café also serves hearty breakfasts, lunchtime mains and an

evening dinner menu. In addition, the kitchen makes all its own chutneys, jams, piccalillis and ketchups, which are served in the café but are also sold in store under Jacobs & Field’s own brand using labels printed on the shop’s printer. “We would source a really nice product from a small supplier and then next thing we’d know it would be on Waitrose’s shelf at a price that was a third less than ours,” says Farah. “They can sell products below cost price as a loss leader, so we just can’t compete. The only way we can is to have own-brand products, which they simply can’t stock.” He continues: “You definitely get better margins making your own products and people know there are no preservatives or E-numbers in them. We even get people bringing in fruit from their gardens for us to make jams and chutneys. We give them brownies and coffee in return.” That’s not to say local suppliers don’t play an important role on the menu at Jacobs & Field. Crudges’ cheese, sausages from local butcher David John and ales from the

Johnny Pugsley and Damion Farah (top) are picking up business from their neighbouring Waitrose, which doesn’t have a café

Shotover brewing company are all regular ingredients in the kitchen and on the shop’s shelves, while fresh bread comes from local baker Le Bon Pain. “They bake it overnight and drop it first thing at the shop. It’s proper artisan bread – organic stoneground white and six-day sourdoughs. In Waitrose it’s all frozen part-baked stuff so that’s another market we can have. People will get some stuff from next door and then come and get bread here. That works really well.” The café has proved such a success that the only downside is the high demand for tables – an issue that the owners plan to address next year by extending the back of the shop. In the meantime, Farah works hard to maximise space and turn tables quickly. There are no large sofas, favoured by some cafés, because they only sit three or four people in a space that can seat eight at tables, while Farah prefers small tables which can be put together for groups because they make more efficient use of the space. Orders are taken at the counter, rather than at the table, with staff calling them out as they receive them so that the chef and barista can immediately get to work. It all helps speed up service. “A lot of cafés are packed from 12.30pm until 2pm and then they’re empty. I don’t know how they survive. You’ve got to make sure you have an all day appeal so you have a nice flow of customers throughout the day. That means a fantastic breakfast, a cracking lunch plus a nice evening menu. If you’re baking cakes throughout the day people will see that when they come in for lunch and the chances are you’ll see them later in the day for coffee and cake.”

Jacobs & Field tomato ketchup Makes around 1.5 litres Ingredients 1kg tin of the best quality tomato purée you can buy. (We use a Greek brand called Kyknos. It’s a double concentration with no additives.) 1ltr water 250ml white wine vinegar 200g natural cane sugar ½ tsp allspice 1 tsp sea salt ½ tsp cayanne pepper

1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp garlic powder Method Put all the ingredients into a heavybased pan and reduce until you have reached the thickness of your choosing. Pour hot into sterilized jars/bottles and it will keep for a year on a shelf. Once opened store in a fridge

Recognised as the cornerstone of European cuisine! Deli chef is sponsored by Le Gruyère AOC

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


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Lancashire Blue - Bronze International Cheese Awards Nantwich 2011 Our flagship blue cheese, Lancashire Blue is made using milk exclusively from our herd of pedigree British Holsteins. Made from pasteurised milk and suitable for vegetarians.

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October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

cheese wire Animal rennet making a comeback as producers chase ‘3D flavour’

Charles Martell: Using animal rennet in long-keeping cheeses means ‘the flavour is so much better’ By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Gloucestershire producer Charles Martell has switched from using vegetarian rennet to traditional animal rennet in all his aged cheeses, joining a growing number of British cheesemakers returning to traditional methods. Best known for his washed-rind Stinking Bishop, which is still made with microbial vegetarian rennet, Martell has moved to using calves' rennet in his Single and Double Gloucester, Hereford Hop and Double Berkeley cheeses. “We always used to use animal rennet,” he said, “but we had problems with the quality of the supply about 20 years ago and like everyone else switched to vegetarian. “But we’ve gone back to animal rennet in our long-keeping cheeses because the flavour is so much better. Our Double Gloucester tastes like it used to 30 years ago – it’s got what I call a 3D flavour.” Martell said that while vegetarian rennet could produce bitter notes in aged cheeses, these were not detectable in younger cheeses, which is why he has not changed the recipe for Stinking Bishop. However, he plans to make trial batches of the washed-rind cheese with animal rennet later this year. Vegetarian rennet, which is made by fermenting moulds, became popular with cheese-makers in the ’80s and ’90s due to pressure from the supermarkets, who did not want to alienate vegetarian consumers, and had concerns over traceability. However, more producers are now switching back, with many sourcing a new type of natural rennet called BioRen, imported from Austria by UK supplier Jongia. Cropwell Bishop launched a traditional rennet Stilton earlier this year using BioRen and has also

developed a similar product for Waitrose’s Duchy Originals brand. “Waitrose wanted something truly authentic and traditional using natural rennet,” said director Robin Skailes. “It suited their marketing ambition, but also added a new complexity to the cheese. The animal rennet adds something different – flavours last longer in the mouth.” Amnon Paldi at wholesaler Premier Cheese is so convinced by the superior flavour of cheese made with animal rennet that he has asked suppliers that normally use vegetarian rennet, such as the Cornish Cheese Company, to make special batches with animal rennet for him. “We encourage our suppliers to use it whenever they can. We're currently investigating using different types of animal rennet and how this affects flavour and texture,” he said. Paul Thomas, head cheesemaker at Lyburn Cheese, which uses vegetarian rennet, has conducted trials using animal rennet. He said that bitter notes can occur with vegetarian rennet in aged cheeses because the enzymes target the casein proteins in a general way, while animal rennet acts on specific areas of the proteins. “Interest is growing in this area because of the influence of Neal's Yard Dairy and consultants such as Ivan Larcher, who advocate traditional methods,” he said. Richard Hodgson, owner of the Isle of Wight Cheese Co, is also trialling animal rennet in his unpasteurised Gallybagger cheddar. “There was a rapid rise in cheese-makers 5-10 years ago starting from scratch who automatically went with vegetarian rennet,” he said, “but now they’re established and more confident they’re looking at ways they can improve their products. Ultimately, using traditional rennet and unpasteurised milk is how a cheese should be made.”

le grand fromage BOB FARRAND The food police are back on the cheese trail. They’re again questioning the safety of cheese made using unpasteurised milk, although the culprit isn’t Listeria monocytogenes, the bug that prompted the infamous ‘Cheese killed my baby’ newspaper headline of 1989 but Mycobacterium bovis, the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis in dairy cattle. Researchers at Queens University, Belfast, recently presented findings to the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) on the survival of M.bovis in cheddar and Caerphilly made using unpasteurised milk. Pasteurising milk at 72°C for a minimum of 15 seconds (although many food technologists and supermarket buyers currently insist on 25 seconds) successfully kills M.bovis, along with other undesirables such as E.coli, salmonella and lysteria. Without pasteurisation, there is insufficient proof the cheese-making process on its own kills off any M.bovis present. But regulations already insist unpasteurised milk cheese must be made exclusively from herds testing clear of M.bovis and there have been a couple of incidences recently of cheese-makers switching to pasteurised milk after one of their herd tested positive. The problem with current testing procedures for M.bovis is they often give false positive results, which means cattle are slaughtered unnecessarily and

“Current advice on who should consume unpasteurised milk and cheese is often confusing” unpasteurised cheese-making suspended for several months until the all-clear is confirmed. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as cheese needs another food scare like it needs a hole in the head. The FSA has also asked the ACMSF to review recommendations on who should consume unpasteurised milk and cheese. Current advice is often confusing. Supermarkets warn young, elderly, sick and pregnant consumers to avoid all cheeses made with unpasteurised milk yet other sources extend these warnings to all soft, mould-ripened cheeses, regardless of whether the milk has been pasteurised or not. There is convincing evidence suggesting higher acidity levels in hard cheese kills off unwanted bacteria and that cooked (high temperature scalded) cheeses such as Le Gruyère AOC or Parmigiano Reggiano made using unpasteurised milk also pose no threat to food safety. This latest news, however, along with recent calls to ban the sale of unpasteurised milk, could again raise fears among artisan producers and retailers that the food police are determined to get their way eventually. It may jeopardise any revival in the use of animal rather than vegetarian rennet in proper cheese making. But it was supermarkets, not the food police, who fostered the widescale use of vegetarian rennet, simply to appease less than 4% of the population. • FFD publisher Bob Farrand is chairman of the UK Cheese Guild Vol.7 Issue 1 · January 2006


cheese wire New Stilton maker promises return of Hartington brand Britain’s select band of Stiltonmakers is to be joined by a new Derbyshire-based producer, which plans to revive the Hartington brand. There are currently only five Stilton producers in the world, after Quenby Hall went into administration earlier this year and Dairy Crest closed its Hartington Creamery in Derbyshire in 2009. However, two former Dairy Crest executives, Adrian Cartlidge and Alan Salt, have teamed up with the Derbyshire village’s local cheese shop to start a new company and relaunch the Hartington label. The new business is due to start production at a site in nearby Pike Hall in January, with plans to build further manufacturing facilities and a tourist visitor centre in Hartington. It will be called the Hartington Creamery and will produce Stilton, brie and Derby. Claire and Garry Millner, who run the Hartington Cheese Shop, are also partners in the new company “Hopefully people will recognise and remember the [Hartington] name,” said Cartlidge. “There are still big opportunities in the market

McCall moves into affinage after closure of Cranborne Chase Cheese-maker James McCall has set up an affinage operation at Child Okeford in Dorset after his former employer, Cranborne Chase Cheese, ceased trading. McCall is operating from premises next to Gold Hill Farm Shop near Shillingstone, where he is rind-washing and finishing cheeses produced in Hampshire by Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers. Hartington Creamery will join just five remaining Stilton-makers

for Stilton, both in the UK and internationally, with growing interest from the US and Japan.” Cartlidge said total capacity across the two sites would be around 200 tonnes a year – far smaller than the 5,000 tonnes produced by the original Hartington Creamery. Cheesemaking equipment for the new venture has already been sourced from Cranborne Chase in Dorset, which closed down earlier this year (see box on right).

Cranborne Chase has ceased trading after seven years in production

McCall’s move follows the closure of Cranborne Chase just three years after it was taken over and its production facilities significantly expanded. The company, which first started production in 2004, was acquired by organic farmer Paul Brewer in 2008, who funded a £150,000 expansion of its cheese dairy. He also brought in a new management team consisting of McCall as head cheesemaker and Gail O'Reilly as general manager. O'Reilly told FFD the decision to close the business had been a difficult one. “It was a sad day, but it was a business decision,” she said. “We needed to scale up and move premises because of the astronomical rent we were paying, but it was too big an investment to make in the current climate.” Cranborne produced several unpasteurised cows’ milk cheeses, including a semi-hard washed rind cheese called Alderwood, a soft mouldripened cheese called Win Green and the semi-soft Windwhistle.

Town Mill’s own-brand cheese snubbed by Frome show The owner of Lyme Regis-based Town Mill Cheesemonger has slammed Somerset’s Frome Cheese Show for refusing to accept his entry to its annual competition while taking cheeses from the major multiples. Justin Tunstall tried to enter the farmhouse mature cheddar retailer class of last month’s Frome competition – which now styles itself as the ‘Global Cheese Awards’ – with his disc-shaped West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. However, Tunstall said he was contacted by a representative from the Frome show who said the retailer class was only for major stores such as Tesco and M&S. After asking for his entry to remain in the class, he was told cheese committee chairman Nigel Pooley had said this was not possible. Pooley is the group technical manager at Wyke Farms, who hit the headlines in 2009 for having his sense of smell insured for £5m. “I said that the whole point was to compete with fellow (albeit much larger) retailers and I stated that I thought the 28

October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

decision ‘sucked’,” said Tunstall. “I can only assume that the Global Cheese Awards believes that supermarkets need protecting from fair competition from small, specialist independents such as ourselves. “At the end of its last financial year, Tesco had 3.4m sq m of store space, and M&S over 1.2m sq m. The tiny Town Mill Cheesemonger boasts just 22 sq m! Do they really need this favouritism? My humble nose may not be insured for £5 million. But it still knows when something smells rotten.” Nigel Pooley told the Guild of Fine Food, FFD’s publisher, that the retailer classes of the Frome competition were for cheeses on general sale to the public so that samples could be bought independently by the show. “I agree our class descriptor header is not specific enough,” said Pooley, “and, as was stated, we had intended adding classes next year to cover this category, but with a different supply principle which would be fair for all entrants together with

producer own-label classes.” The eventual winner of the farmhouse mature cheddar retailer class at the show was Asda.

Justin Tunstall: wrong kind of retailer?

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product update

jams & preserves

Spreading the word LYNDA SEARBY rounds up the latest sweet preserves jostling for jar space l Aberdeenshire business Huntly Herbs is making the most of bumper cherry plum crops with the launch of cherry plum jam and yellow cherry plum jam. Cherry plums are a hedgerow fruit, a hardy relative of the plum family, and the particularly cold winters over the last couple of years have resulted in an abundance of the fruit. The organic jams are made with fruit grown at Wester Lawrenceton near Forres in Moray, and are described as having a sweet, fruity flavour with a sharp tang, the yellow one being the sharper. The jams are available in 300g and 110g jars (RRPs £3.99 and £2.40).

l Cornish producer Crellow has launched two new sweet pantry fillers that celebrate the county’s produce. In making apple, apricot & cider jam, apricots are macerated in Cornish cider, from the Cornish Orchards business at Duloe in east Cornwall. Kea plum and Catshead apple cheese, meanwhile, uses Cornish Kea plums – a local damson from the Fal near Truro – cooked with Catshead apples from an upcoming Cornish orchard on the Roseland Peninsula. Crellow describes this as a ‘sliceable’ product, which can be eaten with creamy desserts or alongside cheese. The jam is available year-round in 320g jars (RRP £3.95-4.50), while the cheese comes in 115g jars (RRP £3.50-4.00).

l Damsons generally have two uses – gin and jam. Yorkshire’s Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods has combined both in a damson gin jam, which launched earlier this year. It says the jam uses local damsons which have been steeped in gin and sugar for eight months. The retail price is £3.50 for a 340g jar. www. raisthorpemanor. com

l Purely Bakers says it was so inundated by customer compliments about the mincemeat used in its cakes and bakes last Christmas that it decided to start selling it by the jar. Launched at the Harrogate Specialty Food Show in June, the mincemeat comes in three flavours: apricot & rum, almond & Amaretto and cherry & brandy in 325g jars (RRP £3.40).

Newcomers Cupboard Love launched its new preserves range at the Speciality & Fine Food Show. Prior to starting her Somerset-based preserves business, founder Silvana Tann spent six years creating products for retailer own-brands. Products range from conventional strawberry and raspberry jams (£2.05 for a 240g jar) to more adventurous lines like Drunken Fig jam (£2.40 for a 225g jar) and pink grapefruit & ginger marmalade (£2.05 for 340g). Another new preserve start-up that used the Speciality & Fine Food Show as its launch pad was Welsh Borders business Radnor Preserves. Founder Joanna Morgan’s 30-

strong range includes lemon, mandarin & lavender marmalade, Seville orange marmalade with crushed coriander and blueberry & bay preserve. Cheshire entrepreneur Claire Plover is hoping that unusual flavour combinations – some featuring flowers as well as fruit – will set Galore! apart from the competition. The core range, launched this summer, includes atrawberry & geranium, plum & star anise and summer pudding preserves (RRP £2.95). PetitPot was formed in spring this year, when Mark Rogers and his wife decided to turn their hobby of making wedding favours for friends into a business. Working from their Yorkshire base, the couple have initially launched six products, three sweet and three savoury – available in 20g ‘petit pots’

or 125g jars. These include strawberry & Champagne conserve, gooseberry & elderflower fizz conserve and rose petal jelly. The Hedgerow Kitchen Company, which opened its doors in June, harvests the wild fruits and berries that grow in abundance in the Vale of Evesham. Its seasonal jellies are the first lines to go into production. These include Pershore plum, crab apple & rosehip and hedgerow jelly (sloe, elderberry and crab apple), all of which retail at £2.95 for a 230g jar. As the name suggests, Sussex start-up Huckleberry’s is another producer that make use of the foraged ingredients that the surrounding countryside has to offer. Owners Ivan and Imogen, both in their early

twenties, have been in business for nearly a year. Creations to come out of the Huckleberry kitchen have included rhubarb & rosemary jam, raspberry & basil jam, plum & Earl Grey jam and bramble & mint jelly. Since launching at the end of last year, Bramble Foods has built up a portfolio of 30 jams, preserves and marmalades, all packaged in 240g jars and with an RRP of £2.49. Three of its most recent introductions include Vintage orange marmalade, English Victoria plum preserve and cherries & berries preserve, which is a blend of raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


product update l Oxfordshire’s Quince Products is branching out beyond its core quince-based range with the launch of gooseberry & lime fruit cheese. The hand-made cheese is said to be the ideal accompaniment to cheese, pâté or gammon and comes in 130g jars (RRP £4).

l Woodberry Farm’s reduced sugar conserves are now sporting new labels designed to better reflect its ‘taste the summer not the sugar’ tagline. The preserves contain 85 per cent fruit and just 15 per cent sugar, but taste very different from the no sugar varieties that are packed with grape and apple juice, according to the Norfolk producer. This has led to them being nicknamed ‘jampotes’, as they taste like a fruit compote but look like a softly set jam.

jams & preserves l Mrs Bridges’ new range of Christmas jars is now available to the independent retail trade. The seasonal spreads include Christmas marmalade, infused with cranberries and spiced orange, and Christmas preserve, which features berries and mulled wine. They come in 250g jars (RRP £1.95) and are also available in 113g jars for hampers.

l Although Henshelwood’s Fine Foods has made its name by creating unusual flavour combinations, its latest introductions are bramble & lime jelly and plain old strawberry and raspberry jams. The Isle of Bute producer says it developed these in response to customer requests, suggesting that actually, consumers are quite conservative when it comes to condiments.

l Keeping food miles to a minimum is Norfolk Garden Preserves with its rhubarb & ginger jam, made from sugar grown in East Anglia and rhubarb grown less than 12 miles from the producer’s kitchen. Trade price is £1.80 for a 454g jar.

l Carreglefin Nurseries claims to be the only producer of kiwi fruit jam in the UK. The company makes the jam from kiwis it has grown on the Isle of Anglesey. It retails at £3.50 for a jar.

l New for autumn from Cottage Delight is orange & chocolate breakfast preserve, a luxury take on chocolate spread made from Belgian chocolate and orange peel. It retails at £2.20 for 340g and is supported with recipe cards to inspire consumers and help retailers with in-store events. l Just Williams has launched a mulberry butter just in time for the game season. According to owner William Ramsbottom, while mulberries are a traditional accompaniment to game, fruit butters have fallen out of favour due to the time and work needed to produce them. “Traditionally used when more structure is needed than a jelly can provide, they were always the preserve of choice between the layers of a sponge cake as you can spread them up to a third of an inch thick,” he said. “The process used in making fruit butters also results in a more intense flavour derived no doubt from the presence of the body of the fruit, not just the juice.” The butter can be added to the meat juices and or served at the table, but interested retailers had better move fast, as there are only limited quantities available. The retail price is £3 for a 113g jar.


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

l London delis with a tourist footfall may be interested in the new Taste of the City gift collection from Dart Valley Foods. The range includes condiments topped with Union Jack bonnets and themed on famous London names, landmarks and attractions, such as London Traffic Jam and Mayfair Marmalade. RRP is around £2.50-2.95.

Ancient fruit experience revival Cumbrian preserve maker Wild & Fruitful has observed a renaissance of ancient fruits that had fallen from favour for culinary use. Jane Maggs, who owns Wild & Fruitful, says: “The last few years have seen a revival, led by celebrity chefs and the health food industry, for some of these varieties, which has led to a corresponding increase in demand. This year, for example, medlar and wild bilberry are in the spotlight. In July, I picked more wild bilberries than ever I have done in my entire life, but I have already sold out of wild bilberry jam.” Maggs is making sure therefore that when the local medlars are ripe at the beginning of November, she does not run short. She is currently identifying new medlar trees to pick around the county as she already has orders from two National Trust properties and large farm shops for medlar jelly.

l Proving that a commitment to local sourcing doesn’t have to limit originality, North Yorkshire based Porter’s Preserves has created a new blue poppy seed & rhubarb preserve. Launched in June, the sweet chutney is made using the most tender first rhubarb crops of the season which means there is a limited supply. Blue poppy seeds are said to lend a slightly nutty taste to the overall flavour. The trade price is £1.95 for an 8oz jar with an RRP of £3.25.

l Belfast producer Shazzam has taken the idea of tipsy marmalade to another level, with a range of marmalade cocktails, which includes Pina Colada, Mojito, Hot Toddy and Margarita marmalades. The cocktail theme is carried right through to the packaging – the marmalades come in tall, slim 120g jars (RRP £2).

l January will also see the launch of five new jams from The Bay Tree. The gooseberry, morello cherry, plum, ginger and strawberry & orange jams will be available in 227g standard jars.

Lemon & Ginger Marmalade is just one of our range of award winning jams, marmalades, chutneys and condiments. A really great addition to Christmas Hampers + 44(0)1453 759612 Follow us on



GREAT TASTE 2010 RESULTS 2★ Exquisite Thursday Cottage Lemon Curd Thursday Cottage Diabetic Three Fruits Marmalade 3★ Wow – taste thAT Thursday Cottage Damson Fruit Coulis

Thursday Cottage was awarded the Best Speciality Product for the Midlands and East Anglia for the Damson Coulis in the 2010 Great Taste Awards. Perhaps the secret to this product is its simplicity, being just 80% fruit and 20% sugar. The variety we use is the Shropshire Prune, famous for its tart flavour which balanced with the distinctive sweet flesh, makes for a wonderful full flavoured product. Pour over Pavlova, ice-cream or yoghurt. thursday cottage ltd trewlands farm tiptree colchester essex co5 0rf Telephone: 01621 814529 Fax: 01621 814555 Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


focus deli ofonthe month

Heat and shade MICK WHITWORTH meets two small producers – one with roots in Nigeria, one from Jamaica – who’re challenging the hotter-than-Hades image of African and Afro-Caribbean sauces


eople fall into a trap,” says James ‘Bim’ Adedeji, founder of sauces and relish maker Bim’s Kitchen, “of thinking certain products from certain places have to be chilli-hot. And that means they miss all the subtleties.” Adedeji, who family roots are in Nigeria, set up Bim’s late last year with wife Nicola to give British consumers an introduction to the characteristic flavours of sub-Saharan Africa. He also wanted to challenge perceptions that ‘African’ means ‘hot enough to strip the skin from your mouth’. Just like anywhere else, says the 43year-old North Londoner, there are a lot of folk in Africa who don’t like chillis. His flavour-led approach, played out in products like African melon seed curry sauce and African chilli coconut, is fast winning fans. Rick Stein’s delis in Cornwall were among his first stockists and last month saw Fortnum & Mason list three lines from Adedeji’s range. Bim’s is one of a pair of businesses that have crossed FFD’s radar this year bringing a modern British twist to cuisines that have roots in African and Afro-Caribbean cuisine. The other is The Backyard Company (facing page), run in south Wales by Jamaican-born Antonio Smith, who has created a range of jerk sauces with the rough edges removed. The two newcomers share much common ground. However, where Smith has taken a traditional Jamaican product and refined it with ingredients like mango and pineapple to suit a wider audience, Adedeji decided to avoid ‘authentic’ recipes altogether and create versions of British favourites – curry sauces, ketchup, barbecue sauce – using a palette of flavours peculiar to Africa. His products typically contain 15 or more ingredients, from alligator pepper, melon seeds and cubeb to roasted groundnuts and blackeyed beans. “Yes, in our hot sauces


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

James Adedeji: ‘We do use a bit of naga chilli – but it’s about balance’

Bim’s core spices for sub-Saharan cuisine “Each of these ingredients, especially the peppercorns, has a really distinct flavour,” says James Adedeji. “They’re the core spices we use in a lot of different recipes.” Alligator pepper: Also known as ‘grains of paradise’. Cubeb: another relative of black pepper, grown in swampy marshland in sub-Saharan Africa. Dry ginger: “In Nigeria, the way this is prepared differentiates it from the ground ginger sold in supermarkets,” says Adedeji. “It’s freshly cut, sun-dried, and sold in pieces which we grind ourselves.” Birds Eye Chilli: Best known as an ingredient in piri-piri sauce, but “probably one of the most widely used chillies in Africa”. Hibiscus flower: Mainly used in teas here because the infused leaves add a deep red colour, hibiscus is used as a cooking ingredient in Africa. “Often you don’t use the leaves,” says Adedeji. “You just extract the colour.” Ethiopian pepper: Also called Grains of Selim, this is an African tree seed, bought as dried pods. Three Bim’s lines (left) have just been listed by Fortnum’s

we do use a bit of naga chilli,” he says. “But it’s about a balance. And several of our products don’t contain chilli at all.” Adedeji, formerly a high-flying civil servant with the Department of Health, originally planned to open some form of eatery before falling into food production. Now he’s glad he didn’t just try to be “the best African restaurant in town”. “There are a lot of them, especially in London, and they rarely seem to attract a core customer base from people outside the African community. “We decided early on not to try to replicate

spicy sauces authentic sauces – and we’re very specifically not going down the route of ‘my grandmother’s long lost recipes’. These are our recipes and we’ve gone back to basics to come up with new concepts that are more accessible to people here. “We make cooking sauces you can use straight from the jar, pastes that you can use to marinate meat, or to make stir-fries. Barbecue sauce is another easy-to-grasp example; it’s been around for generations, but no-one has made one with African ingredients.” Melon seeds are a staple across much of Africa. Taken from fruit grown specifically for their seeds, they are widely used in soups or stews accompanied by maize or cassava. “I thought it must be possible to do an awful lot more with them than stews,” says Adedeji, “so we started experimenting with Asian-style curries, bringing in African ingredients, including the melon seeds. “We did a similar thing with black-eyed beans and roasted groundnuts. People here might not know what to do with those as ingredients, so we came up with a bean & nut curry sauce.” This is one of the lines newly listed by Fortnums, along with African chilli coconut relish and African lemony piri piri. If Rick Stein is one of Adedeji’s culinary heroes, so is New Zealand chef Peter Gordon, often dubbed the “father of fusion cuisine”. Gordon has sampled Bim’s products and – perhaps because Adedeji made it clear he was not touting for an endorsement – has provided glowing comments about the range for Bim’s website. While Adedeji doesn’t use the word ‘fusion’ to describe his own products, he says he has never understood why cooks are reluctant to mingle ingredients from different cultures. “I’d rather go with taste first, so you’ll see ingredients in our products that you wouldn’t normally see in subSaharan cuisine – like soy sauce. Salt is just salt, but good soy will have beans, wheat and salt, and the fermentation process means you get a more balanced seasoning. In fact, you’ll end up using less salt overall.” He also uses pomegranate – more often associated with north African and Middle Eastern cuisine – for its “tart but sweet” contribution to ketchup and barbecue sauce, and mango powder, widely used in Sri Lanka and India, as another source of tartness. “People say, ‘You can’t do that in an African recipe’, but that’s like saying you can’t use almonds in Bakewell tart. Fusion has been going on for centuries.” Bim’s key flavours and seasonings are now packed for retail too

There’s no shortage of speciality foods based on ‘old family recipes’ but few can out-do Antonio Smith’s colourful back-story

‘Spice is a beautiful thing’


orn in Jamaica, the owner of jerk sauce maker The Backyard Company learned to cook at his great-grandmother’s knee – literally – after his parents left the Caribbean to seek work in Britain in the early 1960s. “I was brought up on a farm by my grandparents and didn’t go to school until I was seven,” says Antonio Smith. “My grandmother was busy on the farm, so my greatgrandmother did most of the cooking. And she refused to use the kitchen – she always cooked outdoors, in a big Dutch pot over a wood fire. “You know that Bob Marley line from No Woman, No Cry: ‘Log wood burning through the night…’? That’s exactly how it was for us.” Hence the name chosen for The Backyard Company, which is headquartered in Newport, Gwent, but produces its small-batch products in a rent-by-the-day unit in the publicallyowned Food Centre Wales in Horeb, Ceredigion. Smith and his team make a range of seven 250g jerk sauces that they sell to the public at food festivals as well as through trade clients including Howarden Estate Farm Shop in north Wales, The Spice Shop in London’s Notting Hill and Newport-based Asian retail chain Masala Bazaar. Jerk is perhaps the best known of Jamaica’s indigenous foods, and the name refers both to a particular mix of spices, traditionally added as a dry rub, and also to a way of cooking over a makeshift barbecue. The flavour is hot and distinctive, centred on Jamaican pimento (allspice) and Scotch Bonnet pepper. Smith says his grandmother probably never thought she was cooking jerk – she certainly never bought a commercial jerk sauce – but

used the same “wonderful seasonings” like cinnamon, nutmeg and pimento. Smith left to join his parents in Wales in 1971, at the age of 11, and went on to have a successful career in engineering with GE Aircraft Engines before starting a business of his own, built around his childhood food memories. “I wanted to base everything on my great-grandmother’s philosophy and share the experience I had as a kid.” He also wanted to “bring Jamaican food to the masses”, which, in Britain, meant toning down the fiery version of jerk with which most West Indians are familiar. Out of his sevenstrong range, which includes sauces using fresh mango and fresh pineapple, the true Jamaicanstyle ‘Original’ is the one he pushes the least. “Jerk has a wonderful flavour but a lot of people who’ve tried it on holiday in Jamaica have had a bad experience because it was far too hot,” he says. “That‘s why we’ve gone down the road of looking at some of the wonderful fruit found in Jamaica – we’re looking at doing something with papaya too, and a lime & lemon version for fish. It’s a way of capturing the flavours we have in Jamaica but using them in a more unusual way.” Nonetheless, the tongue-searing reputation of jerk is hard to overcome. So, while selling jerk pork and chicken with traditional Jamaican rice and peas at food festivals this summer, Smith has tried to reassure wary consumers that The Backyard Company focuses on “flavour, not heat”, using around 16 core ingredients such as lime juice for acidity, molasses instead of refined sugar, and those key spices like cinnamon, thyme and nutmeg. “The word ‘spice’ has been lost in this country,’ he says. “People think ‘spicy’ means ‘hot’, just like they think a curry house is about blowing your head off. But spice is about flavour. It’s a beautiful thing.”

she was using the same used

Antonio Smith: capturing Jamaican flavours ‘but using them in an unusual way’

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


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Apley’s Eureka moment EPoS doesn’t magically make a business successful, but used correctly it can boost the bottom line. Andrew Don finds out how Apley Farm’s system helps it integrate its businesses and reduce wastage


n an age when so many retailers have multiple profit centres – shop, restaurant, outside catering and so on – it is important to have a single point of control, especially where ingredients or products are transferred between each part of the business. Apley Farm Shop, on Lord Hamilton of Dalzell’s Shifnal estate, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, uses Lakeland Computers’ Eureka system to keep tabs on stock movements across its three retail operations. As well as its farm shop Apley, which opened in April, also runs the 110-seater Creamery café and a play barn. Each one is housed in a separate building. Apley general manager Frances Bowen explains that Eureka allows her to track ingredients as they are transferred within the business and returned to their source in another form. “We have a full stock control system and the back-

of-house computer links to all the tills we have in the different parts of the business,” she says. “The computer upstairs has information on everything we sell. “That means that if we have a glut of bananas, they come into the shop, they get transferred at cost to other departments and they are run through the till like normal transactions, so the café

“The beauty of the system is that nothing slips through the net; all stock movements are scanned and recorded”

Things to consider before you buy a system l Be clear about what you need and what areas of your business you want EPoS to help with. Prepare a checklist of what is important to your business and what you want to achieve in the future. l Get a 'proper' demonstration. A five minute run-through on a stand at a trade show is not enough. Try to spend several hours getting to grips with the system if possible. l Seek advice from recognised industry groups, such as The Guild of Fine Food and FARMA l Talk to other retailers. Find out what systems they are using and what works well for them. l Ask for references from the firm selling you the system and make sure you check them. l Speak to your other suppliers (shop fitters, lighting firms and producers) as they will be able to share their experience of systems from other shop fit-outs. Source: Retail Ready/LCCS/Bizerba Vol.12 Issue 9 October 2011


case study or kitchen effectively pay for the products instead of the customer.” In this instance, the bananas are transferred, the kitchen works out the costs for making banana loaf cake on Eureka and the chefs make up the product. After that, the café till records that there are banana loaves ready to be sold back to the shop, which is charged for them at cost. Bowen adds: “All the information goes through to the tills and is transferred to computers upstairs and I can see how many bananas were sold.” The beauty of the system, Bowen says, is that nothing slips through the net, since all internal transactions and stock movements are scanned and recorded. Apley Farm also has a loyalty card system linked to Eureka so the business knows, at a glance, where many of its customers come from. If Bowen runs a marketing campaign, she can look on the system to see the result in terms of new loyalty card sign-ups per geographical area. “It has the ability to give you a coherent plan and shows you results that help you go forward and plan a lot better,” she adds. Apley Farm invested more than £20,000 in four tills, two scales linked to the tills – one for the butchery and one for the deli – wedge scanners, a computer and a server. Bowen says the investment probably paid for itself within the first two months of operation because of the resulting decrease in wastage. The business has just 0.4% waste – well within the “less than 1%” targeted for its second year. Lakeland Computers managing director Nigel Bogle says the data produced by packages such as Eureka can not only be analysed to provide tangible financial benefits but also provides clarity on a variety of practical issues. For example, they allow businesses to calculate the number of staff needed for each shift based on the level of footfall, the amount of shelf space to give a product in accordance with its rate of sale – even the size and number of shopping baskets required. Bogle says: “Business owners are all acutely aware of costs these days and there’s definitely more of a shift towards getting proper control of things.”


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

EPoS LIGHT BYTES • Bizerba independent retail sales manager Steve Pemberton says delicatessens and farm shops are becoming more sophisticated in their use of EPoS. “There is a greater knowledge and experience coming into the industry. Managers are filtering down from convenience stores and supermarkets.” The firm’s latest system is the K-Class Flex, a modular white system combining scales and checkout equipment. It enables the retailer to freely combine individual EPoS components. The constituent parts are fully compatible with Bizerba scale software and RetailFramework software family. • Blacker Hall Farm Shop, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has added Retail Computer Solution’s customer loyalty and customer relationship management solution to its touch-screen EPoS terminals. It enables Blacker Hall to analyse customers’ buying patterns and target specific marketing campaigns at them. RCS sales manager James Gillam says: “Retailing over the years has moved simply from traditional sales to a multichannel approach. “The most successful retailers are those who have picked up on this and moved with the times to maximise revenue streams.”

• CSY has launched an electronic shelf labelling system to replace traditional paper shelf labelling. All of the product information, including the price, is taken directly from the EPOS system and labels are updated automatically using radio frequency. As well as reducing human error and man-hours, the system affords retailers an easy method of ‘dynamic pricing’ – so they can alter prices at different times of the day or month depending on footfall and seasonal demand. The labels are available in a range of sizes and use e-paper technology giving a battery life of at least five years.

• Open Retail Solutions is helping retailers protect their margins with colour-coded on-screen warnings about rising product prices. An orange or red warning is displayed on till screens or highlighted in back office reports whenever the wholesale price of a product rises above the target margin. Open Retail Solutions managing director Graham Stamper estimates that, at best, EPoS can deliver an extra 2-3% on the bottom line and at least 10% stock reduction. Stamper adds that, at the moment, garden centres tend to be more sophisticated than deli and farm shops in their EPoS usage because they use promotions and loyalty schemes a lot more. But he says the fine food sector is increasingly starting to use radio handsets for stock counting. North West Business Machines has launched EPoS Connect, a software package that connects its clients’ EPoS system with their online shops. The software integrates stock control across the business and can also be linked to loyalty schemes. The firm’s customers include Lancashire businesses Bashall Barn in Clitheroe, Huntley’s in Samlesbury, and Food by Breda Murphy in Whalley. Managing director Anthony Hanson-Mahon says the level of integration “ultimately creates a slick and professional operation, eliminates mistakes and most importantly saves time and money”. Bashall Barn, for example, has full integration

between its farm shop, restaurant and ice-cream parlour. Orders are taken via hand-held terminals at the restaurant table, ensuring all items are immediately added to the customer’s bill. At Food by Breda Murphy, a single piece of hardware no larger than a standard cash register incorporates a touchscreen hospitality package for the bistro, an integrated scanner for retail sales, a weigh-scale for deli items, a label printer for adding barcodes to pre-packed meals, and integrated chip and PIN.

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Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


focus on

Profit from the east

With supermarket shelves full of Indian, Chinese and Thai ingredients and the Asian food market still growing, MENNA DAVIES explores the opportunities for independents

selling lines of pastes but they don’t do things like palm sugar and shrimp paste, tamarind paste and kaffir lime leaves – which are all essential. I think delis can give these products more space, put them together and sell the whole story to inspire people.” Andre Dang, a communications consultant who promotes food from a number of Asian countries, agrees. “If delis are looking at doing ethnic lines then they can steal an advantage on supermarkets by getting ingredients that are really authentic. Look at what a Chinese or Indian person would want to use and go for a small range of basics.” Dang’s suggestions to independents include displaying ingredients by recipe. “People are very willing to experiment but they want to know what to do with the ingredients. You could even work with a supplier to create recipe cards.” Hawkshead Relish in Cumbria makes a huge range of chutneys, jellies, pickles and preserves, many of them with an Asian influence. Owners Maria and Mark Whitehead travel widely, creating new recipes based on what they have discovered such as Kashmiri tomato chutney and Indian capsicum pickle. Maria Whitehead says interest in their Asian foods is definitely growing. “I think TV programmes about the Far East by British chefs like Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay

“Now is the time to be selling something different from the normal run-of-the-mill products you get in supermarkets” Maria Whitehead, Hawkshead Relish

Picture: Tongdang/


eople are sometimes a bit frightened of tackling Asian foods, says Bespoke Foods’ Piers Adamson, so it’s important to “demystify” them and display them clearly. Bespoke, which owns the Thai Taste and Malay Taste brands as well as importing and distributing ingredients from

other Asian companies, sells both basic ingredients and meal kits. “We have a lot of success with our meal kits – people want to cook Thai and Malaysian food but not necessarily from scratch,” says Adamson. “But more confident cooks want basic ingredients and this is where delis can really do well. Supermarkets never tell the whole story, they take some of the top-

asian flavours

Picture: Tongdang/

have taken the myth of everything being ‘blow your head off’ hot away. Also people are starting to use our products in a very different way, adding them as an ingredient. They provide a good shortcut to adding flavours to recipes.” She believes this market is “very easy to tap into” for independents. “Now is the time to be selling something different from the normal, run-of-the-mill products you get in supermarkets. Delis need to be doing the things supermarkets can’t, and they can also promote products better with samplings.” As for the future, both Whitehead and Bespoke’s Adamson agree that people are getting more adventurous in their tastes. “I think the flavours of Malaysia and Vietnam will become more important – really fresh, fragrant flavours. We went to Vietnam two years ago and as a result created a coriander & lemongrass and a chilli lime & ginger jelly,” says Whitehead. Thai food is still very popular but people are moving away from red and green curries and want to try new things says Bespoke’s Adamson. To tap into this Bespoke Foods has added a new Pad Thai kit to its Thai Taste range and Nasi Goreng and Laksa kits to the Malay Taste range. Japanese food is also a growth area and Bespoke has a new range from S&B including a wasabi sauce and a wasabi Japanese curry. “Wasabi has almost become a mainstream flavour now, and not just linked to sushi,” he says. “Vietnam is also quite interesting and I think India still has a lot of potential, especially looking for more authentic recipes from the different regions like Kerala in the south.” Dang’s future tips include more Asian spices being used in general grocery products such as popcorn and chocolate, and yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit used a bit like lemon as a flavour in many dishes.

asian flavours product update l Asharun Spices will soon add three dhal mixes to its range of Indian spice mixes and cooking products. As well as the urid, split pea and red lentil dhal kits, Asharun is adding a keema matar (lamb mince with peas) mix. The mixes (RRP £2.90 per pack) come in recyclable, pyramid-shaped packaging, which feature shopping lists for each dish’s ingredients, information on the spices included and complete cooking instructions. Asharun sources and grinds 90% of the spices that go into its mixes, which also include garam masala as well as rice and naan bread mixes.

Don’t Thai us down

The Condiment Company’s Georgina Phillips says its Sussex Valley Asian inspired dressings should not just be confined to retailers’ ethnic sections. Its Thai Fusion dressing (RRP £2.35) is a mix of ginger, lemongrass and chilli with a wholesale price of £9.66 for a case of six. It also offers a chilli & lemongrass sauce and an Oriental ginger & spice sauce, both of which retail at £2.65 with cases of six available for a wholesale price of £11.32. “We see the Thai Fusion dressing as sitting in the mainstream dressing section, offering something different to the generic dressings often on offer,” says Phillips. “The Oriental and the chilli & lemongrass sauces, we see sitting in either section as they are popular flavours that most shoppers know what to do with. However they would complement other offerings in the ethnic section.” l Chutney and pickles producer Curry Cuisine has developed a range of dessert sauces using spices associated with Indian cooking. Among the flavours in the new Scrummee range (RRP £2.09-£2.29 for 110ml, sold in cases of six) of dessert toppings are mango, cardamom & ginger; cherry chocolate & chilli; rhubarb, lemongrass & ginger; strawberry and mint; kiwi and lime; and plum star anise & cinnamon. The producer has also launched Christmas gift packs of its chutneys and pickles. The gift boxes, which are sold in cases of six, contain either three or five 150g jars and retail for £7.50 and £13.50 respectively. l Mrs Shah’s Curry Mix says it has already gained a strong following through word of mouth sales since its launch earlier this year. The mix comes in two varieties, hot and mild/ medium. Both are made to the Yorkshire firm’s unique family recipe of 13 herbs and spices blended for what it calls the “perfect authentic curry”. The product – gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans – has a shelf life of up to 10 months. Each 15g pot (RRP 99p, wholesale 70p) makes a curry that serves four people.

l Honey Garden Sauces has added two Madhuban Deluxe sauces to its range of curry sauces created by chef Lodue Miah at his Hampshire restaurant, The Madhuban. The Badami – a mild sauce flavoured with golden sultanas, roasted spices, almond and saffron – is Madhuban’s signature dish while the new Goan curry sauce is well suited to fish and seafood as well as meat and vegetables. Chef Miah has also created a tandoori marinade and tomato chutney to sit alongside its mint raita.

l After its recent listing in Fortnum & Mason Mamajaan’s, which launched a range of low fat cook-in curry sauces in 2010, is targeting further growth in the independent sector. Founded by North Londoner Anjam Jabeen, Mamajaan’s produce a range of Punjabi sauces with a London twist. These include the Belsize Bhuna, Hampstead Harooni and the Camden Chitur, a mild curry made with tomatoes and green mango. Each 500ml pot retails for £3.49.

l Cottage Delight’s collection of authentic Asian cooking pastes are all gold winners at the Great Taste Awards 2011. The firm describes its Thai Mussamum curry as “an ideal store cupboard essential for cooking, dipping and marinading.” The range also features a Tandoori and a Korma cooking paste. All three pastes retail at £2.95 per unit and cases of 18 x 95g can be purchased at a wholesale price of £35.46.

Keeping Cantonese cuisine in the family Sibling business partners Kitty Lee and Ray Chan are targeting middle-market buyers with their new Canton Chef range of cooking sauces, born out of their family’s restaurant and takeaway in Worcestershire. Lee and Chan’s parents moved to Britain from Hong Kong, and their father worked as a Cantonese chef for several years before starting his own outlet in the 1980s. His kids helped in the family business before heading for university and going on to work in blue chip multinationals, but they’ve come home to apply their entrepreneurial streak to the family business. “We started selling out of our own restaurant and takeaway,” says Kitty Lee, “and to a couple of delis local to where we live. At the moment we’re just a brother-and-sister team doing some home-made recipes, but the aim is to gradually roll out region by region.” The Canton Chef brand and packaging was created as a potential coverall for a range of oriental sauces and spices, but Lee says: “We decided to launch with the three sauces most commonly known by the British public – curry, sweet & sour and garlic & black bean – which are all cooked and then machine-pouched.” RRP is around £1 per two-portion pouch. Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


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A promotional feature for Guild of Fine Food

OCTOBER’S PROMOTIONS The Guild of Fine Food has developed its Retail Promotion Scheme to help retailers survive recession hit Britain. We are negotiating with our producer members and have handpicked a selection of great foods on which we’ve secured big discounts unique to Guild retail members.




Porter Foods own brand Chestnut range, includes Whole Chestnuts, peeled, cooked and vacuum packed, organic Whole Chestnuts and Chestnut Puree – all sourced from Galicia in Spain. They also distribute Spanish Marron Glace and Crème de Marron and their very trendy Vanilla Bean Paste is avalaible in sachets or in squeezy bottles. THE DEAL: 10% off £250 order.15% off £500 order plus a FREE carton of Vanilla Bean Paste. Quote promo code: GFF11 AVAILABILITY: Nationwide £10 carriage for orders under £250 CONTACT: Tel: Michael Patton on 020 8669 3131,

Odysea meze (220g jars) include: Babaganoush Meze: roasted aubergines and tahini seasoned with garlic, lemon and a blend of herbs and spices. Harissa Spicy Meze: hot red peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and herbs & spices for a dip, marinade for grilled chicken or in soups and pasta. Bruschetta Meze Topping chopped, sun-ripened Mediterranean vegetables blended with tomatoes, olives and select herbs & spices. Perfect on thick crusty bread. Karyatis Green Olives with Chilli 90g snack pack of green pitted olives light with crushed chilli & extra virgin olive oil. THE DEAL: 20% off these new products AVAILABILITY: United Kingdom subject to min order value CONTACT: Martin Bumpsteed Email:


This multiple award-winning producer uses the natural larder of Scotland to select the finest ingredients and each pâté is handmade by our chefs to the highest quality. Findlater’s have won Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011; our most recent being a 2 star Gold for our Chicken Liver Pâté finished with Brandy & Port. The range includes meat, fish and vegetarian pate with several gluten free varieties all in 120g retail packaging and 600g deli counter containers with ceramic pottery for ‘slice & serve by weight’. THE DEAL: 20% discount, free delivery, starter samples with retailer merchandising pack for first time orders over £110 AVAILABILITY: Nationwide by 24 hr courier service (min carriage paid order £110) CONTACT: Tel: Ailsa or Gary 01506 671577 or 01506 671235 Email:



Hand-crafted in the Jura mountains and traditionally aged for over 180 days, Jura Montagne is a classic French cheese. The cows are grass-fed in the summer and hay-fed in the winter. This will mean that the animals benefit from the grasses and wild herbs, giving the milk its unique characteristics. Jura Montagne is traditionally aged in caves for six months and is regularly washed and turned. THE DEAL: 20% off for retail members AVAILABILITY: All areas CONTACT: Steve Smith/Claire Philip 01892 838999



Manor Chocolates Classic and Seasonal Gift Boxes; together with the fine nut range coated in 70% single origin Ecuadorian chocolate and dusted in 100% Dominican Republic cocoa powder. The range is created by award-winning British chocolatier Demarquette. See the full range at THE DEAL: 30% off on-line orders. Discount code: GUILD AVAILABILITY: Nationwide min carriage paid order £150 CONTACT: Email:


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RETAIL MEMBERS – sign up to the retail promotion scheme contact or ring her on 01963 824464 to ensure you receive your shelf-barkers to help promote these discounts instore. SUPPLIER MEMBERS – want to take part? Contact for more information

Farrington’s Mellow Yellow award-winning cold pressed rapeseed is produced by the Farrington family at Bottom Farm in Hargrave, Northamptonshire. Delicious, healthy and truly British – MELLOW YELLOW® contains Omega 3, vitamin E and has the lowest saturated fat content of any commonly available cooking oil – making it the perfect choice for a healthy diet. With a wonderful subtle nutty taste, it is ideal for salad dressings as well as being delicious in cakes, while its high smoke point makes it perfect for roasting potatoes and stir frying. THE DEAL: 20% off retail bottles AVAILABILITY: Nationwide – directly from Farrington Oils (min carriage paid order £80) as well as Hider Foods, Cotswold Fayre and Michael Bance CONTACT: Jo Giles on 01933 622809,

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


Ice Cream Expo 2011 back in Yorkshire Event Centre


1st - 3rd November 2011

Ice Cream Expo 2011


Yorkshire Event Centre 1st - 3rd November 2011

Tuesday, 1st November 2011 10.00a.m. - 5.00p.m. last entry 4.30p.m. Wednesday, 2nd November 2011 10.00a.m. - 5.00p.m. last entry 4.30p.m. Thursday, 3rd November 2011 10.00a.m. - 3.00p.m. last entry 2.30p.m.



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The show attracts around 200 trade seller and buyers from all sectors of the industry. Whether your focus is in ingredients, machinery, production, distribution or retail, you will appreciate that ice cream is big business within the uk and abroad. Should you wish to join us at Harrogate, please register for your free tickets online at For stand bookings at the exhibition, please call Lorraine on 01332 203333 or Email

The team at La Bandiera continues to use the traditional methods of selecting the best time to harvest the olives to ensure the acidity level is low thereby creating the perfect blend. The result is a smooth yet full-bodied olive oil, endorsed by the IGP in recognition of its quality and origin. A recent winner in the 2011 Great Taste Awards, La Bandiera olive oil is available for delivery throughout the UK in sizes ranging from 250ml bottles up to 5 litre cans. Visit or call 0207 243 5150

Refreshingly Local Dorset Tea is a superior blend of quality teas from Kenya, India and Ceylon, selected for their strength, quality, colour & smoothness of flavour. Launched just two years ago, we’ve already won 2 Great Taste Gold awards and gained a huge local following. A few other things we’re proud of:

• Blended and packed in Dorset • Includes Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea • Available in a variety of pack sizes & formats • Iconic pack design with great shelf presence • Van deliveries available within the local area To find out more contact Fiona on 01202 863831 or


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9



... AND NOW FOR THE BIGGEST OF THEM ALL World Cheese Awards 2011 Winter

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October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9


fresh thinking





products, packaging & promotions


product news from Guild accredited suppliers NICK HEMPLEMAN

• Quince Products has launched a gooseberry & lime fruit cheese and a quince, lemon & ginger marmalade. The Oxfordshire-based firm says its newest fruit cheese, which comes in 130g pots and retails at £4, goes well with meat, cheese and paté. The new marmalade (RRP £3.50) is available in 225g jars and is described as a ‘versatile’ cooking ingredient. All of Quince Products’ preserves – which include jellies, fruit cheeses, marmalades and chutneys – are handmade using fresh fruit.

October 21 is National Apple Day and this gives independent retailers a perfect excuse to get one over on the multiples. Did you or, more importantly, your customers know that over the last 10 years Britain has lost half of its apple orchards and that 50% of the world’s apples are now grown in China? Considering our perfect growing climate in the UK, this is a travesty. Supermarkets are shamefully guilty of stocking a small range of (usually foreign) apples and there is an opportunity to provide your customers with a great selection. Pound to a penny, there’s a local orchard near you growing varieties that supermarket customers can only dream of. Get them in your shop in old wooden boxes with a big blackboard proclaiming the origin and they will fly out. Price is

• Image on Food says its new Gingerbread Gang range will be “packed with selling opportunities” next year. The eight new designs, which will be available for January 2012, come in eye-catching display boxes and will retail for £1.50-£1.65. Orders can be placed direct and with distributors Hider Foods or Cotswold Fayre.

• S&B is the No. 1 wasabi producer in Japan. Three products from its authentic Japanese range – wasabi paste (43g), wasabi sauce (170g) and wasabi powder (30g) – are now being distributed in the UK by Bespoke Foods. S&B says its products are as close to freshly grated wasabi as possible. If the paste proves too strong for some, then it says the sauce is a milder alternative while the powder is an all-natural blend of horseradish, mustard, tapioca starch and wasabi. www.bespoke-foods.

• Coombe Castle has given its 1kg tubs of Devonshire clotted cream a facelift. It says the new easy peel film and reusable lid will make using the product even more hygienic in busy kitchens as well as making it ideal for deli counters, cafés and catering. The extended chilled shelf life of the product means it stays fresh for up to seven months unopened, and will stay fresh for up to five days after opening.

• This month Tyrrells has launched a special Winter edition sour cream and roasted garlic flavour of potato crisps. This new variety, which will be available for five months, comes in 40g (RRP 69p) and 150g (RRP £1.89) bags. All of Tyrrells’ crisps are made from small batches of Lady Claire and Lady Rosetta potatoes and hand cooked.

• Summerdown has introduced chocolate mini bars into its range of mint products. Made with single-estate English peppermint oil, the dark chocolate bars have a similar creamy fondant centre to Summerdown’s peppermint creams but are more streamlined. Each 200g box (RRP £4.99) contains 18 of these slimmershaped chocolates. Summerdown makes its peppermint oil from traditional Black Mitcham peppermint, which it has introduced to its Hampshire farm during the last 15 years. www.

• Delights of Tuscany is offering a trio of Italian liqueurs from Morelli, a family-run business established in 1911 and based in Pisa. The limoncello, orancello, and chocolate liqueurs have an alcohol content of 32% and come in 20cl bottles packaged in a rustic wooden gift box (RRP £33). All three are also available in 50cl and 1litre bottles, exclusively in the UK and Ireland from Delights of Tuscany.

summerdownmint. com

“Get some local apples in your shop in old wooden boxes with a big blackboard proclaiming the origin and they will fly out.” usually not an obstacle but given the varying sizes apples come in you are obviously better off weighing them. We charge 79p/lb (£1.73/kg) but there is no reason you couldn’t charge more. I have seen them on sale at take-away counters for 59p each as a healthy addition to lunch. With 2,000-plus varieties of apple growing in this country, giving your customers some information is vital. Blackboards or cardboard PoS describing the eating qualities are useful, as is signage highlighting the varieties that are native to your county or region. Tastings are difficult, as apples tend to brown very quickly when cut, but why not cross-merchandise your display with local apple juice? These make excellent tasters in little 2oz plastic cups. Local apple juice is a seller on any café menu but have you tried juicing your own? Each variety produces a different colour and taste. It is something you can justifiably charge a premium for and make yourself stand out from every other café selling bottled and pasteurised apple juice. It also helps to use up any slightly old fruit! If you have the chance, the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm in Faversham, Kent, is well worth a visit. It has an apple festival running on October 22-23 and also sells to retailers in the region. Vol.12 Issue 9 October 2011


• leaders in sustainability • leaders in quality | 01355 576395

The School of Fine Food is a series of masterclasses and food experiences that will expand your product knowledge and improve your foodie credentials. Our industry experts will develop your understanding of each counter in your fine food store and help you to sell more.

ok Bonow

Learn more, understand more and sell more

You should know where the food and drink you sell comes from, how it’s made and who makes it.

Booking Guild of Fine Food members plus VAT per masterclass Non-members plus VAT per masterclass

Masterclasses Fish and shellfish October 19 Newlyn Market, Cornwall

Beer & Cider November 2 The Grain Barge, Bristol

Tea & Coffee November 8 Guild House, Wincanton

We start at dawn with a visit to the fish market. This is followed by a session on catching methods and sustainability. We’ll then look at responsible sourcing, seafood quality assessment, fish handling, preparation and display skills.

Come and join us for a microbrewery tour to see the brewing process. Talk to the experts and understand how to retail bottled beer and cider and educate your palate in both through comparative tastings.

Good coffee, prepared and served well, can make your shop or café famous locally, and both tea and coffee offer a back-story just as interesting as wine. We’ll talk you through varieties and countries of origin, give a ‘how to taste’ tutorial and demonstrate how you can make great-tasting tea and coffee.

Product knowledge training for fine food retail 48

October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

£39.00 £59.00

How to book You can book online at or contact Charlie Westcar on 01963 824464. The School of Fine Food has been developed with funding and support from South West Food & Drink


products, packaging & promotions

christmas product update

Left your festive orders a bit late this year? Here are a few last minute ideas. • Just Oil says its Hollandaise sauce, which is high in omega 3, will go well with Brussels sprouts at Christmas dinner. Just Hollandaise is made with the firm’s cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, British free range eggs and butter. The sauce is available during October and November at a special price of £10 per case of 6x230g jars.

Belgian milk chocolate mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds with pieces of dried apricot. Choccy Seeds are available in 50g snack bags (RRP £1.50£2.00) or boxes of 12 or 200g tubs.

01543 493081

• Womersley has created a gift pack featuring its three most popular fruit & herb vinegar. The pack contains 100ml bottles of raspberry vinegar, lemon, basil, bay & juniper dressing, and lime, black pepper & lavender dressing. All three products can be used on salsas, as marinades or in sauces. These are available now direct from Womersley and distributor Cotswold Fayre at £30 for a case of 4 boxes with an individual RRP of £10.99. 01132 865855

• Cottage Delight, which won 10 golds at this year’s Great Taste Awards, has a range of gift packs that retail for under £10 this Christmas. Its hot & spicy pack features its award-winning Thai sweet chilli sauce, while Tipsy Flavours features condiments with a “boozy kick”. It also has a selection of accompaniments to cheese and cold cuts including its Cheese Maker’s pickle. Wholesale price per unit is £5.32 (RRP £7.95). 01538 382020

• Ferrero says its limited edition Garden Pistachio chocolates, which won two stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards, are an “ideal foodie gift”. They are available – with with Ferrero Rocher and Ferrero Rond Noir – as part of the Ferrero Collection.

• Gordon Rhodes has a new range of gourmet stuffings and sauces for retail. As well as the three stuffing mixes – country herb & chestnut, English sage, garden herb & red onion and tomato & sweet red pepper – the firm has created three sauce mixes - “No Hurry Chicken Curry”, “Slow Comfortable Stew” and “Chilled Out Chilli Con Carne”. Sauces come in 6 x 75g and stuffings come in 5x125g per shelfready pack. This range is also distributed through Samways. 01264 810440 (Samways)

• Munchy Seeds has introduced a “guilt free” Belgian dark chocolate seed mix with chilli and ginger to its range of chocolate seed treats. The mix consists of sunflower and pumpkin seeds coated in dark chocolate with a hint of chilli and ginger. Also available, as part of the Choccy Seeds range, is a Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011



to Pr m ic es a ex or in cl d ud e la e V rs n AT o d .T v UK er e m r on s& £ co 12 nd 5 al l iti

Packaging & Creative Presentation

de liv er y

Gift & Hamper Packaging WK14 £6.99

on sa pp ly.

The next course takes place on October 11-12 2011. Visit www.finefoodworld. for more details and an application form. Call us to find out more on 01963 824464.

18” Wicker Hamper

TRL/BK £2.28

TRS/G £1.39

Large Card Tray

Small Card Tray

TWS £3.25

JJ313 £1.25

Jute Jar Bag

Small Wooden Tray

SWT3 £4.98 Set of 3

AFPC from


Wooden Slatted Trays

SFH11 £7.79

Red Faux Leather Box

HOC10 £2.49

Floral Design Shopper

DWK5 £37.51 Set of 5



disc oun t* YO


055 CA1 DE


5 Piece Wicker Display Set



Antique French Pear Crate


Over 800 products delivered from stock, direct to your door.

Freephone 08000 85 85 95 50

RetailReady is a two day course that will steer you through the minefield of opening and running a fine food store. The course is designed to equip managers of prospective, new or developing delis and farm shops with the business essentials of fine food and drink retailing.

WK18 £11.29

14” Wicker Hamper


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

EstablishEd 1994

Hand-made Great Taste Award-winning oatcakes & biscuits contact or call 01887 830556 Also available from Ochil Foods

gold 09 • Oatcakes: 1-star 2008 • Millers Crunch: 1-star 2009 & 2-stars 2010 • Kenmore Shortbread: 1-star 2009 & 2-stars 2010 • Sheila’s Gingers: 1-star 2010 • Homemade Tablet: 1-star 2008, 2009 & 2-stars 2010


products, packaging & promotions

christmas product update • Tracklements’ Christmas chutney is a festive blend of cranberries, Bramley apples, cider vinegar, currants and hints of spice. The Wiltshire-based producers say it is a good accompaniment to Boxing Day cold cuts, particularly turkey and ham, while the Le Parfait jars also add a decorative touch. Cases of six 625g jars cost £23.80. Tracklements also has a range of fruit cheeses (available in cases of 6 x 100g at £10.00) that it says are perfect for a Christmas cheeseboard or as a gift. 01666 827 044

• Epicure offers seasonally popular French goose fat in 320g jars (RRP £3.49) as part of its Creative Cooks range. While it is often used for Christmas dinner roast potatoes, Epicure has a number of goose fat recipe suggestions, including stuffings, Yorkshire puddings and shortcrust pastry, at www. Jars are packed in retail ready cases of six priced at £16.75. The Epicure brand is owned and distributed by Petty Wood & Co. 01264 345500

• Rhug Estate has hand-reared what it is calling the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of organic turkeys (RRP £13.50/ kg, wholesale £10/kg) and geese (RRP £15.50/kg, wholesale £12.50/kg) this Christmas. Its geese weigh in at between 4kg and 6kg while turkeys range from 4kg to beyond 9.5kg. It is also offering garnish packs (RRP £18, wholesale £14), which consist of a 350g pack of streaky bacon, 12 pork chipolatas, a 227g jar of cranberry sauce and 500g of pork stuffing in three varieties. 01490 413 000

• Taylerson’s Malmesbury Syrups mulling syrup has a new look and a new formula for 2011. The Cotswoldsbased firm has gone for what it calls a “classier” looking dark glass bottle, which also has the added benefits of a screw cap and builtin pourer. Retailers can order cases of 4x250 ml bottles (wholesale price £3.49 per bottle, RRP £4.99 per bottle) or 1 litre bottles (wholesale £9.10, RRP £12.99).

• Hawkshead Relish says it has the “ultimate seasonal gift” in the form of its hand packaged Christmas trio of preserves. Each set, which retails at £3.85, contains jars of Christmas Chutney (120g), Boxing Day Chutney (110g), and Michaelmas Relish (110g). 015394 36614

• Canellabakes has a range of flour-free Pure Almond cakes for the large festive dinner table. The range of 20 cm cakes, which are inspired by Middle Eastern and Continental cuisines, have a long shelf life and serve between eight and 10 people. Flavours include almond, dark chocolate and amaretto; almond orange and Cointreau; Persian almond with cardamom, rose water and pistachios, almond espresso, and almond green tea. The producer is currently looking for distributors for its cakes, which have a wholesale price of £14.

• Lucky’s has launched a range of miniature chocolate-covered cakes inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The Tiny Pieces of Wonderland are all handmade with premium Valrhona chocolate from France and come in a variety of flavours with white, dark and milk chocolate. Prices start at £3.50 per 26g unit, or £19.95 for a box of six (pictured below).


• Lewis & Cooper’s recently launched range of herb and spice flavour biscuits would fit well in hampers or as part of an after dinner cheeseboard. The five savoury varieties – thyme, basil, poppy seed & black pepper, rosemary and mustard & coriander – are all available in 200g packs adorned with a photo of picturesque Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. Each pack retails for £2.50 and cases of 12 units can be bought wholesale for £19.20. 01609 767354 linda.walters@lewisandcooper.

• Gingerbread specialist Image on Food has a range of Christmas biscuits it recommends for counter top sales, hampers and stocking fillers. Deluxe Father Christmas, snowmen, and Christmas penguins are all available in wholesale cases of 12, while mini Santas come in cases of eight and there is also a 48-unit case of assorted reindeer and Santa biscuits. Retail prices vary from £1.49 to £2.79 per biscuit. Products can be purchased direct and through Hider Foods or Cotswold Fayre. 0845 095 1270 Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011



products, packaging & promotions

christmas product update • Lefktro imports an array of award-winning olive oils and balsamic vinegars as well as other Continental specialities. Manfredi Barbera’s unfiltered extra virgin olive oil – winner of two gold stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards – is available in 1 litre bottles (RRP £9.99) in cases of 12. Meanwhile, Il Borgo’s oak cask-matured Red Label balsamic vinegar (RRP £28.99) is suited to both savoury and sweet dishes. It can be purchased giftboxed in cases of six bottles. Leftko also has another Great Taste Award 2011 gold star winner, Pastificio & Figlio linguine pasta (RRP £2.49), in cases of sixteen 500g packs. This pasta is dried for 36 hours to ensure its texture, which is ideal for seafood and pesto sauces. 01460 242 588 sales@lefktro.

Inverawe Smokehouses says it is the perfect choice for suppliers looking to ‘wow’ their customers this Christmas. Its gourmet products include classic smoked salmon, which comes in 200g packs and retails for £7.45. Inverawe also produces smoked salmon and smoked Loch Etive patés (150g, RRP £3.50) and a triple smoked salmon terrine (300g, RRP £6.50). Inverawe sources its fish 52

October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9

from the Highlands and smokes each piece using artisan smoking methods to ensure its texture and smoky taste.

Brown Cow Organics is introducing a Christmas pudding live organic yoghurt into its individual 5% fat 155ml pot range of flavours. It will be sold in cases of 12 x 155ml pots (wholesale £6.96 a case) while the individual pot RRP is 90p. Stock will be available from October 17 until Christmas via chilled dairy wholesalers or direct from Brown Cow Organics depending on location.

Cotswolds-based Selsley Foods says its gourmet mulling syrup is ‘Christmas in a bottle’ and makes consistently good mulled wine whether it is just one glass or enough for a party. It also recommends using the syrup in pies and crumbles. Both 200ml (RRP £3.25) and 500ml (RRP £5.50) bottles are available in packs of six. The syrup is also available in 5 litre containers. Orders can be placed directly with Selsley Foods or specialist wholesalers.

01749 890298

Lottie Shaw's Seriously Good Mince Pies will be available from the beginning of this month. These handcrafted pies – filled with luxury mincemeat and finished with a star lid – come in boxes of four. Each box (RRP £2.80) is tied with raffia and comes with a novelty Christmas peg. The pies, which have a shelf life of 12 weeks after baking, are available from Moordale Foods. 01482 213446

Lily’s Chillies, which says its ethos is ‘flavour with fire’, has launched a twin jar gift pack for Christmas. The gift pack is a two-window red jute jar bag containing two of the Sussex-based company’s handmade chilli jellies, which are fruit– based rather than vinegar–based. Lily’s can supply this product to retailers with a choice of two jellies (from a range of six) or its Christmas package of cranberry and quince limited edition jellies. These retail for £10 with a wholesale price of £6.50. charlotte@lilys-chillies.

Olives Et Al has packaged up combinations of some of its best selling products for Christmas gifts, including a duo of its Pistou olives and classic olives (RRP £9.95). There is a twin pack of Bayou nuts and Sienna nuts & seeds (RRP £8.29) as well as a trio pack of dressings and marinades in 100ml bottles, featuring Shallot & Orange, Pink Mojo and Chilli & Ginger (RRP £9.95). The Dorset firm has also launched two ‘grow your own’ inspired dressings: Hedgerow and Garden. 01258 474 300

House of Dorchester chocolates are made

from the world’s finest ingredients by the world’s finest chocolatiers right here in Britain

Specialists in personalised chocolates Get in touch with our expert chocolate team!

Tel: 01420 84181 @hodchocolates houseofdorchesterchocolates

Are you a 2011 award winner? If you’ve had a great year in regional, national or international food & drink awards, here’s your chance to shout about it.

BEST BRANDS 2011 To feature in this retailers’ guide to the Britain’s best food & drink, contact Sally Coley, Becky Stacey or Gavin Weeks on 01963 824464 or email

in association with

Bentley’s Fine Foods award winning preserves Apple & Date Chutney

The Fine Confectionery Company Ltd Tel:

01992 551075 www.

Hot Pear & Date Bramley Apple, Pink Grapefruit & Chutney Lemon Marmalade

All jams, marmalades, chutneys, jellies are homemade in small batches Based on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border Contact: Lesley Bentley Tel: 01335 324228 Email: Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011




• food processing machinery

• ingredients

• labelling

Do you make PIES or other sorts of pastry products? We make incredibly versatile PIE MACHINES VISIT TO SEE OUR RANGE OF MACHINES, PLUS VIDEO CLIPS OF THE MACHINES IN OPERATION OR CALL + 44 (0) 1204 521831 / 532798 OR FAX + 44 (0) 1204 527306 OR EMAIL

JOHN HUNT (Bolton) Ltd Rasbottom St, Bolton, England BL3 5BZ

• baking equipment

Fine Food Classified 2011:Layout • food processing machinery

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Serving chocolatiers for over 40 years

Suppliers of equipment for artisan producers of fruit juices, wines, ciders and oils. Our wide range extends from extraction processes to filtration, bottling and sealing.

Chocolate � Ingredients � Confectionery and Gift Packaging �

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Tel no: 01404 892100 Fax no: 01404 890263 Email: • bottles & jars Tel: 0114 245 5400

• labelling

HS HS French Flint Ltd FF

Print Your Own Food Labels

Speciality Glassware for the more discerning producer.

Tel: 020 7407 3200 Fax: 020 7407 5877

• ingredients

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In a pickle about where to buy your food jars?

Then look no further! • Authorised distributors for Ardagh glass, Allied Glass and Beatson Clark • Nationwide delivery service available • Free samples available • Glass jars, Beer bottles, Food grade pails, Plastic bottles Think SPINKS for high quality glass and plastic containers. Contact us for further information: Spinks Compak t: 0113 2350662 · e:


October 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 9



Need small batches of labels? Only want to buy what you need? Don’t want to hold too much stock? Currently paying premium prices for small runs? Let us help you keep the costs down – with our latest digital press specially designed for short to medium print runs Larger print runs will continue to enjoy competitive pricing on the larger digital press Visit our website at (this has been updated recently) or ring us on Freephone 0800 096 2720 for a sample pack or a quotation

Unit 4G, The Leathermarket, Weston Street, London SE1 3ER

• bottles & jars

• packaging

Freshness & Flavour sealed in ice

Pure, Chilled or Frozen Lemon, Lime & Orange Zest & Juices

can be supplied as non-organic, organic or wax-free

Produced to order by FA Young Farm Produce Ltd., Timsbury, Bath, Somerset BA2 0FQ

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Ring us on: 01628 668836 or visit us at:

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Packaging Foil & PET Diaphragms


Tamper evident & film sealable plastic food packaging Reliable leadtimes and service - sensible minimum order size Sizes available from 30ml to 5000ml - transparent products in stock

Paper packaging, labelled and direct print containers




Offline sleeve and watch strap band feeders Ink jet printers - 5yr warranty on new units Hot Foil & Thermal Transfer Printers Laser coding systems

Visit or call us for a brochure TEL: 01886 832283 EMAIL: • packaging

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Do your labels lack lustre? Find something flashier in

Training & Consultancy



Make sure you’re meeting legal  requirements for food safety.

Depositors for sauces and dressings Pot fillers and liquid fillers Vertical Form Fill Seal Thermoformers Tray sealers Pumps

Level 2 Food Safety online £25 Level 3 Food Safety online £125 Meat managers hygiene and HACCP training of all levels

At your own premises or in Skipton, North Yorks.

Verner Wheelock Associates digest • ingredients

t: 0151 547 6700

Purchase with confidence from a company that has been trading since 1952!

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I’ve now got ❝ boundless enthusiasm, real confidence and I really want to talk to my customers about my deli counter

What will you learn?

Jo Davies, Stokely Barton Farm Shop

The five golden rules for increasing deli sales 1 How to select the best cheese 2 How to create the best counter display 3 How to avoid bad quality cheese 4 How to sell proactively rather than reactively 5 The difference between artisan and • ingredients • refrigeration mass-produced cheeses through comparative tastings

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Training dates for the UK Cheese Guild Cheese dates for 2011 Date Thurs Oct 6 Mon 17 Oct Wed 19 Oct Tues 25 Oct

Course costs

Venue Solihull Glasgow Retford, Notts Wincanton, Somerset

Members of The Guild of Fine Food just £65, plus VAT (@ 20%). Non-members £90, plus VAT (@ 20%).

For more information:

E-mail: Tel: 01963 824464 Avilton foods

Vol.12 Issue 9 · October 2011


Vol.12 Issue 9 路 October 2011


Fine Food Digest October  

Authoritative, committed and rarely afraid to express opinions, Fine Food Digest magazine has been the voice of speciality food and drink fo...