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December 2011 · Vol 12 Issue 10

at the heart of speciality food and drink


NET PROFITS How delis & farm shops can make a success of seafood DELI OF THE MONTH Anderson & Hill in Birmingham city centre

Creature Comforts

Lynda Searby sinks her spoon into puddings & desserts

Edward berry

‘Passion for food is tattooed on the back of my neck, says Ludlow Food Centre’s new MD

INSIDE: Scotland’s SPECIALITY FOOD SHOW paul castle raoul’s DELI christmas trading women’s INSTITUTE


December 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 10


in this issue

One of the mysteries of running a speciality food shop in troubled times is the unpredictability of customers. Lorry-loads of doom and gloom peddled in the media offer no real light at the end of the tunnel, so most customers will likely cry ‘sod it’ and splash out on a cracking Christmas. Or they might not. On a recent cheese training day, I eavesdropped on a conversation between deli owners on what does and doesn’t sell in their stores. “I tried that in my shop and couldn’t shift it,” was the response from one after being told what sold best in another’s. There is little consistency, yet one of the best-read sections in FFD is the monthly ‘must-stocks’ panel in Deli of the Month. We’re even asked for back-issues by start-up delis and farm shops eager to create ranges that sell. Many retailers draw comfort from stocking best-sellers in other stores, others find it of no help. Maybe their customers are from a different planet. Which highlights the dilemma of the festive season. “Last year, I sold my own weight in Stilton during the week before Christmas; the rest of the year it can be on the verge of going in the bin,” was the comment from deli owner Gary Anderson of Anderson & Hill’s to Mick Whitworth during his interview for this month’s feature (page 14). Would any self-respecting cheese shop risk not stocking Stilton all year round, even if it does occasionally struggle to earn its keep outside the Christmas rush? Reading this month’s news pages, many retailers have delayed ordering Christmas lines and could run the risk of losing sales if supplies of bankable sellers like panettone, lebkuchen and Stilton dry up. The recession appears to have cultivated the wisdom of prudence; rather a lost sale on Christmas Eve than a shelf full of panettones in January, which won’t pay the mortgage. In a couple of weeks time we will send you our first ever FFD Best Brands survey to digest at leisure during the January lull. It may just help solve the dilemma of what to stock and when for next year. We’ve spent the autumn months researching Guild members’ businesses and compiling all the UK’s major award winners to identify what has worked best during this year of deepening recession. The result is a resource to help you cope with whatever 2012 throws at you. What sold best in 2011, what was newly launched on the market and worked and which in-store merchandising ideas and promotions actually increased turnover. You’ll also find a year planner packed with useful helplines and contact points for increasing profit and solving ticklish business problems. Personally, I predict most customers are poised to shout ‘sod it’ – so stock up aplenty. Next year remains unpredictable, so have a great Christmas.

❝The recession appears to have cultivated the wisdom of prudence – rather a lost sale on Christmas Eve than a shelf full of panettones in January❞

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

What they’re saying ❝I haven’t quite got the work-life balance right yet. I put in a huge amount of effort. It’s six days a week, then one day worrying about it. But I’m working on that, trying to give myself a holiday now and then.❞ Debbie Priestley, West Country Cheese Co – page 6

fine food news

Shops and suppliers still cautious about Christmas p4

profile: edward berry

Savoy hotels and Moët Champagne are prominent on his CV but Ludlow’s new boss is an ex-deli owner too p14

product update: cakes & puddings Lynda Searby gives in to sweet temptation and goes in search of the finest creature comforts p29

glasgow preview

More than 1,000 retailers and buyers are expected in Glasgow for Scotland’s Speciality Food Show p35

focus on: seafood

Michael Lane hooks up with independent stores where seafood is catching on p41


news deli of the month deli chef cheesewire shelf talk

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

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

fine food news Cress Foods’ Joe Wall says retailers will ‘pay the price’ for last-minute festive orders

Christmas comes late as shops and suppliers take cautious approach By PATRICK McGUIGAN

what distributors are doing for christmas “Christmas is going to be late again this year, with a full week of trading before Christmas Day. It’s going to be tough with multiples being more aggressive on alcohol, confectionery and gifting, which will make it increasingly hard for specialist retailers, especially as we’re seeing more speciality brands on supermarket shelves. We’ve upped our credit limits for established retailers to as much as £3,000 from £500-£1,500 to help them maximise the Christmas period without going out of stock.” Mark Dawkins, co-founder, A Pride of Place

In demand: retailers may have to scramble to find festive lines like panettone

then price accordingly. “People ordering now are finding our panettones are no longer in stock and they are disappointed. They really should have ordered in September.” Mike Thirkettle, joint MD of Hider Foods, said the trend was ultimately due to a change in shopper behaviour that was likely to continue in years to come. “Retailers used to enjoy more of a preChristmas run, but these days consumers are more blasé and relaxed in terms of planning their Christmas shopping. They’re leaving it until the last moment, which makes it difficult for retailers and wholesalers alike.”

Massimiliano Pieraccini/

Retailers may miss vital Christmas sales this year through being over-cautious when ordering or delaying orders for so long that suppliers’ own stocks have run out. Several wholesalers contacted by FFD in mid November had already sold out of Christmasspecific lines such as gift packs. However, they were still receiving calls from retailers who had put off ordering until they had gauged consumer confidence or who were anxious not to carry seasonal stock into the New Year. Joe Wall, MD of Scottish distributor Cress Foods, told FFD: “We’ve kept Christmas stock levels tight this year and those people that have been too hesitant are now finding there’s nothing left for them. A lot of people just didn’t get round to ordering back in August and they will pay the price this year. “In previous years there was more flexibility in the system. Suppliers and wholesalers would take a punt and have an extra 10% stock just in case, but not now. It’s better for us to sell out early than be left with stock in the New Year.” Emma Macdonald, MD of producer and distributor The Bay Tree, said the situation was part of a trend that had been developing for several years. “This problem has got worse over the last few years as Christmas gets later. We feel that Halloween has got in the middle and many are not ordering until after this period. “Retailers are nervous of committing to large stocks due to the economic situation and are holding off until the last minute. We have had to hedge on ordering based on past experience and are asking our suppliers to respond quicker. The biggest issue is Christmas-orientated gift packs that have no life after Christmas.” Late orders are particularly difficult for importers, who need longer lead times to source products from abroad and keep transportation costs down. “I could order two pallets of panettone from Italy right now, but the transport costs are so high that they wouldn't be affordable,” said Francesco Camisa of Fratelli Camisa. “We order containers early in the year to keep transport costs down and

“Last year a lot of retailers were affected by the snow, which disrupted distribution, so this year we’ve been encouraging customers to order early on ambient items and then sending out a ‘countdown to Christmas’ newsletter to let them know when cheeses will be dated until after Christmas so they can order as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute you risk not having stock if the bad weather hits again.” Steve Smith, sales director, Rowcliffe’s “We’ll be carrying Christmas lines like panettone and stollen right up until Christmas Eve. It’s always been our way to do that. I don’t think you can dictate to small retailers that they have to pre-order in June. As a distributor you have to take a bit of a risk to provide that flexibility, but we generally get it right. We’re quite optimistic about Christmas. People always trade up at this time of year and retail sales are currently higher now than they were last year.” Piers Adamson, MD of Bespoke Foods

WI launches branded range through independents

Mercer’s, Grandma Wild’s and W & H Marriage produce the initial WI range

4 December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Britain’s artisan food producers will be stirring their jam pots that little bit harder this month after the Women’s Institute launched its first range of branded foods. Long the bastion of perfect preserves and beautifully baked cakes, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes has developed

its first commercial range under the WI Foods brand. Designed to be “the closest thing to homemade”, initial products in the range include jams, chutneys, flours and biscuits, which will go head-to-head with products from speciality producers in farm shops, delis and garden centres.

Recipes for the products have been sourced from the NFWI's archives and tried and tested by the WI. Jams and chutneys are being made by Mercer’s of Yorkshire, biscuits by Grandma Wild’s and the range of flour by W & H Marriage & Sons in Essex.

shopfitting inbrief Waitrose has said it plans to open at least 10 new shops in the North West in the next five years. The retailer said it aimed to spend £100m on new sites in the region, including a £35m distribution centre in Chorley, Lancashire, to open in 2012. The company currently has eight stores in the region. ● Food hall operator and hamper company Lewis & Cooper has chosen catering specialist Penny Wood to run its new outlet in Harrogate, which was due to open as FFD went to press. Wood, who already lives in the North Yorkshire spa town and has a background in foodservice, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the new site at 23 Parliament Street in Harrogate‘s Montpellier Quarter.

Frédéric Gayral of importer QST is pictured (above centre) collecting the World Champion trophy from Guild of Fine Food director Bob Farrand (right) and BBC food correspondent Nigel Barden, who hosted the final judging at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham

Dairy ingredients and equipment supplier Jongia is holding a dairy seminar on March 6 next year, which will include a visit to farmhouse cheese-maker Simon Weaver and the Ludlow Food Centre. Talks on natural rennet and how to use the internet to boost business are also planned.

France snatches back the crown in close-run World Cheese Awards By MICK WHITWORTH

France reclaimed the World Cheese Awards top trophy from Britain on November 23 when a 10-month sheep’s milk Ossau Iraty from farmhouse producer Fromagerie Agour was named World Champion. The artisan cheese-maker, which took the top title with the same variety in 2006, narrowly beat last year’s World Champion, Philip Stansfield’s Cornish Blue, into second place. Third place went to a limited edition Cognac BellaVitano from Sartori Cheese in Wisconsin, USA – a semi-hard cheese aged for 12 months then steeped in cognac for 7-10 days. More than 2,700 cheeses were entered in to this The three producers will develop sales through their existing customer base and supply larger customers, while Dart Valley Foods will be responsible for distributing the products to smaller independents with sales and packing assistance from Remploy – an organisation that works to train and provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The range

year’s awards, which, for the second year, were staged alongside the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. More than 200 international judges spent a morning reducing the entries to just 55 ‘SuperGold’ winners before this was whittled down again to a shortlist of just 16 cheeses. These were put before a final judging panel of international experts including Whole Foods Market global cheese buyer Cathy Strange, South African dairy product developer Suzy O’Regan of Woolworths Foods, and leading Australian speciality cheese judge Ian Roberton of Meribel Fine Foods. • Full coverage - next issue.

is also being sold directly through a dedicated website. A spokesperson for the NFWI told FFD that surveys and focus groups conducted with the public before the launch found that people were very receptive to the brand. “However, we purposefully launched what may be considered smaller-scale – through independent stores and online – in order to

keep risk to a minimum,” she added. “The NFWI expects that the brand will initially take a little time to establish itself, but is quietly confident that the WI Foods range will achieve its potential. Based on the public’s response the NFWI will consider all avenues for the progression of the brand.”

● Slow Food’s Carlo Petrini has called for a return to small-scale food production as part of the movement’s campaign for reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. In a document titled Towards a New Common Agricultural Policy, Slow Food has outlined a number of concerns and proposals for the next EU policy document, due in 2014.

Mottram-based The Artisan Meat Company has launched a farm shop in Cheshire. Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer opened Didsbury Farm Shop last month, which sells the company’s 28-day aged beef. ● Lawson’s Delicatessen in Aldeburgh has won the Best Delicatessen award in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi won the Great Cheese & Pickle Sandwich Challenge, staged at this year’s World Cheese Awards, with their goats’ cheese, watercress, beetroot & damson chutney combination. Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011

If I’d known news then what I know now…

Campaigners dispute supermarket claims on jobs and ‘cheap food’

Debbie Priestley, West Country Cheese Co, Barnstaple, North Devon I moved to Devon from Oxford because I wanted a better standard of life. I was working for a direct marketing company, but decided to give it all up to take over the cheese shop in Barnstaple. That was four years ago and I’ve learned an awful lot in that time. Barnstaple is still up and coming. It’s not an affluent area, so it can be a bit of a slog. We’re fortunate that we have the tourist trade in the summer, but we have to make the most of it. If I were to do it all over again, I would look at locations in wealthier areas like Dartmouth or Totnes, but the rents would be higher. Next time, I’d look for premises with a kitchen and café, and a better lay-out. Our shop is long and thin, which makes displaying products tricky, and a café would be useful for increasing turnover and reducing wastage. In the past year we’ve started making takeaway products like quiches, pies and sausage rolls with a small oven, which have been really popular, but it would be good to have the space to do more.

“We do a lot more window displays now. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to sales” Farmers’ markets and food festivals are quite good in terms of cashflow and keeping the business ticking over in the winter. We did the Dartmouth Food Festival recently, which was definitely worthwhile. It’s long hours – you’ve got to prep the day before and get up early and finish late – but these different revenue streams are good for the business. We doubled the size of the shop two years ago by knocking though into next door. Cheese is still the main focus – we stock around 120 cheeses, with 70% from the West Country – but the expansion allowed us to stock other products that appeal to tourists – fudge, scrumpy and local beers and wines. I’ve learned who my customers are as I’ve gone along. I didn’t have a food background apart from enjoying cooking, so it was good to have a small shop to begin with and then to grow with it. We’ve spent a lot of time moving products around and changing the layout as we’ve learned what our customers like. Loose products like cheese and charcuterie are popular. People like being served and talking to staff. We do a lot more window displays now as well. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to sales. I haven’t quite got the work-life balance right just yet. I put in a huge amount of effort. It’s six days a week then one day worrying about it, but I’m working on that, trying to take more days off and give myself a holiday now and then. It’s good to step back from the business and get some perspective. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN


March 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 2

Llandeilo independents fight Sainsbury’s plan


A Carmarthenshire deli owner is part of a group of local businesses fighting to stop Sainsbury's opening a 27,000 sq ft supermarket on the edge of their small town. Catherine Jones of Olive Branch said that if the supermarket was built, Llandeilo’s independent retailers would struggle to survive. The town is currently home to three butchers, an organic greengrocer, a florist and kitchenware store, among others. She is part of a group called Save Llandeilo's Future (SLF), which has been set up by locals including brewer Simon Buckley. It also includes representatives from the Transition Town network, who work to reduce climate change and dependence on oil. “Llandeilo prides itself on being almost wholly an independent retailers’ shopping experience. Naturally, I am concerned about the effects such a development may have on my fledgling business, especially in these tough economic times,” said Jones, who opened the deli in 2010. Sainsbury’s is currently waiting to hear whether its planning application will be accepted, with a decision due in December. In the meantime, SLF is drawing up a petition and has voiced its criticisms on BBC Wales. It also submitted objections to the planning authorities and spoke

against the development at an open meeting in October. “People hear that Sainsbury’s is going to create 270 jobs in the town, but what they don’t realise is that most of these will be part-time positions either stocking shelves or sitting at the tills. The management positions will be filled by Sainsbury’s own people and the construction work is also usually carried out by outside contractors,” said Jones. “People also think Sainsbury’s means cheap food compared to the small Co-op store we have, but we’ve done price comparisons and this is not the case.”

Catherine Jones: concerned about the effects of Sainsbury’s plan on her fledgling business


Bendix aims to ‘do a Ludlow’ in West Sussex By PATRICK McGUIGAN

A baker who founded and managed some of Britain’s best known artisanal bakery companies is hoping to turn Petworth in West Sussex into the next Ludlow after setting up a deli and café there. Troels Bendix, a Dane who founded London’s Breads Etcetera chain and managed organic business The Celtic Bakers, opened the Hungry Guest food shop last month after the launching a café earlier in the year. The store houses a butcher’s counter, walk-in cheese room and extensive selection of artisan breads and homemade products, which are

Troels Bendix: ‘Ludlow has become a foodie destination, and if they can do it, so can we’

made in the company’s bakery and production kitchen near Chichester. This will also wholesale baked goods to other retailers and restaurants in the region, while Bendix’s backers also own a restaurant in Petworth called The Leconfield. “Ludlow has become a foodie destination and if they can do it, so can we,” said Bendix. “There are very few chain shops here and lots of excellent independents – I believe there is strength in numbers.” The town is also home to a large collection of antique shops and the National Trust’s Petworth House, which brings in a steady flow of tourists. Bendix has lived in Petworth for five years and previously made the long commute to The Celtic Bakers in Wood Green, North London, each day. “I couldn’t go on travelling two hours there and two hours back each day, so it made sense to do something in my home town,” he said. “The three parts of the business work well together. We can take whole carcasses at the butchers and if prime cuts aren’t sold they can be used in the café and the restaurant. The braising cuts can be used to make ready-meals at the production premises.”




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Second Hand Food Production Equipment Available Due to upgrading and expansion works at Atkins and Potts we have some excellent food production equipment for sale. All with manuals and service history. • F ully automatic Riggs twin head depositor line complete with 2.5M stainless steel conveyor, transfer pump, gating system, guards and control box. 4 years old. Available from Q1 2012 • Joni 150 litre EasyMix kettle. Purchased 5 years ago. Available from Q1 2012 • Eurofil Gear Pump. Purchased 5 years ago, unused for last three years. Available now. • Two set of stainless steel sieves (one set unused); 1mm, 2.5mm and 5mm sieve sizes. Available now. • Adelphi pouch filler for filling stand up pouches (doy packs). 9 years old. Depositor not included. Available end of Q1 2011 • Sandpiper diaphragm pump. Purchased second-hand 5 years ago. Available now. Please contact Robert Young for pictures and further detail:

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Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011



December 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 10

news farm shops

Farm shop helps customers cut festive waste Hopetoun Farm Shop in Scotland is helping customers to calculate exactly how much they need for Christmas dinner in an effort to reduce wastage. According to the government's Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, around 23,000 tonnes of food worth around £275m are thrown way each year at Christmas – a statistic that has prompted the retailer to launch an initiative whereby staff have been specially trained to give advice to customers on cutting wastage. At the same time, the shop will also be highlighting the environmental benefits of buying locally reared turkeys and homegrown vegetables, which helps reduce food miles, while a pre-ordering service will enable shoppers to carefully plan what they need before they visit. “Sustainability and food provenance are at the heart of the Hopetoun Farm Shop offer so this sits comfortably with what we

aim to do – help shoppers make informed food choices,” said farm shop manager Elaine Shirley. “By offering a pre-ordering service as well as having welltrained knowledgeable staff on hand to guide shoppers on the right product and the correct quantities, we believe that we can create a shopping experience that is pleasurable rather than hurried and stressful.” According to Hopetoun, a 6lb turkey will feed four people comfortably, while customers are also being advised to reduce that amount further if they also plan to serving other meats such as ham. Staff will also pass on tips on what to do with leftovers, such as using old vegetables to make soup and bones to make stock. Located at the Hopetoun Estate just outside Edinburgh, the farm shop opened earlier this year and stocks food products that have been recognised in schemes such as the Great Taste Awards.

Hopetoun is advising shoppers not to over-buy and to make better use of left-overs


local food stores

Howard’s way: use social media to get intimate with customers

Craft centre location lets Martin dodge High St rents

The new owner of Blakeney Deli in north Norfolk is using social media and old-fashioned tastings to get closer to customers. Nick Howard, who was formerly the sales director of a multinational software company, took over the store from Rob Williams in October and has since launched a Facebook page and Twitter profile for the shop. Howard has also started running regular tastings in an effort to better understand his customers. “The most important thing we can do as a delicatessen is to know our customers,” he said. “We’re not a general store or a sandwich shop; we’re a specialist deli and having that intimacy with our customers is very important. I’m taking decisions on which products to stock on behalf of my

A new local food store near Lowestoft is avoiding the high rents and lack of parking associated with high street locations by opening in an arts and crafts centre populated by like-minded independents. Located at the Henstead Arts and Crafts Centre, Nourish has been set up by former travel industry executive Jayne Martin, selling locally sourced products. It joins other businesses at the destination including a café, pottery painting business, jewellery workshop and furniture restoration company. “I looked at high street sites, but the rents were astronomical – £30k a year in some cases – and parking was always an issue,” said Martin. “At the arts and crafts centre rents are much more reasonable, parking is excellent and there

Blakeney Deli: knowing customers is ‘the most important thing’

customers, so I need to get to know them and they need to know what we’re about.” Howard is also looking to increase the catering side of the business, targeting events such as weddings and parties. “The shop is the main focus, but anything we can do to develop other revenue streams all helps.”

are lots of different reasons for people to visit. We’re also only a few hundred yards from the A12. It’s just a much more relaxing, enjoyable shopping experience.” Among the local products sold in the shop are ice cream from nearby Valley Farm, cakes from Angel Rose bakery and free-range eggs from a farm in Wrentham. The centre, which contains 10 units, was opened in 2007, after several redundant farm buildings were converted. “I could have opened in Southwold and I’m sure the shop would have been mobbed, but the overheads would have been so high that I'm not sure I would have made that much more profit,” said Martin. “This is a much more pleasurable place to do business.” Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


news delicatessens

Taste of the Med for Wotton-under-Edge A new deli in Gloucestershire is bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to residents in Wotton-under-Edge, but is managing to do so by sourcing many of its products from local suppliers. Wild boar salami, extra virgin oil and authentic French bread are just some of the products on sale in Cicada Deli. But rather than being made on the Continent, they are supplied by British producers. Set up by former solicitor Kirsten Pratt and her partner Joe Compton, the shop sources its French breads from La Parisienne in Tewkesbury, which uses French flour, while the salami comes from the Real Boar Company in the Cotswolds and the oil is of the rapeseed variety. At the same time, the shop also stocks a wide range of foods from the Continent including Greek olive oil, Spanish Iberico ham and French cheeses, such as Vacherin,

Munster and Reblochon. “It's about giving customers a choice,” said Pratt. “They can choose between European and British products, so for example, we stock brie and a Welsh cheese that is a bit like brie, called Perl Wen.” Pratt said the idea for the Mediterranean theme came from long holidays in the South of France, Spain and Italy. It also gives the shop a point of difference compared to farm shops. “We have a farm shop nearby and can't compete directly with them because they have so much more space. Farm shops have so many different angles now from coffee shops to garden centres and areas to pet the pigs, plus you can buy your fruit and vegetables. They have become destinations. Going head to head with a farm shop would be suicide. The Mediterranean theme sets us apart.”

Peckham’s restyled unit in Aberdeen’s Union Square is one of eight bought back by Tony Johnston’s new company

Peckham’s owner buys eight stores out of administration Scottish deli chain Peckham’s has been bought out of administration by its former owner Tony Johnston with eight shops continuing to trade under the brand. Set up by Johnston in 1982, Peckham’s retail business ran into financial difficulties in July, resulting in the sale of three of its shops, while the rest of the chain went into administration. Around 30 of the company's 170 staff were made redundant at the time. Administrators blamed the situation on “a number of financial setbacks” and tough trading conditions on the high street, but managed to keep the remaining 11 Peckham’s shops open while they looked for a buyer. A new company, Peckham’s V & V Limited, set up by Johnston, took over the business in September and a further three outlets have been closed. “After twenty nine years of trading we had become a well known brand synonymous with quality, innovation and standards for 10

December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

which there will always be a demand regardless of the recession,” Johnston told FFD. “My motivation to continue on was due to the overwhelming messages and gestures of support from customers and suppliers alike. Six branches were closed in total to allow a more stream lined operation.” Fraser Gray, a partner at administrator Zolfo Cooper, said: “We are pleased to have been able to secure the sale of this well established business, securing a good return for creditors and in doing so protecting the jobs of those employed there.” Peckham’s has grown rapidly in recent years, acquiring four former McLeish Brothers stores out of administration in 2009 and launching a store refurbishment programme, starting with its new outlet in Union Square, Aberdeen. The company's shops are spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Kirsten Pratt and Joe Compton: Mediterranean theme

River Cottage pick-up scheme could work in other regions, says distributor Retailers and restaurants around the country have been urged to replicate an innovative distribution scheme that has been set up by River Cottage in conjunction with its suppliers. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new River Cottage Canteen & Deli in Plymouth is working with its fruit and veg supplier Tamar View Fruiterers to make it easier for small food producers in the region to deliver their products. Tamar has around 20 vans on the road each day across Devon and Cornwall and has agreed to pick up deliveries for River Cottage on it rounds enabling small-scale producers to supply the restaurant and shop. “Distribution is often difficult for

smaller companies and our vans are already passing their doors anyway. It’s easy enough for us to pick up small deliveries of things like eggs and even meat in cool boxes, bring them back to the warehouse and add them to River Cottage’s order from us,” Tamar MD David Barrett told FFD. “It’s something that could easily be set up elsewhere in the country. It just requires companies to co-operate and work together.” Joe Draper, head chef at the Plymouth Canteen, said: “Tamar View can collect from lots of small producers, thereby reducing the number of vans on the road to Plymouth, this helps sustainability and is something we want to support.” Royal William Yard where River Cottage’s new outlet is based

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   ★ *Red Tractor assured Dorset Piddle Brewery Porter                  

    

        

     


            

Tobago’s first Single Estate Chocolate made entirely from Trinitario Cocoa Bean to Bar! Nestled in the green hills of Roxborough and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Tobago Cocoa Estate immerses the visitor in the unique farming and culinary cultures of Trinidad & Tobago, islands considered to be the “birthplace” of the Trinitario bean. The Estate combines a heritage park with traditional cultivation techniques that have been adapted to preserve this sensitive tropi­ cal environment in a responsible and sustainable way. Our chocolates are 70% cocoa and available in 5 gram squares, 50 gram bars, 100 gram bars and 1000 gram coverture. All our products are made in collaboration with artisan French Chocolatier Francois Pralus. We are seeking UK distributors, for samples and prices please contact Duane Dove at or +46 708 11 59 27, +868 788 3971.

Tobago Cocoa Estate W.I. Ltd • 62 Fort Street, Scarborough • Tobago, West Indies

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HAVE A GRUMPY YULE Organic Grumpy Yule in packs and tins Our special Grumpy Yule Christmas Blend, a must for the festive season, is now available in 250g gift tins and 227g soft packs. The bittersweet notes of our dark roasted Organic Grumpy Yule entwine with the velvety body and long lasting aftertaste - the perfect coffee to compliment your Christmas dinner and celebration. The screw top gift tin has been designed to keep your coffee fresh for longer. • 250g gift tin available in ground coffee only • 227g packs available as beans or ground coffee

The Roastery, Bent Ley Industrial Estate, Holmfirth, HD9 4EP.

Tel: 01484 855500 Email:


December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Letter from Farrington’s

news true taste awards

Baravelli’s deli triumphs in Welsh True Taste finals By MICHAEL LANE

Deli owners Emma and Mark Baravelli collected the Product of the Year title at this year’s Wales the True Taste Awards with their lemon marmalade with Brecon Welsh gin.The couple, who run The Little Deli in Llandudno, also took the gold medal in the jams, marmalade & honey category, sponsored by Fine Food Digest. Baravelli’s raspberry ripple ice cream also won gold in the ice cream (small producer) category, while its vanilla salted caramel took bronze in the confectionary section. The winners of the other two speciality food categories – again sponsored by FFD – were The Anglesey Sea Salt Company, whose Welsh oak-smoked Halen Môn salt took gold in the

condiments, sauces & chutney section, and Harvies, whose mince pies also took gold. Ultracomida, which has delis in Aberystwyth and Narberth, topped the deli/speciality store category while Leonardo’s Delicatessen, in Ruthin, won silver and Bradleys Deli, in Benllech on Anglesey, took bronze. Llwynhelyg Farm Shop, in Ceredigion, won the gold medal in the direct sales category (for conventional shops, rather than online stores) with Cwmcerring Farm Shop taking silver and Hawarden Estate Farm Shop taking bronze. Llwynhelyg and Hawarden Estate also took first and second place respectively in the local sourcing initiative category. Mark and Emma Baravelli, with FFD editor Mick Whitworth (left)


Bermondsey Seven back to Borough By PATRICK MCGUIGAN

Most of the traders, known as the Bermondsey Seven, who were dramatically evicted from Borough Market earlier this year for operating at nearby foodie destination Maltby Street are now back at the market. Six of the seven that were thrown out have regained stalls at Borough over the past two months. This follows a management shake-up, which saw the market's controversial MD Glenis Reagon and chairman Peter Wilkinson leave. The pair were at the heart of the decision to evict seven traders from the market during the summer – a move that generated huge coverage in the national newspapers. The traders, which include Borough Cheese Co, Kappacasein, The Ham & Cheese Co, Maison Mons, Rennet & Press and Käseswiss, have since successfully reapplied for their pitches at Borough.

Keith Davis, Borough’s new MD, said: “As with all those who make successful applications to trade at the Market, our focus is always to provide our customers with the best and widest range of exceptional British and international produce.”

Kappacasein's raclette and cheese toastie stall back at Borough Market

Revamping the Somerset farm shop’s own-brand design has kicked up more challenges than expected, says PAUL CASTLE After six months of hard work, our own-brand labelling and packaging revamp has finally happened, and the changeover has proved that nothing worthwhile is ever simple. The jar labels and ready-meal bands have been created by Mark Greenham’s team at Mendip Print Solutions near Bath, with product descriptions being printed through a labelling programme running alongside LCCS’s eureka software ( Designing the ready-meal packs took several months, with a number of looks being put in front of our team and customers. Our packers gave feedback too, providing practical advice on the best way to secure the bands and ingredient labels. The result, we feel, is a much smarter, cleaner-looking product. The jar labels were much more emotive, and we went backwards and forwards to Mendip Print with changes and ideas, but Mark’s experience kept us on track. A short print run was completed then reviewed, resulting in an improved version 2.

“The ready-meal packaging took several months and involved a number of different styles” Formatting the label content was a real eye-opener and having the support from LCCS is fantastic. We now have new labels for shelf-edge, fruit and veg, delicatessen, butchery and promotional talkers, all sporting our brand logo along with clear product information. Jar labels are now printed with full ingredient listings, giving customers the reassurance of quality without losing a home-made feel. With ‘cow print’ tamper seals to finish the job we thought were ready to start in-house printing – but no, we still had to ensure that all the print fields that go onto the labels, taken from Eureka, are accurate. That’s still throwing up issues but is really tidying up the system information along the way. If you’re thinking of doing a similar task my tips are: l Decide what you want to achieve by the change l Find someone to help you with the designs l Review your production costs l Understand how you may be more efficient l Test your assumptions with others l Do not rush into the decision l Try to use your existing systems l Launch with a bang l Keep reviewing progress, sales and margins l Make timely adjustments • Paul Castle is business manager at the awardwinning Farrington’s Farm Shop near Bristol and provides consultancy services to other farm retailers. Email: Vol.12 Issue 3 · April 2011



Playing the long game He’s got the corporate suit and a CV spanning Savoy hotels and Moët & Chandon. But Ludlow Food Centre’s new boss is also an ex-deli owner and, he tells MICK WHITWORTH, an out-and-out foodie.


t took the Earl of Plymouth Estates six months to recruit a successor to Sandy Boyd as MD of Ludlow Food Centre, the pioneering Shropshire farm shop he created. So it’s no surprise that, barely two months into his job, new boss Edward Berry isn’t rushing to announce any major shake-ups. He has been in post a mere eight days when I roll up to see him in mid-October, and points out that the run-up to Christmas is hardly the best moment for “a radical change”. “It’s still early days,” he tells me, “but I’m undertaking a long term review of all aspects of this business.” Bespectacled and besuited, Berry looks more City gent than farm shop retailer. But his credentials are impeccable, with a ground-up management training with the Savoy Group in London and Paris followed by many years at the top end of the wine trade. He worked with Krug and Moet & Chandon, and says his best times were his 12 years with New Zealand winemaker Cloudy Bay, part of the LVMH luxury goods group, where he became international marketing manager. He left Cloudy Bay in 2003 – “Like everyone, I wanted to do my own thing,” he says – and set up a deli-café operation, Armadillo, in west London with partner Victoria Bishop. They majored on quality coffee, earning a name-check from The Times as one of the country’s top coffee spots. Armadillo opened just as ‘provenance’ was coming to the fore, so its owners sought out lines with good back-stories. They produced their own ready-meals and aimed to raise the bar for deli-café food to tempt in trade from neighbouring businesses. “Even though cafés were getting more creative,” says Berry, “their food was still pretty bland. To make a café work in the business community you’ve got to get people in every day, morning, lunchtime and evening.” By 2008 they had opened a second retail unit, in Wiltshire, and developed an artisan ice-cream parlour and wholesale business too. But Berry says: “We reached the stage where we either had to hand Armadillo on to other people or sell. So we sold.” While his partner focused on her new Armadillo Coffee Co wholesale business, Berry joined speciality tea brand Newby, initially as marketing director and

latterly chief executive officer. Starting in September 2009, he was there just two years – a suspiciously short tenure by his standards. So why leave so soon? “Quite simple,” he says firmly. “It was the fact that this job was here. I read the ad and thought: this is too good to be true. Anyone who knows me will know that passion for food is tattooed on the back of my neck.” The reason for Boyd’s sudden departure from Ludlow in March was never put on the record by either party. He had arrived at the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakley Park Estate at Bromfield, just outside Ludlow, in 2004, with a background including stints with Chatsworth Estate and the National Trust. The operation he developed at Ludlow, which opened in 2007, was widely regarded as ground-breaking. The food centre combines a high-end farm shop, not just with a restaurant and function space but eight on-site production units overlooking the shop, creating products like cheese, ready-meals and preserves, often using ingredients from the estate. With a few exceptions, these units are run by the food centre itself, although one unit is made available to other start-up producers. The cheese unit currently makes eight varieties, selling to Ludlow’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Mr Underhills, and a few other trade clients. And the jams & preserves operation topped the World Marmalade Championships this year with its threefruit marmalade. The Ludlow model has since been mimicked to varying degrees by other farm shop and estate operators – not least Boyd himself. He is currently working on a Welsh Food Centre due to open early next year on the Bodnant Estate in North Wales, owned by Michael McLaren QC. Ludlow’s management has been fulsome in crediting Boyd for his achievements, with marketing manager Tom Hunt telling FFD: “Sandy did a great job in setting this up. It’s a testament to him.” From March until Berry’s arrival in October, Boyd’s key lieutenants, including Hunt and food buyer Reuben Crouch, ran the centre day-to-day. “It was deemed that between myself, Reuben and our financial controller there was no need to panic,” says Hunt, “and there was a lot of discussion about what we wanted the new person to do. Sandy was very

“Anyone who knows me will know that passion for food is tattooed on the back of my neck” 14

December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

edward berry much a hands-on farm shop pioneer. The next thing was: how do we get the most out of it? How do we continue to give customers something new? How do you keep it fresh for employees and everyone else?” These are the questions now facing Berry, who was chosen partly for his likely fit with a business owned by landed gentry. “Because the Ludlow Food Centre is in family hands, and the family have a long-term view of what they want to do, they wanted someone who understands that,” he says. Berry is currently re-appraising every aspect of an operation that he says is really a mix of different businesses: manufacturing (driven by the meat and other ingredients coming from the estate), the retail foodhall and the 60-cover café. “And then other spaces, where we would like to have other businesses that have synergy. For example, we’ve got a plant centre coming in soon.” Each section, he says, is being assessed for its contribution to the business and commercial viability. He wants to make more efficient use of the artisan units, sharing production time with outside producers where the Food Centre itself is not using a unit all day, every day. And he says there are “other things we can reconfigure in due course”. Having built his own ice cream operation at Armadillo, for example, he sees scope to do more with the food centre’s ices, which currently tick over as part the cheese/dairy operation. “I’d like to see more ideas from our readymeals too,” he says. “The recipes are good but we need to push the boundaries a bit more.” More significant, perhaps, is the suggestion Ludlow might build more trade sales for its own products, with cheese, coffee, jams and pickles all seen as having potential. “The question is whether we can pick up the brand and take it elsewhere. I don’t think ‘Ludlow Food Centre’ as a name will sit onshelf in another food shop. But let’s look at something that’s synonymous with the four counties [Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Powys, from which the centre draws 80% of its stock] and encompasses everything we have as a business, like ‘heritage’ and ‘artisan’.” Of course, the burning question is whether Ludlow Food Centre is profitable – or even capable of being profitable. Other retailers who, on spying missions, have weighed the size of the foodhall against the number of cars parked outside have told FFD it cannot possibly be making money, and the published accounts suggest well over £1m in losses since startup – although the centre had almost reached breakeven last year. So is this a vanity project – as is often said of Lady Bamford’s Daylesford Organic? Berry says it’s impossible for outsiders to guess at Ludlow’s performance because so much of what’s sold in the shop is made in-house using the estate’s own produce. But he also says it has achieved a profit in every month of the current financial year. Getting Ludlow into the black was always going to take a while, he adds, because there was no stately home on-site to provide instant footfall. But Berry says the pleasure of working there is that its owners are taking the long view. “Why does someone build a business like this? It’s either to bring in money to pay the bills; it’s to build something you can sell – the ‘big exit’; it’s ego; or it’s to make the land you own work for you and build something for the next generation. And this is about a family working its land.” Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


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deli of the month

Arcade gambler

Gary Anderson: ‘The more I’ve seen what customers want, the more high-end I’ve gone’

Opened last year in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, Anderson & Hill is a foodie treasure. But with the revamped Bullring shifting the city’s centre of gravity, is it also a high-stakes gamble?


t began with a message to Gary Anderson from his mate Matthew Hill, of Italian food and wine importer Ceci Hill, late in 2009. Hill was wandering round Birmingham’s popular preChristmas German market and texted: “Why are there no delis in Birmingham city centre?” According to Anderson, whose background is cheffing and front-of-house work in the pub trade: “The only place to buy cheese back then was Rackhams [a House of Fraser store]. The Selfridges here is not a patch on the London one. So we decided there and then we were going to open a deli in the city centre, and in January 2010 we started looking for premises.” The business they opened – named Anderson & Hill, but run day-to-day by Anderson alone – is in the Great Western Arcade, slap in the centre of Birmingham’s business district on Colmore Row. The Victorian Grade II-listed indoor shopping arcade is now sadly buried inside a slab of modern shops and offices and easily missed from the street if you’re looking for an obvious Victorian frontage. But once inside you step back into a calmer world of dark timber shopfronts and chequerboard

Interview by MICK WHITWORTH floors, where Anderson & Hill shares space with the likes of artisan chocolate maker Chouchoute Chocolaterie and speciality French baker and patisserie The Bread Collection The small, square deli is an absolute gem, with a limited but nonetheless intriguing selection of Continental and local specialities on the ambient shelves, as well as a well-kept and clearly well-loved cheese selection, supplied largely by Carron Lodge and, for local cheeses, B&S Dairies. The range includes Montgomery’s cheddar, three types of pecorino and Ireland’s Gubbeen (“one of my desert island cheeses,” says Anderson) as well as regionals like Martin Moyden’s 24-month gouda-style Wrekin White and two of Sarah Hampton’s brilliant new Brock Hall Farm goats’ cheeses from Shropshire: Dutch Mistress and Capra Nouveau. There are also a few “under the counter” products, like Barkham Blue – “I can only get one a week”. And Anderson wholesales several cheeses, like Oxford Isis and Lightwood Chaser, to his small band of catering customers – Michelin-starred Glynn Purnell, for example, and his girlfriend’s French restaurant. “So we’ve always got Comte, Brie de Meaux, camembert and fourme d’ambert.” Despite its ownership structure, just 10-15% of the shop’s range come from Ceci Hill, which focuses mainly on bulk lines for foodservice. Delicioso supplies most of Anderson & Hill’s Spanish foods, while Italian products come through Carnevale, Bedford Continental and Speciality Food Traders. House of Westphalia supplies some meats, while coffee is packed for the deli by Cherizena. For local or regional lines, Anderson had hoped to use Heart Distribution, the one-shop-stop instigated by regional food group Heart of England Fine Foods and now run by Spar wholesaler A.F.Blakemore as a service for regional producers. “In principle it’s a great idea: it’s a £100 minimum order and you can buy from 40 or 50 different suppliers. But when I rang up about three weeks before we opened, they said it would take two to three weeks to open an account, and they wouldn’t take BACS payment or credit card. Instead they suggested we try ringing each individual supplier. So we did – and not one refused to sell to us. Now we buy direct from people like Pimhill, Wenlock spring water, Mike’s Homemade and What A Pickle. “I gather Heart are more accommodating now, but it annoyed me at the time. Now I just use their catalogue as a starting point for finding local things.” Anderson & Hill’s range was “quite conservative to begin with,” he says, “but the more I’ve seen what customers want, the more high-end I’ve gone. One of our most recent things is Wild

The Grade II-listed Great Western Arcade Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


deli of the month

Ethiopian Kaffa Forest Coffee – that’s new, and nearly half the stock has gone.” Maldon sea salt is about the only supermarket product you’ll find on-shelf here – which is sensible, given the Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local out on the main street and the new-concept Little Waitrose set to open soon in One Colmore Row. “We’re never going to replace someone’s weekly food shop: we’re ancillary to it,” Anderson says. “We opened with about half the stock we have now. There was a fair degree of Italian stuff, but we’ve extended it since we realised just how many Italians there are in Birmingham. And we’re also getting people from Argentina, were getting Peruvians, Croatians…” It’s a Tuesday in November when I visit Anderson & Hill with FFD’s Michael Lane. When we pop our heads round the door at around 1.30pm, Anderson is frantically making sandwiches, and with three or four customers waiting the limited floorspace is effectively full. When we return at 2.30pm it’s down to a steady trickle of trade that continues all afternoon, with a mix of sandwich buyers and, later, folks picking up a good supper: typically a pot or two of fresh pork & veal ravioli, an Italian-made pasta sauce, some Parmesan and a bottle of wine. What you can’t help noticing is that Gary Anderson is working this shop on his own. “The reason,” he says, “is that it’s not as lucrative as we thought it might be. Whether that’s the times we’re living in, I don’t know.” Sales are “bubbling along at about £2,000 a week”, he says, which is above breakeven but not enough to justify employing staff on the current model. The young business faces a number of issues: a high turnover of tenants that discourages regular customers; the tensions of trying to run a ‘proper’ full-service deli while also needing to capture the quick in-and-out lunchtime sandwich trade; and also the general lack of footfall in the arcade. “We’re lucky with the way the rent has been negotiated because it’s going up incrementally,” Anderson says, “so we won’t be paying the full rent for five years. But it’s a battle to get people to know we’re here – in fact, because it’s Grade II listed, it was a battle even to get a sign put up outside.” There has been some “moaning and groaning” about the deals being offered by landlord Aviva Investors to fill empty units in the short term, such 18

December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10


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as three-month lets on a nominal £1 rent. While some of the newcomers have turned into permanent tenants, Anderson says, others clearly have no intention of staying. “Which is not good for the rest of us. You don’t want customers coming in and seeing the names constantly changing.” There is also a feeling Birmingham’s centre of gravity may be shifting since the once-hideous Bullring shopping and leisure complex was redeveloped with over 160 shops and restaurants. It now styles itself as at “the very heart of the UK’s second city”. “I’ve only got a year’s experience,” says Anderson, “but there’s a feeling that the city centre is moving since the Bullring came along.” It’s the shop’s erratic trading pattern that Anderson finds unnerving. “We do see this as a treat shop, so people tend to spend more towards the end of the week, and one person [making a big purchase] can change your day. But it’s the uncertainty factor. There might be a bit of a queue at lunchtime, but that’s only three or four people, and I can’t serve them any quicker because, you’ll have noticed, I slice everything freshly myself.” He and Hill wanted to avoid turning the deli into a sandwich shop, with sarnies ready prepared, “but it might come to that”. He continues: “This is true for everyone, but we do need a good Christmas. And there’s that feeling at the moment: are people going to be spending? I think this Christmas is going to be a weird one.” December 23 last year was the shop’s single biggest trading day, as customers piled in for Christmas cheeses. “I sold my body weight in Stilton during Christmas week and took more on December 23 than I usually take in a week. That’s the frustrating thing about being quiet the rest of the year.” Gary Anderson is an active Tweeter, and has picked up good coverage from local food bloggers as well as a full-page article and front cover photo in the Birmingham Post. But he says word of mouth is the best advert – “the slowest, but the best”. Spending an hour or two in the shop, it’s noticeable what a good rapport he has with customers. They clearly trust his foodie judgement. One regular, a Belgian chef who works locally, pops in for a sandwich, lets Anderson choose the filling, then stays to eat it and chat before ordering a second. “For a lot of chefs here in Birmingham, this is heaven,” he tells me, then points to a jar of La Phare du Cap Bon harissa paste. “Look at that – that’s the real stuff, and you can’t get it anywhere else round here. And you can relax here – in other shops, they don’t even speak to you.” It’s the kind of word-of-mouth recommendation that Anderson & Hill deserves to hear more of. @andersonandhill

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December 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 10


putting deli ingredients to work



hese days every deli worth its salt is busy baking and braising in the kitchen to meet the country’s insatiable hunger for homemade comfort food. From cakes and sausage rolls to pies and casseroles, freshly prepared takeaway food has hit a chord with shoppers seeking foodie solace from the doom and gloom of economic upheaval. Raoul’s in West London’s Maida Vale is no exception. Owner Geraldine Leventis’s homemade chicken and vegetable soup – surely the ultimate in comfort food – is wildly popular both in her restaurant and as a takeaway product in her deli over the road. Not that this is anything new to Leventis. She has been soothing the souls of Londoners with her chicken soup since 1985. This is when she took over the run-down café in Maida Vale and started serving dishes she had long cooked for friends at home. That one of these friends was artist Francis Bacon gives you some idea of the circles Leventis moves in. Married to Greek artist Michael Leventis and with houses in South Africa and Greece, including an olive farm that keeps the deli stocked with olive oil, Leventis admits she was a “bored housewife”. “We didn’t have a proper kitchen in the original café so I used to make dishes at home that we could warm up in the cafe. Chicken and veg soup was the first thing I made and we still sell it today,” she says. The company now includes the original, much expanded bistro and the deli opposite, plus a restaurant in Notting Hill and a newly opened restaurant and deli in Hammersmith Grove. It’s not just soup from the restaurant menu that is available to take away in the shops. Freshly made pasta sauces, salads and ready-meals are all sold under Raoul’s own brand. “We do a lot of pies,” she adds. “I’ve sourced some inexpensive


Geraldine Leventis Raoul’s Deli, Maida Vale, London Avgolemono Soup The recipe for Geraldine Leventis’s iconic chicken soup is understandably top secret, but this Greek lemon soup, inspired by her time in Greece, is also popular and brings a taste of sunshine during the winter. Ingredients 1 whole chicken, about 3.5 lbs 12 cups water 2 carrots cut in half 2 celery stalks, cut in half 1 large onion, peeled and cut in half 2 bay leaves 5 whole black peppercorns 2 tsp salt ½ cup rice 3 eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp fresh lemon zest Juice of two lemons, strained Salt and pepper Method Add the first eight ingredients to a large stockpot. Bring the water to a rapid boil, lower heat to medium low and simmer partially covered for approximately 1-1½ hours.

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a bowl and carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Return the strained broth to the stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook, uncovered for approximately 10-12 minutes until tender. While the rice is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk beat the eggs until nice and frothy. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a steady stream while continuing to whisk. When the rice has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about two cups of broth into a bowl. Slowly add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling. Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat for approximately 5-10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil the soup once the eggs have been added. Cut up the chicken meat in small pieces and add to the soup.

earthenware dishes, which are included with the pie so that customers can serve it directly on the table. They can then bring the dishes back and we refund them £1.20. People save them up and come back with 10 or 20 at a time.” The relationship between the restaurant and deli goes both ways. The made-to-order smoothies, for example, were first introduced in the deli but have become so popular they are now on the bistro menu. “I don’t know why other delis don’t do them. They’re so easy and tasty. We started with one called Berry Nice with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and Chegworth Valley apple juice, and now do lots of different flavours, including vegetable blends. It works really well with our fruit and veg counter in the shop.” Historically, cakes and savouries were bought in but this is starting to change with the team now producing bread and butter pudding, tiramisu and polenta and orange cake. “We used to buy sausage rolls from Ginger Pig, which I adore. They’re really big, like a meal in themselves. We sold lots but they became so expensive – we were charging £7 each for them – that I thought ‘this is crazy’. So the team got together, we organised the meat and the mixture and started making them ourselves.” Leventis no longer works in the kitchen, but still devises recipes and taste tests dishes on a regular basis as she flits between the three locations. This includes sampling her own famous chicken soup. Maintaining standards is vital when it comes to comforting the locals of Maida Vale.

Geraldine Leventis: soothing the souls of Londoners with chicken soup since 1985

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Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011



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cheese wire Cumbria’s Martin Gott says a lack of understanding is creating an ‘offensive caricature’ of washed rind varieties

Cheesemongers turn washed rind cheeses into a ‘joke’ By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Too many cheesemongers are treating washed rind cheeses as the “joke” of the counter because of a lack of understanding. That's the view of Cumbria-based cheesemaker and retailer Martin Gott, who has just developed a new unpasteurised washed rind cheese called Brother David, which joins his long-standing washed rind ewes' milk cheese St James. “All too often washed rind cheeses are seen as caricature cheeses - 'come and try this, it will blow your socks off' - but washed rind cheeses shouldn't be offensive and they shouldn't be the joke in the shop,” he said. “There's a lack of understanding about the flavour of washed rind cheeses and how they should be handled among wholesalers and cheesemongers. They have

St James: Gott’s established ewes’ milk cheese

been slow to embrace them, but a washed rind cheese should be on any British cheeseboard. Consumers are more sophisticated than retailers give them credit for.” Gott showcases a wide range of washed rind options in his shop, Cartmel Cheeses, stocking up to a dozen different styles, including Munster, Cardo, Stinking Bishop, Adrahan, plus his own cheeses. “We have the full spectrum and if it’s not up to the mark we don’t stock it – and that includes our own cheeses,” he said. “We opened the shop 18 months ago in an area where there weren't any cheese shops. You might think people would not understand about washed rind cheeses, but it's these that are selling really well.” He added: “We're now looking at locations for a second shop in Lancaster or Keswick.” The cheese-making business is based at Holker Farm, where Gotty and his partner Nicola Robinson have around 180 Lacaune sheep and produce around 4.5 tonnes of the St James cheese each summer. The new Brother David is made with milk from four newly bought Shorthorn cows to fill production during the winter months when sheep’s milk is not available. Washed in water every day while it matures over five weeks, the cheese has a smoky ham and long milky notes, said Gott. “It’s somewhere between a Langres and a Munster, but has its own distinct characteristics,” he said. Both cheeses are sold through Cartmel Cheeses and Neal's Yard.

Continental makers seek UK distributors Two cheese-makers from the Continent are seeking UK distributors for their semi-hard cheeses. Portuguese dairy co-operative Lactaçores wants to export a cheese made on the island of São Jorge in the Azores. The product, matured for at least four months, has a hard or semi-hard paste and is made using traditional methods on several of the island’s farms. Meanwhile, Austrian cheese-maker Vorarlberg Milch – a Super-Gold winner at the 2010 World Cheese Awards with its rind-washed Ländle Mostkäse – needs a UK distributor for its new cheese coloured with saffron. Ländle Safrankäse, made with Alpine cows’ milk, has an intense yellow colour from treatment of its rind with saffron water and threads.

Lactaçores markets São Jorge from the Azores

le grand fromage BOB FARRAND I first tasted Camembert de Normandie in 1964, when working as a hotel waiter during the summer holidays. The Rev Black Hawkins, a mildly eccentric retired C of E vicar, offered me a morsel. Like the Major in Fawlty Towers, he lived at the hotel. Each Friday, he took cheese for lunch, often expressing greater concern for who made it than any impending meeting with his own maker. For me, it was hardly love at first taste. It was wonderfully creamy, but with too many earthy, farmyard flavours – even a hint of cow poo – for a lad reared on farmhouse cheddar. The good reverend soon converted me and when Normandy’s finest contribution to cheese acquired an AOC in 1983, I became an enthusiastic supporter of schemes designed to protect proper cheese. Today, I have my doubts. A report in The Times suggests dairy giants are threatening the survival of Camembert de Normandie and only nine producers of the genuine PDO (Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) article remain in business. These dedicated traditionalists use unpasteurised milk from grass-fed Normandy cows and hand ladle (moulé a la mouche) five separate fillings of curds and whey into each mould. Deliberately confusing labels on mass-produced camemberts suggest they are also ‘fabriqué en Normandie’ but in reality, the milk and a much of the

“Across Europe, just 8% of consumers recognise the PDO symbol. In the UK it’s under 5%.” production often takes place outside the region. One of the last eight Camembert de Normandie producers, Patrick Mercier, is now threatening legal action in an attempt to prohibit the sale of muttondressed-as-lamb ‘Normandie Camembert’. The PDO scheme was created to prevent this happening but a report from the European Court of Auditors suggests it’s failing miserably. Across Europe, just 8% of consumers recognise the PDO symbol and in the UK it’s under 5%. Worse still, some cheeses are sold as PDO accredited when they’re not. Are we surprised or simply immune to the unworkable schemes dreamt up by over-paid Brussels bureaucrats? A €16.2 million fund has been allocated to promote PDO foods, but producer groups applying for a slice get zilch unless they’re able to demonstrate a substantial cost-benefit ratio. In other words, unless you have a high value product with wide consumer appeal, don’t bother. Our French neighbours are, however, rarely stuck for le bon mot when comparing good food with bad. “Real Camembert,” claims M Mercier, “is much creamier and deeper in colour because of the grass the cows graze and there is an enormous difference in taste between the two. You eat one for nutrition and the other for pleasure.” Brussels bureaucrats should spare a little of their €16.2m to fund M Mercier’s fight for survival. • FFD publisher Bob Farrand is chairman of the UK Cheese Guild Vol.7 Issue 1 · January 2006


cheese wire Cote Hill goes red in pursuit of sales growth By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Lincolnshire-based cheese producer Cote Hill Farm has developed a new semi-hard cheese and a washed rind version as part of a plan to double turnover. The company, which was founded in 2005 by Michael and Mary Davenport, plans to significantly increase turnover after expanding its production facilities in Osgodby. A new 500-litre vat has been installed at the site, doubling the company’s capacity, and the couple’s son Joe Davenport has joined his mother in the cheese production side of the business. As part of the project Joe has also developed Cote Hill Red, an unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese that is wrapped in a semi-permeable red plastic

coating and matured for two months. A washed rind version called Cote Hill Reserve is also in development. The cheese joins Cote Hill Blue and Cote Hill Yellow, which are made with morning milk from the family’s 70-strong herd of Red Poll and Friesians. “In 2010 Mary was at maximum capacity, producing nine tonnes of cheese a year,” said Michael Davenport. “As Mary was the only person making cheese, this was a potential weakness for the business. “Our cheese output using 20% of our milk made a profit but not the 80% sold wholesale so it made sense to expand. “With very good regional distribution we are now looking to take our cheeses further afield and have had enquiries from Scotland.”

Family business: the Davenports are looking for distribution outside their region

Pushing all the right buttons Sussex-based High Weald Dairy's new sheep’s milk cheese is specifically designed for restaurant cheeseboards. The new Little Sussex variety is based on the company’s fresh, soft Sussex Slipcote, but is matured for an extra 10 days. During this time the white bloomy rind develops further and gives a richer flavour, according to owners Sarah and Mark Hardy, who are based near Horsted Keynes. The new cheese is made in 100g ‘buttons’ to reduce wastage on restaurant cheeseboards. It also fits well into the company’s new Great Sussex Cheese Slate, which can be delivered anywhere in the UK.


December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Wing’s Blackdown Hill Cheese Co operates from a converted barn

Local cider helps Somerset’s Julie Wing take flight By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Washed rind cheeses made with local scrumpy are top of the agenda for a new Somerset cheesemaker, who has just started production near Taunton. Julie Wing has set up The Blackdown Hills Cheese Co on her 50-acre farm using milk from a neighbouring farm. The new company is due to start producing trial batches of cows’ milk cheeses this month, including one washed in local cider and a soft white. “It’s early days yet, but from speaking to wholesalers there seems to be big demand for good quality washed rind cheeses,” said Wing. “We’ll probably start making pasteurised cheeses, but in the longer term I'd be keen

to use unpasteurised milk and traditional animal rennet.” She added: “There are a lot of cheese-makers in the South West, but there aren’t a huge number in our part of Somerset.” Blackdown Hills’ cheese production premises are housed in a converted barn on the farm and operate with a 200-litre vat. Wing trained with Chris Ashby at Reaseheath College earlier this year and is booked to attend the washed rind course at the School of Artisan Food. Once the initial product range is decided, full production is expected to begin early in 2012. “We’re keen to supply delis and farm shops and have had talks with national wholesalers who seem interested,” said Wing.

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Robust and hearty cheeses for winter STEVE SMITH dreams of an open fire, a glass of red wine and some 'Massif' flavours.


ccording to my wife, I’m a bit of a pyromaniac. As soon as I sense the first chill of Autumn, the winter jacket is on the barbeque and I issue instructions to call the chimney sweep. I can’t wait to light the first open fire of winter. There is nothing quite like snuggling around a blazing fire with a glass of red wine and some good hearty cheeses. Blue cheeses immediately come to mind as this is the time when Stilton comes into its own. I still favour Colston Bassett with its mellow yet well balanced, complex flavours and creamy texture although its close neighbour, Cropwell Bishop gives it a good run for its money. But this time of the year is such a great time to re-discover the delights of Roquefort, whether you prefer the sharp, slightly salty varieties such as Papillion Black Label or the creamier, milder Revelation (also from Papillion). Either way, the distinctive flavours of this ancient cheese shine through like a welcome beacon on a cold, dark night. This year, you must try one or two winter specials from our Artisan list. We have two superb farmhouse unpasteurised cows’ milk blue cheeses, Blue d’Auvergne and Fourme d’Ambert, both marry wonderfully with a good Bordeaux. These two cheeses deserve more prominence in the UK as they are very special and have only declined in popularity over

the last 10 years because almost all those on offer in this country are factory made cheeses that simply don’t have the same depth of character. I urge you to try two of the mountain cheeses from our Artisan list this winter, the Abondance and Tome de Bauges. Abondance AOP has been made since the 14th century by the Monks of Abondance Abbey in the Haut Savoie using a traditional recipe that’s been passed down over the generations. This hard-pressed unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese matures for three months in humid cellars developing its characteristic dappled rind and supple, velvety texture and complex flavours offering a hint of hazelnuts in the finish. Tome de Bauges AOP is rarely seen in the UK and in fact, wasn’t even available outside the region where it is produced until the late 18th century. This amazing cheese from the Savoie – Vercors is made using the unpasteurised milk of herds grazing the Massif des Bauges. The rugged looking flora covered rind is a result of five months maturation in a very humid cellar and encases a meaty rich curd with Massif flavour (did you see what I did there?) and just has to be tasted. Don’t forget, all these feature on our Artisan list but need to be pre ordered... although they’re well worth the wait.

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December 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 10

product update

cakes & puddings

Sweet temptation Comfort and luxury come first, but as LYNDA SEARBY finds, there’s room for seasonality and quirkier ingredients in the cakes & puds market. Beetroot chocolate cake, anyone?

l Using in-season produce is a big plus point. Tapping into this trend is the Gloucestershire-based Pudding Club (left) with two seasonal recipes for winter 2011-12. Both the baked plum & almond pudding and apple, blackberry & cinnamon crumble are said to contain over 30% fruit and only ‘store cupboard’ ingredients.

l Providing a modern twist on the traditional steamed pudding is Derbyshire’s I Love Puddings Co, with its raspberry & white chocolate pudding. Available since July in 140g and 240g basins, with RRPs of £2 and £3.75, the butter sponge puddings are topped with raspberries sweetened with white chocolate. They have a three-week shelf life when refrigerated or can be frozen. Company founder Diane Barnes says her steamed puddings are easily warmed in the microwave, making them perfect for customers wanting a quick and easy, no-preparation warm dessert.

l Glenilen Farm has created its own version of the Italian classic panna cotta, by combining yogurt with vanilla flavoured cream and layering the mixture onto a tart raspberry jelly. The Irish producer has also launched a Chocolate Pot – a chocolate cream made from 55% cocoa chocolate, cream and yoghurt, which sits atop raspberry jelly. Vanilla panna cotta and chocolate & raspberry pot are available through Marigold Healthfoods, W4 and Fife Creamery. The RRP is £3.99 for a 2x110g twin pack.

Crumbs... it’s Christmas Most retailers will have done their Christmas ordering months ago, but for those who’ve left things till the last minute, here’s a quick round-up of some of the Christmas puddings and cakes on offer. Cole’s Traditional Foods has launched its Three Luxury Pudding Selection for the festive period. The cellophane wrapped gift pack (RRP

£7.99) contains Cole’s Light & Fruity Christmas pudding (110g), chocolate fudge steamed pudding (80g) and Champagne Christmas pudding (110g). New from the Carved Angel for Christmas 2011 are the double chocolate cherry pudding with Kirsch, luxury Christmas cake and My Mini Christmas cake. Both cakes are fruitbased with a layer of marzipan and icing. The larger cake is designed to be cut into 20 slices and retails at £20, while the smaller one serves 1-2 and retails at £7.50. The pudding comes in three sizes: 340g (RRP £10), 680g (RRP £15) and 1650g (RRP £25). Also retailing at £25 is Cottage Delight’s Celebration Cake. Described as a “rich hand-baked brandy, fruit & nut drizzle cake packed full of fruits”, the cake comes complete with a scalloped edge earthenware cake

stand. A trade case of two cakes is available at £31.60. On the puddings side, Cottage Delight has created a 12-months matured Christmas pudding. Laced with brandy, rum and port, the pudding is presented in a ribboned gift box. Dorset baker Honeybuns says it has devised the ‘perfect Christmas stocking filler’ in its new Tea Party in a Purse. Retailing around £5.95, the gift format comprises two mini Honeybuns cakes,

two bags of Dorset Tea and a paper doily, all presented in a handmade natural linen purse. Customers can choose between purses containing two cranberry & pecan flapjacks (90-day shelf life) or, for a gluten-free option, two milk chocolate brownies (21-day shelf life).

Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


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December 2011 路 Vol.12 Issue 10

upmarket snacks cakes & puddings

product update l While some cake makers are playing safe with old fashioned favourites, Ayrshire’s Dessert Depot is pushing the boundaries with more unusual cakes. New for 2011 are the OGM! ChocaMocha Triple Stack cake with Irish cream frosting and chocolate coated popping candy on top, Cinder Toffee Crunch cake and strawberry meringue cake. The Dessert Depot has also launched a new venture, the Handmade Cheesecake Company. Since October, the company has been making cheesecakes in quirky and funky flavours, such as Irn Bru, Blue Cloud, Limoncello, Pina Colada and Choc Fudge Profiterole, for parties and functions. It plans to start supplying wholesalers too.

l Honeyrose Bakery is targeting food intolerance sufferers with a new range of gluten-free, organic tin loaf cakes, macaroons and brownies. Its lime macaroons come in a 125g carton containing five individually wrapped macaroons (RRP £2.69); walnut brownies come in a 150g carton containing six individually wrapped brownies (RRP £2.95); carrot cake retails at £3.29 for a 300g loaf; and banana cake retails at £3.39 for a 300g loaf. All are wrapped in biodegradable film, and 5% of profits go to charity. www.

l Sherborne’s Puddings & Pies has fused elements of ginger cake and sticky toffee pudding to create a ‘Sticky Ginger Cake’. The company’s Edward Cunningham describes it as “lighter with a fluffier texture than a traditional sticky toffee pudding”. He says he eats it with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a spoonful of double cream but that his wife eats hers with a slice of white Stilton. The retail price is around £6 for a 500g cake.

l In October, West Sussex-based Ginger’s Kitchen branched out into desserts, with a range of puddings in Panibois (bakeable wooden dishes). Sticky toffee & date pudding with salted caramel, Hedgerow Crumble, caramelised orange, syrup & polenta pudding and mulled wine-poached pear & frangipane pudding are all designed to be heated in either the oven or microwave and eaten by two people. They have an RRP of £5.95.

l Penrith producer Country Puddings has launched two new crumbles: Rhubarb Crumble and Bramley Apple Crumble. “Both are firm favourites, and it was due to receiving several requests for crumbles that we listened to what our customers were wanting and worked on some recipes,” says MD Lynne Mallinson. Made with an all butter oat crumble, the puddings come in packs (2x120g) with a RRP of £3.

Top five trends in cakes and puds Delis should stock some lines that tap into these consumer trends, as identified by those in the know Old fashioned comfort Old school puddings like jam roly poly, suet pudding and treacle sponge are back on the menu in restaurants and on the pages of consumer food magazines. “There seems to be a return to comfort foods. I’ve noticed more and more recipes using suet and lots of recipes for old fashioned puddings in magazines,” says Jill Brand, Women's Institute food expert (and author of The WI Book of Cakes and The WI Book of Biscuits). And as Sam Ronsen Nash, food buyer for Fortnum & Mason, confirms, this trend is filtering through to the high street. “Fortnum’s have always sold very traditional puddings and each year we have seen these sales grow. Our King George pudding in a ceramic basin is very traditional and one of our more popular lines made with beef suet.”

Seasonality Including seasonal produce in recipes is a trend that’s swept all food categories in recent years, and cakes and puddings are no exception. “Seasonality was a big thing in the ’70s, but it went away in the ’80s and ’90s, and now it’s back again,” says Jill Brand. The upshot of this is that the humble crumble has come back into fashion. Country Puddings, Cook and the Pudding Club have all launched crumbles this year. Vegetable cakes Five years ago it seemed carrot cake had been consigned to the history books and it was unheard of to include vegetables in cake mixes. Now, Nigella is baking courgette cake, Nell Nelson has introduced the beetroot chocolate cake, and people can’t seem to get enough of cakes with vegetables

like squash, courgette, parsnip and beetroot. Carrot cake seems to be making a comeback too, according to Jill Brand. “I think it is a health thing,” she says, “Plus nowadays they often have much lighter toppings.” Jumping on the vegetable cake barrow are Petit Pois Cakes, The Cake Root Company and Appleby Bakery. Back to basics “As a nation we’re rediscovering something that’s been in our blood for centuries, and that is just how delightful and rewarding good quality home baking can be,” says Tarek Malouf, founder of The Hummingbird Bakery in London. Renewed interest in home baking may be due in part to the recession, but also relates to another big food trend – ‘cooking from scratch’, which has evolved as a counter trend to

prepared foods and ready-meals. “I think there is generally a trend towards consumers wanting to feel they’ve done something – however small, to assuage the guilt of buying prepared foods,” says James Rutter, head of brand with producer Cook. Cook is tapping into this trend with a new range of bake-at-home puddings. “By baking them at home, you get a lovely smell like you do with home baking,” says Rutter. Cup cake revival People are turning away from giant American style muffins in favour of dainty, often exquisitely iced cup cakes. “The last few years have seen a great cup cake revival,” confirms Cottage Delight’s commercial manager Cherie Semper, and Jill Brand says: “On the show bench we’re seeing traditional fairy cakes rather than muffins.” Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


product update

cakes & puddings

l Puddings don’t have to be toffee flavoured to be sticky, according to the Cotswold Pudding Co. It has created a range of six ‘sticky’ puddings: toffee, chocolate, ginger, chocolate & orange, toffee & pecan and lemon. They are available in two sizes – 250g and 500g – and retail from £3 to £4.95.

l The addition of vegetables to cakes – a concept which used to be confined to carrot cakes – has caught on with consumers and chefs. Now Cumbria’s Appleby Bakery has developed a parsnip & cranberry cake for retail. The loaf cake is made from freshly grated local parsnips, dried cranberries and walnuts, and topped with fresh orange cream cheese frosting. RRP is £3.79 for a 512g loaf.

l Cottage Delight has extended its range of loaf tin cakes with two new additions. Fruited tea bread taps into the current nostalgia for traditional favourites. It contains real English breakfast tea, sultanas and spices and retails at £3.25. Great Taste Award winning lemon & poppy seed sponge cake was described by the judges as being “light as air and wonderfully moist” and having “just the right balance of zingy lemon zest and unique poppy seed texture in every mouthful”. It retails at £2.95.

l Originally only available in sharing sizes, Cartmel Village Shop’s puddings now come in single servings too. These include jam sponge, syrup sponge, sticky toffee apple crumble and lemon drizzle pudding, all of which retail between £1.40 and £1.80. The Cumbrian producerretailer is also hoping to capitalise on the retro revival with the launch of its Black Forest Pudding. The 500g pud retails at £5.25-£5.95.

l October saw the launch of a range of bake-at-home puds for the freezer from producer and retailer Cook. In the five-strong range old favourites sticky toffee pudding, apple strudel and Bramley apple & blackcurrant crumble sit alongside more contemporary offerings cranberry & orange sponge and chocolate & pear fondant pudding. All the puddings serve six and retail between £6.99 and £7.99.

How to be a happy vegan: eat happy cakes HILARY ARMSTRONG meets the vegan bakers who’re turning their café operation into a retail brand Lisa Stockton and Ellie Pennington formed Happy Kitchen in 2008 to demonstrate that – contrary to popular belief – it’s possible to eat vegan and environmentallysound food that actually tastes good. They started out with vague plans to do some catering, festivals and markets, but quickly discovered their baked goods were “the easiest way to start a conversation about vegan food”. “You can get anyone to try a cake,” says Stockton. These days, Happy Kitchen is billed as London’s “only organic, artisan, glutenfree, dairy-free, sugar-free and egg-free bakery”, with production based in a railway arch in trendy Hackney and a new café a few arches down. The aim is to follow artisan bread baker Gail’s and roll out across London. At the same time, the owners want to grow the Happy Kitchen packaged range (currently four flavours of brownie, distributed by themselves and Marigold 32

December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Health Foods). Cookies and flapjacks will come next, while shorter shelf life goods will be available exclusively at Happy Kitchen’s café. The two strands to the business are mutually beneficial, says Stockton, and customers at “the gluten free haven” that is the café can find the products elsewhere (in health food shops and delis in the South and, from February, on Eurostar). All the ingredients used in the cakes can also be bought in bulk in-store by home bakers, from rice flour used in place of wheat, to fruit juice concentrates (instead of sugar) and butter substitutes, coconut and olive oil (“They keep cakes moist and soft and have a good flavour”). Perhaps surprisingly, Stockton (herself a coeliac disease sufferer) doesn’t see their success solely in the free-from market. Citing Innocent as an inspiration, the former project manager at ethical water

brand Belu says: “We really want our brand to be taken on by the mainstream. We want people to buy our cakes because they taste nice and because they like the brand, not because they’re vegan or gluten-free.” She believes the brand’s green credentials are as strong a selling point as the ‘free from’ angle with trade customers, but recognises that glutenfree in particular is a big growth area with regular consumers as more and more families face up to food allergies, intolerances and the twin threats of diabetes and obesity. What probably isn’t on the agenda for Happy Kitchen right now, however, is anything too ‘virtuous’. Energy bars (in spite of interest from an investor) are unlikely to appear. “We like stuff that’s naughty and normally terribly bad for you,” chuckles Stockton.

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December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10


Your 2012 product search starts in Glasgow Information for visitors Venue: Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Finnieston, Glasgow How do I get there? Glasgow is served by Prestwick and Glasgow International Airports, with frequent connections by train from Prestwick to Glasgow Central Station, or 20 minutes by taxi from Glasgow International Airport. From Glasgow Central rail station, travel west on the low level to the SECC (5 mins journey). For drivers the SECC is well signposted from all directions. Leave the M8 at junction 19. How do I register for tickets? Entry is FREE for any food retailers, caterers or producers but they must register online at:

The SECC again hosts the first fine food buying event of the New Year


ith around 120 exhibitors expected, Scotland’s Speciality Food Show will once again provide a great opportunity for stores to refresh their ranges before the new year gets into its stride. Over 75% of the stands have now been booked for the show, which runs from January 22-24 at the SECC in Glasgow. Organiser Springboard Events anticipates as many as 1,000 retailers and buyers visiting

New for 2012 Cream O’Galloway Cream O’Galloway – maker of the UK’s only organic Fairtrade ice cream – will be unveiling its new honeycomb choc chip ice cream. The firm will be running a special offer of four cases for the price of three across its range. Campbells Fudge Tablet specialist Campbells Fudge is exhibiting for the first time at SSFS and will be launching its 2012 range at the show. The flavours of crumbly fudge it is launching include vanilla, lemon, coconut, raspberry, gingerbread, crunchy peanut butter, malt whisky and Glayva.

over the course of the event, which features a host of first-time exhibitors and product debuts. Among the newcomers to Scotland are Ayr chocolate producers Chocolati, The Fine Cheese Co, South American food importer Soods Fine Foods, Campbell’s Fudge from Biggar and Yum Yum Tree Fudge from Suffolk. As with previous years the show will run in conjunction with Scotland’s Trade Fair, which the organisers think will benefit both

exhibitors and visitors. Springboard Events’ Mark Saunders said: “Hosting Scotland’s Trade Fair and Scotland’s Speciality Food Show together allows visitors to cross over between the two markets. “Many retailers stock both gifts and food so exhibitors in both shows benefit hugely from this combined event. In total, some 5,000 exhibitors will visit both shows, making them a key date in the independent gift and food retailing calendar.”

Ecobags Ecobags will be launching its fully bespoke reusable “cool” insulated bags, which are made to fit products exactly and keep them fresher for longer. It is is also supplying the show bags for visitors to SSFS.

Fudge Kitchen Fudge Kitchen is debuting a hand-made gourmet butter fudge at the show. The producer’s recently launched Drinking Fudge, an alternative to luxury hot chocolate, and its home fudge-making kit will also feature on its stand.

Northern Ireland Naturally Northern Ireland Naturally will showcase more than 100 products from the region, including Great Taste Awards supreme champion McCartney’s of Moira and its corned beef.

Trotter’s Independent Condiments Fife-based Trotter’s Independent Condiments is launching two new products: Scottish Honey Mustard and Uncle Allan’s Chutney. The chutney is made from dates, sultanas, apples and onions and is matured in malt vinegar instead of cooking.

launching a raspberry-infused version of its award-winning Edinburgh Gin. Tilquhillie Fine Foods Tilquihillie Fine Foods will be launching a range of gluten-free flapjacks at SSFS 2012, including the newest maple syrup Tillyjack, with cashew nuts and cranberries.

Spencerfield Spirit Co Spencerfield Spirit company – producer of Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip whiskies – will be at the show Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


Reids Bakery was started by Donald Reid in 1963 Today sons Graeme and Gary use time honoured handcrafted baking methods while striving to develop fresh new ideas. Their staff provide a friendly professional service. In 2009 Reids of Caithness launched a new biscuit and loaf cakes range, using the finest ingredients combined with traditional recipes allowed us to create a wide variety of premium quality products. Included in the collection is a great Scottish favourite, All Butter Shortbread, Oaties, a sweet Oat biscuit with a variety of flavours, including Maple & Pecan, Stem Ginger and Banoffee. Reids are pleased to have won a number of awards. The Guild of Fine Food have granted gold stars to several of their products including Best Scottish Speciality Product of 2010 for their All Butter Shortbread. Reids export their products to China, Russia, UAE as well as Germany, Ireland, Romania & Sweden | 01355 576395

Reids Bakery (Thurso) Ltd., Riverside Place, Thurso, Scotland KW14 8BZ Contact: Gary Reid +44 (0) 1847 893574 Email: Web:

for food that sells 22 - 24 January, 2012, SECC, Glasgow

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Great Products

for Healthy Profits Scotland’s only show for the speciality food and drink market features 120 of the finest Scottish, British and International artisan producers. Hundreds of ranges will be on show offering you innovative products to tempt your customers in the year ahead. In addition free access to Scotland’s Trade Fair to source exciting gift items to complement your stock. To register for your free visitor badge, see a full list of exhibitors or for further information please visit: Scotland’s Speciality Food Show is organised by Springboard Events Ltd on behalf of Clarion Events Ltd. Email:


December · Vol.12 Issue1 251 SSFS Fine 2011 Food 141.5dx204.indd


31/10/11 12:30:38

upmarket snacks

showpreview What’s on show for 2011 Anthony Rowcliffe & Son FH54

Coffee Direct (Scotland) FH34

Galloway Lodge Preserves FH172

Isabella’s Preserves FH84

Arran Dairies FH66

Compass Spirits FH88

Gardiners of Scotland FH6

Laura’s Chocolates FH4

Atkins & Potts FH56

The Cress Company FH20

Glennans FH176

Link Print & Packaging FH8

Berry Good FH150

Little Doone Foods FH7

Bizerba UK FH158

Love Leaf Tea FH58

Black Rose Food FH178

Cairn O’Mohr Country Wines FH162

Cream O’Galloway Dairy Company FH174 The Dalesman Group FH60

Gordon & Durward FH86

The Dessert Depot FH68

Gran Stead’s Ginger FH26

Ecobags FH72

Gray Retail FH106

Campbell’s Shortbread FH78

Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company FH116

GreenCity Wholefoods FH98

Celtic Confectionery & Fine Foods FH112

Ella Drinks/Bouvrage FH84

Cambus O’May Cheese Co FH49 Campbell’s Fudge FH44

Chocolati FH160 Cochrane Cottage Kitchen FH102

Supernature FH114 Taylor Freezer Scotland FH108 Tilquhillie Fine Foods FH84 Trotters Independent Condiments FH100

Scobie & Junor (Est 1919) FH48

Uncle Roy’s Comestible Concoctions FH52

Mackie’s of Scotland FH96

Blue Whole Blueberries FH36 Border Biscuits FH166

Scotweigh Scotweigh FH61 FH61 www.scotweigh. www.scotweigh.

The Fine Cheese Co FH80 Fudge Kitchen FH73

New for 2012

GreenCity Wholefoods Scottish fine food wholesaler GreenCity will be revealing its latest lines such as Godminster cheeses, chutney and biscuits as well as showcasing Belvoir drinks and the Oban Chocolate Company.

Guild of Fine Food FH154 Hider Food Imports FH152 Insurance Management Group FH180

Norman Pendred & Co / Pentic FH104 Northern Ireland Naturally FH132 Ola Oils FH84 Patchwork Traditional Foods FH200 Perry Court Farm FH144

Silesia Grill Systems FH164 Soods Fine Foods FH184 Spencerfield Spirit Company FH76

Provence Direct FH124

St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company FH118

Reids of Caithness FH92

Stoats Porridge Bars FH30

Ross’s of Edinburgh FH74

Summer Harvest Oils FH46

Summer Harvest Oils The focal point of rapeseed oil specialist Summer Harvest Oils’ stand will be its newly launched garlic mayonnaise, which won a Great Taste Award earlier this year, and its classic mayonnaise. Yum Yum Tree Fudge This SSFS will be Yum Yum Tree’s first. The firm makes its fudge using British sugar grown in East Anglia and produces flavours such as lime & coconut, passion fruit, and Ecuadorian chilli chocolate, as well as a Madagascan vanilla fudge. Gardiners of Scotland Gardiners, a family company based in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, has an extensive range of hand-made

Une Normande a Londres FH146 www.unenormandealondres. Walkers Shortbread FH120 Your Piece Baking Company t/a New Alliance (Edinburgh) FH38 www.yourpiecebakingcompany. com Yum Yum Tree Fudge FH16

Little Doone Foods Little Doone Foods produces balsamic dressings in small batches. Its stand at SSFS 2012 will feature two new products: chilli extra strong balsamic dressing and smoked garlic sweet balsamic dressing. confectionery packaged in cartons and tins. These will be exhibited alongside its new The Broons and Oor Wullie tins. Compass Spirits Compass Spirits sources and supplies spirits and liqueurs to independent retailers across England, Wales and Scotland. It will be introducing the Fisselier range of liqueurs to the Scottish trade at the show.

Gran Stead’s Ginger Beverage producer Gran Stead’s Ginger is launching a Light & Fiery ginger wine at SSFS 2012. The East Sussex firm says the drink is “unashamedly fiery” and is targeted at those who love ginger. www. gransteadsginger. Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


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December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Fife’s only farmhouse cheesemakers Our cheese is hand-made on the farm, using unpasteurised milk from our own herd of home-bred Holstein-Friesian cows Anster – crumbly and full flavoured, with a lemony tang on the finish (Gold Award, Nantwich 2011; Silver Award, British Cheese Awards, 2011) Red Anster – fresh tasting and crumbly, with added garlic and chives St Andrews Farmhouse – aged for 9 months to give a well-rounded, creamy cheddar style (Silver Award – British Cheese Awards, 2011) Please call to find out more, or to place an order;

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A promotional feature for Guild of Fine Food

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


We produce an award winning range of oils & vinegars, available either on tap or ready to go. Our olives are stuffed, plain or marinated and we also roast spices, everything from Tagine to Dukkah to Harissa Chilli paste. Everything is made using natural ingredients, with no flavourings or colourings. THE DEAL: 50% off Glass Dispensers for our On Tap Oils & Vinegars throughout December and January when buying six oils and vinegars with refillable glassware. AVAILABILITY: Nationwide carriage paid on orders over £150. CONTACT: or tel: 01603 446522.


Dating back to 1794, we are Scotland’s oldest chocolate maker. Our range of boxed chocolates includes Chocolate Stem Ginger, Rose & Violet Creams, Deluxe Assortment, Chocolate Assorted Truffles and Chocolate Assorted Cream. We also have a large range of weigh-out chocolates for dedicated confectioners. THE DEAL: When you buy an outer of our boxed chocolates you will receive 3 free Ferguson’s Crown cotton bags. Each outer holds 6 individual boxes and minimum delivered order is 6 outers. AVAILABILITY: Nationwide: Minimum carriage paid order 6 outers of 6 CONTACT: Email:


We’re a family run company supplying high quality logo printed bags to independent businesses since 2003. Our innovative custom made insulated “cool” bags are made to your exact specification, and will keep products fresher for longer. Clients using these bags tell us they see an increase in customer spend levels because their purchases are kept in tip-top condition. You can see examples of these colourful “cool” bags by going to our online gallery to see examples: THE DEAL: 10% off any order up to 2,500 bags (minimum order only 250 bags) plus, free set-up, origination, 3-colour print (both sides) and delivery AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Debbie or Gavin - 0808 178 8822 / 01752 600367 Email:


We’re located in the heart of the Scottish salmonproducing region and get first choice of the best quality firm fleshed salmon for the best texture, quality and longer shelf life. Top quality Freedom Food accredited salmon are selected for smoking to ensure lower oil content and firmer fleshed salmon for easier slicing. We prepare the salmon using an organic spiced brine to give the smoked fish a subtle sweetness in the aftertaste, Retail packs available in 100g and 200g packs. THE DEAL: 10% discount plus two free jars of Seaweed Relish with every order over £200 AVAILABILITY: Nationwide - carriage paid on orders over £200. CONTACT: Email or call the smoke house on 01854 622353 or visit:





Seymours of Norfolk 50% off glass dispensers when buying six oils & vinegars 01603 446522 Summer Island Foods 10% off & two jars of Seaweed Relish 01854 622353 on orders over £200: Eco Bags 10% off up to 2,500 bags FREE set-up, 0808 178 8822/ origination, 3-colour print and delivery 01752 600367 J & A Ferguson 3 free Fergusons Crown cotton bags with each outer


RETAIL MEMBERS – To sign up to the retail promotion scheme contact: or ring her on 01963 824464 to ensure you receive your shelf-barkers to help promote these discounts instore. SUPPLIER MEMBERS – want to take part? Contact for more information Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011



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December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Source Fine food magazine-v2.indd 1

25/10/2011 15:43

focus on


What’s the catch? Selling fresh seafood successfully is tough but with more independents looking to try it, MICHAEL LANE explores the challenges they face


ome products are harder to stock than others and perhaps the most challenging of all is fresh fish. As well as its short shelf life, logistical difficulties, and strict storage requirements, there are now a number of ethical issues surrounding seafood. Despite being a business in itself, a small number of deli owners have successfully integrated fresh fish counters into their stores to the point that it becomes a key driver of footfall and sales. Fresh fish is a cornerstone of Thyme & Tides deli in Stockbridge, Hampshire, and its fishmonger’s counter often attracts new customers. “A lot of people come in saying ‘We’ve heard you sell good fresh fish’ and for many that would be their first experience of Thyme & Tides,” says owner Iain Hemming, who runs the business with his wife Sally. “Some come from 30 miles away because they have heard this. By the time they get here they want to

have a sit-down and a pastry [in its bistro].” Hemming says two things had to be in place for his fish offer to work. The first step was to employ a knowledgeable, experienced fishmonger – and Thyme & Tides’ fishmonger Ashley Major has more than 17 years under his belt. “Secondly, with most products we looked for an exit strategy – what we were going to do with the fish [that didn’t sell] at the end of the day,” he explains. “We would not have touched fish if we didn’t have the bistro.” The specials board in the bistro is often dictated by whatever the fishmonger feels he can no longer sell from his counter. Fish cakes,

sold to diners at £10 for two, are one of the most profitable ‘exit strategies’ for Thyme & Tides, often reaping a 500% return. “They are 100% fish. They will be trimmings off fillets, lovely prime bits of fish, but in effect they’re a by-product.” Kay Hunter, owner of Cockles Fine Foods, has no safety net for wastage as her deli in Lochgilphead, Argyll, does not have a ● ● ➔ Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


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Ritchieʼs of Rothesay is situated on the majestic Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. The traditional smokehouse has been in continuous operation since 1888, one of the oldest and finest smokehouses in Scotland.

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We smoke our cured salmon over oak shavings from Scotch Whisky casks in kilns that have been in use for over 100 years. Our smoked salmon is then sliced by hand to order so as to emphasise its rich and varied texture. This is why we are known both locally and internationally as producers of the highest quality smoked fish. Our salmon, with its unique flavour has kept loyal customers coming back for more year after year.

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December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

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Owner Iain Hemming says the model for Thyme & Tides would not work without the bistro to limit wastage from the fish counter

restaurant or café. During the week she sticks to a set range on her fish counter – haddock, salmon, smoked haddock, lemon sole, whiting and scallops – and promotes specials on a board outside the shop at weekends. “It can be a very, very dicey market,” she says. “It’s difficult – you need a crystal ball. I store the fish in as much ice as possible. Salmon has a very good shelf life as do kippers and smoked haddock. The scallops I get in have a date on them.” Over the years, Hunter says she has had very little wastage although admits to being caught out occasionally. She has also recently started making fish cakes, which have proved popular with customers, from any leftovers. Nowadays the practical issues are being joined by questions of provenance – and even ethics. Retailers are finding that people don’t just want to know when and where their fish was caught, but how. The recent Fish Fight campaign, spearheaded by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has highlighted huge wastage in commercial fishing

Cockles owner Kay Hunter sticks to a set range during the week and promotes specials on a board outside

and sustainability has become a buzzword. The campaign suggests a number of measures including only consuming line-caught fish and eating alternatives to mass-fished cod and haddock, such as pollock. Kay Hunter says that the campaign has had an effect on her customers’ demands but it is not yet a permanent one. “We had pollock for a week and it sold out and customers came back for more but I’ve not been asked for it in months. Whilst [FearnleyWhittingstall] was very much in the news, people were trying it, but they go back to their old ways again.” She adds: “I think the waste at sea is a disgrace. I won’t sell cod, but at the end of the day, I have a livelihood and if people are not going to buy pollock, I’m not going to stock it.” At Thyme & Tides, Iain Hemming’s bistro allows him to promote alternatives to the perennial best sellers cod and haddock. At its Fish and Chip Friday nights the bistro only serves whiting and gurnard, which are available six days a week from the fishmonger’s counter along with hake, pollock and mackerel. Despite this, Hemming says that he will not sacrifice customers seeking traditional types of fish and tries to ensure that they are either caught by line or on a day boat by his suppliers in Cornwall. “We run a business here. It’s about making profit. It doesn’t matter how sustainable you are if you’re not here next year. If people want cod we will supply it, but we have alternatives.” Although it does not concern every consumer, sustainability is firmly on the agenda. London’s famous Billingsgate Market has begun working with food industry consultants Mad For Food to increase the sustainable credentials of the fish that passes through it every day. Mad For Food managing director Kirsty Grieve says the goal is to educate merchants about sustainably caught fish and develop a checklist for the market to ensure that the fish is being sourced responsibly. The consultancy plans to carry out an audit of the seafood passing through the market and hopes to create more demand for alternative fish. Grieve warns that the movement to encourage consumer interest in by-catch (fish caught by accident) and alternatives to cod, could ultimately endanger those fish too. “Rather than hanging it up with sustainability it’s about being responsible,” she says.

Attack of the pre-packs One option for those looking to expand their offering without the challenges of fishmongery is prepacked fish. Some retailers are exploring this option, such as the Ludlow Food Centre, which has trialled pre-packed fish supplied by Cornwall’s Tregida. Tregida, which also runs a smokehouse, selects its fish from the market in Looe, prepares it and then seals it in gas-flushed trays before sending it off nationwide.

The business supplies between 30 and 40 retailers including Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market. Managing director Coralie Short says her products have all the benefits of fresh fish for the consumer without the difficulties of retailing fish from a counter, especially as it has twice the shelf life of wet fish. “There is no difference in the freshness [of wet and pre-packed fish]. We gas-flush it and that keeps it fresh for eight days,” she says.

“You don’t want it to drip all over the fridge. The packaging keeps it relatively clean for when customers want to use it.” Short adds that offering fish in this format can help independents in their ongoing battle for customers with multiples. “[Retailers] need to offer a full range. People want to buy everything under one roof. You’ve got to offer as much as possible or people will go elsewhere.” Thyme & Tides’ Hemming, who

stocks vacuum-packed fish on his fishmonger’s day off on Sunday, describes pre-packed fish as a “dangerous route”. He says that when consumers buy fresh fish they want it from a knowledgeable retailer. “The people who have lost out to us most in the area is Waitrose. [Customers] were going to the fish counter and buying fish but they weren’t getting the knowledge. It’s about the whole service, like buying meat from the butcher.” Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


product focus focus on


product update: seafood Ginger’s Kitchen’s latest creation is made with smoked coley, crème fraiche, parmesan and chives

l Ginger’s Kitchen has boosted its pre-packed fresh fish cake range with a smoked variety. The firm’s smoked fish cakes with crème fraiche, parmesan & chives are made with sustainably sourced coley and Maris Piper potatoes. Each 300g pack (wholesale £3.55, RRP £5.30) features two of these hand-made fish cakes packed in a wooden Panibois dish, ready to bake in the oven.

day-boats using an otter trawl and have been certified as sustainable after a rigorous 21-month assessment. The firm is looking to supply more deli restaurants as well as food halls. These small scallops are caught and landed on the same day and despatched, in temperature controlled packaging, in the evening for next day delivery.

l Fish4Ever is set to add skipjack tuna in certified organic olive oil to its canned eco-fish range. The pole- and line-caught tuna is supplied by the firm’s exclusive partner in the Azores. The 160g cans (wholesale price £1.46, RRP £1.95)

with honey & thyme (125g, RRP £5.05) are now available to retailers. Loch Duart’s flaky salmon is available in 150g and 300g packs retailing for £4.50 and £9 respectively.

l Island Seafare, based on the Isle of Man, supplies half-shell Manx Queenie scallops, which are suitable for retail from fish counters. The scallops are caught by Isle of Man registered

l In response to demand from independent retailers, Grimsby-based Chapman’s is launching a range of pre-packed frozen fish fillets in early 2012. The packs of cod, haddock, plaice, and smoked haddock will be individually priced by weight. The range may also include cod and haddock loins. The firm has also revamped the packaging of its frozen fish products, which now feature a card sleeve. It hopes that this will increase the chiller cabinet profile of its products such as its 115g packs of fish cakes (wholesale £2.65, RRP £3.99), which include fish & parsley, haddock & leek with cheddar cheese and hot smoked salmon & horseradish.

will be available from January in cases of 12 from distributors including Hider Foods, Tree of Life and Minton’s Good Food.

l Loch Duart’s Smokehouse, based on the Hebridean island of South Uist, has developed two salmon products to go alongside its oak roasted flaky salmon. Developed by a team of artisan smokers headed by Michael Leviseur, the firm’s oak smoked salmon (125g, RRP £5.60) and its Great Taste Award winning hot smoked salmon 44

December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10


Orderline: 01369 705 286 · email infO@argyllsmOkery.cOm HigHland aVenUe, sandBank, dUnOOn, argyll, Pa23 8Bl

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Award-winning Smoked Salmon, Fish and Meats from one of the country’s leading traditional smokehouses. Wholesale, Retail, Corporate and Mail Order.

EST INGREDIEN TS HE FIN us fishc akes USING T The Chapman Family have been involved in the seafish industry in Grimsby for over fifty years.


Over which time they have amassed invaluable knowledge especially with regards to recognizing and sourcing the best fish available.





Like many Grimsby housewives, the late Mavis Chapman had her own recipe for fishcakes using the fish that husband Terry would fetch from work.




Now, her sons Kevin and Paul have taken this recipe to produce a traditional fishcake, and using their mum’s principal of incorporating only the finest ingredients, they manufacture a range of fishcakes. Based in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Kevin and Paul have the pick of the fish from local producers and the pick of the crop of Maris Piper potatoes from local growers.

For further information contact:


telephone 01472 269871

The Weald Smokery, Mount Farm, Flimwell, East Sussex TN5 7QL Telephone: 01580 879601 Email:

Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011


RetailReady RetailReady is a two day course that will steer you through the minefield of opening and running a fine food store. The course is designed to equip managers of prospective, new or developing delis and farm shops with the business essentials of fine food and drink retailing. The next course takes place on March 13-14 2012. Visit for more details and an application form. Call us to find out more on 01963 824464.

No one should even ❝ consider entering any form of fine food retail without completing the Retail Ready course at The Guild of Fine Food. The two day course is brilliantly structured offering advice on every aspect of the business from insider experts and successful retailers. It gave me insight I was lacking, to feel fully confident about getting started.

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Parker Bowles: ‘Getting publicity is the easy bit’

who is also a partner in the Mr Trotter’s venture, the brand received “universally positive comments” during sampling at Selfridges, with 1,000 packets sold within five days at a price of £1.89. He said Mr Trotter’s would be looking for distributors to carry it into farm shops, garden centres and delis from January, when the exclusivity period with Selfridges ends. While all mainstream pork scratchings use Danish pork rind, Mr Trotter’s is made exclusively with British pork. It is also free from monosodium glutamate. Tom Parker Bowles told FFD: “There’s no way we’re going to say this is a healthy product, but it’s another selling point.” A shortage of suitable British rind means Mr Trotter’s is unlikely to go mainstream, he added. “At £1.89 it’s not really a Tesco product.” Neither Tom Parker Bowles nor Matthew Fort, a ‘Great British Menu’ judge, are pictured on-pack but their public profile should raise interest in the brand. Parker Bowles told FFD: “Matthew and I know we can get the publicity – that’s the easy bit. Getting people to buy it is the thing.” Distributors interested in Mr Trotter’s should email:



Patriotic chocs R


House of Dorchester has created a range of chocolates commemorating the Queen’s S U P LI E P diamond jubilee in 2012. The Dorsetbased chocolatier’s latest gift line features new Temple Island designs, approved by the Lord Chamberlain’s office. Crown praline chocolates come in 110g boxes (wholesale price £3.62, RRP £6.49) in cases of six and 125g acetate gift boxes (wholesale price £3.99, RRP £6.99) in cases of 12 units. Meanwhile, its Diamond Jubilee 85g fine milk chocolate bars (wholesale £1.37, RRP £2.35 per bar) are available in cases of 25 units. With tourist numbers set to rise with the London Olympics, the firm also suggests its range of British themed chocolates, toffees and jelly beans, which have been branded with a new Union Jack design. EDITE CR


Parker Bowles seeks route into delis after Selfridges launch Food writers Tom Parker Bowles and Matthew Fort are on the hunt for speciality food trade distributors after launching their Mr Trotter’s pork scratchings brand in Selfridges last month. Presented in a premium, foil-lined kraft paperlook bag and retailing at £1.89, Mr Trotter’s Great British Pork Crackling is “triple fried” for extra crunch in a new process developed with West Midlands manufacturer RayGray, one of the UK’s biggest scratchings makers. The brand went into Selfridges’ stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester initially on an exclusive deal, thanks to Parker Bowles’ friendship with the retailer’s food boss Ewan Venters. According to PR consultant Rupert Ponsonby,


products, packaging & promotions

Food writers’ premium pork scratchings stress ‘all British’ provenance





Looking for suppliers accredited by the Guild of Fine Food? Follow the logo

Cobnut champion Hurstwood unveils first English walnut oil By MICHAEL LANE

Hurstwood Farm will launch what it says is the first English walnut oil in December – and it has already sold 25% of its stock. The business, named 2010 Great Taste Awards Supreme Champion for its Kentish cobnut oil, will produce just 6,000 250ml bottles of walnut oil, pressed entirely from nuts grown on the farm near Sevenoaks. Each bottle will retail for £12.95 while trade cases of nine bottles are available for £72 plus the cost of delivery. “It’s more expensive than other nut oils but it’s more labour intensive because the nuts have to be hand-sorted,” said Hurstwood’s Catherine Robinson, adding: “We’re the only people in the UK, who commercially grow to harvest stage and the only people with cracking and drying equipment.”

Catherine Robinson: labour intensive process

Simmer sauces Heavenly Curry, founded earlier this year, offers a range of four cooking sauces based on Punjabi cooking from northern India. All of the simmer sauces – Tharkha, Jeera, Shahi, and Fiery Mirchi – come in 350g pouches with a wholesale price of £2.50 and retail at £3.50. The Kent-based firm makes all of its sauces, which are gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians, with produce and rapeseed oil sourced from England when possible. The minimum order is eight pouches and if more than 20 are ordered delivery is free.

Hurstwood tried pressing both kernel and shells but found this left the oil with a slight bitterness. Now the oil is made purely from kernels. “It’s the seventh or eighth year of the walnut crop,” Robinson said. “This year the flavours were smooth and round, without any bitterness. The walnut has a bit more body than cobnut oil. The flavour comes through to the end product and the nutty flavour stays even when it’s cooked at temperature.” Vol.12 Issue 12 December 2011


products, packaging & promotions


Organic food producer Rod and Ben’s has added a farmhouse vegetable soup and a smoked haddock chowder to its range of autumn and winter soups – available until May. The wheat- and gluten-free vegetable soup, developed with food writer Carole Handslip, is made from produce grown on Rod and Ben’s Devon farm. The chowder is made from haddock caught off the Cornish coast and smoked at the family-run Tregida smokehouse. Each 600g pot retails for £2.99-£3.25.

Karyatis has launched a “grab ‘n’ go” bag of its green pitted olives with chilli, which are available through Greek food importer and distributor Odysea. The Halkidiki olives – dressed with crushed chilli peppers, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs – are supplied on a clip-strip hanger for ease of display. Each 90g bag has a RRP of £1.20.

The Nut Free Chocolatier makes all of its chocolates using ingredients from certified allergen- and nut-

free suppliers. Products range from patterned lollypops (RRP £2.50), dipped and decorated marshmallows (RRP £2) to selection boxes (available in 125/250/375/500g) from RRP £5.50. It also offers an artisan range (375g/500g), which retails from £19. The firm’s range is currently available by mail order but it is looking for distributors and retailers to take on its products. www.thenutfreechocolatier.

Devon-based chocolatier Browne's is back in business after being rescued from administration by former Sharp’s Brewery owners Joe Keohane and Nick Baker. The firm is employing the same chocolatiers on the same premises in Okehampton but it has rebranded and added new products including its Truffle Pops. These decorated chocolate truffles on a stick come in four flavours – caramel, vanilla, strawberry and raspberry – and are supplied with a permanent display unit. Browne's can deliver nationwide via Fed Ex www. brownes.

The Original Candy Co. has expanded its Chocca Mocca range with three chocolate bars. White chocolate with real raspberry pieces, milk chocolate with caramelised hazelnuts, and dark chocolate with real orange pieces are all available in 85g bars. Shelf-

ready display trays contain 10 bars, which each have a cost price of £1.50 and an RRP of £2.95.

cookie mixes to its range. The Hampshire-based firm’s chocolate chip shortbread jar with Star Cutter (RRP £9.99) will make 25-30 starshaped pieces of shortbread. Meanwhile its catering packs will allow retailers to bake batches of cookies for resale. The catering packs come in three flavours – Belgian white chocolate and cranberry, Belgian triple chocolate chip, and Rainbow cookie mixes. Each pack (£8-£8.50) makes 30 single 60g cookies. Every order includes a free biscotti jar, signature ribbon and labels for display.

Foodservice cooking stock and gravy producer Essential Cuisine has launched a range of concentrated stocks for retail. The firm, which has supplied professional chefs for over 15 years, now offers 96g pots of beef, chicken, fish and vegetable stock as well as a

veal variety, which it calls the “king of stocks”. Each pot, making 6-8 litres of stock, retails at £3.95. www.homechef.


December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Queen’s pâté is a smooth smoked chicken and chicken liver pâté with ginger and orange. These Red Tractor Farm Assured pâtés are available in 1kg and 500g pots. www.

Jam on the Hill is now producing a chilli jam that was initially created for the Great Taste Awards. It went into full production after claiming a one-star gold award. The jam, which counts red chillies, red peppers and red wine vinegar among its ingredients, is available in 220g British glass jars (wholesale price £2 per jar) and is sold direct to the trade in cases of six.

The Rustique Pate Co – based at the Artisan Food Centre in Dorset – has

Seriously strong snacks Scottish firm Dean’s has S U P LI E P developed a range of cheese oat nibbles made with McLelland’s Seriously Strong cheddar. The extra mature cheddar, extra mature cheddar & chive, and extra mature cheddar & chilli nibbles all come in 150g cartons (RRP £2.49). The biscuit specialist says these snacks “capture the growing trend of occasion eating.” Cartons are available in cases of 10 direct from Dean’s, which also produces a variety of shortbread and oat biscuits. EDITE CR


Parvin’s is a new brand of Indian curry sauces, which has launched with six products for use in home cooking. Its Rogan Josh, Bhuna, Masalla, Korma, Jalfrezi and Madras sauces are all freshly prepared in the kitchen of the Bay Tree restaurant in Bottesford, Scunthorpe. Each 340g pouch takes under 30 minutes to cook and will serve 3-4 people. All sauces are made without artificial preservatives or flavourings and are suitable for both refrigerating or freezing. Pouches are available to the trade for £2 and have an RRP of £3.

created two pâtés based on recipes that date back more than 75 years. Its Porterhouse pâté is coarse and includes venison, duck, wild boar and pigs’ liver with garlic chips, green peppercorns and Porter (from Dorset’s Piddle Brewery). By contrast, its


Home baking specialist Scarlet Bakes has added several

Home-cooking curries

Speciality coffee supplier Cafe Boutique is now distributing countertop retail display boxes of Cioccafe’s chocolate covered coffee beans. The display boxes hold 20 packs (25g, RRP £1.20) of the beans, which come in either milk or dark chocolate varieties. Cases – 12 x retail display boxes – cost £135 (excl. VAT). Individually wrapped 80g bags (RRP £2.85) are also available in cases of 30 for £43.95 (excl. VAT).



product news from Guild accredited suppliers






In a pickle about where to buy your food jars?

• Authorised distributors for Ardagh glass, Allied Glass and Beatson Clark • Nationwide delivery service available • Free samples • Glass jars, Glass Bottles, Swingtop Bottles, Beer bottles, Food grade pails, Plastic bottles and much more Spinks are now distributing for Italian glass manufacturer Vetreria Etrusca in small & large quantities Now available: the true ‘Le Parfait’ clip top range in 6 sizes from 500 – 3000ml these are a fabulous air tight and food grade preserving jar range At Spinks we are direct distributors for the Major British & European glass manufacturers, we sell in small & large quantities therefore passing on very competitive prices


com pak

Contact us for further information or visit our showroom in Leeds t: 0113 2350662 · e:

Think SPINKS for high quality glass and plastic containers

Huntly Herbs

A small family business producing a delicious range of preserves made by hand on our award-winning handmade organic preserves Aberdeenshire farm, many of them from fruit, vegetables and herbs we have grown ourselves. Currently available throughout Scotland and seeking a distributor or wholesaler for elsewhere in the UK.


Winner of the 2010 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award,2011 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award and Highly Commended in the 2011 Organic Food Awards

Huntly Herbs, Whitestones, Gartly, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, AB54 4SB t: 01466 720 247 e: An authentic traditional range of award winning celebration fruit cakes and puddings made from family recipes using finest ingredients, fresh butter and farm eggs. Hand made and packaged in the North East.

The winner of 2 Gold and 3 Silver Taste of the West Awards for 2011 Puddings & Pies, 3 Hyle Farm, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 6EE Order Line: 01935 817373 • Fax: 01935 816404 email: •

A Dietary Speciality selection of Diabetic, Gluten Free and Low Fat Cakes and Puddings. The tea time treats of Ginger, Granny Loaf, Cherry & Almond, Madeira, Northumbria Rice, Date & Walnut include a new addition of Honey & Ale Fruit Cake made with local honey from Chainbridge in the Borders. The cakes and puddings are made by a dedicated team who produce a range of the finest flavour and quality which ensure “A Natural Taste Of Tradition” with every bite. T. 01388 605005 E.

Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011




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

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

• baking equipment

• business for sale

• food processing machinery

FOR SALE State of the art small artisan food production unit

2000sq ft production floor goods receipt fridge and tempering room. Finished goods chill 8 pallets. Further first floor • food processing machinery mezzanine 2000sq ft including offices, changing rooms, development and staff kitchens, board room inc. of furniture and all equipment.

Fine Food Classified 2011:Layout

Contact Sally Coley 01963 824464

• food processing machinery

• labelling

• ingredients

Serving chocolatiers for over 40 years

Chocolate � Ingredients � Confectionery and Gift Packaging �

Full heat recovery system producing hot water, etc., would suit a variety of foods to BRC standard.

• bottles & jars

• labelling

Griottines® and Framboisines® � Chocolate making starter kits � Tel: 0114 245 5400

• labelling

HS HS French Flint Ltd FF

• packaging

Ser ving the Food and Drink industr y since 1980

Speciality Glassware for the more discerning producer.

•Need small batches of labels? •Don’t want to hold too much stock? •Produce several different varieties? •Currently paying a premium for small runs?

Let us help you - ring us on 0800 096 2720 or visit our website at

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

Tel: 020 7407 3200 Fax: 020 7407 5877

• bottles & jars

• ingredients

• labelling

In a pickle about where to buy your food jars?

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


December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Suppliers of equipment for artisan producers of fruit juices, wines, ciders and oils. Our wide range extends from extraction processes to filtration, bottling, sealing and labelling. Tel: 01404 892100 Fax: 01404 890263 Email:

Freshness & Flavour sealed in ice

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

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

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

01761 470523 F: 01761 471018 E: w:


• labelling


Print Your Own Food Labels

• packaging

• refrigeration

• refrigeration

• refrigeration

• training

Packaging Foil & PET Diaphragms

Paper packaging, labelled and direct print containers

• packaging

• packaging Tamper Evident Packaging


Training & Consultancy Make sure you’re meeting legal  requirements for food safety. Level 2 Food Safety online £25 Level 3 Food Safety online £125 Meat managers hygiene and HACCP training of all levels


Ring us on: 01628 668836 or visit us at:

At your own premises or in Skipton, North Yorks.

Verner Wheelock Associates

01756 708526 /

t: 0151 547 6700

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

• packaging

• packaging

• training


Tamper evident & film sealable plastic food packaging




What will you learn?

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

Heat seal machines for pots, bottles, trays and ALL types of packaging Low cost hand operated, semi automatic and fully automated systems Specialist suppliers to small & medium sized food companies



Seal-it-Systems (SIS) Ltd Tel: +44(0)1254 239619 Email: Web:

Training from the Guild of Fine Food

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

Reliable leadtimes and service - sensible minimum order size Sizes available from 30ml to 5000ml - transparent products in stock

• ingredients

• washing equipment

• refrigeration

DEPOSITORS & PACKAGING SYSTEMS MEATS/SEAFOODS & READY MEALS Depositors for sauces and dressings Pot fillers and liquid fillers Vertical Form Fill Seal Thermoformers Tray sealers Pumps

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

Course costs Members of The Guild of Fine Food just £65, plus VAT (@ 20%). Non-members £90, plus VAT (@ 20%). For more information:

E-mail: Tel: 01963 824464 Avilton foods

For more information call 01962 761761

Vol.12 Issue 10 · December 2011



Create your own

Christmas Hampers Wholesale Gift Baskets We supply lots of different baskets, plus the trimmings: the coloured Click on “Wholesale Gift Baskets” bows, the cellophane bag, the coloured shredded pretty bow and even Tel:paper, 01234 a880310 the greetings card – you then include the contents you want and you’ve got yourself a bespoke gift basket to sell. A great way to make money this Christmas. Choose from the whole range on line. Your Gift Basket is proud to be supporting Help for Heroes. Click on “Wholesale Gift Baskets” Tel: 01234 880310

New Stock Tin Catalogu e Now available with over 25 new items

• Buy food-safe tins from stock in LOW LOW quantities. • Order on line with next day delivery. • Lots of really useful sizes available.




December 2011 · Vol.12 Issue 10

Tinware Direct Limited Tel 01234 77 2001 Email Website

FFD December  

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