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January-February 2019 Volume 20 Issue 1

Add a dash of colour Revive your shelves for 2019 with our pickles & chutneys round-up

ALSO INSIDE: Cottage Delight’s new branding In Suffolk with Slate Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co

A special report on the 2018 World Cheese Awards inside

LeTs CeLeBrAtE! Speciality food reinvented

To bring inspiration to your store and variety to your customers... Contact our Sales team for more information on 01538 382020 or


January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1





Importantly, the B word hasn’t put us all off our food – especially at a time that is key for smaller businesses


By Michael Lane, Editor


The first few months are always a pretty changeable time of the year but at the moment you can’t really predict what’s going to happen politically (and economically) from day to day. So, it’s a hopeless task for a monthly magazine like ours to keep up with developments. You’ll be pleased to hear that we’re fairly light on the Brexit stuff this month. Yes, there’s a couple of mentions on our news pages but I did switch off my recorder during a recent interview when neither I, nor the interviewee, could see the merit in discussing it. We might well be ready to leave the EU with a deal by the time some of you pick up this magazine. That is, if you’re not rushing to grab a cut-price fridge at an NHS auction. Then again, we could be deal-less and waiting for our first shipment of rationed Iberico ham bones and Parmesan rinds to cross the Channel on a flotilla of ramshackle boats.

Let’s talk about something tangible (unlike Seaborne Freight’s fleet) instead. Against a backdrop of big High Street chains failing, lots of companies in our market have reported increases in Christmas sales (page 7). Yes, the supermarkets all seemed to do ok too, but importantly the B word hasn’t put us all off our food – especially at a time that is key for smaller businesses. And there’s more. As always, the magazine is packed with NPD and there was plenty more we couldn’t fit onto the pages this month. A local entrepreneur has taken a chance on a food centre that looked to be doomed in December (full story about Bodnant on page 8). And one of the biggest suppliers to the independent trade, Cottage Delight, is launching a complete overhaul of its branding (page 25). Even if people are not sure what’s coming in 2019, there’s a

lot of faith being shown across the pages of FFD this month. Admittedly there are a few bad news stories in this issue. Exemplar retailer Delilah Fine Foods’ decision to close its award-winning Leicester shop seems troubling on the face of it (page 11). And lots of British cheesemakers have taken sizeable hits, thanks to the demise of a supermarket wholesaler (page 15). But in the spirit of positivity, I’m sure Sangita Tryner and her team will go back to the Nottingham flagship store and improve the Delilah concept even more. And it seems that some cheesemakers will forge new supply chain relationships in the wake of the Bridgehead debacle. We’re cracking on here too and there will be a few new additions to our repertoire over the next few months with some more positive angles for you to approach 2019 with. For now, Happy New Year.

January-February 2019 Volume 20 Issue 1

EDITORS’ CHOICE Add a dash of colour Revive your shelves for 2019 with our pickles & chutneys round-up

Chosen by Lauren Phillips, Assistant editor


Vegan Garlic Mayo ALSO INSIDE: Cottage Delight’s new branding In Suffolk with Slate Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co

A special report on the 2018 World Cheese Awards inside

As with gluten-free, vegan products are beginning to be judged on their own merit and not as a substitute. Forget that this garlic mayonnaise




Editor: Michael Lane

Sales director: Sally Coley

Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

Editorial director: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Lauren Phillips Reporter: Andrew Don

Art director: Mark Windsor

Contributors: Nick Baines, Patrick McGuigan, Lynda Searby, Isabelle Plasschaert

Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

Sales executive: Becky Haskett ADDRESS Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom

from Brighton restaurant BeFries is vegan (see page 41 for its new retail range). It boasts a good whack of garlic and excellent consistency – creamy and glossy like a well-made egg-based mayo. Halfway through eating I forgot it was vegan – a good indicator that this product can hold its own in a strong category. An honourable mention goes to coffee brand Little’s for its new labelling and plastic-free packaging. Very 2019.

Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200

Published by The Guild of Fine Food Ltd

© The Guild of Fine Food Ltd

Printed by: Blackmore, Dorset Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £50 p.a. inclusive of post and packing.

2019. 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

Turn to page 58 for news from the Guild

or publisher.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


Light fantastic Battered cheese-graters “repurposed” as lampshades by Ipswich-based upcycling specialist Rikindled by Onitha provide a vintage focal point in the window of Southwold cheese shop Slate – this month’s Deli of the Month (see page 52). The two Suffolk businesses were introduced by creative agency What Associates, which developed the branding for Slate’s Southwold and Aldeburgh stores for owners Clare Jackson and her father, John Ormerod. Photograph: Mick Whitworth

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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


Christmas trading positive for indie retailers, early reports show By Mick Whitworth & Lauren Phillips

First reports from independent stores suggests shoppers shrugged off the Brexit gloom to deliver strong Christmas trading for specialist food shops. The festive period was a tale of two halves for the high street: music store HMV called in administrators on the 28th December while discount supermarket chain Aldi sold almost £1bn of goods. Yet, the general feeling among farm shops and delicatessens that FFD has spoken to has been quite optimistic. “You’d think with all the tales of woe that were being spread around before Christmas – and the way the economy was being discussed – that people would be spending less,” said Sarah Peak, owner of The Cheese Yard shop and café

and gift hampers to regular customers were still up by around 5% compared to 2017, she told FFD. With a trading year starting in May, Peak’s overall sales for 2018 are The Cheese Hamlet in Manchester saw a 2.5% also 11% up increase in December takings on 2017-18. in Knutsford, Cheshire. Guild of Fine Food “But no. We had a lot of steering group member loyal customers coming John Axon, at The Cheese back to us, and coming into Hamlet in Didsbury, Christmas we were still Manchester, reported “fairly putting orders in, right up to buoyant” overall sales for the last few days.” December, with takings up An unexpected 2.5% despite a marginal 1% corporate order picked up at drop in customer numbers. a networking event drove a “Our average basket showed massive 34% year-on-year an increase of just over 3%,” rise in December sales for he told FFD. Peak. But sales of cheese “We had a fairly steady

Fortnum’s settles in at London’s Royal Exchange Fortnum & Mason’s latest new location – at The Royal Exchange in the City of London – opened in December. While visitors will be able to enjoy luxuries in the centrepiece bar and restaurant area, a 2,368 sq ft retail space offers the brand’s world-famous hamper selection and also features a curated range of products from the group’s flagship Piccadilly store. These include a selection of its most popular teas, preserves, confectionery and fresh produce. Specially-built units will showcase tea pairings with some of the retailer’s most famous products, including preserves, honeys and biscuits.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT... CHRISTMAS TRADING 2018 December, although Super Saturday was just insane,” said Axon – who apparently clocked up 80 miles on his Fitbit during Christmas week, in a shop of just 380 sq ft. “The vibe from our customers was positive,” he added, “and Brexit was probably mentioned less than it has been previously.” At Kent’s Macknade Farm Shop, owner Stefano Cuomo said it was clear that speciality stores needed to make themselves “part of the ‘Christmas experience’”. “That’s exactly what we’ve become for a lot of our customers,” he told FFD. “Walking the shop floor over Christmas felt great.” The Macknade team had also worked hard on improving systems and reducing overheads ahead of Christmas, he added. “So it wasn’t just about a revenue opportunity but also improvement of margin.”

UK to have protected names logo regardless of Brexit type The government has urged producers of protected food names, such as Cornish Pasties, to make haste with preparations for using a new UK logo when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in an update of one of its 106 Technical Notices, first issued last summer in case of a no-deal, that the UK would get its own protected names logo regardless of “whether or not we leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement”. It said producers of what it termed geographical indication (GI) products wishing to use this logo would need to make preparations to comply with the new rules about its use within a deadline that would be subject to consultation. “When the new UK

Consumers will no longer see this logo on British products if Brexit happens

GI logo is finalised, we plan to promote this with stakeholders and the wider public,” it said. The UK has 86 GI protected names including 76 agricultural and food products, five wines and five spirits. Defra said they made up 25% of the value of UK food and drink exports and enhanced the UK’s reputation for high-quality food and drink.


Everyone we have spoken to has said December was ‘better than expected’. I think that’s the phrase that sums it up. There seemed to be some negativity and pessimism around pushing Christmas in November. Then we saw that retailers realised they were being overcautious and had under-ordered so we ended up taking many last-minute orders. ANDREAS GEORGHIOU, OWNER, ANDREAS VEG, CHELSEA, LONDON

Even with the murky waters of Brexit, I’ve noticed people were opting for quality over quantity. Cheese and charcuterie does well for us every year but different products like almond butter and tahini also did well. The most surprising category was fresh pasta which we sold out of before the last weekend of Christmas. SIMONE CLARKIN, CO-OWNER, MMM… AND GLUG…, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

We weren’t reordering stock right up to the last minute because we had forward-planned. By Christmas Eve, our shelves were empty which, in one respect, is a good thing. But a lot of suppliers shut down the Monday before Christmas and don’t reopen until the 6th January. This makes it difficult to restock for the New Year.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019




Bodnant Welsh Food’s new owner: “They didn’t have any part of it right” By Andrew Don

The entrepreneur who saved Bodnant Welsh Food at the 11th hour has lambasted the previous management and vowed to restore the food centre’s original vision as he prepares for a major relaunch on St David’s Day. Local businessman Richard Reynolds snapped up the assets of the stricken Conwy Valley business from its previous owner at the end of last year. Reynolds, a golfing and hospitality entrepreneur, told FFD: “They didn’t have any part of it right. The product was wrong, the pricing was wrong, the management was wrong. “There was no connection between any of the eateries and their butchery and bakery. The only thing they had right was the location. I didn’t realise how badly they were running it and how expensive it was.” He said the business, which houses a farm shop,

Richard Reynolds plans to restore the food centre to its original vision

café, restaurant and cookery school, needed “proper” management, good staff, the right products from the right sources and sold at the right price. He wanted to restore the supply lines of food from the butchery and bakery into the site’s restaurants. Reynolds said it was “an outrage” that products available in Tesco had been stocked at Bodnant. “You won’t be seeing that sort of thing ever again here,” he

Booths feeling “positive” after festive performance Booths boss Edwin Booth has hailed the “positive momentum” in the business, with both sales and profits heading north over Christmas and New Year. The retailer, nicknamed the “Waitrose of the North”, reported a 3.3% uplift in sales over the key threeweek trading period to 5th January. Christmas profits grew ahead of sales – up 4.5% year-on-year, helped by what Booths’ chairman and chief executive called a focus “on offering the very best traditional Christmas food and drink with flair and purpose”. “Customers trust Booths for quality, service, knowledge and our commitment to find the very best suppliers. I’m delighted with our Christmas 8

performance and the positive momentum that we are achieving throughout the business,” he said. Traditional Christmas favourites enjoyed the strongest fillip with record sales for turkey and trimmings – up 10%. Booths’ smoked salmon sales climbed nearly 25%, as did gammon. Booths’ Prosecco was the biggest selling wine by value. Malbec wines climbed 50% and port sales by 24%. The group sold 65,000 bottles of gin and 500,000 bottles of ale and lager. Sales of low-alcohol wine climbed 35%. The sales boost comes as the group has expanded its reach by partnering with Dobbies Garden Centre which is selling a range of more than 50 of its products.

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

said. Instead, he vowed to turn to small, local suppliers in North Wales as he looked to restock the farm shop. The sourcing target is for 75% of food and drink sold to be Welsh, apart from the wine, by opening day. Reynolds said: “We are a family business. We work very hard and we’ll hopefully get our cost structure right now. All we need to do now is to build the turnover

again. I’m hoping we will make it profitable within 12 months. I don’t like to run things at losses.” The tea room was refitted within a month of buying the business and is now branded The Furnace Eatery. Reynolds has also added an ice-cream parlour. Reynolds has been replacing all the former staff, whom he let go, and plans to recruit an independent auditor to scrutinise the business’s HACCP situation and stock. He added that suppliers had been “unbelievably welcoming” even though some had suffered financially at the hands of the previous owners. “It’s our intention to make it a very traditional Welsh food centre as it was originally meant to be,” he said.

NEW OPENINGS The Best of Organic Market (BOOM) awards, organised by Soil Association Certification, are open for entries. The awards are open to all organic producers and businesses across a wide range of categories. Judging will take place on 29th April-3rd May. LittlePod, provider of “high-quality natural” food ingredients, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development 2018. The Devon company is renowned for its natural Madagascan vanilla paste in a tube. The Camden Grocer opened in a 1,200 sq ft site in the North London borough’s historic Stables Market in December. The retailer specialises in Great Taste awardwinning products but offers a full deli range and has a café on site.

Robbed retailer says all farm shops are “sitting ducks” after £20k theft Farm shops are “sitting ducks” no matter how much security they have, according to a farm shop owner who was robbed of thousands of pounds of meat the night before Christmas Eve. Andy Johnson, of Johnsons of Old Hurst in Cambridgeshire, told FFD there was nothing he could have done differently to prevent the ransacking of his cold store and the theft of huge quantities of turkey, beef and lamb, much of which was Christmas preorders. Johnson, who claimed he was £20,000 out of pocket if loss of trade was included, said thieves have such easy access to tools and technology that all farm shops are at risk.

“It happened at 8.50pm on 23rd December. We were working at the top end of the farm getting the shop ready for Christmas Eve and they went in at the bottom

anywhere.” Johnson said he believed the raid was carried out to order because the thieves targeted turkey’s between 14lb and 16lb.

Thieves stole thousands of pounds of meat from Johnsons on 23rd December

end,” said Johnson. “We’ve done everything we can to increase the physical security but you can go to Screwfix now and buy a battery-operated angle grinder, or portable acetylene bottle [for cutting tools], and you’re in

“They went through 300 boxes and took specifically what they wanted.” Cambridgeshire Constabulary urged member of the public with information, or who had been offered meat for sale, to contact them.

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Delilah to focus on Nottingham shop after closing loss-making Leicester site By Andrew Don

Delilah Fine Foods will be putting its recently closed Leicester outlet to alternative use, and its owners will instead concentrate all their efforts on further improving its flourishing Nottingham shop. The East Midlands retailer shut its shop in the St Martins area of Leicester at the beginning of January after two-and-a-half years of trading, citing unsustainable losses. Sangita Tryner, who runs the business with husband Richard, said she is not entirely certain why the newer branch did not succeed but she has a good idea. Although research before opening showed a more affluent demographic across the county of Leicestershire, Tryner said that the shop was slightly outside the city’s main footfall zone.

Taste Wales this March Producers, buyers and other food industry professionals will gather from across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Japan to discover innovative Welsh products, network and do business at BlasCymru (Taste Wales) 2019 on 20-21st March. Food & Drink Wales (Bwyd a Diod Cymru) has lined up what it says are some of the food world’s greatest success stories, the best speakers and the sector’s leading thinkers for the Welsh food and drink extravaganza. The conference programme has been titled ‘Accelerating Sustainable Growth – Faster, Smarter, Cleaner’. Kateline Porritt, creative head of thefoodpeople, will talk about the latest global food and drink trends.

Delilah owns the freehold of the converted former bank that housed its Leicester store, which closed in January

It appears to have been used predominantly by workers during breaks. “We were really busy at lunchtime but that doesn’t make a business and we found that most of the turnover happened then. We didn’t get the morning trade that we get in Nottingham, or the late afternoon trade.” “They are allegedly building 6,000 flats in Leicester city centre now so maybe we were just too early.

To be honest, there’s better and easier ways to make your money now.” Tryner said that the business owned the freehold of the Leicester building – a Grade II-listed former bank – which includes three flats as well as the retail unit. “The flats cover all our costs so we will bide our time and see what we want to put in the bottom unit,” she told FFD. “We will probably make more


The latest from farm shops across the country


money from it as a property investment.” Delilah’s only other branch, in Nottingham, is still thriving with Tryner reporting Christmas sales increasing up 2% year-onyear and internet sales up 14%. Tryner is now putting all her focus on Nottingham. She plans to extend opening hours to Friday and Saturday evenings to make the most of the 70-cover food bar and café. She said that she would spend the next six months adjusting Delilah’s concept for the changing market, adding that there was still more to develop in the business. “I think we need to come back home and regroup. I’ve got to redo the website. “At the moment, we only sell hampers on there.” Tryner is also looking into the possibility of setting up Midlands clubs for wine, beer and cheese afficianados.

stuffing and roast pork, crackling, apple sauce & stuffing. bolstermoorfarmshop. Devon’s Thornes Farm Shop has recently launched monthly themed supper evenings. They include wine and local cider tasting, barn dancing and most recently a ‘Farm-to-table Goat Supper’ event. All events include a full sit-down meal, created with locally sourced food.

Littleport, Cambridgeshire, has a new farm shop – Ely Fresh Produce. It sells 90% of it products unwrapped to reduce plastic waste but the shop also carries local specialities from Watermill Foods and The Norfolk Sauce Co. ElyFreshProduce

Bolster Moor Farm Shop in Huddersfield has created a new hybrid snack. Head chef Mark Davies came up with the idea of making Yorkshire Pudding wraps, filled with meat and veg. Combinations include beef with mustard & horseradish, Quorn sausage & mustard, Quorn mince, chicken &

After undergoing a refurb, and due to customer requests, Spring Lane Farm Shop in rural Nottinghamshire has

Leamington Spa vegan delicatessen Fred and Virginia closed on 13th January, citing “unforeseen personal circumstances”. The plantbased, free-from deli had been trading for barely six months. Waitrose has removed hard-to-recycle black plastic from hundreds of products, including fresh meat, fish and fruit & vegetables. It aims to eradicate the plastic from all own-brand products by the end of 2019. The first-round country results of the World Gin Awards are in. Orkney Gin Co’s Johnsmas, Masons Yorkshire Gin’s Tea Edition, Makar Cherry Gin, Whitby Gin and Firkin Gin’s Oak Aged were among the many UK winners. The category and overall winners will be announced on 21st February.

recently obtained an alcohol licence. This traditional (and now shinier) farm shop is currently researching and sourcing flavoured gins, vodkas, wines and craft beers. Herrings Green Farm in Wilstead is a wellestablished, family-run activity farm and bird of prey centre but it now also has its own farm shop, stocking a wide range of farm-to-fork produce and freshly baked cakes and pies, as well as home decor from local artisans, and fresh flowers. herringsgreenfarmshop.

In association with

Fabulous Farm Shops

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


SHOP TALK IF I’D KNOWN THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW... CAROLINE PIERREPONT, co-founder, The Goring Grocer, Goring-on-Thames, Reading We opened in November 2015 thinking it would just be ‘a little shop’. By December, we’d had to take on another member of staff. It was our fourth venture – we’d traded in the village for 16 years running a café and pub – but our first experience of retail. The business had to involve cooking as Stuart, my late husband and business partner, was a chef. But we wanted to take the service element out and operate on a ‘We cook it. You take it home’ basis. We make all our own croissants, pastéis de nata, Eccles cakes, lamb filos, sausage rolls, tartlets, frittata, ready-meals and more. In addition, we sell interesting items from independent producers: marmalade, chutney, jam, chocolate, alcohol, wholefoods and a large selection of fresh fruit and veg, but it is our food made on the premises that is the draw. When Stuart passed away suddenly in May 2018, I had to start making everything myself. This was a huge challenge and responsibility. Eight months on, I have nailed it and I do it every day. It has also given me an insight into the profitability of different products. My husband was extremely generous, which meant that some dishes, like beef rendang, weren’t making any money. I had to put some prices up and I did. Now we aim for 65-70% margin on our own foods. At any given time, we hold about £18,000 worth of stock and at the end of each quarter I do a stock take. We have a good EPoS system “on the cloud”, which helps greatly with that. When you’re running a restaurant, people come to you for the way you cook food. The same applies in retail to our prepared products, which sell themselves, but people are much more reserved about what they buy when they have to cook it themselves. I often find myself having to explain how to use ingredients. I don’t let this put me off stocking unusual items and sticking to seasonal produce. You’ve got to keep trying. I recently converted an 80-year-old lady to cavolo nero by explaining how to cook with it. We’ve just got puntarelle in, which never sells, but I don’t want to be selling strawberries in December. Any fruit and veg that doesn’t sell in the shop can be used in the kitchen. Veg can be roasted for salads or made into tartlet fillings. Nothing goes to waste. Another change I had to make after Stuart died was to reduce our opening days from six to five (we open Tuesday to Saturday). Losing a day of sales a week has essentially shaved £52,000 off our turnover, but because I have been focusing on margin, we are down on turnover but up on profit, which is a good place to be. Interview Lynda Searby Photography Isabelle Plasschaert


January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

CONFESSIONS OF A DELI OWNER ANONYMOUS TALES FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER BEFORE I OPENED MY SHOP I spoke to a now-retired deli expert. She said she couldn’t stand customers and that I shouldn’t get into retail, they will drive me mad. I’ve never understood that. Aside from the fact your customers effectively pay every bill that comes in – of course they do and I love them for that – I actually think most of them are quite nice too. Some people come in and spend just a few pennies. I especially love them. They may be a pain in the neck but they make me look busy, they know the names of all my team and their pennies do add up. They aren’t the challenging people. There is the lech who we’ve banned for over-familiarity, the couple who let their two kids run so riotously we allocate a member of staff as minder, and the mothers who bring in food from Greggs for their children and hog whole tables while they have one cappuccino. There was the man who smelled of wee who all the other customers asked to move away from (he’s dead now). There is the fellow who comes with his own piles cushion – we have

MODEL RETAILING Have you ever tried membrillo with Manchego, madam?

Then there was the man who smelled of wee… to help him get up and sit down. And there’s a bloke who comes into town for his weekly shop and needs a taxi, but has pissed off so many local taxi drivers that we have to ring round until we find one that reluctantly takes the fare. There was the lady who ordered cakes and never picked them up. And a very charming Irish guy who claimed to have invented Bob the Builder and was in litigation to get a share of the rights. He always came in five minutes past closing and always wanted something not on the menu. Then there are the boozers: the alcoholic who runs away from her carers, another who

bought a litre of cider (Burrow Hill) and drank the whole thing in the loos, and another who shouted he was going to have to sell his family signet ring if we didn’t lend him a tenner for the pub. Other customers stole complimentary nappies, bottles of salad dressing, and even the salt and pepper grinders off the tables. We have the town’s leading drug dealer and our only (known) prostitute, who is nice, but has a very silly little dog she tries to hide under the table in her handbag. We serve, we don’t preach. The only ones I have a special dislike for are those who grandstand. One guy gave me a public dressing down for not having the right mix of sausages in a cassoulet (we’d gone for Toulouse and Merguez). Frankly f**k him. He can shop elsewhere. Customers are a self-selecting bunch of foodies that are happy to treat themselves by paying a little more for something a lot better. It’s a small town, we get everybody, we don’t judge. So long as they keep their opinions on cassoulet to themselves.


This guy is so good that I’ve got time to look over this week’s takings... and the CCTV!

No one’s going to notice a couple of quid…

Maybe it wasn’t what it looked like, even if the float is down. It’s not much. He’s a good worker so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

FFD says: It doesn’t matter how good an employee is or how small the amount taken is, theft is theft. Yes, they might free up your time to run the business but you need people you can trust. If you don’t confront behaviour like this, the crimes will probably get worse and the amounts taken will only get bigger. With kind permission of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, Germany. PLAYMOBIL is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, for which also the displayed PLAYMOBIL toy figures are protected.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


Monsoon Estates is Stratford’s very own speciality A family run business consisting of Anne, Chris and son Will with a small team, work from a converted long barn on The Alscot Estate about 3 miles out of town.

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shops, restaurants and hotels. They also sell to the general public either from the roastery, online webshop or from local Monsoon Estates also supply espresso machines, grinders etc for commercial customers. They also have a click and collect option on their webshop. You can now obtain


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news & views from the cheese counter

Artisan cheesemakers could lose thousands as Bridgehead folds By Patrick McGuigan

British artisan cheesemakers stand to lose tens of thousands of pounds in bad debt and incomplete orders after one of the country’s largest distributors of speciality cheese to the supermarkets went bust before Christmas. Wrexham-based Bridgehead Food Partners was set up in 2004 as an artisan cheese distributor to Sainsbury’s. It grew to also supply Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and the Co-op, but was wound up in December. The timing of the closure meant that many British artisan cheeses did not feature on supermarket shelves during the key festive trading period, leaving cheesemakers with large

amounts of stock that had been produced for Christmas. The Cornish Cheese Company is owed ÂŁ5k, according to liquidator Leonard Curtis, but owner Phil Stansfield said the true amount was much higher. “It’s totally screwed up the Christmas business because we’ve not been able to get our cheese in to the retailers in December, which is our biggest month of the year,â€? said Stansfield. “We lost half our turnover in December and we’ve had dozens of emails from the public asking why our cheese wasn’t in supermarkets. We’re now sitting on 7-8 tonnes of cheese that should have gone out but hasn’t.â€? He added that he was hoping to start supplying


supermarkets again soon through distributor Bradbury’s. Another cheesemaker, who is also owed several thousand pounds by Bridgehead, told FFD that he did not expect to see any of the debt repaid. “It’s not going to bring my business down, but it does mean we have to work that much harder to make it up,â€? he said. “Supplying the supermarkets helps us run more efficiently – larger volumes make us more cost-effective. It helps cover some overheads and reduce our production costs so there are longer term consequences if those orders are lost permanently.â€? Leonard Curtis, the firm in charge of Bridgehead’s liquidation, did not respond to questions about why the business failed or whether creditors would be paid. However, the liquidator has sold the company’s cutting and packing operation in Wrexham to cheesemaker Belton Farm. The deal will save 10 jobs and create a new company: Belton Packing & Logistics. Belton is owed around ÂŁ63k as one of the creditors of Bridgehead. Other notable creditors include Lynher Dairies, which is owed more than ÂŁ17k, Ford Farm (ÂŁ19k) and FW Read (ÂŁ8k).


The Specialist Cheesemakers Association will hold its AGM and Farm Visit at Loch Arthur Camphill Community in Scotland on 29-30 June 2019. The Creamery makes a raw milk cheddarstyle cheese and Crannog – a soft fresh cheese. Bergamo, Italy will be playing host to the 2019 World Cheese Awards. The news was RIĆ“FLDOO\DQQRXQFHGODVWPRQWKDWWKHFLW\Ĺ?V annual FORME cheese festival in Milan.


Tunworth’s funkier sister, Winslade from Hampshire Cheeses, is a soft, gooey cows’ milk cheese wrapped in a spruce band. A kind of Camembert-Vacherin hybrid, the cheese is rich and earthy with resinous notes from the spruce. When fully mature, the texture is silky and gooey, best eaten by slicing off the top and attacking with a spoon.

Vermouth Negronis, Martinis and Manhattans have put Vermouth back on the map. What’s less ZHOONQRZQLVWKDWWKHIRUWLƓHG wine is also a great match for cheese. The semi-dry 40 Vermouth from Sussex wine producer Albourne Estate is made with 40 botanicals including spices, citrus peel and herbs, which accentuate the aromatic qualities of the cheese. Dukkah Winslade is transformed by 20 minutes in a hot oven into a bubbling crucible of goo. Stud the cheese with garlic and a sprinkle of white wine before baking and then dip crusty bread into the molten cheese. For added crunch and spice, give the cheese-laden bread a second dip in dukkah. The Cheese Yard in Knutsford makes their own at Christmas with chopped almonds and dried cranberries.

Dairy UK has launched a free cheese pairing app for consumers which gives cheeseboard advice and drinks matches for more than 50 different cheeses. Initially launched with port and whisky pairing suggestions, the app will be expanded to include wine, beer, gin and vodka. A new goats’ cheese producer has set up in Jersey. Trinity-based Douet Farm, which is owned by Laurence and Louise Agnès, has recently taken delivery of 50 dairy goats and will begin production of organic cheeses in the Spring.


“Squidgy and brothyâ€? is how Nettlebed Creamery owner Rose Grimond describes her new washed rind cheese Highmoor. Made with pasteurised cow’s milk, the 300g cheese is named after a local village and is matured for around three weeks. The Oxfordshire company has also launched DQHZNHĆ“UGULQNZKLFKLVPDGHZLWK homogenised, fermented milk, and has redeveloped its St Bartholmew cheese by maturing it in hay.

Toast A cracker with a bit of backbone is the best bet for the rich, velvety texture of Winslade. Fine Cheese Co’s Toast for Cheese does the job nicely. The seed and fruit encrusted toasts can be dipped into whole baked cheeses but also work as a conventional cracker with slices of the cheese. The nutty crunch of the Dates, Hazelnuts and 3XPSNLQ6HHGVŴDYRXUZRUNVSDUWLFXODUO\ZHOO

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



news & views from the cheese counter

Cornish artisans making use of unwanted goats’ milk

BEHIND THE COUNTER TIPS OF THE TRADE Jen GrimstoneJones, Cheese Etc, Pangbourne

By Patrick McGuigan

New goats’ cheeses are springing up in Cornwall as producers tap into a rise in the availability of milk caused by Arla terminating the dairy contracts at goat farms across the county. The dairy giant, which makes goats’ cheese at its Trevarrian creamery in Newquay, cancelled contracts with all nine of its milk suppliers last year leaving farms in a precarious position. Some of the surfeit of milk has been taken up by the county’s artisan cheesemakers, including Whalesborough Cheese. The Bude-based company launched the semi-hard Nanny Muffet in January using milk from former Arla supplier Chris Britton. “Chris faced going out of business if I didn’t get behind him, which would be terrible,� said owner Sue Proudfoot. “It’s a real opportunity having a supply of goats’ milk on my doorstep because there’s still a lot of room for goats’ cheeses to grow here.�

CHEESE IN PROFILE with Lincolnshire Poacher What’s the story? After studying cheesemaking at Reaseheath College,


Whalesborough Cheese’s Nanny Muffet is made with milk from a farm that recently lost its dairy contract with Arla

Cornish Cheese Company also launched a new blue goats’ cheese called Cornish Nanny last year, after teaming up with former Arla supplier Holland Farmers. Arla served 12-months’ notice on its goat milk suppliers in January 2018 amid speculation it is planning to stop goats’ cheese production in Cornwall.

Simon Jones returned to his family’s Lincolnshire dairy farm to make cheese in 1992. He set up a dairy with the help of cheesemaker Dougal Campbell and started making Lincolnshire Poacher. The hard cheese is a cross between West Country cheddar and a Continental alpine-style cheese. It is made with the unpasteurised milk from the Jones’s own herd of 230 Holstein Friesian cows and has increased in popularity over the years to the point that the majority of milk is now made into cheese. Simon’s brother Tim joined the business in 2000 to market and sell the cheese.

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

“The goat milk market was finely balanced for 20 years but then Arla actively encouraged farmers to enter the market as it saw a potential for growth in goats’ milk cheeses,� said Sam Kelly, secretary of the Milking Goat Association. “Their decision to suddenly terminate contracts was devastating and has caused an oversupply in the industry.�

Milk: Raw cows’ milk How is it made? Lincolnshire Poacher cheese is made from the evening and morning milk, traditional animal rennet is used to separate the curds from the whey and then in a similar way to cheddar – the curds are heated to 41°C, stacked and turned by hand, and pressed into huge 20kg moulds. These are turned out after 36 hours and matured on wooden shelves for 14-18 months.

Jen GrimstoneJones literally goes the extra mile when it comes to sourcing cheese for her award-winning shop near Reading. She regularly gets behind the wheel of her van and drives out to visit cheesemakers in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Somerset, where she buys direct. “It means we get to chat to cheesemakers and get hold of new products before anyone else, and it also means quality is better because we taste through different batches,â€? she says. “That’s not the case if you buy through a wholesaler.â€? Cheesemakers in the South West are visited once a month, with the cheesemonger leaving early and returning to the shop by lunchtime with up to 200kg of stock, such as White Lake’s goats’ cheeses and Gould’s Cheddar – a cheese that is rarely seen in the South East. 3ULFHLVDQRWKHULPSRUWDQWEHQHĆ“W&KHHVHV bought direct cost around 20% less than from wholesalers. “That really helps us maintain RXUSURĆ“WPDUJLQDQGNHHSVXVFRPSHWLWLYH especially online where people do compare prices more,â€? she says.

Appearance & texture: The rind has a distinctive mottled dark brown and grey appearance. 7KHĹ´DYRXUDQG texture of the cheese depends on a number of factors including seasonality. It has a hard and compact texture with a KXJHYDULDWLRQLQĹ´DYRXUV from pineapple and toasted almonds in summer months to meaty and brothy in winter. Variations: Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher, Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher (18-22 months), Double Barrel (over 24 months)

Cheesemonger tip: This modern British cheese has become a classic and earnt its place in the counter having won multiple awards over the years. The 20kg wheels are a lot to handle so this is a ‘little and often’ cheese and should be well wrapped to prevent drying out. Recommend it with plum loaf or similar and a bottled real ale. Chef’s recommendation: Perfect on the cheeseboard as the ‘hard’ cheese choice. Use in place of cheddar, ComtĂŠ or Parmesan in dishes such as Welsh Rarebit and fondue or grated on pasta.


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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


news and views from the cheese counter

We do it properly. The cheese is in the cave for about a year.

John and Katherine Spencer took over the company 15 years ago, launching its Cave Matured cheese in 2006

Fortune favours the cave There’s only one producer making cheddar cheese in the Somerset village it shares a name with. And the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co is putting its local limestone caves to good use too. Interview by Patrick McGuigan

Katherine Spencer is giggling as she recalls the time the Marquess of Bath came to launch her company’s Cave Matured Cheddar in 2006. The eccentric aristocrat, famous for setting up Longleat Safari Park at his ancestral home, owns Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge where the cheese is matured, so was the natural choice for the big launch. The only problem was nobody knew if he would like the cheese. “We’d organised this big press event in the cave and were all really nervous,” she says. “We gave him a piece and it all went very quiet. There was this long pause, which felt like 25 minutes, before he gave it the thumbs up. It was like getting the seal of approval from Henry the Eighth.” Spencer is recounting this surreal tale as she drives us through the dramatic limestone gorge that winds through the Mendip Hills to the Somerset village of Cheddar, where she and husband John took over the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company 15 years ago. The company is the only cheddar-maker still in Cheddar – the historical home of the world’s most famous cheese – and attracts thousands of people to its shop and visitor centre. The Spencers, who previously worked for big dairies including Express and Unigate, have astutely developed the business to become more than a tourist destination. The company produces 70 tonnes a year, 60% of which is sold in the shop, with the rest distributed by Carron Lodge and Rowcliffe or sold direct to customers like Whole

Foods Market. “When we first came everything was sold through the shop,” says Spencer. “It was ‘kissme-quick’ hats, fudge and keyrings, so we pared it back to just cheese and accompaniments, and have built up wholesale.” Made with raw milk from a local farm, the clothbound truckles of cheddar are sold at different ages. Mellow (6 months), Mature (12 months) and Vintage (24 months). Most are matured in temperature-controlled rooms, but 15% of production goes into Gough’s Cave. “There are other cheeses out there that are ‘cave-aged’ but they are only in a cave for a few weeks,” says John Spencer, as we head down into the humid cave. “But we do it properly. The cheese is in here for about a year, which gives it a flavour all its own.” The lunar landscape of moulds that form naturally on the rind are key to this unique flavour, he explains, as he irons one of the mottled truckles for sampling. It is noticeably different to the company’s Mature cheese – more rounded, but still with bite. Creating a point of difference is all important in the super-competitive cheddar market where block cheese retails at around £5 a kilo, compared to £25-29 a kilo for Cheddar Gorge’s products. “One of the difficulties is that we make an artisan product with a commodity name,” he says. “So it’s important we tell our story and people can taste the difference. We can’t compete on price but we can compete on flavour.” There’s also plenty of competition in the speciality market from local producers such as Montgomery’s and Westcombe. Trethowan’s also launched a raw milk, cloth-bound cheddar last year – a development the Spencers see as a positive. “It shows the market is there and people want traditional cheddar,” says Katherine. “And it keeps us on our toes.” The Marquess will be pleased to hear it.



Cave Matured Cheddar 1

Gough’s Cave is 115m deep and stretches for 3.5km into the limestone cliffs of Cheddar Gorge, meaning the temperature is a constant 12°C, while humidity stands at 98%. It is believed that cheese was stored in the network of caves hundreds of years ago before refrigeration

3 2 The cheese has a softer, creamier flavour than the company’s Mature Cheddar, with a distinct earthiness, but also plenty of cheddar tang.

Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company used to be part of the Protected Designation of Origin for West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, but decided to withdraw because it felt the terms were too broad. The PDO allows producers to use pasteurised milk from more than one farm and to mature blocks of cheese in plastic. Cheddar Gorge uses raw milk from a single farm to make truckles that are wrapped in cloth.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


making more of British & Continental charcuterie

Entries open to Brits in 2019’s expanded award schemes The British charcuterie awards season is getting underway, with both national schemes launched in 2018 now open for entry and announcing significant changes for 2019. London-based wholesaler Cannon & Cannon has named a new date and venue for the British Cured Meat Awards, which it ran in late May last year alongside its inaugural British Cured Meat Festival at Borough Market. This year sees both the final awards judging and the allticket consumer festival moving to the Granary Square venue in Kings Cross on Sunday June 1st, for what organiser Sean Cannon calls “the meat party to end all meat parties”. The Guild of Fine Food will once again run the first stages of judging at its No 42 Southwark St events space before a team of head judges – including Brindisa’s Monika Linton, River Cottage’s Stephen Lamb, The Pig Hotel chef-director James Golding and Guild editorial director Mick Whitworth – choose the final winners on 1st June. Along with the main category trophies, entrants will this year have the chance to win bronze, silver or gold

GO NATIVE ANDREW SHARP, butcher, Rare Breeds Survival Trust supporter, and teacher at the School of Artisan Food

It’s taste that sells

Awards up for grabs again in 2019 include Champion Product at the British Charcuterie Awards, won last year by Beal’s Farm’s air-dried Mangalitza ham

medals for their products. And in a major addition to the scheme, senior judges will also be visiting producers around the UK to identify the best charcutier of the year. Regional foods champion Henrietta Green has also announced changes to her British Charcuterie Awards, which opened for entry last month. Final judging will again take place in a special British Charcuterie Tent at the BBC Countryfile Live show at Blenheim Palace. Alongside the judging on 1st August, Green is also staging the first British Charcuterie Producer Day – a discussion forum for charcutiers, buyers, suppliers and distributors.

While last year’s judging all took place on a single day, 2019 sees the bulk of first-round judging shift to the London Geller College of Hospitality & Tourism in mid-June. There will also be a separate judging session for the Best Game Product during The Game Fair on 27th July. Alongside these two specialist award schemes, charcutiers still have time to enter Great Taste 2019 in the hope of achieving a 1-star, 2-star or 3-star award and the chance to secure the Great Taste Golden Fork for Charcuterie Product of the Year. britishcuredmeatfestival.

Lucas offers video tips to cured meat novices Retailers looking to produce their own bacon or charcuterie can pick up advice from a series of videos from Lucas Ingredients – a Guild charcuterie campaign sponsor. Sales development manager Steve Derrick, presents how-to guides for making pancetta and pastrami, as well as curing bacon and hams.

Flagging up rare breed charcuterie in store isn’t just about creating a warm fluffy feeling for the consumer. Native breeds deliver flavour and texture differences that can create a dialogue at the counter and gives foodies something they will enjoy exploring. Each breed, whether it be Large Black to Tamworth to name just two, naturally produces meat with its own texture, colour and complexity of flavour. And the way it’s reared further brings out these qualities. Tempus Foods entered the market last year with a single native breed, the Large Black, as its “defining characteristic”. The choice was based on this animal’s fat to meat ratio and the fact it can be taken to a larger weight. Commercial breeds are slaughtered at around six months when they reach around 60kg live weight. Tempus uses pigs matured beyond breeding age and typically weighing in at 160- 170kg. Co-owner Dhruv Baker says: “In young pigs, the fat is malleable and soft, but as they mature the back fat hardens up, giving a textural variation. With the Large Black, at maturity, you get the ‘golden ratio’ of lean muscle to fat of around 70:30 that gives a rich flavour and wonderful texture.” Most native breeds are extensively raised too, which helps move them up the quality scale. Robert Buttle of Buttle Farm in Wiltshire is both pig farmer and charcutier, raising pigs in small groups in large paddocks, living on grass virtually year-round. He says: “The pigs get lots of activity, which uses their muscles and contributes to the ultimate flavour.” Fat is something we need to celebrate and market too, because it creates flavour. When he was bidding for EU Protected Food Name status for the pedigree Welsh Pig, Illtud Dunsford of Charcutier Ltd used professional tasting panels to compare pork from pedigree Welsh and Gloucestershire Old Spots with hybrid pigs. The native breeds were judged better in terms of flavour, succulence and texture. Taste is the key to selling rare breeds. The bonus: when we demonstrate to customers that these animals taste better, demand ripples down the supply chain and more farmers can be encouraged to rear them.


Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


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Cottage Delight


Time to break out the bunting Now in its 45th year of business, Cottage Delight still adheres to the production methods established by its founder. But now it’s under new ownership, the independent stalwart has undertaken a major rebrand. Interview by Michael Lane

ONE LASTING MEMORY from my previous visit to Cottage Delight was founder Nigel Cope’s frankness about the signature mop-tops that adorn every single one of the jarred products in its range. He said they were just as important to the company as him and they had to be applied by hand, otherwise they would look rubbish (I paraphrase politely). Cope, who set the company up in 1974 in his home kitchen, had the same attitude to all of the Staffordshire-based business’s production processes – as much human involvement and as little automation as possible. More than six years has elapsed since that visit and, although both of these founding principles remain firmly intact, plenty has changed. For a start, there’s no Nigel Cope. He sold the business to the Vestey Group (which counts the online butcher Donald Russell among its portfolio of food businesses) in December 2016. In the ensuing two years, the company has embarked on a comprehensive and very colourful rebrand which begins rolling out in February. And, last November, a new MD with a wealth of corporate experience has been brought in. These are the kind of changes that tend to concern delis and farm shops but Cottage Delight is quick to dispel any fears. “It’s physical change,” says Sarah Williams, head of new product, design & marketing. “We need to be clear that this isn’t a change to our distribution strategy. We won’t be serving the mainstream supermarkets.” New managing director Vickie Milligan, whose CV includes positions at Twinings and Coca Cola, reiterates that there is a “very clear commitment” to the independent market Cottage Delight has served for more than 40 years. You may have noticed some hybrid gift sets (new branding, old jars) in the gift sections

of Lakeland and John Lewis at Christmas but the proper launch of the new-look products is happening now and they are expected to hit shelves in February. So, what can retailers and consumers expect? Gone are the hexagonal jars, the white labelling decorated with ingredients and plain mop-tops. Jars are now a simpler squaredup shape (practical for the shelf and for the consumer to get those last spoonfuls out), labelling is see-through to show more of the product inside and the mop-tops are vibrantly patterned to reflect the contents. They are also a more tactile experience. The debossing around the base of these sturdy jars spells out the brand’s new tagline “Great Taste, Great Times” and, instead of the usual stippling, the brand’s home, “Staffordshire Moorlands”, CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 is debossed onto the bottom of each jar. “When people are looking for a strawberry jam and there’s a £1 price difference, you will hear them say ‘What makes the difference?’,” says commercial director Gary Johnston. “At least our jar has a chance because there’s real integrity behind what’s on it.” The same level of detail, colour and transparency has been applied to the other packaging across the company’s broad range – glass bottles, cellophane wraps, smaller globe jars. Vickie Milligan, managing director

“We don’t just see it as getting products to the shelf, then it’s over to you guys. We have an absolute responsibility to make it connect hard with the consumer.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



Cottage Delight

“Over the years there’s been a lack of distinctiveness on the shelf, through the colours of the product, how the logo looks, the mop-top etc,” says Sarah Williams, who spearheaded the redesign. “Really, the presentation was no longer communicating everything that was great about the product and brand, and the benefits to the consumer. It just wasn’t coming across.” Williams adds that there was too much focus on the ‘cottage’ and not enough on the ‘delight’ in the old logo. The updated version blends a more modern looking cottage with bunting, which is a key element in product labelling as well. The full impact of this will be seen in the forthcoming catalogue, and soon on plenty of shelves across the country, where rows of products combine to form a string of bunting. Aside from the celebratory visual effect it creates, the new labelling on the jars and bottles is also crammed with information. On the side of the jar there are two brief usage suggestions and the mop-tops have keep-and-collect recipes printed on the reverse. These details are all part of Cottage Delight’s marketing strategy to provide consumers with “culinary inspiration”. “Overall,” says Williams, “our proposition is to stretch your imagination through the range we offer, through the flavour profiles we offer, and through the twist on tradition we offer, but also through ideas of how you can use those products in a different way.” The theory is that the more enjoyment and usage consumers get out of a product the more likely they are to come back and try more of the brand’s range – which includes sweet preserves, pickles & chutneys, Sarah Williams, head of new product, sauces, dressings, cakes, crackers & design & marketing biscuits, rice mixes and (the product it was founded on) fudge. Rather than re-working what it already makes, the relaunch exercise is more about pitching it to a wider audience than Cottage Delight has thought it was appealing to. Before any of the work on the branding began, the company carried out comprehensive research interviewing trade customers and non-customers, sampling products and exploring the premium end of the categories it competes in. Among the many findings, this research showed that it wasn’t just consumers in their 50s, 60s and 70s buying things but a younger demographic of enthusiastic foodies. “The customer profile of where we’re selling to is pretty broad,” says Vickie Milligan. “It’s a three-generational experience. I spend a lot of time in the trade. You go out and so often you’ll see the grandparents, the mother and the kids all in there together. And actually we’ve got products that span that piece now. The research really backed that up.” Items like rhubarb & ginger jam will always

We need to be clear that this isn’t a change to our distribution strategy. We won’t be serving the mainstream supermarkets.


January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

be bestsellers, says Sarah Williams, but not far behind is the producer’s recently developed Peach Bellini jam. And that may not just be down to younger consumers, she points out, because older demographics and their tastes have altered in the last 10 years. She adds: “People really want to know what they’re eating, where it’s from, the ingredients within it. That’s something that we’ve always cared about and that philosophy has always run through Cottage Delight” Even though it’s established the range’s broader appeal and decked it out in new livery, there is still lots of hard work to do to make this rebrand a success. During the mammoth research project, Williams says they found that consumer brand recognition of Cottage Delight was low but, of all of the samples tested, their products had the highest trial-to-conversion rate. “So, once they tasted, people stayed and were loyal.” Luckily, the company has “an army” of demonstrators that it dispatches to retailers around the country regularly. It has also invested in revamping its pointof-sale presence. This ranges from small signs, recipe cards and table top displays through to header boards, bunting and multi-level stands to house pick-and-mix gift ranges of globe jars. And the regional sales teams will also be on hand to provide guidance to retailers. “We don’t just see it as getting products to the shelf, then it’s over to you guys,” says Vickie Milligan. “We have an absolute responsibility to make it connect hard with the consumer so they are seeing it and picking it up.” Given the breadth of Cottage Delight’s range and its £250 minimum order, you’re unlikely to see the new branding popping up in small market town delis but the whole management team sees farm shops and garden centres (of all sizes) as a very buoyant sector. “I’ve been in speciality for 35 years and every year all we hear about is ‘another independent closing’,” says Gary Johnston. “But, you also have these really good independents that have invested and doubled in size.” These large sites, which also feature gifting and foodservice operations, are the kind of place where Cottage Delight believes it can continue to flourish. For example, the café might use a jam (available in 2.5kg units from the catalogue’s foodservice section) in its cakes or deploy sauce bottles on its tables, to showcase them before a customer browses the shelves. That said, Sarah Williams points out that Cottage Delight also thrives in shops with less space if they maintain a range of core best-sellers and rotate other products in and out seasonally, to keep regular customers interested. It goes without saying there is a track record of NPD to keep going (and FFD is assured it will) and the presence of Vestey, which admittedly affords Cottage Delight a good deal of autonomy, is likely to offer some potential growth for the brand. Milligan insists, though, that any new directions will be thoroughly researched in the context of its current customer base. But before any of that can happen, there are customers to visit, pallets to fill and, most importantly, mop-tops to affix.



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Wales’ Largest Food & Drink Trade Event for International and UK buyers • Meet the supplier event and product showcase • Time efficient introductory meeting itinerary – one or two day option

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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

190117 ORC001_02 TasteWales Fine Food Digest advert.indd 1

17/01/2019 10:14

SHOW PREVIEW Now in its 21st year, the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) – the UK’s largest food & drink event – is returning to ExCeL in London from the 17th to 20th March 2019

Six reasons to visit… IFE 2019




Food from across the globe

Journey through the senses Food for thought

With 1,350 food & drink manufacturers attending from 111 countries, IFE 2019 will occupy any visitor. Among those exhibiting are Eaten Alive fermented foods, Evoca Drinks premium soft drinks, and Gato & Co plant-based indulgent treats.

New for 2019 is Tasting Trends, a guided tour for visitors to see and taste items tipped as a future trend. The street-food-style feature will see several chefs cooking recipes focused on upand-coming food & drink. Each day the show will feature a different trend with five 30-minute tours running per day.



Prominent experts from the food & drink industry will take to the Talking Trends stage throughout the fourday event to share their experiences, opinions and food predictions. The line-up includes Maria Antidormi Insight consultant at Anima Insight and Al Overton senior buyer at Planet Organic.


Follow the leader

Work with the right people

Think outside the box

Plant-based, gut health, good fats, and stress-relieving foods are all current trends on the menu. To delve deeper into these trends and back by popular demand is Trend Trails, designed to help visitors navigate their way to the most progressive brands in the plantbased, food-to-go and other innovative movements at the show.

There will be plenty of opportunity to do business with key players at IFE’s Hub. Located in the centre of the show floor, the Hub will host some of the biggest gatherings and events including the IFE opening ceremony, industry networking events, press launches, association meet-ups and the Festival of Food & Drink.

Co-located with IFE is the food & drink processing & packaging event Pro2Pac. The festival will host 120 suppliers in manufacturing, packaging solutions and printing & labelling products. There will also be seminars and workshops, where experts will lead debates on issues such as sustainability, plastics, global packaging trends, and Brexit. Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



Sunday 10 - Monday 11 March 2019 Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate


VISIT New SUSSEX CURED Southover ON STANDCured N3023 Sussex AND SOUTHOVER retail range FOOD COMPANY from ON STAND Southover N3025 AT Foods IFE


Southover Food Company


We’ve been making award winning cooked meats in Sussex for nearly thirty years. Our newest venture features a selection of our award-winning products in 200g retail size packs. Available in this range is our Sliced Roast Topside Beef and two of our Great Taste Award winners, Honey Roast Farmhouse Gammon and New York Style Pastrami. Southover Food Company Limited, Unit 4, Grange Industrial Estate, Albion Street, Southwick, Brighton, BN42 4EN 01273 596830

n n ple cts o ndo Sam rodu E Lo p IF our 70 all N25 nd sta

Experience the height of luxury… then make them available to your customers

Visit us at IFE on stand N2585


We have a new Chase Distillery Seville Marmalade Gin pudding, a Whiskey pudding with Kilbeggan Whiskey and an Irish Cream and Chocolate pudding. New for 2019 Irish Porter Cake, Fruit Loaf, Luxury Moist Christmas Cake, Whiskey butter using Kilbeggan Whiskey. Christmas Morning Marmalade, Ham Glaze, an Autumn Chutney and a Cranberry and Port Sauce.

Call 01905 745 437 today to discuss hamper options too! Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



BAILEYS® Luxury Fudge Range

hand-crafted tonic waters lovingly made in small batches to complement and enhance fine gins

Call Andrew Peerless on 07540 841085 for more information

NEW from Gardiners of Scotland, Baileys Original Luxury Fudge & Baileys Sea Salt Caramel Fudge. Packaged in Premium embossed tins.



Versatile Fruit Vinegar Dressings Perfect for salads, sauces, marinades, desserts

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Heat & Eat - Meal in a Jar creating new traditions


ON A PLATE recipes from our lives that have brought happiness to the table

Real home cooked food when you need that bit of culinary help. These are ambient too, so they can be stored in your cupboard or larder for up to six months* * subject to further testing - to 12 months.

Blackberry, Cardamom & Chilli • Blackcurrant • Elderberry Elderberry, Balsamic & Tarragon • Gooseberry & Elderflower Lemon, Chilli & Coriander • Lime, Ginger & Mustard Seed • Raspberry Raspberry, Balsamic & Rosemary • Strawberry, Balsamic & Mint 32

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1



Twice the crunch

pickles & chutneys


2018 saw Shaws welcoming Annie Shaw, the sixth generation, to the family business, and the launch of two boozy sauces: apple sauce with Kentish cider and cranberry & cherry sauce with Port (RRP ÂŁ2.50 for 200g). In 2019, the Yorkshire producer will mark its 130th anniversary with a limited edition piccalilli.

In time for Valentine’s Day, Tracklements has introduced a limited edition “pot of loveâ€?. Fresh chilli jam comes in a kilner jar with a gold-foiled label (RRP ÂŁ5.85) and Tracklements recommends matching it with cheese and a bottle of red for maximising Valentine sales.

)HUPHQWHGIRRGVDUHŴ\LQJ and one of the companies spearheading their revival is The Cultured Collective. With listings in Ocado, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Revital, the Wiltshire producer is hoping to continue last year’s success with the launch of two new krauts – fennel, soured apple & dill and smoked chipotle chilli – and a vegan classic kimchi (RRP from £4.42 for 235-250g). theculturedcollective.

Ginger Beard claims its new ale & chilli piccalilli – a collaboration with Electric Bear Brewing Co – is “no ordinary piccalilliâ€?. “It’s packed full of crunchy veg and the odd bird’s eye chilli but its immense fresh Ĺ´DYRXUVRULJLQDWHIURP Electric Bear’s Werrrd, an American pale aleâ€? says founder Harry Calvert. Trade price ÂŁ2.50; RRP ÂŁ4. gingerbeardpreserves.

Ouse Valley Foods’ new season Boarshead pear chutney with juniper is billed as “a fragrant, aromatic and subtly sweet chutney that pays homage to one of the most underrated orchard fruitsâ€?. RRP ÂŁ4.65/300g; trade price ÂŁ3.23. Also new from the East Sussex producer is an apricot & ginger chutney (RRP ÂŁ4.85 for 300g; trade SULFHe b

Retailers on the lookout for up-and-coming products should check out Crazy Fred’s lime & coconut chutney, which was awarded a Great Taste two-star last year. The Asian-inspired chutney, which doubles up as a base for Thai green curry, is currently only sold at farmers’ markets and fairs around the North East. RRP £3.

Second generation family Peckish Kitchen has rebranded business Welsh Speciality its rhubarb jam to become Foodsrhubarb has launched its jam, Yorkshire & custard own version of two classic using local rhubarb grown within theaccompaniments. rhubarb triangle ofChunky West Piccalilli and Chunky Yorkshire. It is also launching a new0DQJR&KXWQH\DUHPDGH Raspberry Collins gin jam, in the made withtraditional raspberriesmanner steepedinin copper-bottomed pans in the Divine Gin. producer’s Rhuddlan kitchen.

A$IWHUUHDFKLQJLWVĆ“UVW\HDURI base of roasted mustard seeds is said to give The Potting business, Hungry Squirrel Shed’s sweet carrot chutney has added maple pecan to its“a Ĺ´DYRXUOLNHQRWKLQJHOVHĹ?7KH Ĺ´DYRXUHGQXWEXWWHUV0DGHZLWK Pembrokeshire preserves maker pecans, almonds, maple syrup sells the ‘versatile’ carrot chutney and a hint of mixed spices, the in 280mlbutter square (RRP price ÂŁ3.50) smooth hasjars a trade of and 55ml jarsÂŁ5-6). (RRP of ÂŁ3.95 per hexagonal 150g jar (RRP ÂŁ1.35).

London kimchi and kraut Womersley Foods is now specialist Eaten Aliveinhas selling its fruity jams a newly introduced a new designed gift box.“lighter The balance of DQGPRUHDFFHVVLEOHĹ?JROGHQ herbs and chilli in the three jams kimchi. Blending – raspberry & chilli,lemon, blackcurrant ginger and the raw& & rosemary,turmeric, and strawberry and kimchi is said to mintvegan – is said to intensify thebe great with salads, chicken and Ĺ´DYRXURIWKHIUXLW ZKLWHĆ“VK553e

Whether you’re looking for punchy pickles, fermented funkiness or chunkey chutneys, this first category round-up of 2019 has you covered. And retailers seeking out biscuits should follow the crumb trail to page 36. Compiled by Lynda Searby

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


pickles & chutneys

>> Claire’s Handmade has raided its local natural larder to launch a damson fruit cheese. Made with just two ingredients – Cumbrian Lyth Valley damsons and sugar – this traditional fruit FKHHVHLVDƓUPVOLFHDEOH preserve that is said to complement all cheeses. RRP £4.75 for 120g; trade price £2.75.

Cheshire’s Fruits of the Forage has made seasonal wild garlic available yearround, by creating a pickled product that can add a “sharp smoky garlicky kick� to any dish. “Our wild garlic pesto is wildly popular in spring, however it is a highly seasonal fresh product. We wanted to create a product with a longer shelf life that would also be a great native alternative to capers,�

The Chilli Jam Man’s Yorkshire-made chilli jams are now vegan-friendly and JOXWHQIUHHbĹ?:HRULJLQDOO\ XVHG7KDLĆ“VKVDXFHLQRXU products, but as more and more customers started asking about vegetarian options we decided to make some changes,â€? says the company’s Bonita Barrett (aka Mrs Jam). RRP ÂŁ4 for 200g; trade price ÂŁ2.50.

explains the company’s Freddie Thorneycroft. Wild garlic buds are pickled in organic cider vinegar with a touch of paprika and ginger, creating a long shelf-life ingredient. Stockists so far include Salts Farm Shop in Sussex, Dandelion Deli in Hastings and No 74 Deli in Cheshire. RRP £3.75 for 100g; trade price £2.35.

How we stock it‌

Hemel Hempstead cottage kitchen Twee has developed a roasted pumpkin chutney on the back of a bumper 2018 harvest. With a pâtÊ-like texture, rich and naturally sweet taste and warming chilli kick, this chutney is pitched as the perfect match for strong cheese. RRP £3.75; trade price £3.

Big Fish has carried out a rebrand for Lucy’s Dressings, whose range includes blushing beetroot relish and spiced plum chutney (RRP £3.75; wholesale price £2.50). The producer hopes the QHZORRNZKLFKUHŴHFWVLWV nasties- and preservativefree credentials, will help it stand out more on shelves.

Swede is the nearest equivalent to mangelwurzel

This matured chutney doesn’t actually contain mangelwurzel, a fodder crop that is no longer grown widely, but Waterhouse Fayre is hoping the quirky name will attract the holiday trade. “Because they are no longer widely available we have used the nearest equivalent, which is swede, along with tomatoes, apple, onion and a blend of spices,â€? says the Devon producer’s Ann Stallard. RRP ÂŁ3.95; trade price ÂŁ2.40.

ED BEVIN, owner The Fleetville Larder, St Albans As a cafĂŠ-deli with an accent on cheese, Fleetville Larder takes its chutneys and pickles seriously. While Tracklements are its biggest seller “all day longâ€?, owner Ed Bevin says he tries not to “over-stockâ€? on any single brand, and also carries a selection from Rubies in the Rubble, Hawkshead Relish and two local producers. “Tracklements just ticks all of the boxes, with its price point, its branding and its product quality, 34

but I really like the story behind Rubies in the Rubble – using misshapen and surplus fruit and veg.â€? It is the classics that generally perform best: 7UDFNOHPHQWVĹ?VWLFN\Ć“J chutney is the shop’s top selling item and Rubies’ pink onion & chilli relish holds its own. %HYLQĆ“QGVFKXWQH\V and pickles are great crosssellers and the cafÊ’s lunch platters and cheese boards are always served with a dollop or two on the side. Ĺ´HHWYLOOHODUGHUFRP

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

Kßhne – the German pickled gherkin brand carried by RH Amar – has embarked on some rare product development that has yielded two new alcoholinfused lines: gin and whisky cornichons. RRP £2.59 for 370ml.

Rosebud Preserves’ latest creation, Great Yorkshire Pickle, is a regional take on a British pantry classic. This rich, dark pickle is prepared with traditional garden vegetables and Black Sheep Ale. RRP £2.40 for 198g; trade price £2.04.

Bessie’s Yorkshire Preserves has added aubergine pickle to its line-up. Currently only on sale in and around Yorkshire, the hand-made pickle is pitched as a perfect accompaniment to any curry or lamb dish. RRP £3.50-3.75. bessiesyorkshirepreserves. com

Sarah Gray’s is a husband and wife team who make jams, marmalades, curds, and chutneys, they have as much fun making their range as they do eating them with their family.

01241 860221 | |

Organic All Butter Biscuits from the Hebrides


Our family business continues to bake in time-honoured fashion using many of the same recipes created by our great-grandmother, Annie Wild, over 120 years ago. Our biscuits are made using only the finest ingredients; to maintain the delicious traditional taste for which Grandma Wild’s is justly famous. Sales manager Patrick Lynch Tel 01535 6505000 Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


pickles & chutneys

Making relishes from imperfect and surplus fruit & vegetables

Following in the footsteps of Rubies in the Rubble is The Wonky Food Company, an Oxfordshire start-up making relishes from imperfect and surplus fruit and vegetables. So far there are three recipes in the range – chilli tomato, hot pepper & lime and tangy onion. These are stocked by a number of retailers regionally, in areas such as Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and selected Midcounties Co-op stores. RRP £3.50-4.

Peckish hashas rebranded RadnorKitchen Preserves rolled itsout rhubarb jam topicked become new labels, up a Yorkshire rhubarb & custard jam, listing with Partridges for its using rhubarb within Welshlocal cider & leekgrown chutney and the rhubarb triangle of agreement West signed a distribution Yorkshire. also launching a with BlasItArisFwyd, making its new Raspberry Collins ginmore jam, chutneys and preserves made with raspberries steeped in widely available to delicatessens Divine Gin. Wales. throughout 36

sweet & savoury biscuits


The Wee Kitchen Company reports that it is in the process of launching a ‘healthier option’ chutney packed with fresh mango, pineapple, chilli, ginger and lime, and sweetened with coconut palm sugar. The Stirlingshire producer’s current range, which includes smoked paprika, tomato & coriander and pineapple & roquito chutneys, is also sporting a new logo. theweekitchencompany.

Derbyshire’s Pickleberry Preserves, which started trading in September 2018, is proving that even in a busy marketplace there is room for a strong regional brand of traditionally made preserves. Owner Michelle Belsom counts spiced apple chutney and chilli chutney among the products she makes in her “Nanna June’s preserving pan�. pickleberrypreserves

New York’s Unna Bakery has created two new cookie ŴDYRXUVOHPRQOLPHDQG coconut oat. Founder Ulrika Pettersson uses her grandmother’s Swedish recipes and eschews preservatives, palm oil and soy. The cookies have launched in a 7oz (200g) stand-up pouch, and are not yet on sale in the UK. RRP is £6.20, giving stockists a margin of 40-50%.

Clearspring has transformed the boring brown rice cake into an on-trend healthier snacking option through the inclusion of ‘superfood’ ingredients. Its new range of wholegrain organic brown rice cakes features quinoa & chia, buckwheat & amaranth and 7 super seeds varieties – all of which are low fat, high LQĆ“EUHJOXWHQIUHHDQG wholegrain. RRP ÂŁ1.49 for 100g.

Windmill Organics has relaunched its RAW Classic Crunch Sauerkraut with new packaging and introduced WKUHHQHZŴDYRXUVRIRQ trend kraut under the raw food brand. These are: Feel The Heat (with jalapenos), a delicately spiced curry kraut called Golden Glow and In The Pink – a red and white cabbage mix with lemon and ginger. RRP £4.39 for 410g; trade price £3.29.

Hawkshead Relish has extended its black garlic range with a pickle. Made with whole black garlic cloves cooked for 45 days, this tangy, slightly spicy pickle works as an accompaniment to cheese, cold meats and savoury pies and an ingredient in oriental dishes such as beef rendang, says the Lakes producer. RRP ÂŁ4.99; trade price ÂŁ20 (6 x 210g).

Thomas Fudge’s, known for LWVŴRUHQWLQHVKDVDGGHG WZRQHZŴDYRXUVŊZKLWH chocolate zesty lemon and triple chocolate – to its Blisscuits range (RRP £2.70 for a pack of six). The artisan bakery brand is also making LWVIRUD\LQWRŴDWEUHDGVZLWK the launch of cheddar & shallot, chickpea & sesame and tomato & red chilli ŴDWEUHDGVGHVLJQHGWRSDLU with dips.

The Fine Cookie Co has created gluten-free versions of three of its hand-baked American style cookie varieties. The gluten-free Rainbow Nation (vanilla cookie with choc chips), Chocolate Box chocolate brownie and Salt Lake caramel cookies all come individually wrapped with an RRP of ÂŁ1.70; trade price ÂŁ1.05. WKHĆ“QHFRRNLHFRFRXN

$IWHUUHDFKLQJLWVƓUVW\HDURI Spiced apple chutney is the latest business, Hungry Squirrel curry accompaniment to come out hasKarimix’s added maple to its of Kentpecan kitchen. The ŴDYRXUHGQXWEXWWHUV0DGHZLWK South East Asian food producer pecans, syrupfor has alsoalmonds, improvedmaple the recipes andpeanut a hint satay of mixed spices, the its relish and mango smooth butter has a fpr trade price of chutney. RRP £3.50 185-200g; £3.95price per 150g jar (RRP £5-6). trade £2.35.

Womersley now South DevonFoods ChilliisFarm selling its fruity jamschutney, in a newly has treated its chilli designed gift box. balance jam, jelly and salsaThe lines to of herbs and chilli in the three jams new livery. The new look, which –has raspberry & chilli, been rolled out blackcurrant across the & rosemary,preserves and strawberry & company’s collection, mint – is brand said tomove intensify sees the intothe ŴDYRXURIWKHIUXLW URXQGMDUVZLWKFRORXUIXOODEHOVb

Welsh producer Shelly’s has branched out beyond its core shortbread offering, creating its own Welsh cake version of the JDULEDOGL0DGHZLWK:HOVKEXWWHU the hand-rolled, hand-cut biscuits are said to be “deliciously spiced and chewy with a caramelised crust�.

The Zingiberi Bakery, the Kent family business behind The Captain’s Crackers, has introduced a ‘warm chilli’ cracker variety and gone plastic free. The oat-based crackers, made with honey, black pepper, sea salt and seeds, now come in completely compostable packaging.

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

Voted Best Biscuit Brand by independent retailers 2016, 2017 & 2018

Every recipe in the Peter’s Yard range is now a Great Taste award-winner Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


Charlotte Brown’s Handmade

Artisan Preserves and Relishes

Traditional – but different Our Onion Relish is different – Great Taste judges called it “funky”! Our Piccalilli is very traditional, but they liked that a lot too

Email or call today for free samples

DELI RANGE Come and visit us at: IFE 2019

March 17th-20th - Stand N2591

Farm Shop & Deli Show April 8th-10th - Stand F72 Tel 02380 671047 / 07826 835127

Driver's Pickles

Driver's Foods



Cranberry Cookie baking kit

Inspired by the rise of upcoming craft brew distillers across the island of Ireland, we thought it only right to celebrate their success by creating our range of brew spreads. Every jar in our range is packed full of the robust flavours we find in the Great Irish craft beers today.

Perfect addition to any cheeseboard

IIRISH KöLSCH – made from the 08 Kölsch brewed by Northbound Brewery in Derry City. DERRY IPA – made using an IPA brewed by Heaney Farmhouse Brewery in Bellaghy, Co. Derry DARK ALE – we use Devils Washtub Dark Ale brewed by Lacada Brewery in Portrush, Co. Antrim ARMAGH CIDER – made using Longmeadow’s Medium Dry Cider from Armagh.

Our award winning baking kits are produced in Cumbria using only the finest ingredients and all of our packaging is eco friendly. For baking kits and baking subscriptions visit: 38

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


sweet & savoury biscuits +DYLQJHVWDEOLVKHGDPDUNHW for its one-pot bean-based PHDOV6RPHUVHWĹ?VEasy Bean has created a trio of savoury crackers using naturally gluten-free pulse Ĺ´RXUV7KHWKUHHYDULHWLHV DUHUHGOHQWLO SRSS\VHHG JUHHQSHD FKLDVHHGDQG IDYDEHDQ SRSS\VHHG 553eIRUDJFDUWRQ containing four handy packs RIĆ“YHFUDFNHUV

,QDVHDRIĹ´DYRXUHG crackers, Paxton & :KLWĆ“HOG has gone back to basics and launched a “plainâ€? all-round cracker. Original Crackers are said WRKDYHDPHOORZĹ´DYRXU WKDWFRPSOHPHQWVVWURQJHU partners such as Cashel Blue, and a snap that lends itself well to buttery cheeses like Brie de Meaux and Rollright. RRP ÂŁ2.99 for JWUDGHSULFHe SD[WRQDQGZKLWĆ“HOGFRXN

The gingerbread gurus at Shropshire’s Image on Food have created two new SRUWLRQSDFNVIRUFDIÂŤVDQG coffee bars. 200-year-old heritage brand Billington’s Gingerbread now offers a two-biscuit snack pack, while individually wrapped PLQLJLQJHUEUHDGPHQDUH WKHĆ“UVWODXQFKIURPWKH FRPSDQ\Ĺ?VQHZ2ULJLQDO Biscuit Makers brand.

Chestnut is the star ingredient in the latest LQWURGXFWLRQIURPIUHHIURP wholefoods brand Amisa. Chestnut crispbreads are described as “light and crunchy gluten-free crispbreads with a rich, nutty and slightly sweet Ĺ´DYRXUĹ?DQGFDQEHHDWHQ with sweet or savoury toppings. They are already listed with Ocado, Whole )RRGV$PD]RQDQG6XPD DQGKDYHDQ553RIe for 100g.

Northern Ireland’s Heatherlea Bakery has collaborated with fellow Northern Ireland producer Irish Black Butter to develop DQRDWFDNHŴDYRXUHGZLWK the sweet/savoury spread PDGHIURP%UDPOH\DSSOHV treacle, spices and brandy. The Irish Black Butter oatcake is one of three new RDWFDNHYDULHWLHVIURPWKH %DQJRUEDNHU\ŊWKHRWKHUV are roasted coffee and chilli GDUNFKRFRODWHRDWFDNHV

2019 will see the launch of DQHZVXJDUIUHHUDQJHIURP Lancashire’s Farmhouse Biscuits. The four-strong line-up includes choc chip, oat crunch and ginger cookies, and Viennese shorties (RRP ÂŁ1.60 for J $OVRQHZLVDJOXWHQ free biscuit collection, with VL[UHFLSHVLQFOXGLQJOHPRQ ZKLWHFKRFFKLSVSLF\ VWHPJLQJHUDQGWULSOHFKRF 553eIRUJ

ChinsKitchen Peckish Kitchenhas hasrelaunched rebrandedits in a new, larger pack itsnankhatai rhubarb jam to become size. The rhubarb hand-made, buttery Yorkshire & custard jam, Indianlocal shortbreads now come in using rhubarb grown within 160g giftingtriangle tubes, containing the rhubarb of West 12 SLHFHVLQIRXUĹ´DYRXUVDOPRQG Yorkshire. It is also launching a & pistachio, rose & cardamom, new Raspberry Collins gin jam, chai spice and cocoa & vanilla made with raspberries steeped in (RRP ÂŁ12). Divine Gin.

Horsham Gingerbread’s Spicy $IWHUUHDFKLQJLWVƓUVW\HDURI Sussex biscuits are sporting new business, Hungry Squirrel livery, following a redesign has added maple pecan toaimed its at improving shelf stand-out. The ŴDYRXUHGQXWEXWWHUV0DGHZLWK gluten-free biscuit recipe pecans, almonds, maplewas syrup developed complement and a hint in of 2017 mixedtospices, the all types of cheese and features smooth butter has a trade price of butter, raw cane sugar, allspice and £3.95 per 150g jar (RRP £5-6). cayenne.

0DUFKVHHVWKHODXQFKRID Womersley Foods is now gluten-free biscotti from selling its fruity jams inKent a newly bakery Starlings Artisan Food. of designed gift box. The balance The almond biscotti joinsthree the jams herbs and chilli in the bakery’s other eight biscotti – raspberry & chilli, blackcurrant varieties in a and 38g strawberry twin-pack (RRP & rosemary, & £1.50) and 100g retail pack (RRP mint – is said to intensify the £3.25). ŴDYRXURIWKHIUXLW

“Naturally healthierâ€? cookie brand Wholey Moly launched into Selfridges in July 2018 and has since picked up listings with Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, Sourced Market and a bunch of independents. The idea for the product was born out of Meenesh and Parul 0LVWU\Ĺ?VIUXVWUDWLRQDWZRUNLQJLQDQRIĆ“FHZKHUHWKHSP VOXPSZDVPHWZLWKDERPEDUGPHQWRIVXJDU\FDORULĆ“F treats. By contrast, Wholey Moly cookies are vegan, FRQWDLQQRUHĆ“QHGVXJDUDQGDUHSDFNHGZLWKQXWULWLRXV LQJUHGLHQWVOLNHFRFRQXWRLOFDFDRKHPSVHHGVDQGQXWV 7KH\FRPHLQWKUHHĹ´DYRXUVĹŠFDFDR RUDQJHFDFDR  KD]HOQXWDQGDOPRQGKHPS FKLDĹŠDQGDUHLQGLYLGXDOO\ SDFNHG 553eIRUDJFRRNLH


Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


Award winning biscuits throughout our range

Sweet & savoury biscuits in both traditional recipes and those unique to McKenzie’s Biscuits baked to the highest standards. Now available throughout the UK and selected overseas markets Traditional butter biscuits and oatcakes. Our own UHFLSHKHUEà DYRXUHGVDYRXU\ELVFXLWVLQYDULRXV à DYRXUVLQFOXGLQJWK\PHURVHPDU\DQGEDVLO Oatcakes

The finest biscuits for cheese from the Isle of Lewis. Tel: 01851 702733

COLLECTOR’S EDITION Featuring iconic Steven Brown Art designs, Dean’s bring you a range of beautifully presented gift tins containing their melt in the mouth, all butter shortbread. T: 01466 792086 40

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

Stem Ginger Biscuits

mckenzie biscuits

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Cheese Oatcakes

McKenzie quality biscuits A Scottish Tradition www.


Hider cuts range by 20% for new lines and own-brand expansion By Lauren Phillips

Hider Foods has announced that it is cutting its product range by 20% to make space for “a raft of new lines� and expand its recently acquired Butler’s Grove range and own-brand products. Some 750 products, out of 3,500 lines, are set to be removed from the Hull-based distributor’s portfolio by March to allow the business to add new lines and new producers. The decision follows Hider’s move into manufacturing last July after it acquired Dart Valley Food’s Butler’s Grove brand and production equipment. But speaking to FFD, managing director Duncan Hider said the shakeup was “part and parcel of the same plan�. “We’re really keen to take on new products,� said Hider, “but the only way we can do that is by making room for them, so it’s a good opportunity to wheedle out the products that aren’t working for us.� He added that the space made from the reshuffle will allow the distributor to expand on its range of Butler’s Grove products as well as its own-brand lines and other key brands it works with. This will result in a higher percentage of Hider’s catalogue consisting of own-brand and in-house lines, which will hopefully appeal to retailers who prefer to deal directly with suppliers. “There are still a lot retailers out there that prefer to deal with producers directly, so the more brands we can offer that we are directly responsible for the better,� said Hider. He added that the review – set to be completed by March 2019 – will consider all

Duncan Hider is looking to expand the distributor’s &KULVWPDVDQGJLIWOLQHVIRUWKHƓQDOTXDUWHURI

categories in the distributor’s repertoire as it looks to reduce the number of brands it carries in the first two quarters of the year. Christmas and gifting lines are two sections the distributor wants to increase in time for the fourth quarter. Although food trends will be on the distributor’s agenda when seeking new lines, Hider said he also wants to hear from retailers about the brands they would like to see from the wholesaler. “We’re receptive to what is missing,� said Hider. “For the last six months, we have been struggling to take on new products, so now after this rationalisation we want to hear from our customers. We value their feedback on what they want to see in our catalogue and what they want to see from us.�

Restaurant serves up mayos for the retail market By Lauren Phillips

to its range: black truffle and a vegan garlic variety. “There was a huge demand A Belgian fries restaurant for our flavoured mayos and in Brighton, serving up after looking around we felt over 20 different sauces as there was a gap in the market accompaniments, is now for this condiment,â€? said Chan offering its most popular Beevers director of BeFries. flavours in 180g jars for retail. “Especially vegan mayos which BeFries, which opened in we found hard to find any we August 2016, offers consumers really liked.â€? a range of sauces including Having also launched a new hot satay, curry ketchup, BBQ, cheese and smoked chili ketchup website to showcase the range, there are now plans to develop alongside a portion of fries. new recipes and launch more The restaurant launched flavours for retail including a an initial range of flavoured vegan Samurai sauce – a chilli mayonnaises – garlic, green mayonnaise with mild spice. peppercorn, Samurai, dill & The business is distributing gherkin, and a Great Taste twoproducts itself via a refrigerated star vegan basil – for the retail van across the south east of market in 2017 (RRP ÂŁ3.50England, with plans for national 3.95). Now, the company is adding distribution in the near future. two new flavoured vegan mayos

Displays that pay PEP-UP YOUR SHELVES WITH THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD’S RESIDENT MERCHANDISING QUEEN JILLY SITCH Some retailers remind me of stroppy teenagers. “But, Mum, I’ve updated my pricing, restocked the hot spots and made sure those dingy corners are well-lit.� That’s great, dear, but you’re not engaging enough at eye level. You’ve got to remember that delis and farm shops can be slightly intimidating for a lot of consumers. So, they’re not going to explore, they’ll just look straight ahead. You need to be able to entice them with a bit of colour, encourage them to pick products up and give them a feel for your shop all in one horizontal space. When it comes to shelves, get your best sellers on there and your newest additions (not stuff you’re trying to shift). This is also the space to get your messages across. Blackboards and signage with promotions and events should be set up at this level, whether on the top of the serveover, on the back wall or on the door. And when you’ve done all of that, young man, you can tidy your stock room.

WHAT’S NEW Little’s has unveiled new labelling and plastic-free packaging across its 13-strong range. The new format makes LWWKHƓUVWLQVWDQWFRIIHHEUDQG in the UK to be completely plastic-free, while increasing its shelf impact, and appealing to a \RXQJHUPRUHDIŴXHQWGHPRJUDSKLF Porridge producer White’s has signed an agreement with Empire Bespoke Foods that will give its range of porridge oats, mueslis and granolas (including its Great Taste winner White’s Organic Jumbo Oats) increased UK distribution.

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



My magic ingredient

Two-year-old Urban Cordial has refreshed its branding to include bolder graphics, witty descriptors such as “Strawberry & Sage: sweetly wiseâ€?, and cartoon-style imagery which ties the brand’s key messages together and increases shelf presence. UK-based Scandinavian food specialist ScandiKitchen has launched a collection of premium jams available via Cotswold Fayre. Produced in Sweden, the wild berry jams come in three varieties – Cloudberry, Lingonberry and Bilberry – and have 55% berry content. Dalston’s Soda Co has introduced four new Ĺ´DYRXUVRIFUDIWVRGD)L]]\5KXEDUEDQG)L]]\ Blackcurrant join its core selection, while a new range called Soda Lights – which are 20 calories SHUFDQĹŠFRQVLVWVRI5HDO6TXHH]HG(OGHUĹ´RZHU DQG5HDO6TXHH]HG5KXEDUE553ePO

Vinegar Shed Fleuriet Prune Vinegar REGULA YSEWIJN Food Writer There is a whole new world of vinegars out there, born from intriguing “mothersâ€? with results that are so complex you can’t help but compare it to a good wine or blended whisky. Fleuriet Prune Vinegar is one of those rather special vinegars, made from Pineau des Charentes rosĂŠ vinegar with Agen prunes, URVHPDU\RUDQJH]HVWEODFNSHSSHUFRUQVĹ´HXU de sel and a little sugar. I love anything to do with prunes but I didn’t realise how versatile it would be in my kitchen. As a starter, a simple blue cheese & walnut salad becomes something special with the vinegar’s prune notes. A fatty game patĂŠ is EULJKWHQHGE\DGUL]]OHRILWRUDGGDIHZGURSV at the end of cooking a dark beef stew to give DQH[WUDGHSWKRIĹ´DYRXU For pudding, it comes to life with the best handmade vanilla ice cream or paired with an amber tarte tatin. And the morning after there, is a private moment when it tops off my thick yoghurt and granola. Regula bought hers online at

It comes to life with the best ice cream or paired with amber tarte tatin

Nim’s takes a bite out of tea market with edible range By Lauren Phillips

Already known for its fruit and vegetable crisps, Nim’s has branched out into hot drinks with the launch of the UK’s first edible tea range. The tea infusions are airdried pieces of fruit and veg packaged into single-serve home-compostable sachets – or three teaspoons per serving for a small teapot with infuser – allowing the drinker

to enjoy their tea and then eat the rehydrated produce used to make it. The range comes in three varieties: pineapple & kiwi; pineapple, beetroot & parsnip; and beetroot & parsnip. Currently the products are only available to retailers directly via Nim’s website, although the producer has said it is looking for other routes to market too. The wholesale price is £3.50 per pack (12 x 12g

sachet in a pack), with a case price of ÂŁ28 (eight units). Founder and CEO Nimisha Raja said the teas were developed as a way of using up small pieces of by-product from its crisp-making operation. “We’ve been playing around with ideas of what we could do with the broken and small crisp pieces,â€? she said. It wasn’t until the company created its Infusions range (air-dried slices of fruit such as lemon, lime or orange which can be infused in hot or cold drinks) that it came up with Edible Teas. Having launched the initial range, Raja added that other flavours were currently in the pipeline. “We already have another five or six varieties trialled,â€? she said. “Some are rather adventurous, so it will be interesting to see what feedback we get from wider trials prior to launch.â€?


January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

One of the newest kombuchas on the market is The Mighty Bucha, a “living health drinkâ€? created by medical herbalist Wendy Budd. 3LWFKHGDVDQDWXUDOHQHUJLVHUDQGGHWR[LĆ“HUWKH kombucha drink comes in two varieties: ginkgo, ginseng & sarsaparilla and green coffee & green tea. Both can be consumed neat or as a mixer LQSODFHRIDĆ“]]\GULQN553eSHUPO eIRUOLWUH

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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1


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SHELF TALK Tenuta Marmorelle adopts fresh approach with new pasta range By Lauren Phillips

Managing director Nick Carlucci said the range was specified as “deep-filled� due to the large amount of filling-to-pasta ratio. “The filling is the star made with the freshest Italian ingredients available. We decided on the deep fillings to stand out from other filled pasta on the market where usually the pasta quantity is greater than the filling.�

Following the launch of its bronze-drawn dried pasta range, Italian food importer Tenuta Marmorelle is introducing a deep-filled fresh pasta range. Launching at this year’s Fine Food Show North in Harrogate on the 10th and 11th March, the new range consists of ravioli in four different fillings and shapes: fresh ricotta & spinach (trade £2.75, RRP £4.25, 250g); ricotta, black truffle & mushroom (trade £3.45, RRP £5.30, 250g); pork, mortadella & cheese (trade £2.15, RRP £3.30, 250g); and Cacio e Pepe, filled with fresh Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper (trade £3.45, RRP £5.30, 250g). The pasta itself is bronze-drawn egg pasta, produced by a family business in Bologna that the importer works with, and has a shelf life of 45 days refrigerated.

WHAT’S NEW Jazzing up breakfast time is Primrose’s Kitchen with its new chia & charcoal porridge made from gluten-free oats. The charcoal (supplied by The Dorset Charcoal Company) helps reduce cholesterol levels, while chia seeds DUHVDLGWREHKLJKLQƓEUH protein and antioxidants. RRP £3.99, 400g. Greek producer Chimera is seeking distribution in the UK for its sparkling wine infused with saffron. Produced from four different grape varieties, including the Greek Assyrtiko and French Chardonnay, the drink is clean, dry with a crisp DFLGLW\DQGGHOLFDWHŴDYRXU RRP £25.


1 Everything’s for sale: Merging the


dining and retail experience is something delis and farm shops have been doing for some time. However, this concept is being taken to a much grander stage at London’s Coal 2IƓFHDUHVWDXUDQWZKHUHHYHU\WKLQJIURP WKHOLJKWƓWWLQJVWRWKHFURFNHU\LVDYDLODEOH to purchase. Ottolenghi is also onto this experiential merchandising method at his new site Rovi. Together they demonstrate an extra revenue stream for restaurants. In an era where everyone’s selling a lifestyle, not just product, it’s a tactic to take note of.

Pipers Crisps is changing where it sources the NH\LQJUHGLHQWIRULWVWRPDWRĹ´DYRXUHGFULVSV from April onwards. The tomatoes will now be sourced from the Isle of Wight’s Arreton Valley which ZLOOEHUHĹ´HFWHG in a name change on the packs from ‘Wissington’ to ‘Arreton’.

Ć Seed butters: Alternative nut butters have grown in popularity, with almond and cashew varieties having graduated from hipster brunch spots to supermarket aisles. Right now WKRXJKEXWWHUVPDGHIURPSXPSNLQVXQĹ´RZHU and even hemp seeds are attracting serious attention. This comes at a time when tahini, the sesame seed paste and cornerstone of hummus, LVEHLQJXVHGLQPRUHOHIWĆ“HOGZD\VVXFKDVLQ cookies and ice creams. Expect to see a lot more seed butters weaving their way through trendy cafĂŠ menus throughout 2019.



3 Wax wrap: ,QWKHFRQWLQXHGƓJKWDJDLQVW plastic, consumers are now looking beyond the reusable coffee cup in search of new ways to reduce their plastic footprint. Waxed cotton wraps are reusable kitchen accessories that UHSODFHFOLQJƓOPDQGVDYHPRQH\%\LQIXVLQJ organic cotton cloth with wax, tree resin and jojoba oil, Abeego has created a pliable and easy-to-use product for wrapping sandwiches, fruit and food in the same way you would with FOLQJƓOP9DULHWLHVPDGHZLWKYHJDQIULHQGO\ soy wax are also available from producers and, what’s more, the cloth designs brighten up lunchboxes and fridge shelves too.

Following on from the launch of its seeded bread, white bread and pizza base mixes last year, FREEE by Doves Farm has extended its range of glutenfree mixes with three new varieties for baking. Needing only two store-cupboard ingredients, the chocolate brownie mix (RRP ÂŁ2.95, 350g), pancake mix (RRP ÂŁ2.35, 300g), and choc chip cookie mix (RRP ÂŁ3.25, 350g) are free from gluten, egg and vegetarian-friendly. They can also be vegan-friendly when following the back-of-pack recipes. Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

SHOW PREVIEW 6 - 7 February 2019 Exeter

The West Country’s biggest food & drink trade show returns to the Westpoint Exhibition Centre in Exeter on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th February 2019. Here’s why you should visit:

Six reasons to visit… The Source




Where the West meets you

New year, new prospects

Discover it first

The South West’s biggest food & drink trade show, The Source has grown by 35% over the last two years alone. This year, visitors can meet more than 200 exhibitors working in different sectors from food products to EPoS systems. Among suppliers from the West Country are Rodda’s, Frobishers Juices, and Salcombe Dairy.

Taking place at the start of February, The Source is the ideal event for retailers looking to give their business fresh momentum before the next trading season. So, whether you’re looking for a unique product or new equipment to liven up your shop’s offering there is plenty on show.

A regular show feature is the ‘Newcomers’ area, for companies that are completely new to exhibiting at trade shows. This year, visitors can discover speciality coffee from Olfactory Coffee Roasters, real ales and beers from Red Rock Brewery, and premium chocolate alternatives from Moo Free Chocolates.




Cooking up a storm

Find some ‘Ginspiration’

Let’s talk tourism

The Demonstration Kitchen will see a host of budding and top chefs taking to the stage to serve up culinary tips and 2019 food & drink trends. The lineup includes 2018 South West Chef of the Year Tim Kendall, Gercelynn Mae Dionio (Young Professional Chef of the Year), and Sophie Kennard (Apprentice Chef of the Year).

An area dedicated to the drinks industry will focus on the latest products, techniques, services, and trends for both the on- and off-trade. There will also be an LWC drinks masterclass to provide visitors with practical ideas and ‘Ginspiration’, featuring gins from Salcombe Distilling Co, Agnes Arber and Empress 1908.

The Westcountry Tourism Conference will be running alongside the show with a half-day programme on both days. Designed for anyone working in the tourism industry across the South West and further afield, leading businesses will offer advice on topics such as increasing profitability, visitor numbers, and retaining visitors. Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



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For your free promotion pack contact or call +44 (0)1747 825200 Order while stocks last. Promotion available for independent retailers only. *120 give-away books |


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DELI OF THE MONTH From its contemporary-styled store fronts and polished steel ‘walls of cheese’ to its newly launched online store, Clare Jackson’s Slate proves that grey – in all its shades – can be a retail turn-on

Nifty shades of grey THERE ARE THREE kinds of shop name, Clare Jackson tells me. There’s the “surname name” (think Candice Fonseca’s Delifonseca in Liverpool). There’s the “place name” (Neal’s Yard Dairy and a thousand others). And then there’s the “random word associated with the product”. “One that I love,” Jackson says, “is Pong. You know? I just love that. It sticks in the mind.” We’re sitting in a quiet corner of a striking café and beer shop created by brewer Adnams in its home town of Southwold, Suffolk, and we’re talking about Slate, the brand that Jackson and her father John Ormerod dreamt up long before they had a cheese shop to stick the name on. Like cheese, Jackson expains, slate is a natural product. It also gets better with age. And while the colour grey, she admits, can be “a bit dull”, when you put it in the hands of a decent branding


Locations: 6 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk, IP18 6HZ and 138 High St, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5AQ Floor space: Southwold: 400 sq ft, Aldeburgh: 600 sq ft Turnover: £500,000 (combined) No of employees: 8 full-time equivalent (varying seasonally), plus the owners 52

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

and design agency – she and Ormerod chose What Associates in Ipswich - it’s transformed into something cool and contemporary. The Slate brand now sits above the door of two Suffolk cheese shops, which both opened under that name in November 2017. One is in Southwold, almost next door to the Adnams’ café that has been Jackson’s unofficial office since she first found premises here. The other is in Aldeburgh, half an hour’s drive down the coast, in what was once Lawson’s Deli. And now there’s an online shop too, grafted on to Slate’s website a few weeks before Christmas 2018 and already picking up orders. Considering neither Jackson nor her father have retail backgrounds, that’s not a bad start. But then, they’re not exactly low achievers. Before taking a career break to have kids, Jackson worked in London for PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of

the world’s biggest accounting firms. Ormerod was a UK senior partner at the biggest, Deloitte, and spent 30 successful years with another professional services giant, Arthur Anderson. Although 70 this year, he still has fingers in many business pies, says Jackson. Yet often, at weekends, he can be found on the pavement outside Slate Southwold, luring shoppers into the tiny 400 sq ft store with tasters. “They call him the ‘Pied Piper of Cheese’,” she says. And Jackson too gives the lie to the image of accountants as a bit dull and, er, grey. She’s zesty, knowledgeable and laughs a lot, but still has that sharp edge that ensures, for example, that FFD’s camera doesn’t pick up anything in the shop that she’s not proud of. When I rib her about this, she says quickly: “Do you know any small business owner that isn’t a bit controlling?” Jackson’s family had been coming to this

MUST-STOCKS Gorgonzola dolce (Carozzi) Shipcord extra-mature (Rodwell Farm Dairy) Baron Bigod (Fen Farm Dairy) Suffolk Gold (Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses) Weydeland 1000-day-aged gouda Burt’s Blue cheese Bray’s Cottage pork pies Pump Street bread Pump Street chocolate Peter’s Yard crispbread – original The Fine Cheese Co Toast For Cheese – dates, hazlenuts & pumpkin seeds Foods of Athenry gluten-free crackers Eastgate Larder medlar preserves Fruit Magpie fruit cheeses Rosebud Preserves fig chutney Slate own-brand chilli jam Bracey Bees honey

prosperous area of Suffolk for decades – part of that weekend and summer exodus from the Capital that made this East Anglia’s first “London-on-Sea”. Then in 2016, with one of their children at boarding school in Suffolk, she and her husband moved home permanently to Woodbridge, north of Ipswich. It was here that, with her father, she began mulling her next business move. “We had the idea for Slate – the name and concept – the summer I was moving up,” she recalls. “We thought it could work in Southwold, and started looking at this shop, but then we saw Lawson’s was on the market and thought that would be a good option to start with.” They took over from long-time owners Richard Lawson and Claire Bruce-Clayton in January 2017 and ran the Aldeburgh shop under its old name for 10 months – “We sort of slipped in under the radar” – while learning the ropes. One big bonus of moving into an existing shop was inheriting the staff, most of whom had worked at the high street store for several years. “So that gave us a jump-start, particularly as they were very experienced in the Aldeburgh market – what customers like, and the pattern of the year, which is so seasonal.”

Aldeburgh was rebranded and – after a flurry of building work at both sites – opened in unison with the new Southwold Slate store in November 2017. But there was still plenty to learn. “A lot of people come at running their own food business through the chef route and knowing about food,” says Jackson, “and find things like VAT returns and payroll the big learning curve. “For us, if the VAT people want to do a spotcheck on our records, that sort of plays to our strengths. Our learning curve was round things like managing stock. “We had lots of ideas, but it’s the practicalities of keeping the show on the road – like not ordering too much on the first day. I just love big wheels of cheese but they’re too big to cut in our shop. I didn’t realise you get the supplier to cut them into halves or quarters!” While FFD originally reported on the “takeover” of Lawson’s deli, and even how father and daughter planned to open “a second branch of Lawson’s”, Jackson is quick to quash that idea. “We don’t call this a deli,” she says. “We took over Lawson’s premises, but Slate is a cheese shop. To me, it’s a different mindset. CONTINUED ON PAGE 55

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


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January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

DELI OF THE MONTH “We say ‘cheese and provisions’, because we still have the crackers and chutneys and so on, but the focus, and where our excitement and enthusiasm comes from, is cheese.” While the slightly bigger Aldeburgh store has room to offer salads and other in-house products from its own kitchen, the heart of both shops is their “wall of cheese”: an upright chiller typically containing 40-50 varieties. “From my visits to other specialist shops I’d say that’s at the lower end in terms of numbers,” says Jackson, “but we’d rather have fewer, bigger pieces, for the visual impact and for quality. If you have tiny pieces of 100 different cheeses it’s hard to keep them in good condition.” She continues: “Sadly we don’t have the space to make the whole shop a walk-in ‘cheese room’, so we do have to wrap our cheeses to stop them drying out. It’s a shame, because it would be amazing to have more of them sitting out, but that’s the practicality thing with small businesses: you can dream, but you have to work with what you’ve got on site and what’s realistic in terms of budget.” You’ve only got to look at what’s in the chiller in Southwold – and sample some of the cheeses – to agree with Jackson’s approach. While a fraction of the range is there to appeal to the day-trippers who descend on the town in

summer, the bulk showcases the best of British artisan cheeses – Westcombe cheddar, Dorstone, Wigmore – and quality Continentals like the “1,000-day” aged gouda from Weydeland and the shop’s single biggest seller: Carozzo’s scoopable soft Gorgonzola Dolce, sold by the potful. This alone draws plenty of regulars, and so does Slate’s soft-sell, tasting-led approach with other cheeses. “When people come in there’s no pressure to buy,” says Jackson. “It’s about having a conversation. “The thing we loved before we had our own shops was the experience of tasting before you buy. It’s just so important.” Alpine varieties are much in evidence when FFD visits in January, tapping wintery thoughts of raclette and fondue, but it’s the Brits that make Jackson’s heart sing. “I find it fascinating: you have all these dairies dotted around Britain and you can really visualise the landscape, the grass and what that means for the milk.” In particular, she champions East Anglian cheeses: not just national stars like Baron Bigod from Fen Farm and Julie Cheyney’s St Jude, but lesser known varieties like Shipcord from Rodwell Farm Dairy, Suffolk Blue from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and Norfolk Dapple from Arthur Betts at Ferndale Cheeses. While there’s a core range of 40 varieties, at

least 10 others are rotated regularly, and “cheese reviews” take place every three months at the most, aided by data from Slate’s reporting system, bought from The EPOS Bureau. With space at a premium, accompaniments to all these cheeses are carefully curated and displayed quite systematically. There’s a cheeseboard section that includes crackers and chutneys; an antipasti and nibbles section; nonfood gifts and cheeseboards; cooking ingredients for cheese dishes, including pasta and sauces; and an after-dinner “cheese as pudding” section where chocolate is displayed. It’s an intelligent approach, as you’d expect, and – along with add-ons like wedding cheese cakes and holiday cottage hampers – has helped take turnover across the two stores to around £500,000 in little more than a year. Now, says Jackson, it’s about consolidation, and seeing how Slate can develop its online offer. “Listening to a podcast after Christmas, I heard that you don’t need a shop in every high street, but that having a ‘home’ for your online brand helps to give credibility and build trust. “A lot of customers have now met our brand in one of our shops. I’d love to see more people accessing Slate cheese online when they get home.”

I heard on a podcast that you don’t need a shop in every high street, but having a ‘home’ for your online brand gives you credibility and builds trust

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019








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Mrs N. Quirk

Cornish Yarg cheese is hand made in open vats at our dairy near Truro. Crumbly in the core and creamy under the rind, its distinctive nettle or wild garlic leaf rind imparts delicate flavours as it matures over six weeks.


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Award Winning Distillery

Producing All Our Spirits From Grain To Glass. 01267 275395

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019



Even the supermarkets’ food figures seemed to hold up over Christmas. It was homeware and clothing that did for them.

IT’S A CURIOUS month, January. I find myself playing out my annual Groundhog Day. Should I stop drinking for the month? I join the local swimming club (again) and vow to lose a stone. But if I’m honest it’s the yearly how-was-your-Christmas analysis that claws me out of festive hibernation. It kick-starts the year and helps me to get into positive mode (normally) and by Jove, we need some uplifting food business vibes right now. And it really wasn’t too bad, was it. Expecting worse? I was. Even the

By John Farrand managing director


Darius Dzinnik/





:DQWWREHD6KRSRI WKH<HDUZLQQHU" Feedback from our expert judges reveals those retail details where crucial points are won and lost.

Guild of Fine Food Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

January-February 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 1

PET HATES The popular movement against plastics is gaining momentum. Aim to reduce their use wherever you can – and make sure your shoppers know the progress you’re making.

-,/77+(:,/7 It may be low on taste and high on food miles but supermarket fresh produce tends to look annoyingly good under its expensive lighting. Rememer what you’re up against and root out anything that looks old or tired - and ideally use it up in your shop kitchen to avoid waste.



A CLEAN SLATE From slates for plates to upcycled pallets, clever new ideas soon become clichés. Watch Instagram, Pinterest and TV chefs to keep your presentation fresh - as Farndon Fields has done with these terracotta plant-pot chip holders (below). Wire baskets are so 2018!

’S I N T H

WHO’S WHO AT GUILD HQ Managing director: John Farrand Marketing director: Tortie Farrand Sales director: Sally Coley Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

But should we be worried about that? Having grumpily walked out of Jamie’s in Bath last year I’m reckoning it might be a good thing. Is it yet another message from the food lovers of Britain (and Ireland) that 'ordinary' ain’t cutting the mustard? Are we beginning to see through the style-over-substance nature of these low-brow restaurant chains in the same way that we are seeing through the faux farms that the supermarkets create for their produce sections? I am sure there are genuine economic reasons for their woes, but perhaps those chains just weren’t good enough? Maybe that’s my message for 2019. Be good enough. No, be great enough. Great customer experience (have you had your free mystery shop report from Insight6, retail members?), great food and drink in store (come to Fine Food Show North) and run an altogether great shop (our GFF Deli Code launching this Spring will help you there). 2019 – Make Britain Great Again. Mmm, that’s quite good. Someone should coin that phrase.

Tevarak Phanduang/

View from HQ

supermarkets’ food figures seemed to hold up. It was homewares and clothing that did for them. Having read FFD’s analysis online ( I’m liking the fact that shopping in highend food shops is becoming part of the Christmas experience, as Macknades’ Stefano Cuomo puts it. But I don’t want this column to be all rose-tinted puff. That’s not balanced or indeed accurate. There were a couple of high-profile closures over Christmas and into the New Year and I’m sure there will be more. The total mystery and uncertainty concerning our exit from the EU is certainly causing problems, more from that same mystery and uncertainty than from reality. For me, it‘s still the demise of the high street that is most concerning. And our close cousins in foodservice Seemed to have also had a poor 2018. The high-profile closures in Jamie’s Kitchen, Strada and Byron made headlines and were sad for those employees who lost out.


• Compiled from feedback by retail experts and Insight6 mystery shoppers on visits to shortlisted stores in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year competition. Visit for details.

Sales executive: Becky Haskett Operations manager: Karen Price Operations assistants: Claire Powell, Emily Harris, Janet Baxter, Ellie Jones

Events manager: Stephanie Rogers Events assistant: Sophie Brentnall Training & events manager: Jilly Sitch Circulation manager: Nick Crosley

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

news from the guild of fine food

The word on

Westminster By Edward Woodall ACS WHILE THE GAZE of the national media focuses on finding a way through the Brexit process and pontificating about what this will mean for the future of the country and our political system, other parts of Whitehall quietly rumble on with their policy development process. Many will have failed to notice that the Department of Health and Social Care published a consultation on restricting the way that products high in fat, salt, and sugar are promoted and located in stores. In normal times this would have been a front-page splash in the Saturday papers inciting fractious political debate on the need to tackle the obesity crisis vs. nanny state interventionism.

As it happens, it received very little coverage, but these proposals are worth scrutinising to understand their objectives and the implications for food businesses. It is also worth being aware that Wales and Scotland are also consulting on similar proposals. There are a wide variety of views held across the political landscape about these types of interventions. In Westminster, some Cabinet Ministers have publicly criticised public health bodies for their calls for more taxes and bans on certain products.

It’s right for Government to consider how they support the health of the nation, but they must balance this against the practical implications and costs

Health Secretary Matt Hancock struck a more balanced tone when launching the long-term plan for the NHS, suggesting more “targeted measures” were required. Our starting point in this debate is that it’s right for

to testing that will suit all of them. Small retailers that only sell direct to the public may take a simplified approach to HACCP, such as Safer Food Better Business. They can reasonably assume that cheese delivered by their suppliers is safe when it arrives, and can ensure it stays that way through standard ‘prerequisite controls’ such as temperature control of the product and adequate cleaning of the premises. There may be no need for further microbiological sampling. If you are involved in ripening cheese as well as retailing, you may Paul Thomas need to carry out more sampling to reflect the changing condition of the Technical and regulatory product. In these cases, it’s important advice from the Guild’s to concentrate on the main hazards deli helpline applicable to retail. In soft cheeses Q: My EHO has asked me to develop this would generally mean Listeria a microbiological sampling plan monocytogenes, as it is able to grow for my cheese retail and wholesale during ripening. Hard cheeses are business. What should I be testing for? less vulnerable to Listeria growth. Other bugs are associated more A: It depends on the scale of your with cheese-making than retail. business and exactly what you do. Coagulase-Positive Staphylococci Distributors and shops come in all (CPS), Shiga toxin-producing E.coli sizes and there’s no standard approach (STEC) and Salmonella are generally

The deli doctor

government to consider how they support the health of the nation, but they must also balance this against the practical implications and costs that calorie labelling, banning promotions, and restricting location of products in store has for small retailers. We will be highlighting these practical, operational concerns in response to the government’s consultation. For small retailers, the most concerning policy is restricting the location of where products can be placed in stores, including at the checkout, store entrances, and end of aisles. These locations maybe easy to define in supermarkets, but it is not so easy for smaller retailers. The size of our stores means we have limited sales space and limited ability to adjust store layouts – we think exemptions will be required. As food retailers, we are all too aware of our customers desires for healthier diets and we are already striving to meet this demand, but we need to do a better job of communicating this to government. Let us know about the way your offer is changing, and how the role of healthy products is changing in your stores.

Edward Woodall is head of policy & public affairs at small shops group ACS

associated with manufacture and while it is possible for them to survive cheesemaking, numerous scientific studies have shown they are less likely to grow during distribution and storage. Campylobacter is a hazard associated with raw milk but is unlikely to survive during ripening. For a small wholesaler and retailer, it makes sense to focus testing on Listeria in soft, ripened cheeses. However, in some cases it might be advisable to carry out environmental swabbing for this organism, rather than product testing, to evaluate the effectiveness of your cleaning and disinfection. Guild member businesses can contact DeliHelp via the Members’ Hub for tailored guidance specific to their circumstances. Dairy and food safety specialist Paul Thomas runs the Guild’s e-helpline for retailers with technical or regulatory queries. It can be accessed through the Guild Members’ Hub at

Entries open now for 2019 Seed Fund start-up support scheme AMBITIOUS new food & drink brands are being invited to pitch for places on The Seed Fund Academy, the free support programme run by branding consultancy The Collaborators and backed by Great Taste. Now in its seventh year, the philanthropic scheme sees dozens of start-ups pitch their businesses to a panel of producers, wholesalers and marketing and funding specialists. Twelve will be selected to take part in the Academy: a summer programme of workshops, meet-the-buyers and one-to-one sessions with experts including

2018 winner Jethro Tennant has seen his small-batch Dorset Sea Salt listed in Selfridges

Camilla Barnard of Rude Health, Planet Organic founder Renée Elliott and Guild MD John Farrand. One is then chosen from among the finalists to receive a further year of support and brand development, with the winner announced at September’s Great Taste Golden Forks dinner Last year’s winner was Dorset Sea Salt, set up in 2017 by Jethro Tennant with a loan from The Prince’s Trust. Tennant’s smallbatch sea salt range has since been listed in Selfridges. The 2019 scheme kicks off in May with a ‘breaking bread’ session hosted by the Guild at No 42 Southwark St, where this year’s finalists will meet the mentors. It culiminates in an investment pitch day at Piper Private Equity in Notting Hill. Other sessions, split between No 42 and The Collaborators’ HQ near Bath, will cover topics such as PR, social media and ‘brand vision’. Businesses less than three years old and turning over less than £1m can enter online now. Closing date is March 31st. Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


2018 - 2019

2018 - 2019 The Taste of Success

2018 - 2019

2018 - 2019

Proud to be the only producer ranked as a favourite brand across two categories We’re celebrating winning runners up in Best Preserves Brand and Best Chutneys and Pickles Brand; voted for by Fine Food Digest readers. Marion Darlington began making her unique Lemon Curd in 1980 in the farmhouse kitchen and since then we’ve never looked back. Today with over 80 family favourites to choose from; there’s so much more to the Mrs Darlington’s family!

To find out more please visit our website at


Search “Mrs Darlington’s” on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Vol.20 Issue 1 | January-February 2019


Profile for Guild of Fine Food

FFD Jan-Feb 2019  

FFD Jan-Feb 2019