FFD April 2020

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April 2020 Volume 21 Issue 3 gff.co.uk

The good stuff

New products, recipes and more in our healthy eating special

ALSO INSIDE Coronavirus impact Melissa Hemsley’s favourite ingredient Pitchfork cheddar


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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3



We may call ourselves independents, but we’re all in this together. And food remains essential.


By Michael Lane, Editor


This piece has been written from my kitchen table for some years now, but I always expect to be able to go to work to file it the next morning and sign off the magazine. Not this time. Like so many people in the UK, I’ll be staying put. A nationwide lockdown was coming into force as we were putting the finishing touches to this edition of FFD and the coronavirus pandemic has now well and truly been brought to the doorstep of most homes in the country, or at least it feels like it. The virus is spreading so fast and the Government guidelines and measures are updating so swiftly that there may well be some pages here that are out of date by the time you unwrap your copy. But FFD, and its publisher the Guild of Fine Food, are doing the best we can to keep up with it all. We will be in touch with regular

emails and producing digital content to keep you informed about what every twist and turn might mean for your shops, products and routes to market. In fact, we’ve already started. We’ll also be trying to help you cope over the coming months, with practical advice, trading suggestions and great examples of businesses taking on the challenges posed by COVID-19. After only a couple of days in confinement, I have been reminded how brilliantly human the independent retail sector can be and we have to be careful not to lose that, despite the physical social distancing that is so vital to coping. So, please stay in touch with us, too. Anybody who wants to share some positivity or is struggling with a problem can contact the magazine or our team at the Guild at any time. We may

call ourselves independents, but we are all in this together. And food remains essential, whether you’re the Chancellor or a self-isolating citizen. Things have changed and some may not return to what they were but, hopefully, with some assistance from the government and keeping communication open along the supply chain, fine food retailing will emerge from this fitter and healthier than before. Shifting from your health to that of your customers for a moment, this issue has a lot of products, advice and ‘takes’ on healthy eating throughout – just look for the little heart-shaped badges at the top of the page. Hopefully it will prove useful to you right now (when we are all preoccupied with staying fit and well) but also when we make it out of this extraordinary situation we find ourselves in.

April 2020 Volume 21 Issue 3 gff.co.uk

EDITOR’S CHOICE Tom Dale, assistant editor

The good stuff


Grilled peppers New products, recipes and more in our healthy eating special

ALSO INSIDE Coronavirus impact Melissa Hemsley’s favourite ingredient Pitchfork cheddar

Cover Illustration by Mark Windsor

Now, this product is nothing groundbreaking but it is a classic ingredient executed to perfection (and debuted at Fine Food Show North last month). Created by a family producer in Puglia, Italy, Seggiano’s grilled bell peppers are sweet and




Assistant editor: Tom Dale

Sales director: Sally Coley

Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

Contributors: Nick Baines, Sean Calitz, Nick Hook, Patrick McGuigan, Jules Mercer, Lauren Phillips, Lynda Searby, Mick Whitworth

Sales executives: Becky Haskett , Sam Coleman

Editor: Michael Lane

Art director: Mark Windsor


Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

ADDRESS Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom

cooked lightly enough to retain some bite, but sufficiently enough to impart a delicate smoky flavour and char to the antipasto. Even the extra virgin olive oil the peppers are preserved in is delicious and I couldn’t resist using it as a salad dressing after the main contents were gone.

Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200

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Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


Indies reporting sales upswing despite government social distancing measures


By Michael Lane

As the government introduced more stringent social distancing measures, the independent food retail sector continued to trade through the coronavirus outbreak – with many businesses across the supply chain reporting upswings in sales and orders. Rob Copley, director of Farmer Copleys Farm Shop in Pontefract, Yorkshire, said he remained positive about the situation. “I really hope our farm shop stays open because it will thrive, and, if people are not going out to pubs and restaurants, we will,” said Copley, who is also the chairman of the Farm Retail Association. With the government’s ‘delay’ phase due to kick in, Copley said sales on his butchery counter were up 100% on some days compared to the same period last year and his takings across retail operations were up 35%.

Look out for our updates During the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the usual monthly magazine, Fine Food Digest will be staying in touch with regular news updates, information and advice. If you want to let us know what you’re doing to continue trading, or if you have an opinion you’d like to share, get in touch at editorial@gff.co.uk



Farmer Copleys in Yorkshire, had seen increases in sales as the UK entered the coronavirus ‘delay’ phase

Paul Hargeaves, MD of distributor Cotswold Fayre, said it was very much business as usual despite the government’s social distancing advice, and also reported an uplift in orders. “We’re 80% up this week on the same one last year.” Hargreaves said items like tinned tomatoes, pasta and bread flour had all been selling very well. Cotswold Fayre was due to

receive 12 pallets of flour when contacted by FFD and they had already all been sold. He added that even Italian companies were still sending goods to the UK despite transport challenges. Nicki Stewart, director at distributor Diverse Fine Food, told FFD that even new customers and lapsed retail accounts were now getting in touch with orders.

“Higher end retailers have seen an increase in footfall because people are wanting to buy the nicer items as they’ll all be thinking that they’re going to be at home,” she said. As FFD went to press a number of retailers had closed their doors temporarily, including cheese retailer Paxton & Whitfield, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason.

Small retailers to the rescue of COVID-19 self-isolators Small retailers have been stepping up to support those left stranded by self isolation cornoavirus situation continues to unfold. Gainsborough-based farm shop Uncle Henry’s has been offering home delivery as well as personal in-store shopping slots to ensure customers have continued access. A spokesperson for the shop said: “We have established a weekly food delivery service within a 10-mile radius of Uncle Henry’s. “At present, we have very good stock levels and are continuing to be able to serve our customers well. “We have ordered more stock of essential items and have deliveries arriving into the farm shop daily.”

Gloucestershire’s The Cotswold Cheese Company announced on Instagram that it would be open as usual, and it is offering home deliveries of fresh cheese, bread and milk. Lancaster-based The Courtyard Dairy announced on social media that it, too, would be offering customers free local delivery to those selfisolating.

Retail expert Richard Hyman told FFD the scale of the coronavirus crisis was unprecedented, but that offering home delivery was a good option for retailers. The Pangbourne Cheese Shop has gone a step further and, on top of its usual free delivery service, will pick up other bits of shopping for those unable to leave their homes. Meanwhile, Delifonseca restaurant and food hall, based in Liverpool, announced on Monday, 16th March that they would be delivering groceries and meat from nearby Edge Butchers to those in need. The food hall also promised that its chefs would be preparing dishes from its restaurant menu to be eaten at home.

“The FRA is still working on guidance material for its members but farm shops that are purely retail could be in a good position if they harness the opportunities available to them. It is changing so fast at the moment but you need to plan it, don’t panic.”

PAUL HARGREAVES Managing director, Cotswold Fayre

“I think it’s a big opportunity for independent retailers. Many are a local shop for people and lots of them are in a position to offer something to those who are isolated. The food and drink supply chain has got to stay open. There would be riots if people couldn’t get food.”

RICHARD HYMAN Retail expert

“People are scared. My advice is to keep calm and carry on. You have to sit tight and – although it is of little consolation – remember the guy next door is in the same situation. Can you deliver? Of course home delivery still involves human beings but it would appear to be one option worth looking at.” Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020




Emergency support package announced to aid small retailers through COVID-19 crisis By Greg Pitcher & Tom Dale

Rishi Sunak last month announced a raft of measures to prop up small businesses affected by the spread of coronavirus – part of a £350bn rescue package for the economy. They include £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs. He promised that if these measures did not go far enough, he would go further. It has also been

At a glance

l Government-backed and guaranteed loans totalling up to £330bn l Extension of the business interruption loan scheme for SMEs and increase of loan value to up to £5m with no interest due for the first six months l Cash grant of up to £25,000 for all local shops who have a rateable value of less than £51,000

announced that food retailers are included in the definition of ‘critical workers’. Those involved in food production, distribution, sale and delivery will be able to continue taking their children to school during the crisis. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has advised that businesses must contact their local authority to enquire about business rates relief and eligibility for grants up to £51,000. The government and ineligible for small business or rural rate relief l Extension of the business rates holiday to all businesses in the retail and hospitality sector, irrespective of their rateable value, for 12 months l The £3,000 cash grant for businesses that are currently eligible for small business or rural rate relief increased to £10,000

Strong future for artisan food producers, say analysts Producers of artisan and innovative food and drink products will remain attractive as large corporations look to buy in different strings to their bow, analysts have said. Grant Thornton said merger and acquisition (M&A) activity remained a “key strategy for growth” in the sector. The consultancy said 215 such deals were struck last year, broadly flat on the previous two years, although the total value of the agreements was up from 2018. It added: “The operational environment for food and beverage companies remains immensely challenging. And on top of this are the broader macroeconomic headwinds at play, with a slowing global economy, the US-China trade war, 6

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and now the concern around the coronavirus outbreak and its impact. “Despite the various challenges, M&A remains a key strategy for growth. Large conglomerates still need to review, rationalise and refresh their portfolios. Small disruptive players are being snapped up by larger groups in order to acquire innovation.” Grant Thornton said consumer trends were driving growth that triggered acquisitions. “The health and wellness agenda shows no sign of abating – from low/ no through to plant-based products, as well as the demand for innovative, artisan and premium products,” said the firm.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled £350bn of aid for small businesses

will provide local authorities with funding to administer these grants. Mr Sunak announced the creation of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will allow businesses to borrow up to £5 million. Lenders will be provided with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to give lenders confidence to provide finance to SMEs. Businesses and banks will not be charged for this guarantee and the first six months of finance will be interest free. Meanwhile, HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline (0800 159 559)

to help businesses in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Mr Sunak’s promises built on previous commitments made in the Spring Budget. Warning that one in five working age people could be unable to work at any point during the height of the anticipated health crisis, the chancellor said the government would refund businesses for the cost of statutory sick pay. This would be valid for the first 14 days of any employee’s absence due to COVID-19.

IN BRIEF Tesco has put more than 1,800 at Walterbakery Smithworkers Fine Foods risk of redundancy has announced the as it makes to its inclosurechanges of three stores store to offer fewer in theunits Midlands. The traditional loaves and butcher chain revealed more wraps, flatbreads over Christmas that its and bagels. TheWest retailer Denby Village, said it had and seenCoventry a “big Bromwich shift” customer shopsinwould stop tastes. trading, leaving it with 11 outlets – many of which are within garden centres. Catering specialists have submitted plans to create a licensed deli in a Berkshire town. Tracklements has Surrey-headquartered hired Ben Hallam for C&H Foods applied to the role of commercial Bracknell Council manager, Forest which includes for permission open identifying newto market the food and drink unit opportunities. Hallam in high premises joins thestreet Wiltshire-based currently holding consent condiment specialist after for retail use. 11 years at dairy firm Yeo Valley. The owners of Glasgow’s Eusebi Deli retailer applied to Health food turn a disused Planet Organicbank has in the city into into the a restaurant. moved hot food The teammarket behind the Park delivery and Road outlet asked the city teamed up with high-end council for permission service Supper, which to alter the unit on nearby will courier a selection Gibson of to-goStreet items into and asushi “dynamic family run from two Central London restaurant”. stores.

Shop of the Year winners revealed Bristol’s Papadeli, North Yorkshire cheesemonger The Courtyard Dairy and Norwich department store Jarrold were among the winners at the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year awards 2020, announced in Harrogate, Yorkshire on 9th March. Mezze, a Middle Eastern-inspired specialist food and drink shop in Waterford, Ireland, scooped the award in the Newcomer category, while Farndon Fields of Market Harborough was judged to be the Best Farm Shop in the nation. Taking top honours in the Specialist Food or Drink Shop category was London-based Andreas of Chelsea Green, while Papadeli was deemed Best Delicatessen & Grocer. After a team of experts

From left, John Farrand, Guild of Fine Food, Guy Tullberg of Tracklements and Simon MacDonnell from Best Deli Papadeli

spent months visiting finalists up and down the country, the winners were announced at Fodder Farm Shop and Café. Two rounds of judging, including a scheduled visit from a judge and an unannounced mystery shopper, whittled down the entries to reveal the top retailers in each category.

Winner of the Specialist Cheese Shop gong, The Courtyard Dairy demonstrated a “dedication to cheese with no compromise on sourcing,” said judges, and they also praised owner, Andy Swinscoe’s “sense of adventure” and ethos. For a full list of results visit gff.co.uk/awards/ shop-of-the-year/

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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


Major retailer extends refills trial as research shows strong demand for low-waste options Photo: M&S

By Greg Pitcher

M&S is to extend its trial of refillable groceries after a positive response to the initial pilot and research showing a strong demand for the scheme. The premium high street supermarket will try out packaging-free products at a store in Manchester city centre. M&S said more than half of the 44 lines offered in this way during a pilot scheme at a retail park outlet in Southampton at the start of this year had outsold traditional alternatives. In excess of 2.5 tonnes of foodstuff had been purchased in this way during the trial, the group said, with bestsellers including chocolate crunch cereal, porridge oats and basmati rice. Meanwhile, a survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted by YouGov in February found that almost

Strawberry Fields wins big A West Country farm shop scooped two big prizes at the Farm Retail Awards 2020. Strawberry Fields, based in Lifton, close to the Cornish border, was crowned Large Farm Shop of the Year as well as Café/ Restaurant of the Year at the prestigious event. Stratford-upon-Avon based The Farm won Rising Star of the Year while Staffordshire’s Canalside Farm Shop took the prize for Small Farm Shop. Open Retail Solutions from Nottingham won Supplier of the Year and Shipbourne Farmers Market in Kent was named Farmers Market of the Year. John Sinclair of Craigie’s Farm Shop in Edinburgh was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the farm community.

M&S is to extend its refillables trial after initial success

one in four shoppers was seeking retailers offering refillable groceries. M&S director of food technology Paul Willgoss said: “Our fill-your-own concept is one area we’re focusing on to reduce plastic packaging and support our customers to reuse and recycle.” M&S is not the only retailer offering more products without packaging. Waitrose last year announced its own trial

and is currently running its Unpacked scheme across stores in Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford and Cheltenham. Meanwhile, Asda announced this year a “test and learn” store in Leeds where shoppers can fill up containers with ownbrand and household name products including Asda coffee, PG Tips and Rice Krispies. Consumer intelligence unit Mintel said at the end of February that in-store

DOWN ON THE FARM A West Sussex farm shop has launched a range of frozen ready meals. Cowdray Farm Shop started selling its Cowdray Kitchen products in March. Designed for oven heating, they include steak-in-ale stew, chicken rogan josh, mushroom stroganoff and cottage pie. They are available as two or four servings and come in recyclable packaging. “Freezing is actually the best way of preserving the freshness of food without the introduction of preservatives or gallons of salt,” said general manager Rupert Titchmarsh. cowdray.co.uk A Yorkshire farm shop has won recognition in the Rural Business Awards.

refill would be a major trend affecting the global packaging industry this year. Mintel global packaging director David Luttenberger said: “With single-use now a toxic phrase for many consumers, refillable packaging is becoming more and more commonly known and used.” However, he added that removing packaging from supermarket shelves provided a major marketing headache for food brands. “Without packaging to serve as one of the main communication channels from brands to consumers, branding can become challenging. “Brands should look to offer memorable experiences through refill in order to create brand engagement, with those bringing some theatre to the refill movement most likely to succeed.”

Wales introduced Walterhas Smith Fine Foods minimum pricing for alhas announced the cohol. Public Health closureThe of three stores (Minimum PriceThe for in the Midlands. Alcohol) (Wales) Act was butcher chain revealed implemented March over Christmason that its 2nd, applying floor Denby Village,aWest price of 50p per unit to Bromwich and Coventry all licensees. shops would This stopmeans trading, a 70cl bottle 40outlets % ABV– leaving it withof11 vodka can’t be are soldwithin for many of which less thancentres. £14. garden A café focusinghas onhired selling Tracklements toast has opened EsBen Hallam for theinrole sex boasting 140 spreads of commercial manager, for its main product. The which includes identifying eponymous Toast started new market opportunitrading in Braintree ties. Hallam joins theat the end of Februarycondifeaturing Wiltshire-based a huge range ofafter jams, ment specialist 11 marmalades, years at dairy nut firmbutters, Yeo chocolate and other Valley. sweet spreads, curds and sprinkles. Health food retailer Planet Organic has moved Poundland has started into the hot food delivery rolling food marketout andfrozen teamed up to 60 across the UK. withstores high-end service The budget high Supper, which willstreet courier said aofsmall chain a selection to-gotrial items of the offering and sushi from had two been Cenwell received last year. stores. tral London A range of about 400 items will be available to buy in Poundland shops, starting with cities and towns in the North and Midlands.

The latest from farm shops across the country Cowdray’s cottage pie

Minskip Farm Shop secured the prize for Best Rural Food or Drink Business at the Amazonsponsored event. The shop, located just off junction 48 of the A1 near Boroughbridge, sells a range of produce. Much of its wares are grown within the working farm, with 96% of products sourced within 30 miles and almost 50% within 10. The shop is to open an egg-focused restaurant


in April. To be named Yolk Farm, the facility will seat 60 people and have a “fun, quirky feel”, according to its owners. “As you drive into our gates, you can see the hens living their best lives in their free range paddock and laying the most amazing eggs,” said

Ben and Emma Mosey. “We wanted to create a place where customers can have amazing food experiences and learn about the journey of their food in a fun, interactive way.” minskipfarmshop.com Hinchcliffe’s Farm Shop in Huddersfield, one of Britain’s oldest farm shops, has recently opened its new fine dining restaurant. By selecting the very best farm shop produce, ‘The Rusty Bull’ promises to serve authentic dishes that celebrate all things from pasture to plate hinchcliffes.com

In association with

Fabulous Farm Shops fabulousfarmshops.co.uk

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



For my 40th birthday, my wife, Leanne, surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas. It was a much-needed break as we both had stressful careers. On the flight home we were dreading returning to work and talked about running a deli or café instead. When we searched online, Powderham Farm Shop immediately caught our attention and imagination and in July 2018 we became the new owners. In retrospect, we should have carried out better due diligence around the purchase. In particular, we should have insisted on a retention clause whereby part of the money from the sale is held in case anything breaks in the first 12-18 months. We inherited a lot of ageing assets, which massively affected our profitability in the first year, probably costing us around £20-25,000 in repairs and replacements. We had to spend a lot to get the shop up to our desired standard. We were also overly optimistic with what we could do in the first year. We had lots of ideas for growing revenue through launching an online shop and hosting events. With hindsight we needed to focus on getting the farm shop revving before exploring other avenues. We have made progress with our online presence – when we started, the shop had a simple website, now we have a click and collect facility for our butchery – but we have had to hold back on developing it further as we just don’t have the resources. It is the same with events; we have decided not to do as many this year – just those that generate a good return, such as our butcher’s BBQ. Under the previous owners, the business was profitable – they kept their stock levels and their staffing very lean – but the EPOS system needed completely re-organising. While the shop has 3-4,000 SKUs on shelf, there were over 80,000 items on the system, none of which were departmentalised, so it was impossible to know which lines were performing well. Cleansing the system has helped us to analyse margins, optimise product lines and claw back pricing on some products, which has helped to address criticisms from locals about us being too expensive. Another focus area for us was to build bridges with both the local community and the castle estate in which the farm shop is situated. Fortunately, both Leanne and I are ‘people’ people – and the events have helped build relations with both the community and estate. In addition, we are going through the process of applying to bring the community post office into the farm shop. With this, we hope to increase footfall and become more central to the local community. Interview Lynda Searby Photography Nick Hook


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


CONFESSIONS OF A DELI OWNER ANONYMOUS TALES FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER SOMETHING HAS BEEN bothering me. What exactly is a healthy diet? It seems that whatever you chat about with Customer A, Customer B just behind them in the queue will have a different take. In our fake news world, this probably applies to any subject, but in health and nutrition there does seem to be a particularly muddy pond. The Daily Mail is well known for its overstated health headlines, but there is a downpour of contradictory information coming from partisan sources on every side of the healthy food fight. I’m always reading around this issue and you just cannot rely on the information out there. Take Broccoli. Apparently this fantastic brassica has seen a 90% drop in mineral and vitamin levels from the broccoli that people ate in the 1950s. Intensive farming has leached the soil of nutrients and the family friendly minitrees we give our children are a pale imitation of what our parents ate when they were young. I found that a very plausible factoid. After all, my dietary approach is good quality fruit, veg and meat in moderation – dairy gets a pass for


If superfoods get a bit more diversity onto our shelves, bring them on professional reasons. Everything else is just fad. It fits with my point of view that ordinary stuff produced carefully almost always turns out to be best for you, and most damage done to this planet is through intensive land management and over-commercialisation. But then Radio 4 did a fact-check and it’s rubbish. Now I have to decide which is more central to my customer base of white, middle-aged

Middle Englanders – Radio 4 or the Daily Mail? Let’s look at ‘superfoods’, now. The Economist did a nice piece slating just about every superfood claim out there. But I kind of like rolling these obscure foods out of forced retirement and dusting them down in a few recipes. The mainstream has seen an increasingly narrow range of food types, generally the ones that lend themselves to mass cultivation. If superfoods get a bit more diversity onto our shelves, bring them on. It may be marketing bollocks, but its heart is in the right place. Don’t worry, there isn’t enough space here for me to deal with omegas, palio, carb-free, high protein ayurvedic, crash diets, cabbage soup or even fruitarians. But we should talk about the fat-versussugar debate, about which the tide seems to be turning and fat is one of the good guys again, while sugar is the number one cause of obesity. Now, I like that argument. Take the water out of cheese and it’s 50% fat and 50% protein – depending on the cheese. Now there’s a health food I can get behind.

SOLVING EVERYDAY SHOPKEEPING DILEMMAS. IN MINIATURE. No, sir. We don’t stock cola. But we do have fermented mollusc juice.

You’re going to love this dairy -free, red cabbage and cacao sorbet.

Sorry, madam. I’m now a vegetable butcher. Would you like a carrot instead of some salami?

FFD says: Healthier alternatives, ‘superfoods’ and dietary supplements are all becoming an increasingly vital part of the retail mix. Plenty of consumers want these things and they will drive new footfall to your shop. Just don’t forget why you started out and that some of your customers might still be after a treat when they visit. With kind permission of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, Germany. PLAYMOBIL is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, for which also the displayed PLAYMOBIL toy figures are protected.

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



THE DELI DOCTOR Paul Thomas Technical and regulatory advice from the Guild’s deli helpline Q: We received a delivery of mozzarella from a wholesaler, which was sent in polystyrene boxes, via refrigerated haulier. Upon opening, the delivery was above “3-5°C” (as stated on the packaging.) The wholesaler said they “haven’t had other complaints”, and the cheesemaker said it may have been packed “too warm”. They claim they are still good to use as long as they have “not fermented” but that we should taste them every day until the use-by date “to check for souring”. What should I do?

A: While reduction in food waste is something which all businesses should certainly aim for, there are limits to what is reasonable. The shelf life is normally based upon the stated storage conditions for the food. “Use-by” is typically applied to foods which can support the growth of harmful microorganisms, and spoilage of food following temperature abuse can compromise factors which limit their growth. This raises several questions: l Why did the manufacturer specify storage conditions which they now say can be ignored? l Is a use-by date appropriate in this case, rather than best before?

Keep it clean IT’S HIGH TIME TO SHORE UP YOUR CLEANING REGIME, SAYS GUILD OF FINE FOOD TRAINING MANAGER JILLY SITCH I’d like to share with you a tale harking back to times BC (before coronavirus). I was sitting down for a coffee and cake in a relatively new and thriving bakery/deli, when I noticed an unlabelled, unclean and unattended bottle containing an unknown (presumably cleaning) fluid sat beside a grubby rag on the counter top right next to an uncovered quiche. The bottle sat there for 20 minutes while staff walked by it repeatedly! Now, this was unacceptable back then – customers need to be able to see that you take cleanliness seriously, and leaving a grubby mystery container out for that period of time is showing your clientele that your cleaning regimen is lacking across the board. But now? In these times, providing we can still keep the deli doors open, we need to be showing the people who have chosen to continue supporting us that we are taking their health seriously by ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness are upheld. And this isn’t simply an image issue, it’s an 12

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


It is not your responsibility to evaluate the safety of your supplier’s products 1

l Why was the cheese packed “too warm” and does the temperature exceed the value stated in their HACCP plan? l Does the wholesaler not check incoming deliveries? You are right to be concerned! It seems unreasonable that the wholesaler has not taken your complaint more seriously, and that the manufacturer has not provided a credible scientific justification demonstrating that the product is still safe to consume. Taste is not a reliable indicator of food safety and it is certainly not your responsibility to evaluate the safety of your supplier’s products. As no justification has been provided, I recommend that you return the consignment to the wholesaler for credit. In the event of a dispute it may be appropriate to refer the matter to your local authority.

Dairy and food safety specialist Paul Thomas runs the Guild’s e-helpline for retailers with technical or regulatory queries. Send your questions to myguild@gff.co.uk

issue of life and death for many! Really, I’m not suggesting you should be doing anything more than you’re already doing. I’m sure you are maintaining good practice. However, upping the frequency with which you are performing your usual cleaning rota and broadening its scope will not hurt – think about anywhere you or your staff could have come into contact with – and make it visible! Ensure your customers can see you have hand-wash instructions up as well as washing your hands, make a conspicuous hourly wipe-down, think about how your business may have changed (are you making deliveries?) and how your practices must change too, and make sure you have the right products and that they are used correctly. What is the correct dilution of your cleaning solution, and do the whole team know this? How long do you have to leave the spray on the surface before you wipe it off with a cloth, and are those cloths clean? In contrast to my pre-COVID bakery experience, now people will be hoping to see that bottle of disinfectant out - just make sure it’s clean, the right stuff, and that you’re using it!



1 Outdoor dining experiences l Chefs are pushing al fresco dining into new territory, while simultaneously upping the ante on the common supper club. Incorporating open fire cooking, foraging and culinary prowess, these organised feasts are taking place in fields, forests, and on cliff tops up and down the country. Fire + Wild is a Sussex-based operation innovating in this space, elevating campfire cooking to tablewaited service. Meanwhile, Cornwall’s Hidden Hut has found a way to balance a permanent premises with the allure of outdoor feasting nights overlooking a remote beach, garnering rave reviews from national critics in the process. 2 Marmite haute cuisine l While the controversial Marmite peanut butter spurred a wave of online debate, the vegetarian-friendly yeast extract is also being used to add depth to a variety of plant-based meals. At Lincolnshire’s Healing Manor, the pre-dinner bread basket comes with Marmite whipped butter, while at Birmingham’s Eat Vietnam you’ll find Marmiteglazed cauliflower wings (as well as the chicken variety for meat eaters). On a fancier front, Nottingham’s Sat Bains uses the black stuff to baste a wealth of fish and meat based dishes, while the Loyal Tavern’s Tom Cenci uses it to add subtle depth to vegetables and is currently using it in a broth for goat and pork belly meatballs. 3 Panisse l Creamy chickpea flour fries have been found at several London restaurants, and according the Telegraph we should expect to see a lot more from this staple of southern France. The highly reviewed restaurant FOLIE is home to a Marseille-style classic panisse, whereas Hackney’s Bright serve a version made with Parmesan. The dish is ripe for experimentation and at Spelzini in Shoreditch you’ll find one laced with the added flavours of onion and rosemary.

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news & views from the cheese counter

Salt reduction targets might be unworkable for artisan makers By Patrick McGuigan

Artisan cheesemakers say they could struggle to meet new salt targets for cheese being proposed by the government because of the handmade nature of their products. Public Health England (PHE) has launched a consultation on new 2023 salt targets for cheese, which would see the current target of 1.75% for hard cheeses, such as cheddar, reduced to 1.6%, while the blue cheese salt target would go from 2% to 1.8%. Targets have been set since 2004 because too much salt

in people’s diets leads to high blood pressure, which is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart disease. The new targets would prove challenging for many cheesemakers in the fine food sector, where typical salt levels for farmhouse cheddars and Stilton-style blues often stand at more than 2%. At Cropwell Bishop in Nottinghamshire, director Robin Skailes said salt played an important role in blue cheese, not just in terms of flavour, but also as a food safety and quality measure. “We’ve reduced salt levels in our Stilton from 2.3% to 2%, but we’ve found that below that you start to have quality issues,” he said. “Salt slows bacteria, which would otherwise grow out of control and give flavours you don’t want.” Artisan cheesemakers typically

1.8% target salt

levels set for blue cheese in 2023 by Public Health England

salt by hand, which makes it difficult to get completely even distribution within a cheese, said Catherine Mead, chair of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association. She added that there were natural variations in handmade cheeses because of factors such as the changing composition of milk and differences in how the cheese is made day to day, which can all affect how much salt is needed. “Salt levels can vary from product to product, batch to batch, and even within an individual cheese because of the way our members work,” she said. “Artisan cheesemakers are not making standardised products, so it’s nigh-on impossible for them to consistently meet salt targets. We’re looking for the authorities to recognise this.” PHE seemed to acknowledge as much in its 2017 targets when it said it recognised “the difficulties small cheesemakers face in reducing salt levels”. Cropwell Bishop’s Robin Skailes said he wasn’t sure he would be rushing to reduce salt levels further. “We’re aware of the targets, but it’s not something that is top of our agenda.”

NEWS IN BRIEF Bradburys Cheese is planning new product ranges and ambitious growth after securing an £8.5m borrowing facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance. The family-owned, £70m turnover company, which supplies supermarkets and independent retailers, plans to launch new snacking products and develop new markets. Bayley & Sage, which has eight delis in London, has launched its own blue cheese, developed with Derbyshire-based Stilton-maker Hartington’s. Bayley Blue is a soft, pasteurised cow’s milk cheese, which is described as “creamy, sweet and savoury”. A new cheese shop has opened at the former La Cave a Fromage site in Hove. Curds and Whey, which specialises in British cheese and wines from around the world, also includes a deli, café and wine bar called Cases.

From left, Jill Clark (Connage Highland Dairy); Mairi Gougeon; cheesemonger Rory Mellis; Callum Clark; Jane Stewart (St Andrews Cheese)

Producer group Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland has been awarded £3,450 to help promote artisan Scottish cheeses to the public. The funding from the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which was announced by the Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon at an event at Edinburghbased IJ Mellis Cheesemonger, will be used for a range of initiatives, including cheese and whisky pairing at distillery visitor centres and restaurants. The fund is supported by the Scottish Government.


Golden Cross This unpasteurised goats’ log from Sussex, made by Alison and Kevin Blunt, has a dense creamy core and gooey layer beneath the rind. Hints of mushrooms and nuts are framed by a gentle acidity. When young, the cheese has a fine, firm silky texture and fresh, citrus flavour. As it matures the cheese becomes denser and creamier and develops stronger, more complex flavours. Rhubarb ‘Fruit for Cheese’ A great combo for spring. This membrillo-style ‘Fruit for Cheese’ from Dorset-based Global Harvest has a pale pink colour and tart flavour that looks and tastes delicious with the rich, white goats’ cheese. Peanut brittle Golden Cross has an unmistakable and unusual flavour of roasted peanuts and a dense fudgey texture. Serve with a shard of peanut brittle to pick up and run with both of these characteristics. Brittle is easy to make – melt butter and sugar until caramelised then add peanuts and allow to set. Otherwise Isle of Wight-based The Splendid Artisan makes a nice range of brittles, including a salted peanut variety. Pinot Gris In the Loire valley, they drink pungent sauvignon blanc with this kind of goats’ cheese, but make it an allSussex match with Rathfinny’s Cradle Valley – a still white wine blending pinot gris and pinot blanc grapes, made just outside Alfriston in East Sussex. It has a citrussy acidity and honeyed finish, which contrasts nicely with the rich cheese. Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



news & views from the cheese counter

Company behind pioneering sheep’s milk cheese up for sale

BEHIND THE COUNTER TIPS OF THE TRADE Mike Billinghurst, 181 Delicatessen, Edinburgh

By Patrick McGuigan

The company that makes Lord of the Hundreds – a sheep’s milk cheese first developed by industry pioneer James Aldridge – is up for sale. Sussex-based the Traditional Cheese Dairy was put on the market after the company’s landlord decided not to renew the lease of its current production premises in Stonegate next year, while owners Cliff and Julie Dyball, who have run the company since 2002, have decided to retire. Their daughter Becky, who also works in the business and is open to the idea of continuing as a cheesemaker, told FFD that the plan is to sell the company and relocate production elsewhere. “It’s too big for me to take on, so we’re looking for someone to take over, whether that’s a farmer who wants to diversify or a chef that wants a change,” she said. “Closing down is not an option. We want our cheeses to continue and

CHEESE IN PROFILE with SaintMarcellin PGI What’s the story? Saint-Marcellin production dates back to the 15th Century. It was traditionally made with goats’ milk but today is predominately made using cows’ milk. It is currently produced by 12 creameries and 12 small farms in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, formerly Dauphiné province. Named after the small town 16

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

Sussex-based the Traditional Cheese Dairy currently produces three tonnes of cheese a month

to carry on supporting dairy farms.” An important name in British cheese history, Lord of the Hundreds was invented by the late James Aldridge – a cheesemaker and affineur who was instrumental in the revival of artisan cheesemaking in the 1980s. The recipe passed to the Dyballs, who make the

Pecorino-style cheese using raw ewe’s milk from Essex-based Boydell’s Dairy. It is named after a notorious Saxon lord in Sussex who taxed a hundred farms. The company, which produces three tonnes a month, also makes Burwash Rose, Olde Sussex cheddar and Scrumpy Sussex using raw cow’s milk from Kingcott Dairy in Kent.

of Saint-Marcellin, this small lactic set cheese can get very gooey so is often sold in small ceramic dishes. How is it made? The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) states the cheese can only be made with raw or thermised cows’ milk in the departments of Drôme, Isère and Savoie. This is a delicate, soft, lactic cheese formed by the milk coagulating predominately due to the acidification of the curd:

little or no rennet is added. It can take up to 24 hours for the milk to coagulate, before the curd is cut into 2-3cm pieces and handladled into the moulds. It is left to drain quietly and turned once before being sprinkled with salt, turned and salted again, and then left to mature for 10 days to one month.

Space is tight at the small, bustling 181 Delicatessen, but that doesn’t stop co-owner Mike Billinghurst from creating a top cheese counter. “We stock 15 cheeses, but they are a really important part of our sales,” he says. Five core lines are always in stock – cheddar, brie, Parmesan, Gorgonzola and Stilton – and these are kept at competitive prices. “We don’t make as much margin on these – 30% compared to more like 45% on other lines – because we want them to keep turning over. They are everyday cheeses that people come in for regularly.” The rest of the selection is changed frequently, with seasonal and new products – Errington’s new Biggar Blue is on the counter right now – supported by tastings and social media marketing. Add-ons are also essential margin boosters. So grab-and-go jars of Snowdonia chutney at £2.99, plus a huge range of crackers and condiments, are recommended to every customer buying cheese.

Appearance & texture: Each disc of cheese weighs approx. 80g and is 7-8cm in diameter. The rind is white and wrinkly with some grey-blue moulds as it ages. The paste is smooth. It can be firm-to-creamy, through to almostliquid. The flavour is mild with subtle lemon notes when young, and it matures into a powerful meatytasting cheese. Variations: Saint-Felicien is a larger version – approx. 12cm in

diameter and weighing 200g. It is often sold in a blue ceramic dish and perfect for family sharing. Cheesemonger tip: Suggest it as an interesting addition to cheeseboards or on its own as an instant mini fondue when baked and served with crusty bread and other dipping favourites. Chef’s recommendation: Do as the French do – bake the whole cheese and slide the warm, oozing disk onto a salad for a simple, delicious starter. Serve with a citrusy white wine or a fruity Beaujolais.

Whether you have a professional or personal interest in cheese, the Academy of Cheese is a not-for-profit organisation, providing a comprehensive industry recognised certification. Level One courses are available across the UK. Visit academyofcheese.org to start your journey towards becoming a Master of Cheese.

“Seek out the best, and, when you’ve found it, keep looking.” - A N N - M A R I E DYA S founder of The Fine Cheese Co.

W E C A M E . W E S O U G H T. W E C O N C U R R E D . O N LY T H E F I N E S T I S G O O D E N O U G H .

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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


news and views from the cheese counter

We’re having to manage expectations. People want more Pitchfork than they can get.

Pitched perfect Well known for their Caerphilly, the Trethowans are now enjoying success with Pitchfork cheddar Interview by Patrick McGuigan

THE TRETHOWAN BROTHERS are standing in their cheese store looking strangely exhilarated at the sight before them. At first glance it would appear that not a lot is happening in the room, which is filled with dozens of truckles of cheddar quietly maturing on wooden boards. But it’s precisely this slow, imperceptible ageing process that has got the two cheesemakers so fired up. Todd and Maugan Trethowan have been making crumbly Gorwydd Caerphilly for more than 20 years. But, after moving the business from Wales to Puxton Park in Somerset (five miles north of Cheddar) in 2014, they couldn’t resist making a raw milk cheddar – christened Pitchfork. It’s clear to see they are relishing the challenge of making a new cheese. “It’s very exciting for us,” says Todd Trethowan. “We’re still learning all the time, recording everything we do, from temperatures and times to texture and flavour. But the feedback loop is so long. You make a change, but you can’t see what difference that makes for a whole year.” They are obviously quick learners judging by the almost instant success of Pitchfork, which launched in 2018 and was named Best British Cheese at the 2019 World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, taking fourth spot overall from a field of 3,804 cheeses. Gorwydd also did well, picking up a SuperGold and coming 11th. The success has boosted sales of both cheeses, with around 30 tonnes of Caerphilly expected to be made this year and production of Pitchfork increased from 30 to 50 tonnes, all of which has already been secured by customers,

including Neal’s Yard, Harvey & Brockless and Paxton & Whitfield. “The awards have massively helped,” says Todd. “We’re having to manage expectations – people want more than they can get.” The brothers have been able to hit the ground running, partly because of their experience as cheesemakers but also because other producers have been happy to share knowledge and advice. Fellow cheddar-maker Westcombe even matured early batches of Pitchfork in its cave before the Trethowans had built theirs. The quality of the milk at Puxton Park is also a contributing factor, says Maugan, and one of the reasons the brothers decided to move the business from its previous home in Ceredigion. Owned by the Mead family, the 1,600-acre organic farm is home to a herd of 120 pedigree Holstein and Jersey cows. “We’d never seen a milking parlour so immaculate,” he adds. Building the dairy from scratch has cost around £700k, some of which was covered by a Rural Development grant, but it also required a huge personal investment by the family. “It’s a real luxury – halfway through your career – to be able to build a dairy from a blank sheet,” says Maugan. “We had a list of things that irritated us in the old place that we could design out of the new place, but we’re cheesemakers not accountants or builders so it was scary taking on such a big project.” The gamble seems to have paid off, but they are taking nothing for granted. The copious notetaking continues as they strive to improve the cheese. The brothers’ cheese irons, in particular, are getting through a lot of work. “We constantly taste the cheeses, at three, six, nine and 12 months, so we can get to know them better,” says Todd. “We’d like to do more but we don’t want to leave too many holes in them.” trethowanbrothers.com



Pitchfork cheddar 1

A lot of time has been spent choosing the right starter cultures to give “greater depth” and a “round flavour”. The texture is smooth and close with bright clean flavours – grassy, earthy and buttery.​



Pitchfork is the first new farmhouse cheddar in Somerset in a generation. It is made with raw milk, and is clothbound with lard, before being matured for 10-12 months. The cheese is made in such a traditional way that Pitchfork has been admitted to the Slow Food Presidium for Artisanal Somerset Cheddar, joining Montgomery’s and Westcombe.

The peg mill and cooling table in the dairy were made to order using designs from the 1940s, while the metal shelving units were recovered from a former cheddar-maker and refurbished by the Trethowans. The company also has a series of vintage Caerphilly presses, some of which are more than 100 years old.

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


Make The Perfect Sausages


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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


making more of British & Continental charcuterie

Ruth Davies to ramp up NPD as Cwm Farm moves to bigger unit By Mick Whitworth

Welsh producer Cwm Farm Charcuterie, best known for a novel laverbread salami made with locally harvested seaweed, plans to boost production and new product development after moving to a new “salami HQ” in Ystradgynlais, Powys. Cwm Farm was founded 10 years ago by former school administrator, Ruth Davies, and her carpenter husband, Andrew. Its distinctive products have won fans everywhere from the British Embassy in Finland to Parc y Scarlets, home of the Llanelli Scarlets rugby club. The business has moved to new premises in Ystradgynlais Workshops, after outgrowing its original unit on an industrial estate in Pontardawe, 10 minutes’ drive away in the Swansea Valley. The new unit – set up with grant aid from the Welsh Government Rural Business Investment Scheme – was officially opened on 2nd March by former Wales rugby international Rupert Moon. The 4,000 sq ft Ystradgynlais unit is four times larger than Cwm Farm’s original site, and the Davieses received design and

Ruth Davies, with the butchery mural created for her new HQ with help from Carmarthen art students

certification advice from Food Centre Wales at Horeb to ensure it would match SALSA and other food industry standards. Ruth Davies said lack of space in Pontarawe had been limiting production, and storage was “a big issue”, but the Welsh Goverment grant would enable Cwm Farm to fulfil more orders and move ahead with product development. “I have a little black book of ideas, but until now, I’ve not been able to make them,” she said. Cwm Farm’s current lineup includes fennel snack salamis, a laverbread biltong and salamis with PDO Welsh Laverbread, and a leek salami. Davies said: “We can now

expand production, take on staff, and develop even more products – which I have been dying to try for ages.” The new HQ includes a laboratory for water activity and pH tests, as well as a bigger drying chamber lined with pink Himalayan salt blocks. The business now has space for more specialist machinery, enabling it to look at products such as chorizo nuggets that Davies said are “fabulous for tapas bars”. The décor of the premises is also unique, featuring an 18ft mural of a butcher’s shop created with help from students Hannah Moulder and Adam Wenzy at Carmarthen School of Art. cwmfarm.co.uk

Masterful performance by Cornish curers Cornwall’s Duchy Charcuterie has scored a victory for the UK speciality meats sector by being the first British firm to win a category at the prestigious Charcuterie Masters competition in the US. Duchy owner Marc Dennis was at the event in New York’s Flushing Town Hall to collect the best Country Ham/Jamon/Prosciutto award for the Redruth firm’s prosciutto. An “over the moon” Dennis told FFD: “For international experts to rate my prosciutto as the highest quality, above some of the best producers in the world, is such an honour.” duchycharcuterie.co.uk

New start-up North to show distinct southern flavour A prominent British BBQ blogger with strong Spanish connections is set to launch a new charcuterie business in Kent, processing meat from rare pig breeds. Bill Gardner says his North Charcuterie operation, based in East Farleigh, will release its first products this summer – a range of cured hams and salamis with “British, Spanish and Italian influences”. Gardner has spent nearly 30 years in the construction industry but also boasts a “lifelong interest in great food and good produce” and blogs about outdoor cooking as BBQ Bill, as well as writing for the online UK BBQ magazine and on social media. Thanks to his Spanish wife, Gardner has spent much of the last 16 years in Granada and surrounding areas of Spain. He says his “in-depth understanding of the produce of this area” will be evident in a range that will include a traditional fennel salami, spiced coppa, a Spanish lomo and birch & black pepper bacon. Focusing on “high quality, high welfare pigs”, Gardner has developed relationships locally with suppliers of Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spot and Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, who mainly rear the pigs outdoors and in natural woodland. He will also work with the owner of an outdoor-reared Mangalitsa herd that forms part of a sustainable forestry operation. northcharcuterie.co.uk


Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



The Finest Biscuits for Cheese and Cheese Straws from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

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Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


Provenance and savoir-faire

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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3





Heart and soul food As more consumers make better food choices, adding healthy items to your menu could produce healthier returns. But what good-for-you dishes should you offer? By Lauren Phillips

LOW IN FAT. Protein rich. Carb light. Calorie deficit. Carnivorous. Veggie. Vegan. There are so many different definitions of what it means to be healthy. One thing’s for certain, more consumers are connecting what they eat with their health, and indie retailers offering healthier items on their café or restaurant menu could see better margins. For Liverpool-based food hall and restaurant Delifonseca, it’s about giving customers a choice. Full English breakfasts sit alongside bircher muesli with fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt on the breakfast menu, while at lunch customers can opt for a classic deli sandwich with chunky chips or a Thai-style salad. Generally, customers order healthier items during the week and indulge at the weekend, owner Candice Fonseca tells FFD. The restaurant sees higher sales of granola early on weekday mornings, bolstered by travelling businesspeople staying at a neighbouring Travelodge. “It’s very easy to overeat on the road,” says Fonseca. “They’re trying to do the right thing and have some fruit and a slow-releasing breakfast.” Cowdray Farm Shop in West Sussex tries to create a menu which


Avocado on toast is enduringly popular. We took it off the menu once and there was a rebellion. reflects its cosmopolitan customer base, offering items like vegan mezze or curried roasted cauliflower salad alongside heartier dishes. On the drinks menu, lattes and cappuccinos – now with a choice of non-dairy milks – are joined by turmeric lattes, smoothies, juices and a timely immune-boosting ginger shot. “We cater for everyone because you might get a couple come in and they have entirely different ideas of what represents a healthy meal,” says manager Rupert Titchmarsh. Avocado on toast is still an unbudgeable menu item, though. “The avocado on toast is enduringly popular,” he says. “It will never go away. We took it off the menu once and there was a rebellion.” This popular brunch item excepted, serving healthier dishes that are interesting and different to l

ake produce grown on site or in M a local farm the focal point. l


earl barley, buckwheat and P quinoa are gluten-free grains and can be used in the same way as rice in a risotto.

I mported jackfruit and banana blossom are popular, but fruit and veg grown in the UK also make great dishes and have a lower carbon footprint. Think artichokes or aubergines. Not only are ferments like kimchi or pickled radishes on trend, but their sourness and bitterness can really take a flavour profile to another level.

those already on the market will help stand your foodservice operation out from others. As with any dish, putting together a plate of food that is also good for you is about getting the balance of flavours and textures right and using wholesome, unprocessed ingredients. This also applies to plant-based and vegan foods, which are part of a huge dietary lifestyle change in the last decade. But kitchens need to think beyond removing animal protein or trying to replicate a meatbased dish, says Julie Cleijne from consultancy Sustainable Kitchen. “A good, structured and greattasting plant-based recipe will have a balance of fat, acid, sweet and salt,” she says, adding that as a general rule of thumb, start with having a good protein source as the main veg, then add other complementary accompaniments and a sauce or dressing. “Also consider that in plant-based cooking, vegetables, legumes and fruits are used as much for their texture, nutritional content and flavour as well as for their ability to absorb other flavours.” Plant-based ‘cheese’ or hummus can add another dimension, but Cleijne warns of the potential allergens in cheese and meat substitutes. “Some extras that you add to a dish may have some of the 14 regulated allergens (e.g. soy, sesame, nuts, wheat or gluten).” Delifonseca takes inspiration from Indian and Asian cuisines that are naturally vegan, dairy-free, and avoid processed meat alternatives. “They get their strength of flavour not from dairy products, but mushrooms for that umami flavour,” says Fonseca. “It’s about shifting the dish into a new area of flavour.” Now that’s a healthy idea.

Black Bee Honey has launched new lines aimed directly at the foodservice market. Freshly launched individual 42g honey portions are sold in cases of 35 and are available in soft Spring and runny Summer varieties, costing £43.75 per case, and thick Autumn, costing £49 per case. The Summer honey is now also available in large 1.2kg and 3kg catering tubs at £18.82 and £40 respectively. Each variety has been tested for its ‘Total Activity’ (TA), which measures the quality of antimicrobial strength. Those honeys with a TA of over 10 are considered to have substantial antimicrobial strength. The seasonal range varieties scored 10-17 TA. blackbeehoney.com

With a focus on innovative flavours, Cakehead is a new brand offering farm shops and delis a range of ‘home baked’ cakes. Husband and wife team Chris and Helen Finnegan bring over 30 years’ experience of working in the baking industry to this new business. Initially launching with 50 different cakes, including raspberry & almond and espresso brownies, the brand will supply customers with images to use on social media and pre-written blog posts to help promote the lines. The range includes vegan and gluten-free cakes as well as a variety of round cakes, loaf cakes and tray bakes. The cakes are delivered frozen and can be defrosted by retailers and cafés as required. cakehead.co.uk Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020







KIMCHI A vegetable ferment made with a punchy kick of chilli, this is a great addition to any condiment cupboard. Like any ferment, there will be variables with time and ingredients, so following your nose is the best way to navigate this recipe. Prep time: 15mins, plus fermenting time Cook time: 0mins Makes: 2 x 500g jars Kimchi

Ingredients: 1 head chinese cabbage 2tbsp salt 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 x 5inch stick of ginger, peeled and grated 3tbsp Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang) 1tsp shrimp paste or 1tbsp fish sauce 1tbsp chilli powder (optional) 1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks 4 spring onions, finely sliced 1 apple, grated Method: • Chop the cabbage into 1inch chunks and rub in the salt. Rub the salt into the leaves with your hands, be very thorough and leave no leaf unturned. Place the cabbage in a non-metalic

colander resting over a bowl or a sink for 2-3hrs. • Blitz together the garlic, ginger, shrimp paste or fish sauce and chilli powder. Roughly rinse and drain the cabbage, then in a large bowl, mix the spice paste into the leaves along with the daikon, spring onions and grated apple. Mix very well to combine. • Pack this tightly into a jar and leave to stand for 24hrs at room temperature. Move to the fridge for anything from 5 days to 2 weeks until the kimchi has reached desired level of ferment. • Store in the fridge.

Tableware specialist Arc has introduced a range of reusable glass storage containers. The new Luminarc lines include the Easy Box 250° - a storage container that can be moved directly from fridge to oven with no risk of breaking. The Easy Box also comes with a one-click locking lid for simple and secure storage. Also in the range are the Pure Jar storage containers. These can be used to display lines for sale in aesthetically pleasing glass jars with cork or wood lids. arc-intl.com Chill & Charge’s new Poseur wireless charging tables come with four wireless charging pads and a range of wired charging options so your customers can charge their devices while they eat or enjoy a coffee on site. The new tables come in mains- or battery-powered options, and either bistro or coffee-table heights. chillandcharge.com

Sean Callitz

Sponsored by Tracklements


A condiment for every meal April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

Recipe by Jules Mercer for Fine Food Digest

The VWCD1 stacking refridgerated drawer system is the latest addition to Williams Refrigeration’s drawer chiller range. At 670mm deep it is designed to fit under a standard 700mm work surface and accepts most sizes of standard foodservice pans. The drawers can also be stacked and still fit under a 900mm high worktop. williamsrefrigeration.co.uk


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

Dates back to the 1880’s to Edward Twomey’s butcher shop in Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland.


Made from a secret recipe that has been carefully handed down through the generations, it remains the same to this day and is known only to owner Colette Twomey.To complement the awardwinning black pudding, the Twomey family created Clonakilty Whitepudding in the 1980’s.



Irish farmers provide the wholesome ingredients which together give Clonakilty its unique taste, crumbly texture and distinctive flavour.

A Seasoning Renaissance


Visit us on stand E138 at Farm Shop & Deli Show

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT STAND M105A www.clonakiltyblackpudding.co.uk


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

MULTI-AWARD WINNING EXQUISITE SEASONING PRODUCTS FROM KAMPOT CAMBODIA Contact us for our wholesale pricelist Tel: 01738 248288 Email: sales@botreefarm.co.uk www.botreefarm.co.uk

SHOW PREVIEW Now in its tenth year, the Farm Shop & Deli show returns to Birmingham’s NEC on the new dates of 7th-9th September

Farm Shop & Deli Show 7th-9th September The show goes on... In light of the government’s advice to stop the ongoing spread of COVID-19, organisers William Reed have postponed the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Show. The event, part of UK Food Shows, is now being held on 7th-9th September alongside Food & Drink Expo and National Convenience Show, while Foodex and The Ingredients Show will be moved to April 2021. All existing bookings, live event content and visitor registrations are remaining in place and will be transferred automatically to the new dates.

Find food products…

cutting-edge foodservice equipment on display for those in need of new storage solutions or smoothie makers.

Get industry insight Throughout the three days, Farm Shop & Deli Live will be home to a comprehensive programme of demonstrations, interactive live debates and tastings all focused on trends, trade secrets and the future of food. Visitors will also have the chance to network with successful deli owners and learn how to grow and protect brand equity. There will also be Dragon’s Pantry sessions – product showcases where entrepreneurs pitch to a group of industry ‘dragons’, offering the prize of a potential listing.

On the new dates in September, the Farm Shop & Deli Show will be celebrating the best of British products. Visiting buyers from farm shops and delicatessens will be able to sample and see products to stock their shelves with from hundreds of exhibitors.

Recognising excellence in the sector, the winners of the Farm Shop & Deli of the Year Awards will be announced on the final day of the show.

Additionally, there is a raft of


Farm Shop & Deli Awards

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



You are what you eat...

natural, organic & health foods Spice specialist Steenbergs has just rolled out a second wave of plant-based powders under its new Swell wellness brand. The spirulina, chlorella, maca, barleygrass, wheatgrass and hemp protein ‘superfood’ powders are designed to give a health kick to smoothies, milkshakes, biscuits and energy balls. They build on the introduction of five turmeric and cacao-based drink powders last May. steenbergs.co.uk

Sead’s sesame butters offer an alternative to nut butters and tick the free from palm oil, refined sugar, dairy and gluten boxes as well as being vegan-friendly and high in protein. There are four varieties – original, chocolate, honey and caramel – all based on roasted sesame seeds. RRP £3.50 for original and £3.99 for the flavoured varieties. seadfoods.com

Clearspring is at the forefront of the sea vegetable trend, adding organic Atlantic sea spaghetti to a line-up that already includes organic Atlantic wakame, dulse, sea salad and agar flakes. The spaghetti-like strips can impart a salty, nutty ‘umami’ flavour to pastas, soups, salads, pies and stews, plus they are a source of protein and fibre. RRP £3.99. clearspring.co.uk

They might look like Maltesers but Gnawbles are said to contain 43% less sugar than their milk chocolate counterpart, as well as being free from nuts, dairy and soy. Last month saw the launch of a new flavour in John Lewis Foodhall on Oxford Street; Cheeky Choc Hazelnot emulates the popular combination of chocolate and hazelnut. RRP £1.59 for 30g. creativenaturesuperfoods. co.uk

Last month saw the launch of two new vegan ice creams as part of a brand refresh from Booja-Booja. Using cashew nuts for a creamy texture, Honeycomb caramel and Heavens on Earth (mint chocolate truffle) join the company’s six existing vegan flavours. As well as being vegan, the range is dairy-, glutenand soya-free, organic and kosher. boojabooja.com

This Isn’t Bacon rashers are challenging ‘legacy’ plant-based meat brands by targeting meat reducers as opposed to purely vegans. The bacon alternative claims to be the first that can be used interchangeably without any sacrifices flavour-wise and mimics bacon in its protein content (24.5g/100g). RRP £2.95 for 120g (10 rashers). this.co/products/rashers/

Luisa’s Vegan Chocolates has teamed up with Bird & Blend to develop a white casholate bar featuring the Manchester tea company’s turmeric matcha tea. The infusion is said to add notes of turmeric, rooibos, matcha and cinnamon. RRP £2.80 for 100g. luisasveganchocolates.co.uk

Real Good Ketchup has just launched in a 675g ‘big squeezy’ bottle – tilted at shoppers looking for an alternative to big brand high-sugar and salt ketchups. The no-added-sugar ketchup is said to contain 75% less sugar and salt than regular ketchups. RRP £2.99. realgoodketchup.co.uk

From organic and vegan products through to superfoods and free-from lines, this round-up has all of the healthy eating bases covered Compiled by Lynda Searby

Skinny Tonic professes to be the first tonic water brand to come with a zero sugar, zero calorie and ‘nothing artificial’ promise. There are six natural flavours to choose from: Mediterranean, aromatic, cucumber, clear coffee, ginger ale and Indian. RRP £3.79 for a pack of eight. skinnytonics.com 30

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3


Selfridges has snapped up these new vegan and raw cashew che*ses that are handmade by Artisan Raw in its London kitchen. Designed to be eaten either on a cheeseboard, as a snack or with a coffee, the dairyfree cheeses combine organic cashews, probiotic rich rejuvelac and so-called superfoods like turmeric and spirulina. Che*dar with turmeric, Roquef*rt with spirulina, cranberry with lucuma and apricot with baobab complete the range. RRP £3.49 for 30g. Trade price £2.27. artisanraw.co.uk

Newcomer Prodigy Snacks claims to have “reimagined chocolate for clean eating…for a new generation of healthconscious and sustainably minded consumers”. Its plant-based, dairy-free Cahoots bars, originally launched in summer 2019, are now available in two new flavours: coconut and peanut & caramel. They contain no refined sugar and come in compostable wrappers. RRP £1.75 for 45g. prodigysnacks.com

Podberry, the freeze-dried seasoned snack made with Scottish-grown peas, has announced two new flavours. The new ham hock and parmesan & truffle variants join the brand’s existing sweet chilli and salt & vinegar options and offer the same high-protein, low-fat, glutenfree and 1-of-your-5-a-day credentials. eatpodberry.co.uk

Finger millet, a cereal rich in amino acids, vitamin D, fibre, calcium and iron, is the star ingredient in a new powdered drink from Northern Ireland. The brainchild of Belfast start-up Born Maverick Beverages, Púr comes in compostable packaging in three flavours – cacao & mint, raspberry and ginger. RRP £3.99 for 30g. beingbornmaverick.com

Dublin newcomer Supernature makes its own chocolate from scratch and roasts its own nuts, enabling it to produce chocolate snacks which contain just four or five ingredients, in contrast to most mass-market brands. The range, which includes raspberry chocolate raisins, peanut butter cups and hazelnut clusters, is organic, vegan-friendly and free from gluten, refined sugars and dairy. RRP £1.99. organicsupernature.com

Previously only distributed in Kent and Sussex, A Taste of Dreams’ free-from loaf cakes are now available for nationwide delivery. The cakes have a counter life of up to two weeks and trade prices start from £10 (for ten café servings). atasteofdreams.co.uk

With growing numbers of consumers eschewing alcohol, St Peter’s Without elderberry & raspberry 0.0% alcohol beer taps into the zeitgeist. It is described as a “full-bodied and wellbalanced beer with a smooth, subtly sharp bitterness”. RRP £1.49 for 500ml. stpetersbrewery.co.uk

Medjool dates blended to a silky, spreadable texture Currently only selling online, D8 Made claims to be the sole producer of ‘off the shelf’ date butters. Founded by Danai Ngangira as a ‘passion project’, the vegan friendly butters are based on medjool dates and are free from palm oil, nuts, gluten and dairy. The initial batch of five flavours includes D8’s signature original date butter and toasted cacao, which is pitched as an alternative to regular chocolate spreads. RRP £8.99. d8made.com

Dissatisfied with the vegan pie options out there, Maria Marling and Marysia Thompson have launched a new plant-based pie brand called Saveg. “There are few options currently that are both plant based and soul comforting while delivering bold, fearless flavours. People always feel like they are missing value when buying a plant-based meal due to its lack of flavour and substance,” says Marling. Based just outside Cardiff, the Salsa and soon to be BRC-approved manufacturer claims to be the only retail pie brand not to handle any meat on site. Varieties include Hoisin Jack (pulled jackfruit, edamame beans and carrot in hoisin sauce) and My Thai (baby corn, edamame beans and broccoli in Thai green curry sauce). RRP £3.50. saveg.co.uk


Virtually unknown outside Spain and Portugal, Tomilho Bela Luz sal verde (aka Portuguese thyme) is said to have unique flavour intensifying abilities that enable dramatic reductions in salt use. The herb can be added to a variety of dishes. RRP €8.80 for 90g. bearomatic.com

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



Feel-good baking

from the UK’s no. 1 organic flour brand*

@dovesfarm | dovesfarm.co.uk

sales@dovesfarm.co.uk | 01488 684880 28

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

DF rebrand 2.indd 1

*Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 April 2019

Doves Farm has an impactful NEW LOOK celebrating the joy of baking. Stock up now to add some colour to your flour sales!

19/03/2020 09:19:04

natural, organic & health foods Tigernuts – a nutrient-rich, dense root vegetable – are the base ingredient in Ruby & Grace’s new dairy-free ice cream. A prebiotic fibre with purported ‘gut-friendly’ attributes, tigernuts are also a sustainable material as they don’t require irrigation. There are five flavours available in 500ml tubs (RRP £5.99-6.99), including Lush coffee, Matcha mint & chocolate and Cracking honeycomb. rubyandgracelondon.com

Cheese the Queen is a new nut cheese brand from Bulgaria. Free from dairy, soy and gluten, its ‘superfood delicacies’ use fermented aged cashews for a high protein, probiotic punch. There are three varieties - green pepper, turmeric and classic – which are so far only on sale in mainland Europe (Bulgaria, Germany and Austria). cheesethequeen.com


Frozen food producer Field Fare has been focusing on developing its vegan offering, launching a ‘proper Cornish vegan pasty’ made with a soya-based meat alternative from The Meatless Farm Company and a vegan burger made with quinoa, beetroot and edamame beans. The pasties wholesale at £1.90 each (RRP £2.79) and the burgers wholesale at £0.70 each (RRP £1.10). field-fare.com


Mr Organic has launched a legume rice range, providing a gluten-free rice and pasta alternative for consumers who are vegan, healthconscious and/or gluten intolerant. Made simply from legume flour, the red lentil, chickpea and green pea rice alternatives are rich in protein and fibre and cook in 10-11 minutes. RRP £3.59 for 250g. mr-organic.com

Refreshing and complex nonalcoholic spirit

Coppola Foods claims to be first to market with a chickpea-based chocolate & hazelnut spread. This alternative base results in a product that is said to contain 81% more protein and 57% less sugar than regular chocolate spread. Branded Fabalous, the vegan spread is also free from palm oil, soy and dairy. RRP £3.55 for 200g. coppolafoods.com

Championing the “wholesome goodness” of nuts is A Little Nutty, with a range that has just been extended with the launch of Maple Nutty Bites. Combining nuts, coconut, maple syrup and almond and coconut butter, the treats have an RRP of £3.85 for 55g (trade price £2.89) and are currently only on sale in a handful of independent retailers in Hampshire. alittlenutty.co.uk

As Raw As has added salted cardamom apricots to its stoneground unroasted dark chocolate line-up. Unsulphured apricots are dipped in 80% dark chocolate made from organic criolla cacao and finished with a sprinkling of fresh cardamom, Himalayan pink salt and chocolate flakes. Free from dairy, gluten, refined sugars and soy, they have an RRP of £6.50 for 125g (trade price £4.55). asrawas.com

Three new introductions from Moving Mountains have expanded the options in the meat alternatives space. The new hot dogs made from sunflower seeds, vegetables and coconut oil; Bratwurst-style no-pork sausages and plant-based sausage burgers all have an RRP of £4.50 per pack and are listed with Sainsbury’s. movingmountainsfoods. com

Rather than launching “another dried fruit and smush bar”, Delushious says it has created a range of decadent, snack-sized cakes that are low in sugar. Chai coconut bar, black forest brownie and sour cherry tiffin come in biodegradable wrappers. RRP £1.59. delushious.co.uk

Borough Broth Co has secured distribution with The Cress Co for its chilled broths and with CLF and The Health Store for its frozen broths. The company has been slowcooking organic bone broths in its London kitchen since 2015. boroughbroth.co.uk

Complementing its vegan Genovese pesto, Organico Realfoods has launched a vegan basil pesto (RRP £3.49 for 130g) and sun-dried tomato pesto (RRP £2.99 for 130g), both produced in Liguria from fresh basil, sunflower oil, olive oil, tofu, pine kernels and cashews. organico.co.uk

Bay’s Kitchen has added three new varieties to its range of low FODMAP sauces. Created with IBS sufferers in mind, the mild Korma, Tikka Masala and Thai green curry sauces are gluten-free and vegan. RRP £3.95 for 260g. bayskitchen.com

Inspired by the stretch of Devon coastline where they live, wine bar owners Sarah and Geoff Yates have created a non-alcoholic spirit from natural botanicals. Sugar-free, zero calorie Sea Arch Coastal Juniper is distilled from juniper, sea kelp, samphire, blood orange, cardamom and coriander. It is available in 70cl bottle, 25cl bottle and 250ml can formats, with respective RRPs of £24.95, £14.95 and £2.35. seaarchdrinks.com

Oats, nuts and dried fruit are rolled into balls and coated in freeze-dried fruit to deliver a “quick and enduring energy shot”. Go Bites come in three fruity flavours: strawberry & cashew; blackcurrant & blueberry and raspberry & cacao. RRP £1 per 24g pack. go-bites.com Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


VOTED A Best Drinks Brand by Fine Food Digest readers


Visit Stand K89 to discover our range of juices, mixers and pressĂŠs Passionately Sourced - Lovingly Created



















Steenbergs, based in North Yorkshire, established 2003 Specialists in organic spices, baking extracts and loose-leaf teas. We offer around 400 different spices, spice blends, herb mixes from Arabic spice mixes to baking blends, with 13 curry mixes to choose from all blended and created at the Steenbergs Spice factory in North Yorkshire Ethical, family run and active on caring for the environment. For more information go to Steenbergs.co.uk email sales@steenbergs.co.uk or call 01765 640088


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

natural, organic & health foods Importer Olivocracy has added four organic vinegars to its portfolio, of which three are also biodynamic. The apple cider vinegar is said to be one of only a handful of biodynamic varieties available in the world, while the balsamic vinegar of Modena PGI and the ‘white condiment’ are the only biodynamic products of their kind. olivocracy.co.uk

Flour brand Doves Farm has launched an organic coconut flour, which can be used to make cakes, cookies, pancakes, waffles and pastry. Made from sustainably grown Sri Lankan coconuts, the flour is high in protein and fibre. Sold in 500g bags with an RRP of £3.75. dovesfarm.co.uk


Natural & Organic Products Europe 7th & 8th July

In response to the spread of coronavirus and government advice against large gatherings of people, the organisers of Natural & Organic Products Europe decided to postpone the event until 7th and 8th July. East Anglian bakery Davina Steel is hoping to plug a gap in the market for gluten-free on-the-go products with a new seven-strong range. It comprises crostini in three flavours (garlic & rosemary, onion and lightly salted), biscotti in two flavours (lemon & poppy seed and orange & choc chip), shortbread biscuits and gingerbread mini bites. davinasteel.com

So far this natural truffle butter is only on sale in two London delis: The De Beauvoir Deli in Hackney and Andreas in Chelsea. Tart-ufo is made from organic grass-fed butter and white and black truffles from Italy. RRP £12.50 for a 100g tin; wholesale price £8. tart-ufo.com

Carsten Holm, managing director of Diversified Communications UK, organisers of the show, said: “Natural & Organic Products Europe is the single most important business event in our calendar. Many companies rely on it to meet new and current customers, so this decision has not been taken lightly.”

Discover what’s new With the organic and plant-based sectors growing faster than ever and customers increasingly seeking healthier choices, retailers must respond. The place to discover the latest trends and products to satisfy the ever-more-discerning consumer is Natural & Organic Products Europe.

Pitched as an alternative to popcorn, Plant Pops’ new low-calorie popped lotus seed snacks are made from the seeds of the water lily plant – a cultural staple in India for centuries. They contain no artificial ingredients and are 100% vegan and glutenfree. RRP £1.20 per 20g pack. plantpopssnacks.com

Fatty’s Organic Spirits have launched a new gift set containing a miniature bottle of both their products and a branded glass. Fatty’s organic London dry gin and a loweralcohol pink grapefruit spirit drink (20% abv), are also available in 70cl bottles. fattysorganicspirits.com


the world to cater to your customers,” said event director, Carol Dunning. “From vegans to special diets to gluten free, you can find this and more all in one visit.”

It’s a vegan’s world This year, the Natural Food Show will feature over 400 food exhibitors, including 140 first-time exhibitors, dedicated pavilions and an expanded Vegan World area. The bigger specialist vegan area, will feature over 80 companies – growing a third on last year.

Natural food talks Speakers gracing the stage may be subject to change but the show’s line-up will include experts, top producers and retail buyers – all looking to tackle the sector’s most pressing issues. naturalproducts.co.uk

The show will feature a wide range of organic, sustainable, ethical, natural and healthy speciality food products for small retailers and farm shop owners to browse and live talks, panel debates and retailing advice. “There is no shortage of speciality foods to inspire you, with a diverse and sumptuous range of quality food and drinks from the UK and around Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


Yogi Mama’s Indian Sauces, Proper Curry Sauce Vegan, Gluten free, No nasties!


Keto Friendly at only 3.6g of carbs per serving, 43 kcal per serving and 169kcal for the whole jar. This healthy superfood curry sauce is packed with nutrients using ingredients which are naturally healing to the body. 350 grams RRP £4.99 Trade price: £2.99 Sold in packs of 12.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, PASTA SAUCES AND PESTO AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL WHOLESALER Garofalo UK: 01438 813 444 info@garofalo.co.uk www.pasta-garofalo.com 36

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

@PastaGarofaloUK @pastagarofalouk


FINE FOOD SHOW NORTH 2020 The editorial team at Fine Food Digest sampled products from last month’s Fine Food Show North in Harrogate. Here they talk through their top picks.



Northern discoveries Kandy Kitchen Creations COCONUT CURRIED LENTIL SOUP This soup is convenience food – but healthy, wholesome and it tastes great. Empty the packet into a pan, throw in some water and a tin of coconut milk and, in next to no time, you’ve got a delicious dahl-style dish for up to four people. The colourful, aesthetically pleasing and compostable Nature Flex packs will look great on shelves, and the RRP of £5 (trade £3.12-£3.33 depending on order quantity) is reasonable, given the volume of food they generate. kandykitchencreations.co.uk Just Because ALFAJORES - DULCE DE LECHE The show rarely fails to unearth a lesser-known aspect of cuisine from somewhere in the world and this year’s discovery was a biscuit that traces its origins to South America. Alfajores [al-fa-hores] are soft sandwich biscuits with the added twist of being naturally gluten-free because they are made with cornflour. Of the selection we tried from Just Because, which is run by a Venezuelan based in the UK, we preferred the traditional variety filled with Dulce de Leche (South American caramel) and rolled in coconut. A real luxury treat for coeliac sufferers, these will also appeal to those without intolerances. justbecausetreats.co.uk

Seggiano ORGANIC SMOOTH HAZELNUT & CACAO SPREAD Anything sold under the Seggiano name is bound to be good but, even by this brand’s own high standards, this is a serious box ticker. It’s vegan, organic and is free from all the emulsifiers and gallons of palm oil that feature in a certain mass-market hazelnut spread. Unlike that big-name brand, this spread contains more than a token amount of hazelnuts – 31% of each jar to be exact. It has a natural unctuousness and it actually tastes of nuts. It’s all rounded off by the perfect level of sweetness from the cocoa and cane sugar. seggiano.com Cariad Bakery COCONUT ICE This take on a very traditional confectionery item is proof that simplicity can still triumph. The packaging might be plain but it is 100% recyclable and it adds to the humble charm of a product that impressed editor Michael Lane – a self-confessed Bounty-phobe. Made in Anglesey using just three organic ingredients – coconut, cane sugar and ewes’ milk from Cariad’s own small herd – it offers a good balance of sweetness, natural coconut flavour and even the character of the milk comes through. Given the size of the bars (RRP £4), it might be an idea to pitch them as a sharing item, though. cariadbakery.cymru Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


FINE FOOD SHOW NORTH 2020 Guppy’s Chocolate CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNIES Not every consumer that buys chocolate in an independent wants an ultra-premium, beanto-bar, 90%-cacao slab of complexity. These bunnies are ideal for all those people that are just after some well-made chocolate, with a decent snap and some sweetness but don’t want to go for the usual corporate brands. Admittedly, they are a simple proposition, and that’s ok. The format is just the right size and price (retailing for £3.25) for gifting or sharing at home when Easter comes but you could easily munch through these on your own because York-based Guppy’s makes a very appealing milk chocolate. guppyschocolates.co.uk Hobros DELUXE VEGAN CHILLI SAUCE Leave any negative preconceptions about vegan food at the threshold before you open this jar of intense and complex flavour. There is a dizzying list of ingredients in this Asian-style chilli sauce yet it is still very much a clean deck – no artificial preservatives or MSG. With a retail price of £9, it does live up to its ‘deluxe’ billing. However, you’re getting some serious umami from four different types of mushroom – Porcini, Shiitake, Boletus, Chestnut – and an expertly controlled chilli kick, too. And, whether you use it to dress vegetables, salads or noodle dishes, it will go quite a long way. hobros.uk Voyager Coffee NOMAD SEASONAL BLEND We drink a fair amount of espresso on the editorial desk and all of us paused slightly at the adjective “refreshing” before trying this coffee out. Once we’d all had a shot, it was agreed that espresso could be described this way – at least, Voyager Nomad blend could anyway. There are the promised floral and fruity notes in abundance in this seasonal blend of coffees from Africa, Central and South America, which is given a light roast on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. What’s more, the outer box packaging looks a little different and is, needless to say, 100% compostable. voyagercoffee.co.uk


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

Pastificio Carleschi MEZZI RIGATONI There are so many angles to this product that the editorial team could not ignore it (despite the presence of another pasta on this list). For a start, it’s actually British and is made with a stoneground native variety of grain (white spelt), as is the whole Carleschi range. It’s organic, healthy, well-priced (Retails at £3.50 for 400g) and even comes in fully compostable, bio film, plastic-free packaging. The rigatoni itself has extra bite as a result of the base ingredient and sauce clings to it happily. The only problem is it’s impossible to communicate this all on the label, even if the label is classy and cleverly includes cooking instructions – on the front. carleschi.co.uk Breckland Orchard POSH POP LIGHTER - STRAWBERRY & RHUBARB Editor Michael Lane’s opinions on soft drink NPD are welldocumented. It really is a tough category to succeed in, especially at the more speciality end of the scale. Breckland Orchard is one of the few that does succeed by being independent and supply independents. This latest addition to its Posh Pop Lighter range threatens to be too sweet but in fact delivers both of the flavours it mentions on the label. Assistant editor Tom Dale thought it was like a liquid rhubarb & custard sweet. Given Breckland Orchard’s experience and success thus far, you know this would be able to slot in to most retail and café set-ups at a reasonable price, too. brecklandorchard.co.uk The Yorkshire Pasta Company FUSILLI Yorkshire is one of those regions that can be associated with a foodstuff and still have national appeal – tea, rhubarb, puddings – and pasta could soon join that list on the strength of this effort. This is a start-up brand that has a lot going for it. The striking branding and packaging (yes, it’s recyclable too) alone look like they’ve been given some serious thought. And the same care has gone into developing the product inside the bag. Made in God’s Own Country using locally milled wheat flour and shaped with traditional bronze dies, this pasta has the texture, mouthfeel and sauce retention to compete with quality pastas from Italy. yorkshirepasta.co.uk











Gluten Free, Vegan Sauces Full of Flavour & IBS Friendly!



01242 335247 sales@bayskitchen.com www.bayskitchen.com


With five Red Boat Ice Cream Parlours throughout Anglesey and North Wales we know a thing or two about the finest authentic ice creams and sorbets. Since 2009 our gelato chefs have been creating flavours of the highest quality using the finest locally sourced ingredients. We are now looking for new stockists and are offering franchise opportunities. Get in touch as we’d love to welcome you aboard!

01248 810022


www.redboatgelato.co.uk E D Q Come and see us on stand M85 at the Farm Shop and Deli Show in September at the NEC to try some of the amazing flavours we have on offer. Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


Award-winning, gluten free and organic food – simply the best Unique, super delicious, super quality, handmade with Wales’ best kept super food secret. Share our adventures and learn more about our exciting range of products from the Land of the Dragons - where our products fuel heros and elite athletes. Follow us


Natural. Simple. Hearty. Tasty.



5 Great Taste awards in our first 2 years Editors’ Choice at Fine Food Show North

07577 838995 / caridabakery@gmail.com www.cariadbakery.cymru

by Kandy Kitchen Creations b 07814 824180 | kandykitchencreations@gmail.com www.kandykitchencreations.co.uk


Artisan Gluten-Free Alfajores

Speciality South-American biscuits. Latin passion, indulgent flavours




Just Because Treats (as seen at this year’s Fine Food Show North) rebrands to Margot & Montañez in April. Contact us today to place an order hola@margotandmontanez.com www.margotandmontanez.com 40

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

/yorkshirepastacompany MargotandMontanez @margotandmontanez


info@yorkshirepasta.co.uk | www.yorkshirepasta.co.uk

This is a Celebration. This is Wales.

Visit us on stands: EE220 & FF220 at the Food & Drink Expo M80, M85 & M86 at the Farm Shop Deli www.gov.wales/foodanddrinkwales @FoodDrinkWales

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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

• Are suitable for celiacs • Replace rusk without the need for recipe changes • Are also available as ready made CMT sausage mixes • Are available in two natural colours (pale and golden brown) • Do not contain any e numbers • Are made from GMO free ingredients. Juergen Maurer, 31 Salford Road, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8HT T: 01908 584489 F: 01908 584317


No compromise on quality

SHELF TALK ‘Versatile’ Auntie’s Sauces hopes to shake up Indian food market By Tom Dale

A UK-based traditional Indian sauce brand with a modern twist is hoping its “versatile” range becomes more than an accompaniment to a poppadom. Auntie’s Sauces has launched a range of “highly versatile table sauces” that can be used for dipping and as a marinade or cooking ingredient. The sauces were developed by ‘Auntie’, an octogenarian and former successful restaurateur who decided retirement wasn’t for her. Along with her granddaughter, Shireen and grandsonin-law, Greg, she has married her knowledge of traditional Indian spices and flavours with modern western tastes and created a brand they hope will fill a gap in the Indian food market. Gregory Dhaliwal Davies, co-founder, said: “There’s nothing quite like our sauces. “They taste great, are full of great flavours and they’re versatile – you can dunk chips in them, use them on cheese on toast, use them as a marinade or a table sauce. We sell our tamarind sauce in catering packs because chefs use it as their secret ingredient.” The husband-and-wife

team recently left successful careers and Auntie has come out of retirement “because the demand is there”. “We’re now stocked in over 30 different shops and expanding rapidly. We’ve had great success at food markets and food festivals – we sell out wherever we go,” said Dhaliwal Davies. The range includes three main sauces – tamarind, chilli mango and ginger coriander – and the recently launched Indian ketchup. “It is now our best-seller, everyone loves it. It’s got an extra dimension of spice and flavour that your usual ketchup doesn’t,” said Dhaliwal Davies. The company is currently finalising deals to move into bigger premises in order to up their production and is set to launch a range of pickles in the near future. “We’re very ambitious and we want to take these sauces nationally – we see there’s a gap in ethnic foods, they’re a bit old and dated so we’ve come up with something fresh and exciting that calls on tradition at the same time.” Auntie’s Sauces are sold to the trade in cases of six bottles for £13.80 (£2.30 a bottle, £3.70 RRP. The range is currently distributed by Hot Cakes and Artisan Foods. auntiessauces.com

WHAT’S NEW Scottish shortbread brand Stewart’s has launched a ‘signature series’ of flavoured shortbreads to run alongside its offering of traditional shortbread tins. In the range is lemon curd, chocolate chunk, butterscotch and the classic all butter shortbread. The new lines cost £1.36 for a 160g pack, sold in cases of eight. RRP £2.45. stewartsscotland.com Supposedly harnessing the natural antioxidant qualities of olive tree leaves is a new product from olive oil brand Zeet. The organic Olive Leaf Water Infusion is made with an olive leaf extract – containing antioxidants oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, organic agave syrup, aniseed extract and vitamin C. The water infusion is sold in cases of 24 250ml bottles with a RRP of £2.48 plus VAT. evoozeet.com James White, in a bid to revive a forgotten vintage, has added prune juice to its classics range. Made from Ente plums grown in Chile, the new line is vegan and gluten-free. James White prune juice is available in a 75cl glass bottle and costs £2.75 per unit. jameswhite.co.uk

Classic Bloody Mary mix taste in new ketchup

Japanese and organic food brand Clearspring has added a new yuzu ponzu seasoning to its range. Clearspring Yuzu Ponzu is made with Japanese yuzu – a citrus fruit that has been used in Japanese cooking for over 1,000 years. It has a complex flavour profile often described as a blend of lime, lemon, grapefruit and mandarin. Ponzu blends the citrus juice with soy sauce, sweet mirin and rice vinegar and replaces the traditional fish stock with vegan-friendly and umami-rich kombu seaweed. The result is an umami-rich condiment and seasoning. Clearspring’s Organic Yuzu Ponzu is 100% vegan, is made with natural, organic, nonGM ingredients and has a RRP of £4.79 for a 150ml bottle. clearspring.co.uk

Big Tom, the popular Bloody Mary mix is launching a new spiced tomato ketchup this spring. Using the same spice blend and the same Portuguese tomatoes that make the Bloody Mary mix, the new ketchup has a significantly lower sugar content (13.4g per 100g) compared to that of other leading brands and up to 50% fewer calories. Lawrence Mallinson, managing director of James White Drinks, manufacturers of Big Tom, said: “Launching Big Tom Spiced Tomato Ketchup has been an ambition of mine for at least ten years. “It has taken us well over a year to develop because we were so determined that it should be true to the distinctive Big Tom taste.” Available in a 260g glass bottle, Big Tom Spiced Tomato Ketchup is gluten free and vegan and will be priced at £2.50 per bottle. It is currently available to buy at


Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020




My magic ingredient

WHAT’S NEW Vegan chocolate producer Plamil is set to launch a range of dairy-free cocoa snacks. Cocoabites come in three varieties, smooth, white and dark and are packaged in reusable jars. Plamil Cocoabites are available in 85g jars (RRP: £2.50), cases of six-packs (RRP:13.50) and also in 1kg refill packs (RRP: £15.00). plamilfoods.co.uk Tapping into the demand for dairy-free ‘cheese’ is London-based Nush. The start-up has produced the nation’s first spreadable almond milk cheese, available in two flavours, natural and chive. A 150g tub has an RRP of £2.75 and is available through wholesalers including JD’s, Suma, The Health Store, CLF, Hunts and AM Brands. nushfoods.co.uk Holly GoLightly low-alcohol cider from Celtic Marches is now available in 250ml cans The 0.5% ABV drink, made from real cider apples, received a Great Taste award in 2019. The new smaller cans have a RRP of £1.79 and are sold to trade in cases of 24 at £24 plus VAT. celticmarches.com


Tahini MELISSA HEMSLEY Author and chef Tahini is one of my happy ingredients. I even buy it to take to people’s houses when I go round for dinner or in hampers if they’ve had a baby or moved house. I’ve used it for the last 10 years on and off – in hummus of course – but have really started to cherish its versatility in the last four years as I’ve turned to it more and it’s become a faithful friend that I now can’t live without. It adds a gorgeous creaminess swirled through pots of steaming soups or drizzled onto roasted veg and come BBQ time, I’ll be mixing it with harissa and using it as a marinade or mixing it into a rich sesame ginger dressing with lime juice or rice vinegar. Sweet-wise, I add it to cookie batters or stir it into yoghurt with honey, pistachios and orange zest for breakfast. You can also use it in homemade ice creams and a touch of tahini is delicious in an iced coffee, too. Two of my favourite tahinis come from Belazu and Terra Rossa. Melissa buys her’s at Honey & Spice or Yardarm

Ethical chocolate company makes packaging fully ‘eco-friendly’ By Tom Dale

In a first for a British chocolate brand, Montezuma’s has made the packaging for its whole range ‘eco-friendly’. Since February of this year, every line they make will be sold in either recyclable, compostable or biodegradable wrapping. The ethically focused company has looked at every aspect of their packaging to ensure it is entirely recyclable, even shredding and reusing old packaging in gift boxes. Bruce Alexander, marketing director, said: “We believe we are the first chocolate company to offer 100% sustainable packaging on our entire range and I’m extremely proud of that. “We’ve carried out a whole redesign, which was underpinned by the packaging material itself. “The packaging of our customers’ favourite bars can now go straight in the recycling bin to be collected by the council.” As well as using recyclable inks, adhesives, stickers and tape, the company’s best-selling chocolate bars now come in 100% paper and card packaging, eliminating the non-recyclable metallised plastics used to wrap most products. 44

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

It adds a gorgeous creaminess swirled through soups or drizzled onto roasted veg

Alexander added: “We’re still using some plastics and while we’d love to get rid of them altogether, our biggest challenge is the fact that food needs to be packaged safely. We’ve taken as many steps as we can, but we’ve made sure that any plastic we do use is totally recyclable.”


At last month’s Fine Food Show North Terra Rossa launched its latest Middle Eastern offering, Natural Edible Dead Sea Salt from the Jordan Valley. While most people are aware of the health benefits of bathing in the Dead Sea, few know that its salt has been used for culinary purposes for thousands of years. Water pumped from the Dead Sea is naturally sun-dried in solar pools before being washed. The resulting product is a non-ionised and smooth tasting salt that is also rich in 21 minerals – including calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Terra Rossa distributes direct to retailers and consumers. Trade price £2.37, RRP £3.95. terra-rossa.com


Come and meet DIP ‘N’ POUR’s Queen of the Kitchen. Our products are tomato curry-based sauces with a uniqueness in taste. It can be eaten hot or cold, as a dip or a sauce and is available in a vegan/vegetarian or meat lovers’ range. Experience for yourself this amazing, versatile unique sauce that can be used on a cheesy toasty, as a dip on the cheese board or to create a fabulous spicy hot dish! The ways to use this sauce are endless!


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EMAIL: nick.wild@innavisions.com Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


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April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

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WHAT’S NEW The Yorkshire Crisp Company has launched a new-look drum for its Luxury Toffee Popcorn. The revised 90g resealable drum retains freshness. Yorkshire Popcorn is available in two luxury toffee-coated varieties as well as three traditional flavours. The popcorn drums cost £29 for a case of 12. yorkshirecrisps.co.uk

Jane Kippax and Jane Chong run STEP AND STONE, a Bristol-based bakery and social enterprise employing young people with learning disabilities to make unique lavosh flatbreads. 1. What were you doing before you started the brand? Jane Kippax worked in charity fundraising, marketing and research at The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and later at Ups and Downs Southwest – a Somerset-based support organisation for children and young people with Down’s syndrome and their families. After initially working for Nestlé in marketing research, Jane Chong had run her own interior design business in Malaysia for more than 15 years, before moving back to the UK.

Our social purpose keeps us focused on making the best product we can 2. Why did you decide to launch the brand? We wanted to start a social enterprise in order to improve the awful employment prospects for people with learning disabilities. We are both parents to young people with Down’s syndrome and are aware of their great potential. We both love all things food. Jane Kippax discovered lavosh flatbread while living in Australia for 10 years and C so our bakery seemed a perfect opportunity to launch Ma delicious quality product new Y to the UK market – which could also demonstrate just how CM capable our young people are.

You can do all the research and planning in the world but, in the end, you’ve just got to go for it. Follow your dream! We are lucky that our mission to showcase our young bakers’ capabilities and potential – and seeking to improve public perceptions – keeps us focused on making the best product we can. 4. What’s the best part about running a small business? Taking responsibility for the direction and ethos of the business and, for us as a social enterprise, being able to influence society for good. That’s such a privilege and feels so worthwhile.

Stokes Sauces has launched a luxury hollandaise sauce to coincide with the start of the new asparagus season. The Stokes Hollandaise Sauce, made with British free-range eggs, comes in a 170g glass jar with an RRP of £2.95. To stock the sauce, contact Stokes at stokessauces.co.uk

pressing issues and allows us to take a breath, plan ahead and think more strategically. It’s so energising. The lunch is wonderful, too. 7. What advice would you give to someone thinking of setting up their own food business? Think carefully about your product. Is it different or better than what’s available already? Make it the best you can, work out how you are going to communicate this point of difference and how you will distribute it. Research until you can research no more – then just jump in and go for it!

8. What’s next for the business? We are going to introduce two new flavours of lavosh in 2020. 6. What’s the best piece of One of these is close to launch advice you’ve been given? and we’ll be entering that in The best piece of advice we’ve Great Taste very soon. We will received is to have an “away also continue to support our day” now and then. We like trainees into paid employment. to go and drink copious cups We’ve seen seven successfully of coffee and peppermint tea take up paid roles outside Step in our favourite restaurant and Stone this year. It’s been Ground Sponsor advert 2016 ready.pdf overlookingFreshly the Mendip Hills. It amazing to seeprint our young takes us away from the everyday people thrive.

Tyrrells have launched a new nut medley range in two familiar flavours. The mix of seasoned roasted almonds and cashews combined with crunchy giant corn and fava beans is available in sweet chilli & red pepper and sea salt & ground black pepper. The packs are 105g and 100g respectively and have a RRP of £3. tyrrellscrisps.co.uk

5. …and the worst? The workload. We are just so busy.


Hawkshead Relish and The Handmade Ice Cream Company have joined forces to create a new Cherry and Prosecco Ice Cream. The Ulverston-based ice cream producer combined Hawkshead Relish sour cherry and prosecco jam, added Prosecco and a homemade cheesecake base to double cream to make a new, collaborative ice cream flavour. hawksheadrelish.com 16/08/2016 10:37 handmadeicecream.co.uk


3. What’s the biggest lesson CY you’ve learned in your time CMY running the business? K

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



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The Purfect Beverage Nature’s wonder drink Belfast based ethical company named Born Maverick Beverages Ltd has launched first of its kind unique beverages made of finger millets under the brand name Púr and are available in three rich flavors of Cacao & Mint, Ginger and Raspberry. This company which has been an epitome of innovation emphasizes on creating more unique products such as Vegan Popsicles and Vegan Prawns in next few months. The drinks are meant to be soothing and relaxing while enriched with nutrients. These are naturally formulated for extended shelf life with no preservatives while being packed in 100% compostable way. It is brewed like tea but has richness and fullness of coffee or hot chocolate. They are looking for local outlets and ethical shops in mainland to stretch their presence with innovative products. Let Calm Be The New Norm.

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Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020

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DELI OF THE MONTH The Derbyshire farmers behind Tori & Ben’s have developed a robust business model based on provenance, sustainability, customer service and a particularly special breed of cow. Interview by Michael Lane

Taking a shop by the horns TWO WEEKS IS a very long time at the moment. In the fortnight between my trip to Tori & Ben’s farm shop in Derbyshire and getting in touch with co-owner Tori Stanley just before FFD goes to press, she is serving her customers in a very different way. There is a ‘one in, one out’ policy for customers visiting the shop and Stanley and her team are flat-out preparing deliveries and orders for collection. Despite all of the changes, a point she made in a pre-lockdown conversation with me holds firm. “With all of this coronavirus thing and the raiding of supermarket shopfloors – we as local producers will not run out of food. So support your local shop, local butcher, your local farm shop.” Regardless of the current situation, the


Location: Kings Newton Lane, Kings Newton, Melbourne, Derbyshire DE73 8DD Turnover: £500,000 Staff: 6 Average margin: 30-40% Average basket spend: £35 52

April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

shop’s whole local ethos is anchored by one product in particular – English Longhorn Beef. Stanley and her husband Ben are a farming couple and first began selling meat at markets in 2006. Ben’s parents had Longhorns on the family farm, and he and his wife decided that they wanted to carry on farming them, building their own herd (as well as a flock of sheep) nearby. “The Longhorn is the most commercially unviable breed,” says Stanley. “It’s slowfinishing, it’s on the planet for an extra year potentially – normal beef is 14 months, this is 24. That slow-growing puts fat all through the meat, and with the marbling you get this incredible flavour.” Although selling their beef and lamb at London Farmers Markets (they were just geographically eligible) at weekends proved a

success for more than half a decade, in 2016 the Stanleys got the opportunity to take on the tenancy at Park Farm on the Melbourne Hall estate, owned by Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr. This also saw them move into bricksand-mortar retailing with a shop on the estate, before they eventually took on the current premises on the outskirts of the market town of Melbourne in 2017. It is still small for a farm shop but the space allowed the Stanleys the room to run a sizeable butchery counter along one side and a classy meat hanging cabinet at the far end. The other two walls contain a variety of shelving and chillers housing a range expansion into deli items – from Ottolenghi-style salads made in store through to a selection of mainly British cheeses supplied by Rowcliffe, as well as ambient sauces and local gin. There are also

fresh produce displays both inside and outside. “We’ve made it so customers are buying their meal,” she says. “We don’t sell bits and pieces, we sell a meal.” And meat is very much centre stage of those meals. Even when FFD visits on a Tuesday –when the shop is being replenished for the week ahead – there is an impressive display in the counter. Everything is carcassbutchered on site, both the Stanleys own beef and lamb, as well as the pork and chicken supplied by Packington Free Range just up the road in Lichfield. The shop’s butchers cure their own bacon and the natural skinned sausages are flavoured with fresh ingredients. It’s a proper operation and the meat’s pricing reflects that. A rib of beef will set you back £40-£60. “Dry-aged Longhorn rib of beef is our absolute number one seller. So if they’re buying that and some sausages you’re immediately allowing a customer to spend a big amount.” With average spend at a whopping £35, it’s clear that the proposition is working for Tori & Ben’s. “People are choosing to buy well and invest in their food. If you can provide pure provenance and don’t try and fob them off, people don’t mind spending – if it’s a treat. Or so we’ve found.” Although her customers are clearly on board, Stanley does have a bone to pick with those who query the cost of food generally. She believes people should not be asking why something is so expensive, but instead

questioning why something is so cheap. “To produce food is expensive, globally. If the food is cheap it means somebody somewhere is cutting corners to produce it cheaper. “The sooner we understand that, the sooner the supermarkets will stop this price war, using food – bread, milk, meat, eggs – to get people in and flog them ready-meals for 8 quid a pop.” Stanley is equally as scathing about the faux provenance of meat that is used to sucker consumers. “Everybody says ‘our pork’s from a local farm’ or you go into restaurants round here and it says ‘Derbyshire beef’ on the menu. Well, so what? Is Derbyshire a quality food standard? Why is it good? People read that and think that’s local so it’s the best.” Given the affluence of the area (Melbourne has an average house price of £300k and regularly appears in ‘Top 10 Places to Live’ lists), you might think that Tori & Ben’s exists in a bit of a bubble but it does serve a diverse range of customers. Yes, there are lots of visitors that roll up in Range Rovers with plenty of disposable income. Stanley says this type of customer only visits at the weekend, though. Throughout the week, there is a steady flow of retired couples and individuals, as well as younger demographics and even vegetarians and vegans. Many of these visitors are drawn in by

MUST-STOCKS Rib of beef (English Longhorn) Traditional pork sausages Dry cured bacon Côte de boeuf (English Longhorn) Minced beef (English Longhorn) Packington Free-Range chicken Beef burgers (English Longhorn) Colston Bassett Stilton Baron Bigod Hambleton Bakery bread Burleighs Gin range Deli salads (made in store)


Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


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the Stanleys’ sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to farming and retailing. At the farm, they have put in 800 metres of hedges and 80 acres of parkland (taking it out of commercial arable) and planted 90 trees this year alone. And in the butchery they ensure that not a single piece of meat is wasted. “We supply beef to local pubs and restaurants, and Donnington racetrack, but only with forequarter meat,” says Stanley. “We have lots of wholesale enquiries for sirloin, fillet and rib. We just say, ‘no’. “We’ve tried it before and it’s just not sustainable because we can sell that all day long through the shop, but the forequarter is the bit we need to be selling.” When discussing pushing the shop’s sustainable credentials further, Ben has suggested that they put a sign in the shop saying ‘Eat less meat’ but Tori does have a caveat. “Do we promote that? No, because we’re beef farmers but we do support the idea of

‘eat less but better’. You don’t have to eat very much to be full when it’s good meat.” While the ethos is attractive to customers, the Stanleys also take serious pride in their customer service and very clearly stay on the side of assisting customers rather than preaching to them. The efforts they are making now during the coronavirus storm are a testament to that. But even during more normal times they take the view that nothing is too much trouble. “If somebody wants 100g of mince at 5 o’clock when we’re about to lock the doors and we’ve cleaned everything down, then they can have it. “Our whole approach is that we’re here to help and support them, rather than getting them to buy the most expensive thing.” While customers seem to respond well to advice on the cuts that will suit them best, other items in the shop have had more success left to speak for themselves. This is particularly true of cheese. Since Stanley moved the selection from a cut-to-order

counter set-up to a well fridge with pre-cut, pre-wrapped pieces, sales have increased dramatically. Although, the retail side ticks along nicely for Tori & Ben’s, Stanley knows that there is more potential on the foodservice front. Currently, customers who want to try out the café menu (made only with products that are also sold in the shop) have to brave the weather and an outdoor seating arrangement. As well as improving this aspect, Stanley also thinks there is much more potential for events. They have already enjoyed some success with supper clubs put on in partnership with chef and MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Sven-Hanson Britt – including an intriguing arrangement where a table is set in a field with the Longhorns. For now, all of these plans – much like those across the country – are on hold. FFD wishes the Stanleys (and every retailer out there) the best of luck and looks forward to seeing them thriving again soon. toriandbensfarm.co.uk

We’ve made it so customers are buying their meal. We don’t sell bits and pieces.

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


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Wholesale, Retail, Foodservice, Distribution www.rizza.co.uk | Tel: 01466 792 847 | Email: sales@rizza.co.uk Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020



View from HQ

By John Farrand managing director

I AM NOT entirely sure we should be talking about this virus just in terms of ‘opportunity’. Having endured cashflow crisis month (January) I would say it most definitely is one for independents but there are more words we can use to define this situation. ‘Unprecedented’? Now, there’s a word that has never had it so good. My generation has not known great crisis. No major wars, 3-day week, or rationing. I’m more than a little scared to be honest. If ‘opportunity’ is on the table, then maybe we need to talk about ‘accessibility’. Now is the time

news from the guild of fine food for independent retailers to be more accessible to their existing customers and become accessible to new customers. Some of the Guild team got on the phone last week purely to chat to members and other businesses in our community. We wanted to hear what they wanted from us as an organisation but also to have a good old-fashioned natter to increase morale. It helped us shape our online fact sheets and survival advice (gff.co.uk/support), and the regular e-bulletins that you should sign up for. The over-riding message from the trade was that independents were being supported by their communities and many of them had met new customers who were avoiding supermarkets for health, sanity and food availability reasons. Being accessible to all has been the aim of most delis and farm shops for years. There are very few elite shops and most decent folk I know in our trade want to sell wellmade, well-sourced and delicious food and drink to everyone. The idea thunderbolt from the recent Fine Food Show North (well-supported – thank you) was from Georgie Mason, Gonalston Farm Shop. She’s famously re-

engineered her retail offer to include Budgens. An accessibility stroke of genius when you consider that she increased her customer base from 87,000 to 133,500 in the 12 months after the re-launch.

Now is the time for independent retailers to be more accessible to new customers That’s huge. And she thinks these additional 46,500 people had always been driving past her door. They just felt they weren’t farm shop people, but they could go into an upmarket c-store. Therefore, the opportunity and the means of survival is being accessible to more people, whether that be in the shop, online or by delivery. There’s ideas and help on our support page. Use it and contribute. We must ensure our businesses and our trade survives. Remind your customers that you are still there, help them, and at the end of it they will respect you more for it.


As per government advice, the majority of the Guild of Fine Food team are currently working from home. We are operating a skeleton staff at our HQ. Please contact the team via the following email addresses: l Support & ideas during Covid-19: support@gff.co.uk l Great Taste: greattaste@gff.co.uk l Advertising: advertise@gff.co.uk

l MyGuild account help: myguild@gff.co.uk

Keep your distance: advice for staying open The government has confirmed that small food retailers should keep trading. However, the vital importance of social distancing has been stressed. Consider putting lines on the floor in front of your till points to ensure that customers maintain a safe distance to colleagues, asking customers to maintain distance whilst queueing, and encourage them to use contactless payment if possible. In addition to regular

The Guild is still here for you...

l Editorial: editorial@gff.co.uk

Edward Woodall (who usually writes a column here) and the team at the ACS are working hard to lobby Government and help small shops get through the ever-evolving coronavirus situation... The ACS has published extensive advice online and downloads to support businesses who: are offering home deliveries for the first time, need to claim grants and compensation to spport employees or get their business through the outbreak, need advice on employment law and how to support colleagues, need printable resources to place in store or in shop windows, e.g. handwashing instructions, home delivery or collection guidance.


handwashing, colleagues may feel safer if they have additional personal protective equipment. Consider providing disposable gloves for colleagues to use whilst on the shop floor. At especially busy times, it may be difficult for customers to maintain a safe distance from each other and colleagues whilst shopping. Consider restricting the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time during these periods.

l Training & venue hire: bookings@gff.co.uk l Judges: judges@gff.co.uk l Logos & labels: logos@gff.co.uk All inboxes are monitored Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm, with the exception of support@gff.co.uk, which is being monitored more frequently.

The Guild of Fine Food represents independent food shops and specialist suppliers. Want to join them? GENERAL ENQUIRIES Guild of Fine Food Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065 info@gff.co.uk gff.co.uk


April 2020 | Vol.21 Issue 3

THE GUILD TEAM: Managing director: John Farrand Marketing director: Tortie Farrand Sales director: Sally Coley Operations director: Christabel Cairns Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

Sales executives: Becky Haskett Sam Coleman Operations manager: Karen Price Operations assistants: Claire Powell, Emily Harris, Janet Baxter, Meredith White, Sarah Kirby, Hugo Morisetti

Training & events manager: Jilly Sitch Events manager: Stephanie HareWinton Events assistant: Sophie Brentnall Business development: Edward Spicer

gff.co.uk Financial controller: Stephen Guppy Accounts manager: Denise Ballance Accounts assistant: Julie Coates Chairman: Bob Farrand Director: Linda Farrand

In these changing times we know that proactive advice and the right information is vitally important. At Bishop Fleming we have a team of food & drink specialists ready to support and advise businesses through the Coronavirus Pandemic.

T: 03333 219000

E: advice@bishopfleming.co.uk

W: bishopfleming.co.uk


F A M I LY E T H O S -


With nearly 300 brands and more than 3,500 products to choose from, and supplying farm shops, delicatessens and garden centres throughout the UK... make us your one stop shop. Thank you to all our regular customers for your continued patronage.

Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020


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Pick Your Tonic, Add Your Gin And Count Your Calories! #RETHINKYOURDRINK *All tonics based on a 150ml serving & all gins based on a 25ml serving.

www.skinnytonics.com Vol.21 Issue 3 | April 2020