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‘Someone telling us Michael Dale and the “must haves”, the Annette Holliday on “don’t bothers” and the their ‘slick, modern, margins to aim for got urban’ store us off to a great start’

GROWTH BUSINESS 12 Why food sales are outstripping plant sales in garden centres across the nation May 2014 · Vol 15 Issue 4

SNAP HAPPY Find the crunchiest cookies and snappiest crackers in our round-up of sweet & savoury biscuits CHEF’S SELECTION 42 Davy’s pink peppercorns, Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, Barony Mill beremeal and Global Harvest wild fennel pollen are in Tom van Zeller’s larder

BEERS, WINES & SPIRITS 23 New launches and regional best-sellers to give your off-sales more fizz




May 2014 路 Vol.15 Issue 4

What’s new this month:


I needed to meet one, so I reserved a seat at the Conservative Party Spring Lunch in our village hall. I’m no card-carrying member and I certainly wasn’t there for the BOB FARRAND food and wine, although it had improved since the last lunch. The recession must officially be over. Our local MEP delivered a Why would anyone want to be a 20-minute presentation offering Euro MP? Apart from £80k a year, a dozen reasons why I mustn’t £415k in expenses and the fact you vote for Mr Farage’s party at the rarely need to show up for work, it’s upcoming elections. Politics, it a rubbish job. Nobody respects you appears, is more about slagging and the electorate is so convinced off the opposition than any real you’re on the fiddle they don’t concern for small businesses. bother to vote. A week later, we were alerted With an income that attractive, to yet another new EU regulation, you’d at least expect MEPs to fight this one promising to penalise food for the little guys, those of us really businesses with mandatory fees driving the economic recovery. each time an EHO rocks up for an Small businesses account for inspection (page 5). We lobbied 90% of companies in the EU and more MEPs than more than twoyou can shake a thirds of all jobs. According to the EU stick at and UK The EU claims website, the UK has Conservatives to operate a successfully ‘Think Small First’ 73 MEPs, of which 11 can’t be bothered to proposed an principle – one amendment that places small supply a CV so we’ve giving Member business interests no idea what they’re States the option at the heart of all qualified to do to levy fees to new regulations cover the cost of inspections and – so I decided to check out how to exempt small businesses from ‘small business’ minded our MEPs ‘excessive’ fees. actually are. The key word here is ‘option’ According to the EU website, as it appears local authorities may the UK has 73 MEPs, of which 11 eventually, if they so wish, charge can’t be bothered to supply a CV, so you every time they conduct a food we’ve no idea what they’re qualified hygiene inspection. to do. Of the remaining 62, six Let’s all guess how many previously worked as schoolteachers, of them will actually resist the five are gentlemen farmers, 18 opportunity to boost existing fat spent an average of eight years incomes from business rates and either as solicitors or working for parking charges with one or two large corporations and six have extra visits to your premises. actually run their own businesses. The remaining 26 – almost a third of British MEPs – have no work Bob Farrand is publisher of Fine Food experience other than as professional Digest and chairman of the Guild of politicians or political advisors. Fine Food







Tel: 01747 825200 Fax: 01747 824065

Editor: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Michael Lane Art director: Mark Windsor Editorial production: Richard Charnley Contributors: Clare Hargreaves, Patrick McGuigan, Lynda Searby

ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey, Ruth Debnam Published by Great Taste Publications Ltd and the Guild of Fine Food Ltd Chairman/publisher: Bob Farrand Managing director/associate publisher: John Farrand Director/membership secretary: Linda Farrand Marketing & circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates, Karen Price, Jilly Sitch Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance

Guild of Fine Food, Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £45pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Blackmore, Dorset, UK © Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2014. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.

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Editor’s choice

Selected by Mick Whitworth

Lyme Bay Winery ginger liqueur

I’ve always been more interested in Lyme Bay’s Jack Ratt scrumpy cider than its country wines, meads and liqueurs. I’ve got a professional aversion to buying ‘gift’ foods and an unprofessional liking for cider that actually tastes like it might contain fermented apple juice. But chatting with Lyme Bay marketing manager Lucy Bennett in the winery shop a few weeks ago, this little package stood out a mile. They’ve taken a range previously sold in mini decanters and filled it into a choice of four, quite boutique-y bottle shapes. With an RRP around £7.95 it’s a smart little gift for a younger target audience.

p24 Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


fine food news Researcher Planet Retail warns independents of ‘massive shift in shopping behaviour’

Click-and-collect is latest threat as online competition mounts By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Delis and farm shops that do not embrace internet retailing risk being sidelined as more shoppers switch to ‘click-and-collect’ and the large grocery players hone their home delivery businesses, FFD has been told. Independent retailers have traditionally struggled to make a success of online sales due to constraints on time, space and resources, but retail experts say pressure is building on them to adopt the technology as consumer shopping habits change. According to new research from Planet Retail, the percentage of UK shoppers buying products online and then collecting them in store is poised to more than double by 2017, accounting for 76% of all online shoppers. “Retailers should be readying themselves for this massive shift in shopping behavior,” said Planet Retail analyst Natalie Berg. “Looking ahead to the next five years, the big retailers will be better equipped with relevant technologies to capture additional spend. The danger for indies is when online retailers begin tapping into their unique selling points. For example, shoppers can order directly from the deli counter.” Online delivery companies are also evolving, with Ocado increasing its range of speciality products, most recently with a campaign to find ‘Britain’s Next Top Supplier’, while Waitrose saw online sales increase by around 40% last year. Online food business FarmDrop launched in March and enables shoppers to buy direct from farmers and small producers, using the click and collect model. Customers order via the website, with producers delivering to a drop point at a set time each week. Each FarmDrop is set up and managed by ‘keepers’, who take 10% of any sale, while FarmDrop’s central office takes 10% and the producer takes 80%. The scheme has nine FarmDrops under development across the country and aims to open up to 350 in the long term. The new scheme potentially cuts out the need for retailers altogether, as founder Ben Pugh explained: “With FarmDrop you are able to order directly from your local farmer, radically shortening the supply chain


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

FarmDrop began clickand-collect sales in March. Consumers collect from ‘keepers’, who take a 10% commission

Dot.comment: How retailers see online sales Online is a threat, ❛especially when it comes to hamper sales and gift items. Although people like Waitrose and other delis are competition, they have the same constraints as us. It’s when producers go into trading directly with the public that we can’t compete on price. Our online sales have doubled each year. It’s the preferred way of shopping for a growing number of people, so it is very important for indies to have a foot in this door. We are more likely to lose existing customers, let alone gain new ones, if we don’t offer at least some form of web offering

Sangita Tryner, Delilah, Nottingham

The internet has ❛definitely changed

❛Online is an irresistible trend and I think everyone has to embrace it Ben Patten, FarmDrop

and giving you the reassurance you know exactly where your food has come from.” However, CEO Ben Patten told FFD that farm shops and delis could actually benefit from the scheme by signing up as keepers. “They could use FarmDrop as a weekly event to create a buzz around the shop, but also to bring in products that are difficult to manage week in week out. “Online is an irresistible trend and I think everyone has to embrace it. Ninety-plus per cent of houses in the UK now have broadband and 80 per cent have used a click-andcollect service. People expect to buy

their food online.” The rise of online shopping has persuaded the owner of ‘artisan grocer’ Gather & Hunt to close her shop in Marlow, Bucks, to focus purely on internet sales. “People are time-poor and like the convenience of sitting on their sofa and having what they click delivered,” said Martina Hunt. “Rent, rates and staff are the three big costs as a retailer, but we found we don’t need a physical presence to attract online orders. It’s a global market that doesn’t limit us to one high street and one town.” Andy Stevenson, senior retail analyst at Verdict Research, said there would always be a place for specialist shops, but they would inevitably lose sales to online competitors if they do not offer e-commerce. “Online sales will become more of a threat. The growth of online is taking people away from those smaller stores,” he said. Click-and-collect is already available from Waitrose, which saw online sales rise 40% last year

how customers shop. However, people come to us for the service element too and a cup of coffee while they shop – something online retail can’t match. For us, online has been a hugely important area and has helped us to connect with the holidaymakers who only get to visit our shops once or twice a year. It also helps to keep our regular customers interested through sending out a monthly e-bulletin with information about our product ranges and recipes.

Shumana Palit, Ultracomida, Aberystwyth

The biggest challenge ❛is getting your online business visible in a crowded market. Setting up an online shop is one thing, getting people to find it and use it is another. I suspect a lot of people invest heavily early on, expect a massive onslaught of orders and then lose heart. It is something that needs to be developed and the Search Engine Optimisation aspects are important.

David Greenman, Arch House Deli, Bristol Follow us on


EU leaves space for small firms to dodge hygiene inspection fees, but charges are starting to look inevitable

Hygiene inspection charges on cards despite lobbying By MICK WHITWORTH

All food businesses could face heavy fees for EHO inspections in future years, despite minor concessions for smaller firms in upcoming EU regulations designed to make industry carry the cost of food safety checks. MEPs on the EU’s public health and food safety committee, ENVI, voted in April on the text of new Official Controls regulations enabling authorities across Europe to recover the full cost of hygiene inspections. A week before the vote it emerged a proposed exemption for ‘micro-businesses’ with under 10 employees had been dropped from the draft, sparking fears that small shops and artisan producers could face fees as high as £500 each time their premises are checked. In a campaign led by Bob Salmon of food hygiene information provider Food Solutions and backed by FFD and the Guild of Fine Food, over 1,100 UK food businesses signed an online petition calling for the exemption to be reinstated.

Many also lobbied MEPs directly. The Guild argues that inspections benefit the public, not business, and should be funded from central taxation. High fees also pose a threat to small firms providing vital employment. ENVI members accepted an amendment allowing member states to exempt smaller firms from fees if they met set criteria related to food safety risk and business size. However, with local authorities already struggling to meet the cost of hygiene inspections, many believe the UK will press ahead with charging. Conservative MEPs had argued that decisions on whether, when and how much to charge for official inspections should be left to member states – which is also the preferred position of the Food Standard Agency (FSA). Writing to the Guild of Fine Food, Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for South West England, said the FSA was “supportive of a system which gives Member States the flexibility to levy fees as they see fit,

rather than have them dictated at a European level”. This suggests the door is open for the UK to introduce charges to cover all or part of the cost of inspections. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has warned that local authorities will need to charge all food businesses for inspections because central government will not pick up the bill. But in a letter to ENVI committee members, Bob Salmon said that while UK authorities viewed inspection fees as new income stream, many very small businesses had told him they would have to close if faced with this charge.” An FSA spokeswoman told FFD: “We are currently negotiating with EU Member States to give the UK flexibility to determine how, when and where to apply inspection charges for official controls – and consequently how best to support smaller businesses. Future decisions on how this will be applied in the UK will be taken in consultation with industry.”

Bespoke brings more world foods to expanding Empire By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Empire Food Brokers has acquired fellow food importer Bespoke Foods in a deal that makes it a major supplier of international speciality products to the deli sector. Empire is best known for its range of US classics such as Mike & Ike Candy and Marshmallow Fluff, while Bespoke has a wide range from around the world, including the US and South East Asia. Key brands include Thai Taste, Malay Taste, Nem Viet and French’s condiments. Bespoke, set up by CEO Piers Adamson in 1997, will continue to be managed by Adamson as an independent business, operating from its office in Vauxhall and warehouse in Mitcham. However, in the longer term it will relocate to Empire’s Northolt HQ. Adamson told FFD there were great “synergies in sales and distribution” between the two businesses. The acquisition makes Empire, run by MD Chandresh Patel, an important player in the market for US brands, which is a profitable

niche for some delis. Steve Salamon, owner of Wally’s Deli in Cardiff, told FFD sales of US products had been buoyant, but had levelled off as supermarkets started stocking lines such as Hershey’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and specialist US confectionery stores set up. “We used to have the market to ourselves, but there has been a lot more competition in the past 18 months. Demand has fallen away and we’ve condensed our range so it really just ticks over now.” At Samways, which distributes

products for both Empire and Bespoke outside London, director Ian Samway said the deal was a “good fit” for both companies. “Their product ranges complement each other and it will make my life easier because I will only have one pick up to make. That will also benefit retailers.” The takeover follows Empire’s acquisition of Mrs Elswood gherkins in 2005, and Burts Crisps in 2006 and is part of a plan to become one of the UK’s major fine food distributors and importers. Chandresh Patel and Piers Adamson: ‘Synergies in sales and distribution’

IN BRIEF l Tesco had to scrap a national advertising campaign after it used the wrong breed of cow in one of its milk adverts. The adverts, which highlighted a price cut on milk, showed pictures of a breed of cow reared exclusively for beef. The mistake was highlighted on Twitter by keen-eyed farmers.

l Stansted Park Farm Shop raised funds for a local fisherman whose business had been disrupted by bad weather as part of its second anniversary celebrations. The shop raised £430 for Emsworth fisherman Pete Williams, who had not been able to fish for several months and had lost nets and pots because of stormy weather. Around 300 locals attended the party, which included a raffle and barbecue.

l Deli and coffee shop chain Caracoli’s head barista Dhan Tamang was crowned the best latte art barista in the UK for the second year in a row following his win at the UK Latte Art Championships, held during the London Coffee Festival last month.

l Invest Northern Ireland teamed up with the country’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to assist food and drink producers with exports. Last month, the organisations helped stage a conference, ‘Food For Thought’, which was designed to encourage food companies to export. Invest NI has also launched schemes to help SMEs, including Innovation Vouchers, R&D assistance and help with packaging design.

l The Association of Convenience Stores has expressed concerns about the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation to increase the National Minimum Wage by 3% to £6.50 per hour. Chief executive James Lowman said the recommended increase is above inflation, above average earnings growth, and above public sector pay award levels. He added: “Our research has clearly shown that retailers have little choice but to reduce staff hours and delay further business investment when the minimum wage is increased.”

l US-based retailer Whole Foods Market has opened its ninth UK store in London. The Fulham Broadway store features a traditional butcher and baker, an organic café and a make-your-own peanut butter machine. Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


fine food news Rise in global demand spells trouble for spelt

Half-price training for Guild members’ counter staff A promotion by Aldi in Germany caused a spike in demand for spelt


A global shortage of spelt caused by a surge in demand has left bakers and food producers facing steep price increases and supply problems. Spelt grain prices have almost trebled since September from around £700 to £1,800 a tonne due to rising international demand for the crop. Spelt-based breads, biscuits and cereals have grown in popularity in Europe and North American because some people find them easier to digest than traditional wheat-based products. Michael Marriage, MD of miller Doves Farm, which accounts for around 60% of the UK spelt flour market, said the situation had been exacerbated by a promotion on

spelt products launched by Aldi in Germany, which caused a sudden spike in demand, while farmers had been holding onto grain to achieve higher prices. Doves still has spelt flour to sell because it grows its own crops and has close relationships with British farmers, but other millers have depleted stocks or have run out completely. Shipton Mill wrote to customers in March revealing that its suppliers were experiencing severe difficulties in sourcing spelt so it would limit customers to around half their usual requirements and be forced to increase prices. Marketing manager Tom Russell said: “We are not taking on any new customers and our existing

If I'd known then what I know now...

Gary Mercer HOLWOOD FARM SHOP, Keston, KENT Initially we were looking for high street premises but we couldn’t get the business model to work with properties we found. Rent and rates were just too high. My wife Sarah found the derelict farm where we’re now based by chance. It was a much bigger project than we’d been considering – a full renovation. We bought the farm in 2009 but it was 2012 before the conversion of the grain barn into a farm shop and coffee shop was completed. The latter we identified as a gap in the local area. There were lots of lovely quaint tea rooms but nowhere to get a great cup of coffee. We believed this would be key to the success of the venture.


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

customers will be given allocations until the new harvest [in August].” At cereal and snack brand Rude Health, which sells a range of spelt products, a spokesperson said the company had seen spelt prices rise by around 30%, but had decided to absorb the increases. Charlie Hepworth, general manager of Long Crichel Bakery in Dorset, which supplies Waitrose, Abel & Cole and independents, said spelt flour prices had increased by around 25% and that he would be forced to pass some of this on to retailers. He also planned to limit the amount of bread customers could buy over the coming months. The company was unable to fulfil an order for 250 Simnel cakes from Abel & Cole because of the shortage. ‘must haves’, the ‘don‘t bothers’ and the margins to aim for got us off to a great start on picking the right range. Selecting stock is hard, but selecting staff has probably been the greatest challenge. You need a team that shares your goals and standards as well as being reliable and consistent. You can hold as many interviews as you like but until someone actually starts work you have no real idea how it will go. Our biggest lesson has been

We worked with two consultants, both of whom run very successful farm shops. We had one day of consultancy off each, one to help with layout and one to help pick stock. Both saved us thousands of pounds and much It’s important to admit defeat and wasted effort. move staff on quickly if they’re not For instance, going to work out we were advised learning what you can teach staff and not to have a commercial kitchen to what is ingrained in their character cook our own products, which was that you can’t change. It’s important to part of our original plan. So we were admit defeat and move staff on quickly able to utilise the area earmarked as if it’s not going to work out. kitchen space for more retail space and From a standing start in a place saved a great deal of money on the with no footfall and little passing trade, fit-out. we’ve grown into a business that Similarly, someone telling you the

Guild of Fine Food members are being offered a 50% discount on its highlyrated short courses for cheese counter staff over the next two months to celebrate its biggest ever line-up of trade sponsors. Guild members can book themselves or their staff onto the one-day courses in York (June 30) or Solihull (July 2) for just £35 plus VAT. Non-members are welcome on the same courses for the standard cost of £95 plus VAT. “All our courses are heavily subsidised, because we want to see the maximum number of deli counter staff spreading the word about speciality cheese,” said Guild chairman Bob Farrand, who runs the days with wife Linda. “That’s only possible with the help of our trade sponsors, and with several new supporters coming on board this year we have the chance to let a few Guild members try out the courses at a heavily reduced price. “Staff who have been on the courses have always been the best advert for training, because they go back to their shops fired up to sell more cheese.” This year’s cheese training sponsors are: Applewood, Arla, Barber’s 1833, Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co, Comté, Cornish Cheese Co, Emmi, Food & Drink Wales, Futura, Godminster, Grana Padano, Le Gruyère AOP, Lynher Dairies, Montagnolo, Pilgrims Choice, Quickes Traditional, Rowcliffe, Wensleydale and Wyke Farms. • To book a place on the June 28 and July 2 days, call the Guild on 01747 825200 or visit:

employs 13 staff. Six are full-time. In 2013, our turnover was around £300,000. As we’ve grown, we have introduced a number of procedures for opening up, closing down and stock deliveries. Before that, things were a bit random and sometimes even forgotten. It was frustrating and, in the case of deliveries there were issues with payments and reconciliation. Because of the help we had at the start, we avoided some of the big mistakes that were originally in our plans. The only major flaw was our coffee shop menu: we thought Holwood Farm would be a destination for coffee and cake, but people wanted the option of a more substantial lunch. Our initial lunch menu was very boring, so – even though we are essentially about sandwiches and soups – we’ve had to put a lot of work into making it interesting and varied.” Interview by LYNDA SEARBY

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“This has validated my passion for my job. I’m not alone in this wonderful industry.” Andy Swinscoe, Cheese Counter & Cheesemonger of the Year 2013

Cheese retail; it’s all in the detail. Training is essential to retail success and is proven to dramatically increase turnover as well as improve your customers’ shopping experience. The UK Cheese Guild is the only professional NVQ Accredited training programme and is tailored to those who buy or sell cheese. • Enhance your understanding of the cheese-making process • Learn the impact that terroir has on cheese • Understand the main families of cheeses • Advice and tips on how to balance your cheese counter • Comparatively taste over 40 types of cheese • Gain knowledge to give your customers a better retail experience

Jennifer Pettit, Cheddar Deli

Course dates Monday 30 June York (limited spaces left) Wednesday 2 July Hockley Heath, Solihull Course costs Guild Member Offer: 50% off normal price of £70 (now £35) plus 20% VAT limited numbers available so BOOK NOW! Non-members £95 plus 20% VAT Course fee includes full seminar day, including tastings, study work book and issue of Diploma on successful completion of the course

Call 01747 825200 or email















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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

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fine food news new openings

Opening or expanding a shop? Email details to

Deli-butcher takes up prime spot on Thames

Hammond’s has opened in a new development at the north of Kew Bridge

Thames Road after 30 years. The 700 sq ft shop was set up by long time local resident Don Ferguson and his brother Derek, who sees the deli as part of the area’s ongoing regeneration. “It was a bit run down in the past but there’s big residential area that has sprung up around here,” he told FFD. “This premises is centrally located and near a tube station.” “It’s something that people seemed to want around here,” he added. “We’re right next to a Sainsburys and a Costa but we’re not in competition with them.” As well as the butchery counter, which will be run by Hammond and two other butchers, the new shop will feature a deli counter and grocery sections attended to by four full-time staff. Hammond’s also serves take-away coffee supplied by local roaster Kimbo. The deli offers a combination of food and drink from the UK’s South East, Spain (supplied by Produce from Spain) and Italy, with a focus on small producers and lines that can’t be found in the multiples. Ferguson is still looking for suppliers of beer, cider and local wines as well as local jam producers and ice cream.

A Chiswick butcher is getting a new lease of life further down the river as part of a shop opened in the heart of a residential development at the north end of Kew Bridge.

Opened last month in a ground floor unit of the recently built Kew Bridge apartments, Hammond’s Butchers & Delicatessen has even taken its name from Ken Hammond, who is relocating from his shop on

The Duck House

J Brindon Addy Butchers Holmfirth, West Yorkshire


Rivelin Valley, Sheffield Based on the site of the former Coppice House Farm Shop, this family-run shop sells rare breed beef from its own farm, butchered on site, as well as chicken, pork, sausages and lamb. The shop also stocks range of produce and goods from Sheffield and the surrounding area. The new owners are Tom and Jess Ducker, who have previous experience of the business. Tom’s father and grandfather were both involved in the running of the previous shop. @The_Duck_House_

As FFD went to press, national chairman of the Butchers Q Guild J Brindon Addy was seeing the finishing touches being put to a £160,000 extension project that will double the retail area of his Kirklees shop. The 48 sq m extension will allow the shop to improve its meat display but will also see it introduce

new fresh and frozen lines, including fish, vegetables and ice cream as well as an increased range of homemade ready-meals. The shop, which is thought to be one of the highest butcher shops in the country, continued to trade during the improvements.

At a glance l The shop is the brainchild of local resident Don Ferguson, an engineer by trade, and his brother Derek, who previously worked in the charity and events sectors.

l Hammond’s offers a local home delivery service via its branded 1967 Morris Minor van.

l Among the fresh meat on offer will be free-range poultry from Fosse Meadows in Leicestershire and Gloucester Old Spot pork from Rare Breed Meat Co.

l It stocks Sussex-based Henners English sparkling wine, beer from North London’s Redemption and gourmet popcorn brand Joe & Seph’s.

l The deli counter features Spanish and Italian charcuterie as well as a range of English cheeses – including Tunworth and Isle of Wight Blue – supplied by West Horsley Dairy.

If this project goes well, Ferguson said there could be more Hammond’s popping up in similar developments across the capital. “The idea is to work in cooperation with [developer] St George in future and open up further retail units,” he said.

Seasonal Suffolk

Boxted, near Colchester Situated in the Dedham Vale Vineyard, this outlet offers a selection of foods sourced from local producers or foraged from the surrounding countryside. As well as selling items like freshly caught fish from the Essex coast and organic local flour, Seasonal Suffolk will also be making its own products like terrines and patés and a variety of smoked meats and cheeses prepared in its own on-site smokehouse. A kitchen will serve food prepared and cooked on-site by a Michelin-trained chef and will also supply dishes to the vineyard.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


fine food news A long-term price disadvantage against Spain and Italy is disappearing as subsidies dry up, one French oil producer tells FFD

New UK sales drive for high-end Provençal oils

Glanbia buys Fivemiletown brands as co-op runs into trouble


Five premium olive oil brands from the south-east of France have begun a trade marketing campaign designed to switch UK chefs and speciality retailers on to the region’s Protected Designation of Origin oils. The companies – Moulin Castelas, Moulin Cornille, La Maison Codefa, La Lieutenante and Vignolis – have come together under the banner ‘Olivence: The Provence Olive Oil Society’ in a promotion backed by French olive and oil producers’ association AFIDOL. It was launched at a tasting event at Provençal restaurant Cigolas in London, attended by food hall buyers, distributors, food writers and chefs. “Apart from Germany, the UK is the largest consumer market in Europe, and olive oil consumption has quadrupled here in 20 years,” said AFIDOL’s Alexandra Paris, “so we feel there’s a market for high-end products that reflect the south of France and all the values Provençal products carry.” Before March 25’s launch, only one Olivence member, Moulin Castelas, had won listings in UK speciality food shops, with distribution into Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Partridges and other top London shops via The Oil Merchant. Since the event, all five


Moulin Castelas is among the brands in the UK promotional campaign

have secured distribution in the South-East but most are still looking for deals covering the rest of the UK. None of the region’s PDO products are cheap, with retail prices for extra virgin oils pitched at around £12-13.50 for 250ml. Jean-Benoit Hugues of Moulin Castelas told FFD French oil prices had been inflated for many years by government labour laws, which pushed up the cost of production, but the gap with suppliers further south was narrowing. “My prices haven’t changed for 10 years, but the great Spanish and Italian oils are catching up.” Regional subsidies in Italy and Spain had dried up, he said, leaving

producers “naked”. “So the price difference is not going to hurt us like it used to.” According to Olivence, the region has some of the world’s rarest olive oils, as the majority of olive trees were wiped out by a severe frost in 1956. Around 100 varieties are now grown, offering styles ranging through peppery and grassy to light and fruity, as well as the soft oils from black Fruité Noir, which are slightly over-ripened before pressing. Philippa Cameron of sales & marketing agency EOC International has been appointed to represent Olivence in the UK over the next year.

Northern Ireland has lost its biggest speciality cheese-maker after the farmers’ co-op behind Fivemiletown Creamery agreed to sell its milk supply and nearly all its brands, including Ballyblue and Ballybrie, to the Irish Republic’s Glanbia plc. As FFD went to press the deal was expected to cause the closure of the creamery and the loss of 50 jobs. The demise of the 116-year-old creamery, which ran a speciality cheese operation alongside massmarket creamery operations, was blamed on difficult trading conditions and the loss of a major contract. The co-operative has retained ownership of the Boilie goats’ cheese brand.

Invest NI backs Guild in taking Great Taste to Northern Ireland

Daysh takes the helm at Le Gruyère as Johnson retires

Belfast is to host three days of Great Taste judging in June, after another rise in entries from Northern Ireland this year and an unprecedented two Supreme Champions in the space of three years. Invest Northern Ireland is supporting the initiative by the Guild of Fine Food, which has received 716 Great Taste entries from 125 NI producers this year – a 14% increase on 2013. Senior food buyers from stores including Harrods and Paxton & Whitfield will be judging at Belfast’s Stormont Hotel, from June 3 to 5, alongside influential food writers and critics including MasterChef’s Charles Campion and Huffington Post blogger Rebecca Williams. Invest NI also hopes to organise a short ‘food tour’ for VIP buyers

Interprofession du Gruyère AOP has confirmed the appointment of Helen Daysh (pictured) as head of marketing for the UK after the retirement of industry veteran Maurice Johnson. Daysh had already become a familiar face at cheese trade events during the handover period, including the World Cheese Awards, where Le Gruyère AOP has long been a major sponsor. A former advertising executive who trained as a journalist, Daysh was a key member of the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire & Humber (now Deliciouslyorkshire),

May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

and journalists. Nothern Ireland has seen a mini-boom in artisan food production in recent years, given more impetus by Great Taste Supreme Champion titles for McCartney’s of Moira in 2011 and Hannan Meats in 2012. In January, the Guild announced a 10,000 cap on entries to the Great Taste scheme, after numbers rose 25% to 9,700 last year. Guild MD John Farrand said: “We hit this year’s 10,000 limit at 9.30pm on March 21 – two-anda-half hours before the midnight deadline.” Judging is already underway at the Guild’s HQ in Gillingham, Dorset, and will finish in the first week of July.

where she helped drive through the award of PDO protection for Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. As well as working at local and regional level to promote ‘real’ food through farmers’ markets and festivals, she is also a member of the Speciality Cheese Committee of the Provision Trade Federation. Maurice Johnson, 83, became Le Gruyère AOP’s UK marketing chief in 2005 and has been involved in promoting Swiss cheese for 47 years. Although now officially retired, he will continue to work as an industry consultant and awards judge.

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Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014





fine food news

Food sales look rosy at garden centres Anal sis

y With growth in retail food sales outstripping the rest of their increasingly varied offer, no wonder more garden centres are adding full-on farm shops and food halls – often in partnership with local independents. MICK WHITWORTH reports.

At Orchard Park in Dorset, MD Richard Cumming says the in-house Lagan Farm Shop has seen consistent growth, but adds: ‘You have to see food as a serious business’


hen Monty Don, Carol Klein or Alan Titchmarsh rock up at their nearest Wyevale or Notcutts to demonstrate a bit of pruning and potting, it might pull a crowd but it’s not exactly news. But how about when a Michelin-starred chef turns up for a cookery demo? Last December, Adam Stokes of Adam’s Restaurant in central Birmingham was the big-name draw when the 18-acre Woodlands Nursery & Garden Centre in Leicestershire opened its new farm shop, adding to a list of attractions that includes a dozen not-sohorticultural concessions, among them Lakeland, Cotton Traders, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Laithwaite’s Wine. On top of the seasonal Christmas puds, Brussels sprouts and free-range turkeys lined up for its opening, the new farm shop


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

promised “cooked meat, handmade award-winning pies, quality wine, and locally sourced fruit, vegetables, bread and cakes”. Woodlands, part of the sectorleading Garden Centre Group (GCG), is one one of the biggest sites of its kind. However, its move into food retailing is being mirrored by garden centres of all sizes, up and down the country, presenting both threats and opportunities to farm shops in particular. A few weeks before Stokes donned his chef’s whites at Woodlands, for example, the family-owned Ruxley Manor Garden Centre in Kent opened its own food hall. Alongside a meat section run by Q Guild butcher Keith Mulford it now offers fresh fruit & veg bought daily from New Covent Garden Market and cakes and scones baked by Plaxtol Bakery in Sevenoaks. The Garden Centre Association

(GCA), which represents around “And okay, the weather wasn’t 170 top operators, says two-thirds great last year, but even if it had of its members now have some been better, food would still have form of retail food offer, providing outperformed.” 4-5% of sales revenue across the At the Garden Centre Group whole membership. Chief executive – the parent of brands including Iain Wylie says this equates to 6-7% Wyevale, Blooms and Country of sales in the growing number Gardens – head of concession sales of centres with a full-blown food Zoe Farmer says all 140 centres hall or farm have “some shop. “So it’s element of Garden centres with a significant.” food offering” serious food offer saw 9% ranging from a The GCA gathers regular growth in that section last farm shop with category-bya butcher to year, compared with just category sales confectionery 3% growth overall. data from and “food members to get a picture of how gifting”. The format at each site the industry is performing. It says varies according to size and local centres with a serious food offer demand but the aim is always saw 9% growth in that section to give “a more total shopping last year, compared with just 3% experience”. growth for their overall sales. “So For an industry that grew out food is outperforming garden of traditional plant nurseries, the centre sales generally,” says Wylie. attraction of food is clear: it’s a

year-round business. “We’re very seasonal,” says Wylie, “and it irons out the peaks and troughs.” The Dorset-based Garden Group has three centres, each with restaurants and one with a farm shop. Its MD, Mike Burks, says: “In months when people will not venture into their gardens, they will still come and have lunch, buy speciality food for themselves or as a gift and enjoy using the garden centre as a meeting place. “Food draws people in no matter what the weather.” Tim Lowden, formerly food buyer for the Garden Centre Group, has recently joined wholesaler and distributor Fosters Traditional Foods, a key supplier to the sector, as marketing manager. He sees “massive opportunities” for speciality food in garden centres. With their easy access and plentiful parking they are continuing

to develop as out-of-town destinations, he says, and have a strong incentive to reduce reliance on plant sales. “The foodservice side has become more important,” says Lowden, “as have general concessions like aquatics or petcare, and ultimately it’s all about seasonality. If you have a poor spring or a snowy winter you can easily lose your sales peaks, so it’s important to remove the troughs.” Café-restaurants have been a key feature of garden centres for more than a decade. “Catering is the backbone here,” says Richard Cumming, MD of Orchard Park garden centre in Gillingham, Dorset, a stone’s throw from the Guild of Fine Food’s HQ. “It brings people in every day of the year.” Orchard Park was born out of a partnership between a beef farm and local plant nursery, and runs it own Lagan Farm Shop and butchery, located inside the centre and adjacent to its café. But the garden sector as a whole is still divided on how best to handle food retailing. Should it be managed in-house, concessioned out, or perhaps be a mix of the two? The Garden Centre Group has just added a farm shop to its Chichester, West Sussex, store in the form of a concession run by Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, part of the County Food & Dining farm shop investment group. Most of the Garden Centre Group’s food retail and catering operations are similarly run by third parties. “Within our own estate we see an exciting opportunity for butchers and delicatessens to open new stores within garden centres,” says Zoe Farmer, in what sounds like an open invitation to independents. “We’re always looking for new high-quality concession partners for butchers, farm shops and delis.” While centres stand to make more money long-term out of a food hall run in-house, a concession deal is a potential winwin and doesn’t require the garden business to make the same upfront investment in stock and equipment. The concession holder gains instant, almost guaranteed footfall and the centre as a whole benefits from additional traffic. Fosters’ Tim Lowden says the right model for garden centres depends on the level of food retail experience in-house and the speed of return on investment required. “It depends on the structure of your business, and whether you’ve got that internal knowledge. If you’ve got the money to invest and can wait a few years for it to pay back, by all means do it in-house. Otherwise look for external partners.” It’s a big leap, he says, from having a few shelves of own-label

Tailoring the offer for garden centre shoppers There can be close similarities between garden centre customers and the typical farm shop client. But their profile will vary from area to area, and they may shop differently in a garden centre where food it not the focus of their visit. “In a farm shop you might go for a good/better/best ranging principle,” says Tim Lowden of Fosters Traditional Foods. “You are never going to compete with Tesco and Sainsbury, but you can still have price points to appeal to everyday shoppers. “In a garden centre, you can offer the same core range – drinks, jams, crisps, chutneys and so on – but not in the same depth, because people won’t browse for so long. “It’s more about managing space effectively. I’ve been in garden centres where they’ve got eight ranges of chutney, and they haven’t left themselves room to bring in other things.” He adds: “The core garden centre customer is, generally speaking, over 55 and female, so

you need a range that appeals to that base. If you open a farm shop there’s the opportunity to attract a new kind of customer, but it’s about researching the demographics and reviewing the immediate competition. There’s no point installing a fine wine section if you don’t have the demographic.” At the Garden Centre Association, chief executive Iain Wylie sees close similarities between garden centre customers and those of delis and farm shops – but he says it’s wrong to generalise. “It’s a bit of a red herring to say garden centres are all about pensioners and blue-rinses. A lot of the more successful ones are multi-generational now, especially at weekends and bank holidays.” But he agrees garden centres are “not appealing to the Morrison’s customer”. “We’re very similar to farm shops in that we have big footprints and we’re not selling something that people necessarily need to buy. We’re selling ‘everyday little luxuries’.”

It’s a red herring to say garden centres are all about pensioners and blue-rinses. A lot are multi-generational now.

sweets or preserves to a full-scale offer. “It’s quite an investment in stock, and you’re not turning over supermarket volumes, so there’s quite a risk to your margins. “If you don’t have the full skillset in-house it takes a considerable investment in staffing and equipment. So if you just want to see it as a footfall driver [for the garden centre] a concession could be a good option.” Whatever model is chosen, he adds, it’s crucial the food section is “loved”. “It’s about housekeeping, it’s about making sure someone loves the area, and it’s about managing the space effectively. It doesn’t have to be a huge area if it’s well merchandised.” At Gillingham’s edge-of-town Orchard Park, Richard Cumming says garden centre operators should not underestimate the challenges of food retailing. “Catering is fairly straightforward; retailing is far more difficult,” he says. “The margins are poor [compared with foodservice], the risks of going wrong are high and you are competing with some very sophisticated outlets – the supermarkets. We are sitting just down the road from a Waitrose that would sell a lot of the same products as us.” Having set up Lagan Farm Shop originally as an outlet for its co-owner’s beef, Orchard Park

specialises in butchery (a common theme in garden centre stores) and runs a wholesale meat business from the same site, serving local chefs. “We need all these things to make it worthwhile, otherwise we’d struggle,” says Cumming. Selling local meats also gives Lagan Farm Shop a genuine point of difference, he says, adding to its ‘destination’ status, and – along with local fruit and veg, homebaked cakes and pies and West Country cheeses – helps bridge the gap between the gifting market and everyday shopping. “People will never go to a garden centre to get all their groceries. We’ll always be mainly about impulse purchases of food gifts. But we’re trying to create an ethos that people can come here to buy local foods. We do sell food gifts, but we want people to think they can buy enough to make a meal too.” Like Lowden, Cumming says it is essential the garden centre treats food seriously, not just as a casual bolt-on to the core business, and places someone in charge who genuinely want to see the section thrive. “You have to see food as a serious business that has to be profitable all year round. “We’ve done that, we’ve seen consistent growth and we’re very pleased with it.” Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

cheesewire Unsung heroes Hidden gems from British producers

news & views from the cheese counter

Parkers secure future of Yellison goats’ cheeses By MICK WHITWORTH

Battlefield Blue In a nutshell: David and Jo Clarke helped revive traditional farmhouse Red Leicester in 2005 with their Sparkenhoe, but in 2011 they also developed an unusual raw milk blue called Battlefield Blue. Made in 200g cylinders, which are matured for five to 10 weeks, the soft cheese is a bit like a blue brie. Flavour and texture: A creamy, mellow, cows’ milk cheese, Battlefield Blue has a gentle blue tang and earthy, mushroomy notes from its greeny-grey rind. As it matures, the cheese becomes softer, developing a runny consistency. History: The Battle of Bosworth Field took place on land that is part of Sparkenhoe Farm. The Clarkes thought the name Battlefield Blue sounded so good that they were determined to make a blue cheese. Only around 2.5 tonnes are made each year, compared to 40 tonnes of Sparkenhoe, but the company has invested in a new larger vat and aims to increase production. Cheese care: Best stored at around 4°C, the cheeses are individually wrapped and have a three week shelf life. Why stock it? Soft blue cheeses made with raw milk are relatively rare in the UK. The whole cheese looks great on a cheeseboard. Perfect partners: Jo Clarke likes to cut the cheese in half, drizzle with honey and bake in the oven until unctuous.

A North Yorkshire farming couple has taken over the award-winning Yellison Farm goats’ cheese brand, which went on the market following the death of founder Steve Akrigg before Christmas (FFD, Jan-Feb 2014). Sharron and Ed Parker have bought the entire Yellison Farm business, including its goats, milking equipment and cheese-making kit. The operation has been moved from its former base at Carleton, near Skipton, to the Parkers’ Sire Bank Farm near Bradley. It is continuing to make Akrigg’s two styles of cheese: a light, cream log and a soft, spreadable Scottishstyle Crowdie. “While it’s still early days, we have retained all existing customers and are meeting current order requirements,” said Sharron Parker. Production has also been stepped up since the takeover. The Parkers are currently milking 72 goats – mainly Saanens and Anglo Nubians – to produce 600 litres of milk and 180kg of cheese per week. There are plans to nearly double the herd and expand the cheese range, including a possible hard blue “similar to Stilton”. “We are looking to grow the herd naturally and eventually hope to be milking 120-plus goats, producing our own haylage on the farm to feed them,” Parker said. “‘This will allow us to increase both production and capacity and expand our customer base across all target markets.”

She continued: “Goats’ milk is also used in ice cream-making and in beauty products such as soaps and shampoos. In the longer term, we shall certainly consider diversifying into these areas. That was always going to be Steve’s next step and we would like to think we can help make his dream come true.” Yellison Farm cheese is sold throughout the UK, with foodservice distributor Wellocks of Lomeshaye, Lancashire, delivering it to top-end clients including Gleneagles in Scotland and number of Michelinstarred restaurants.

Cornish washed-rind cheese is a real honey By MICK WHITWORTH

Cornish artisan producer Whalesborough Farm Foods has created a new washed-rind cows’ milk variety exclusively for West Country distributor Hanson Fine Foods. Heligan Gold, which went on

Where to buy? Direct from the farm:

FFD features a different ‘unsung hero’ from Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association members each month. To get involved, contact:

Sharron Parker (pictured right, and with husband Ed and their family), hopes to nearly double her goat herd and develop new cheeses, including a Stilton-style blue

Heligan Gold is washed in ale from Skinner’s in Truro

sale last month, is washed in Heligan Honey ale from Skinner’s Brewery in Truro. Each cheese is roughly 4cm high and 14cm in diameter, with a basket-weave patterned golden rind, creamy texture and an earthy flavour. Set up by Sue Proudfoot 14 years ago near Bude on the north Cornwall coast, Whalesborough makes six other distinctive cheeses, including the mould-ripened, citrusy Trelawney and the pungent, washed rind Keltic Gold, which was a SuperGold winner in the 2012 World Cheese Awards. They are currently sold in hotels, restaurants, farm shops and delis throughout Devon, Cornwall and London.

CHEESE CHUNKS: Lithuanian producer Zemaitijos Pienas, which launched its Parmesan-like Džiugas hard cheese into the UK last year in wedges and grated packs, has added a new snack pack to the range. Džiugas Gourmet Bites are said to offer a new format – the chunk – to consumers already used to buying cheese shaved, diced, cubed “or even in strings”. Gourmet Bites are available in 12 or 18 months maturity versions for the mainstream market and 24 or 36 months for specialist cheese shops.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4


Is it easier being green? Interview

Kent’s Winterdale may be the new kid on the truckle but PATRICK McGUIGAN finds cheese-maker Robin Betts and his carbon neutral operation gaining ground on its cheddar-making elders

Carla and Robin Betts make 15 tonnes of Winterdale Shaw annually, maturing it in their own underground cave


sk a deli to list its bestselling cheeses and there’s a good chance the answer will include a cheddar with a West Country twang. Montgomery’s, Quickes, Keens and Westcombe are heavyweights of the cheese world with generations of experience under their belts and a loyal fan base around the country. Taking on such big hitters is a daunting prospect, but that is the situation facing Winterdale Cheesemakers in Wrotham, Kent. The company, which makes an unpasteurised cheddar-style cheese called Winterdale Shaw, was set up by husband and wife team Robin and Carla Betts in 2006. They use milk from their own farm to make the cloth-bound cheese, which is matured for 10 months. Local success was relatively easy to come by, but as the company grows it increasingly finds itself coming up against larger, more established cheddar makers in the search for new listings. “You’ve got some very wellrespected, long-standing names in the market so for any cheese-maker, that’s small and starting up like us, it’s quite a challenge, particularly when you go outside your own county,” says Robin Betts. “When you go to the next level and want to increase production, that’s when the cheese has got to stand up against the others. It’s not just about it tasting really good – you need a storyline as well.”

rooms, the cave underneath the barn, The good news is that there which was dug out of the chalky is a very good tale to tell about North Downes by Betts and a friend Winterdale Shaw. The cheese is with a digger, is naturally cool so uses completely carbon neutral thanks virtually no power. to the eco-friendly design of its “There are some producers who headquarters – a newly constructed do a bit of cave-maturing, but we oak barn, which operates as both literally make it, press it and lower a dairy and the Betts family home. it into the cave, where it sits for 10 Split over three levels, the building months,” says Betts. “We produce incorporates spacious living quarters on the first floor, a dairy and farm We produce cheese with minimal shop on the amounts of energy and the extra we ground and a huge underground produce from the solar panels means cheese cave. we are completely carbon neutral Milk arrives cheese with minimal amounts of warm from the milking parlour, energy and the extra we produce so requires minimal heating, with from the solar panels means we are a ground source heat pump used completely carbon neutral. That’s a to raise the temperature in the vat massive selling point for us to anyone when required. Heat from the dairy who might be a little bit conscious of warms the family home above, while what’s going on with this planet.” solar panels provide extra power and While Winterdale’s green charge the couple’s electric car, which credentials and cave are obvious is used to deliver into London. selling points, the other big While many cheese-makers spend advantage is that the farm is only fortunes controlling the temperature around 30 miles from central London. and humidity of their maturing

“We are the local cheese-maker to London so that’s what we’re going to focus on,” he says. “Why try to go further afield when we’ve got this huge market on our doorstep? Retailers can jump on a train at Victoria and be with us within 35 minutes, if they want to see how we do things and make cheese with us.” The company produces around 15 tonnes of Winterdale Shaw a year and the cheese has won several Golds at the World Cheese Awards. It has a smooth texture and fruity flavour, and is surprisingly creamy for a cheese that is aged for 10 months and scalded at quite high temperatures (40°C-41°C). “Because we look after the butter fats so carefully in our milk, that comes through in the cheese,” says Betts. “The farm is 200 yards down the road and we bring the milk up straight away and then gravity feed it, nice and slow, into the vat. Some dairies pump their milk over long distances, which really thrashes the milk and damages the fats. We’re all about retaining the original characteristic of the milk.” The couple originally learned to make cheese by attending courses at AB Cheesemaking at Reaseheath College, but have built up their knowledge and understanding with help from other cheese-makers through the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association (SCA). Joe Schneider at Stichelton has been particularly supportive, but so have other cheddar makers, including those big names that Winterdale is now competing against more frequently. The Betts will get to thank them personally and tell the story of Winterdale Shaw when the farm hosts the SCA’s annual general meeting in June. “It’s the first time it has been held in Kent and it’s a real honour,” he says. “We’ve found the SCA trips really helpful. We joined the organisation long before we built the dairy and have found it a welcoming industry with really lovely people. Without those connections we would never have got where we are today.”

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014




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May 2014 路 Vol.15 Issue 4



cut & dried

making more of british & continental charcuterie

Redhill Farm swaps ‘inefficient’ operations for new £950k unit By MICK WHITWORTH

Lincolnshire free-range pork specialist Redhill Farm moves into new premises this month after a £950,000 building project, partfunded by a Defra Rural Economy Grant (REG). The development will raise capacity and help showcase Redhill Farm’s award-winning products but also improve working conditions for its owners and staff. The new unit on the farm at Blyton Carr near Gainsborough includes 350 sq m of production and storage and an 80 sq m product development space that will also host visits and courses. There are separate processing rooms for fresh meat, cured meat and pies, so different types of product can be made at the same time. A viewing corridor will enable visiting clients to watch production taking place in each room. There will also be an 85 sq m retail shop and butchery, which will double as an assembly area for wholesale and online orders. It replaces facilities that have evolved piecemeal in converted outbuildings since husband and wife Terry and Jane Tomlinson started selling all their own pork from the farm 15 years ago. “Every single part of everyone’s job will be improved by this project,” said Jane Tomlinson. “It has been an inefficient, complicated layout. The farmhouse was the only place we could have meetings, and female staff have had

Final building work is underway on the £950k development incorporating segregated productions areas, a viewing corridor for guests and a brick and pantilefronted farm shop

to use the loo in the house. “We couldn’t grow the business like that, so now we’re building what we need rather than coping with what we’ve got.” Redhill Farm already provides 10.5 full-time equivalent jobs in a remote rural location. Tomlinson said it could “potentially employ another

four or five people” but not in the existing premises. It has already taken on a new full-time apprentice butcher. As well as selling fresh meat, Redhill Farm produces bacon, hams, sausages, black pudding, pork pies and specialities such Lincolnshire haslet (cooked sausage meat).

Clients include TV chef James Martin and the 5-star Goring Hotel in Belgravia, and it sells by mail-order to delis, restaurants and direct to consumers. But much of its business remains local and the firm attends 20 markets each month. Redhill Farm will now look at new products such as cooked sliced hams as well as Continental-style and British charcuterie for delis and restaurants. “We’ll be able to air-dry ham and make coppa. We’ve been experimenting with salami, and local delis have also been asking us for chorizo.” The Tomlinsons have received a £152,000 grant towards the new building and a further £50,000 for equipment, out of a total project cost creeping towards £950,000. Between applying for REG aid two years ago and getting the goahead, the builders’ estimates nearly doubled. “So the value of the grant assistance went from 30% to nearer 15% during two years of bureaucracy,” said Tomlinson, adding: “It’s virtually impossible for a normal person to apply for some of these grants. They don’t make it easy, and it’s very restrictive.” Redhill Farm’s expanded farm shop will largely showcase its own products. Using the butchery counter to prepare and pack trade orders will make it cost effective to open six days a week. “We’re expecting shop sales to rise 25% over the next three years,” said Tomlinson.

Eco-friendly tubs give paté wider appeal By MICHAEL LANE

Handmade paté specialist Albion Artisan Foods has upgraded to ecofriendly, unbreakable tubs in a bid to broaden its appeal to retailers. The north Lincolshinre company’s co-founder, Uwe Siwy, said retailers were pleased with the biodegradable tubs’ environmental credentials as well as the “classy and timeless” look. “The product has been so successful but retailers always moaned about the look of it,” said the former National Trust head chef.

Albion’s paté tubs: biodegradeable

“There’s no more plastic, foil or tin and it looks stunning.” Siwy added that sturdier tubs

would reduce stock damage. They also feature a barcode and are already compliant with EU labelling regulations coming into force in December. The Albion line-up now stands at 10, with more recent additions including chicken liver patés with whisky & marmalade and sweet chilli as well as a vegetarian tomato & lentil with Italian herbs. All its patés are made without pork fat or artificial flavourings and come in 150g tubs (wholesale

£2.10), 550g trays for counters (£8.50) and foodservice cases (16x70g, £13.60). They are supplied frozen for a 12-month shelf life in the freezer. Siwy, whose other creations include a ham terrine and chicken liver breakfast paté with Lincolnshire sausage and mushroom, said more varieties were in development. Currently the producer delivers regionally but it will offer its products nationwide by the end of this month.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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product update beers, wines & spirits

Drams, drops and draughts MICHAEL LANE and MICK WHITWORTH uncork all the latest alcoholic drinks available to speciality retailers Importer and distributor CooperWhite has added to its line-up of wines, Champagne and vodka in bottles designed by Christian Audigier with a Cabernet Sauvignon (trade £7.95, RRP £14.99). CooperWhite is also importing more heavy metal-branded products from Swedish company Brands For Fans. These include Motorhead “Sacrifice”, a 13.5% Australian Shiraz (75cl bottles, trade £8.50, RRP £17) and “Reign in Blood”, a Californian Cabernet Shiraz (trade £8.50, RRP £17) endorsed by thrash metal band Slayer. www. cooperwhitewines.

KingBeer is the new name of Horsham brewery WJ King, which was taken over last June by Niki and Justin Deighton. The couple, who previously worked in the music industry, have worked with head brewer Ian Burgess to develop a range of “edgier” craft beers, known as the Evolution Collective, in 330ml bottles. They include the citrusy Green Bullet and Northern Lights, which features added coriander and other herbs. The brewery also offers more traditional beers through its Heritage Collection in 500ml bottles, including the flagship best bitter Poachers Moon and its Lost Kingdom IPA. www.kingbeer.

Mark Robinson Pallant of Arundel Arundel, West Sussex The selection of around 175 wines at West Sussex deli Pallant of Arundel reflects its history as a former wine merchant, says current co-owner Mark Robinson. There are also nearly three dozen fortified wines, a healthy range of mostly local beers and around 50 spirits, predominantly single malts. Robinson tells FFD: “I would be cautious about having too many spirits, and we’ll probably reduce this category over time. Spirits have terribly low margins and are expensive to hold in stock.” The best selling wines for Pallant of Arundel remain the classics, says Robinson. “For example, an affordable Loire Sauvignon Blanc such as Valencay 2012, which is great paired with the pyramid goat’s cheese from the same village – or indeed with our local Gold Cross from East Sussex.” Chateau Noaillac 2009 is a popular, “soft and approachable” claret, he says, while “natural” wines, including organic, biodynamic and low- or no-added-sulphur varieties, are a growth sector. While Arundel Brewery sells to many local supermarkets, Robinson and partner Jonathan Brantigan cannot afford to stop selling its ASB (Arundel Special Bitter). “It’s the perfect match to Goodwood Estate Charlton Cheddar, made with organic milk,” he says, adding: “New local breweries are always coming online so it’s a constantly changing range.”

Box Steam Brewery – whose range is inspired by the life and work of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel – has recently redesigned and upgraded its packaging and website. The Wiltshire company has also launched Evening Star, a 7.5% abv fine dining porter “alive with subtle coffee and chocolate aromas”, which is presented in a matt black ceramic bottle.

l West Yorkshire’s Ilkley Brewery has undergone a full rebrand including an updated look for its range of 10 bottled beers (500ml), from the renowned Mary Jane through to newer beers such as Siberia and The Mayan.

l Sambrook’s Brewery has unveiled the “crisp, hoppy, citrus” Battersea IPA (6.2% abv) and the “bold, spicy, fruity” Battersea Rye (5.8% abv) in 330ml bottles and kegs.

l Gluten-free beer specialist Green’s has struck gold with its latest tipple, an IPA made from sorghum. The beer, named Best Gluten Free Beer at the 2014 Free From Food Awards, is launched this month. Available in cases of 12 and 24 bottles.

l Durham’s Sonnet 43 launched its beers in bottles last summer. The Durham brewery’s six-strong range includes Great Taste awardwinning American pale ale and Bourbon milk stout.

l Last summer, Polgoon expanded its range of apple cider with a berry cider. The 4% drink has already picked up a Taste of the West gold award and comes in 500ml bottles (trade £1.70).

l Launched in September in four flavours, Fruity Tipples are a range of natural fruit-flavoured vodkas produced near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. Raspberry, strawberry, lemon and blackcurrant have now been joined by cherry and cranberry (RRP £18.99).

On yer bike! With this year’s Tour De France set to begin in Leeds and take in a large portion of Yorkshire, Little Valley Brewery has launched a beer as a tribute to the one of the county’s most famous cycling sons. Stage Winner, a “light and refreshing” 3.5% pale ale, was developed to celebrate Huddersfield-born Brian Robinson, the first

British winner of a Tour stage in 1958. This moderately hopped bottle-conditioned organic ale (RRP £2.15) has a “delicate level of bitterness and a malty texture”. For those with darker tastes, Warwickshire’s Purity Brewing Co has announced that its own

beer dedicated to cyclists, Saddle Black (7% abv), will be available in 330ml bottles. The full-flavoured black beer, launched in casks last year, is made using smoked, chocolate and black malts and New World hops Chinook and Cascade. www.littlevalleybrewery.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


product update While he’s more famous for his cheeses, chiefly Stinking Bishop, Charles Martell also puts his Gloucester orchards to good use by distilling a range of spirits. The latest is a cider spirit, Jack High, distilled from local cider in a wood-fired copper pot still to 86% abv. It is diluted with spring water from the Martell farm and aged in oak barrels to create “a warmer, mellower drink”. It comes in 50cl (RRP £30) and the recently launched 5cl miniature (RRP £5) bottles.

Despite only launching 18 months ago, The Fruit Kitchen has added another spirit – blackberry gin – to its range of fruit-based liqueurs. The small Alnwick-based company hand-makes raspberry vodka, blackcurrant brandy and blackberry whisky along with raspberry & chocolate vodka and the seasonal rhubarb vodka and raspberry gin. All come in 200ml glass bottles (RRP £14.95).

beers, wines & spirits

Lyme Bay Winery growing with the times Twenty years after Lyme Bay Cider began making rough scrumpy on a hillside overlooking the east Devon coast, the business has been quietly transformed. After adding country wines and fruit liqueurs to its line-up, in 2001 it moved to a 6,000 sq ft unit at Shute, under the new name Lyme Bay Winery, and began making serious inroads into delis, farm shops and garden centres. With a range now spanning cream liqueurs, sparkling fruit wines and Jack Ratt vintage cider – a 2012 Great Taste Top 50 product – last year saw it add a 8,000 sq ft bottling and storage facility, and now it is planning further expansion on the back of a surge in export sales, including bulk containers. While some of its products appeal to the more mature consumer, stockists will have

spotted a steady shift to trendier packaging. Spring 2014 has seen the launch of a Collector’s Range of four liqueurs, each available in a choice of four modern 200ml bottles (RRP £7.95), including a square-based version with a perfume bottle look. Targeting smarter gift buyers, they replace a more traditional range in 100ml mini decanters. There’s a four-strong Reserve Liqueurs range, including the 2013 Great Taste two-star damson gin

Anthony Cude Bakers & Larners, Holt, Norfolk At north Norfolk department store Bakers & Larners, the fine wines department alone is larger than many a high street deli. Food hall manager Anthony Cude picked out some of its best-sellers. “Scroby Pale Ale by the Norfolk Square Brewery is a fine quality brew,” says Cude, “showing why Norfolk is second only to Yorkshire with the number of breweries in the county. “It’s a flavorsome, light bodied ale that works particularly well with some of our very own Norfolk cheeses, such as Norfolk Dapple or Walsingham.” Also produced close to home is a Solaris white wine from Winbirri Vineyard at Surlingham. Solaris is a multi-crossed grape variety only recognised in its own right for a little over a decade. “This is an outstanding English wine, only in its third vintage, produced by young Lee Dyer, a very competent wine maker,” says Cude. “There’s an almost Loire-

like freshness which makes it a must with our local Morston mussels or Cromer crab.” Among New World whites, Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand has never been out of our Bakers & Larners’ Top 10 sellers since it was first stocked nine years ago. The 2012 has “big, rewarding flavours” that help match stronger-flavoured foods. “It works particularly well with dishes with exotic spices, such as salmon parcels with chilli & Thai green curry.” Another wine supported for years by Bakers & Larners is Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence rosé, from France, which has gone global since it was bought by new celebrity owners. “We stocked this wine for over 10 years under the ownership of the Perrin family, and it’s a stunning example of the very best in Provence rosé, perfect with light bites and salads. When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased the Chateau last year we found ourselves dispatching the wine as far west as Peru and as far East as Vladivostok.” Cude’s final pick is 2009 Tommasi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico – not surprising given that Bakers & Larners’ Italian range includes over 60 pastas.

Six O’Clock Gin gets bigger still After building sales of its Six O’Clock Gin at home and abroad, distiller and fruit liqueur maker Bramley & Gage has installed a new, hand-crafted German still to boost capacity. The family business, based in Thornbury near Bristol, currently has export deals in Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Finland and Cuba. But MD Michael Kain says shops and bars throughout the UK are also now stocking Six O’Clock Gin and its partner Six O’Clock Indian tonic water. “Gin & tonic are not typically


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

associated with delis, but like any discovery brand Six O’Clock Gin is something consumers will seek out. “As with any artisan product, they enjoy learning about how our gin is made and what produces the distinctive flavours, and that means educating staff and trialling in store.” Bramley & Gage’s new handbeaten, 200-litre capacity copper still was installed at Christmas, with production trials starting in January to match the flavour from the previous still. Its construction is said to produce a smoother spirit and to emphasise Six O’Clock Gin’s juniper

reserve, presented in contemporary 350ml flasks. And Lyme Bay is the exclusive maker of Annings Fruit Ciders, targeting a younger pub and bar clientele. According to marketing manager Lucy Bennett, Lyme Bay is now successfully straddling both everyday speciality drinks and gifting. “So farm shops and delis can take the standard ciders and wines year-round but also have a gift range for Christmas.” One surprise hit is mead. It may be an acquired taste but the olde-worlde fermented honey drink has become Lyme Bay’s top selling wine, and varieties flavoured with ginger and mint have been added to the range. “We haven’t pushed mead at all – it has come to us,” says Bennett. “People just seem to want a product that’s traditional.”

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t: 01823 461233 Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


product update Coles Brewery has been very busy developing both new beers and ciders. It’s 50/50 cider is made with an equal mix of pears and apples while Pearfect is a sparkling cider made from comice and conference pears. The Carmarthenshire brewery has come over all patriotic with its Dylan Thomas ale, made with whisky malt and matured in oak casks, to celebrate the poet’s 100th birthday this year. It has also created a liquorice stout and a 15%abv Welsh Moonshine made from fresh fruit juice in six different flavours.

Suffolk lager brewer Calvors has branched out into ale with two additions made using only English malt and hops. Smooth Hoperator is a 4.0% pale ale made with four different hops and four different malts, while Lodestar Festival Ale, is a 3.8% golden ale developed for the annual Cambridge music festival. Both come in cases of 24x330ml bottles for £23.75 and £23.50 respectively.

beers, wines & spirits Louise Smith The Jug & Bottle, Bubwith, East Riding of Yorkshire

Visitors to Louise Smith’s award-winning “real ale offlicence”, deli and gift shop near York will not only find wines, cider and ales in bottles but can also take away draught beer and cider by purchasing one of the Jug & Bottle’s re-useable jugs. “Our best-selling cider – bottle or draught – is Gywnt y Ddraig Black Dragon, a real easy drinking medium dry cider from Wales,” says Smith, adding that Ampleforth cider is similarly popular. “Our Sam Smith’s range from Yorkshire does really well, and one relatively new but incredibly popular beer is their Organic Chocolate Stout. When it comes to liqueurs, 35cl Sloe Motion sloe gin outstrips all rivals. Finally, says Smith: “The best spirit I’ve tasted in a long time – and it was at a 95% sell rate when we did tastings over Christmas – is Nelstrop’s Pedro Ximenez, a fortified wine from the English Whisky Company, which I buy from Gordon & MacPhail. I usually hate whisky, but this is matured with sherry in Pedro Ximenez casks and is ‘Christmas in a bottle‘. It’s fantastic chilled as an aperitif or with the Christmas cake.”

Food writer William Sitwell has teamed up with former Jamiroquai keyboard player Toby Grafftey Smith and interior designer Jasper Galloway to found cider brand 3Cs (“Three chaps”). The amateur cider-makers joined forces with Herefordshire producer Wilce’s and now supply the “dry, fresh, appley” cider in 500ml bottles.

Spencerfield Spirit Company has added The Feathery to its range of whiskies. This “intricate” blended malt has been entirely matured in first class sherry wood and bottled, in its most natural form, at 40%. On the nose, this “deep golden brown” spirit is said to have dry, nutty, sherry notes, while the finish is described as “long and satisfying” with spiced orange, chocolate and a hint of butterscotch. Named after the featherstuffed hide that was the predecessor to the modern golf ball, it comes in cases of 6x70cl bottles (trade £24.33+vat each).

Sheppy’s Cider has launched a 330ml bottle range in three flavours. Oakwood (4.8% abv) is a blend of vintage ciders fermented and matured in oak vats, while the “sharp, refreshing” Somerset Draught (5.5% abv) is made with a blend of cider and dessert apples. The newest is raspberry cider (4% abv), a blend of light cider and pure raspberry juice. All three were already available from the Somerset producer in 50 litre kegs and 500ml bottles, but director Louisa Sheppy says the smaller bottles would fit perfectly on the shelves of independent retailers or on café-bar lunchtime menus.

Having already created a range of whisky-barrelaged beers, Harviestoun Brewery’s latest collaboration has produced Orach Slie (“Golden Nectar”). The Alva-based company makes the limited edition beer (6% abv, 330ml, RRP £7) by maturing its Schiehallion Craft Lager in casks from Glenfarclas Distillery.


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

Less than a year after setting up, Masons Yorkshire Gin is welcoming a new addition to its team. A handmade 300-litre copper still, already christened Steve, has arrived from Portugal and been installed at the Bedale distillery. The 42% abv gin, launched last June, comes in 70cl and 25cl bottles (RRP £39.99 and £15.99 respectively).

William Wilberforce Freedom Ale (4.8% abv) is now glutenfree. Westerham Brewery worked closely with researcher Campden BRI to develop a new method that produces certified gluten-free beers without loss of taste. The beer, initially launched in 2007 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, comes in cases of 12 x 500ml bottles (from £18.03 per case).

NEW all-butter cheese straws 4 flavours, each made with carefully selected Scottish speciality cheeses Hand-baked on the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides.

Rich and indulgent, light, flaky and delicious.

Strathdon Blue

Ayrshire Bonnet


Smoked Dunlop

Available from July 2014

Celebrating 30 years!

Thank you for your support over the past 30 years.

Stag Bakeries Ltd | | T: 01851 702733 |

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Topped With Fresh Fruits made using... Fosters Sicilian Lemon Curd

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Vol.15 Issue 4 路 May 2014



To satisfy demand for biscuits with a lowered sugar content and an increased wholegrain content we have introduced a range of Barley and Oat Crumbles.

Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits have originated six delicious flavours, in lip-smacking cracker form. Perfect for pairing with pate, hummus, charcuterie and cheese. Cradoc’s is gathering a following of Snackers looking for something delicious to munch for lunch, devour in front of the telly or nibble, posh-like in company, with a glass of vino!

Find us at or speak to Allie or Ella on 01874624339

Made with barley grown in East Devon, just a few miles from our bakery, these biscuits are naturally high in fibre with a crumbly, melt in the mouth texture. The lowered sugar content enables the flavours of the grains to stand out, making this perfect for breakfast or any time of the day. FOR SUPPLY, PLEASE CONTACT: S Moores, The Biscuit Bakery, St. Andrew’s Well, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3BS Tel: 01308 428520 · Fax: 01308 428521 Email:


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

• Oatcakes: 1-star 2008, 2011 & 2013 • Millers Crunch: 1-star 2009 & 2012, 2-stars 2010 • Kenmore Shortbread: 1-star 2009 & 2-stars 2010 • Sheila’s Gingers: 1-star 2010 • Traditional Scottish Tablet: 1-star 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2-stars 2010


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

Wholesalers: Tree of Life, Diverse Fine Foods, Love4Local, Shepcote

product update


A cracking line-up LYNDA SEARBY munches her way through the latest NPD in sweet and savoury biscuits Stag Bakeries has given a 1970s dinner party nibble the gourmet treatment with the introduction of a new range of butter cheese straws. Launching in July, the four varieties of cheese straw are handbaked at Stag’s bakery on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, each using a different Scottish speciality cheese. Highland Dunlop is an organic, unpasteurised and cloth bound cheese said to meld perfectly with the buttery pastry. Smoked Dunlop is an organic, unpasteurised cheese that is traditionally smoked over whisky barrel shavings. Strathdon Blue is an aged, aromatic blue cheese while Ayrshire Bonnet is a hard pressed goats’ cheese produced on a family-owned creamery in Ayrshire. A 100g pack has an RRP of £3.49 except Ayrshire Bonnet, which has an RRP of £3.89.

For 2014, Cottage Delight has introduced a four-strong range of hand-baked biscuits for cheese, comprising wholemeal biscuits, seaweed oatcakes, seeded water biscuits and tomato & chilli water biscuits. All have an RRP of £3.25. Several of these new varieties are also included in Cottage Delight’s biscuits for cheese selection tin, which offers a collection of hand baked biscuits for all tastes. This assortment was originally launched as a seasonal line for Christmas 2013 but proved so popular that it has been made a year-round fixture. RRP is £4.95. Further new product development from the Staffordshire producer has yielded four vegetable crackers, all with an RRP of £2.95. The strikingly coloured carrot & cumin, beetroot & shallot, tomato & herb, and onion & thyme crackers are oven-baked and made with a minimum of 50% concentrated vegetable juice, all natural flavours and colourings. On the sweet side, Cottage Delight has capitalised on the salted caramel dessert trend, adding a sea salted caramel shortbread to its teatime treats range (RRP £3.95).

Top sellers…

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New to biscuits... Kevin Dawson is so new to the biscuit business that at the moment he’s only got one stockist – his sister’s bakery Staff of Life in Kendal. A former graphic designer, Dawson started baking shortbreads after taking voluntary redundancy. Besides the traditional butter and chocolate chip flavours, he also experiments with more unusual ingredients, such as green tea, lavender, cinnamon, cranberry, lemon and ginger. He has just taken on his own stall at Altrincham market and is keen to start supplying other North West retailers.

The newest member of Peter’s Yard’s Swedish crispbread family has a hole in the centre, a nod to an old Swedish tradition of baking large discs of crispbread during the harvest and leaving them to preserve on a wooden pole above the fireplace over the winter. Like the rest of the Peter’s Yard range, these crispbreads are made to a traditional Swedish recipe that uses wholewheat flours, fresh milk, honey and a naturally fermenting sourdough. Each 220g (RRP £4.70) pack contains 12 crispbreads.

Last month, Finn Crisp Finnish sourdough crispbreads went on sale in newly refreshed packaging emphasising their high fibre content – the crispbreads are made from 100% rye wholegrain.

Island Bakery Organics has re-worked the packaging and branding for its organic biscuits, which include lemon melts, chocolate gingers, oat crumbles and shortbread. The Mull bakery’s signature ‘McMoo’ Highland cow still sits proudly front and centre on the pack, but is now joined by other characters (based on real islanders) by illustrator Adam Larkum. The new design is to be followed up with new additions to the range later in the year, but in the meantime the bakers have made some small tweaks to their recipes – most significantly, they have dropped palm oil from the ingredient list.

Initially introduced for Valentine’s Day, Cavan Bakery’s jammy heart – two shortbread hearts sandwiched together with buttercream featuring a heart cut-out filled with raspberry jam – has now become a permanent line (RRP £1.10). The Surrey bakery also has plans to develop a Cavan Bakery jammy signature biscuit by replacing the cut out heart with a C shape, and will be offering wholesale customers the opportunity to order the biscuits with the initial of their choice.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


35/39 Skinner St. Whitby, YO21 3AH Tel.: 01947 602823

“Snap the flavour” Biscuits – A range of crisp and crunchy sweet biscuits from Bothams.

Shropshire Purveyors’ Quality handmade biscuits...

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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

product update

A new range of 40g grab-bags allows those on the go to dip into miniature versions of some of Furniss’s most popular Cornish biscuits. The bite-sized original ginger, dark chocolate ginger, butter shortbread and choc chip cookies all have an RRP of 59p. Furniss donates 1p from the sale of every packet towards protecting the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

biscuits Cotswold Fayre has started working with French biscuiterie St Michels, bringing traditional French biscuits such as butter biscuits with sea salt, caramel butter biscuits, traditional butter biscuits and crunchy coconut biscuits to the UK speciality food trade. Existing supplier Biscottea, meanwhile, has just introduced a new savoury shortbread collection for pairing with dips and cheeses. Blue cheese & black pepper, spinach & nutmeg, roasted onion & jalapeno, rosemary & red chilli and smokey sea-salt are the five flavours in the range, which has a trade price of £9.40 for 6x108g boxes (RRP £2.20 per box).

Lanark-based Border Biscuits has expanded its classic range as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. Joining the line-up are Fruity Tea Biscuits, Chocolate Fruit & Nut Rubbles, Treacle Toffee Time, Devilishly Dark Chocolatey Cookies and Milk Choc Hazel Nut Case. All the new additions have an RRP of £1.50.

Top sellers…

Chocolate & chilli shorties, coffee & walnut, lemon thins, ginger & chilli and double chocolate & raisin oaties, made freshly to order, are now available from Buckinghamshire’s Just Biscuits, a producer of genuinely handmade biscuits from local ingredients. Biscuitier Jilly Lydon has also added cheddar & chilli, roasted garlic & cheddar, cheddar & roasted sunflower seeds and stilton & cranberry to her savoury menu. The sweet biscuits have a trade price of £1.85 for 200g, whilst the savoury biscuits cost £2.05 for 125g.

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Grecotaste, a new Leeds-based importer of natural foods from Greece, is hoping to introduce UK consumers to the Greek rusk, a savoury double-baked bread biscuit. Available in oregano, marjoram and sage flavours, the aromatic rusks are traditionally made with olive oil and herbs from Mount Ida on Crete. They are also rich in fibre, making them ideal as a healthy snack, according to Grecotaste. Trade price is £1.87 per packet, based on a box of 20 at £37.40.

Welsh savoury biscuit company Cradoc’s has created bite-sized versions of three of its best selling cocktail biscuits and is launching them in snacking format this summer. The chilli, garlic & ginger, beetroot & garlic and leek & Caerphilly 35g snack packs (RRP 1.25 each) are pitched as “great for dipping and dunking or simply as a tasty nibble”.

Frozen food supplier Field Fare has extended its ‘scoop your own’ concept to ready-to-bake cookies. Retailers with Field Fare freezers can choose from four flavours: chocolate with chocolate chip, plain chocolate chip, pecan with white chocolate chip and oatmeal & raisin. The cookies are sold loose, so shoppers can buy as many or as few as they want, and cooked straight from frozen in 15 minutes.

Horsham’s is building on the successful launch last year of its Regency Gingerbread with the introduction of a biscuit version of this Sussex delicacy. Unrefined sugars, butter, stem ginger and candied peel all contribute to the rich flavour of the Sussex gingerbread thins, which are available to outlets in the south east. RRP is £2.45 for a 175g pack. Horsham’s was started in 2011 by Lesley Ward to resurrect Sussex’s centuries-old gingerbread making tradition. As FFD went to press, two new biscuit lines from gluten-free baker Kent & Fraser were about to launch with Ocado. Fig & hazelnut crunchy cookies are made with diced figs, chopped roasted hazelnuts, muscovado sugar, Madagascan vanilla and cinnamon, while toasted almond shortbreads are described as an “Italian classic with a British twist”. The Ocado deal is not exclusive; Kent & Fraser confirmed that the new biscuits are also available to farm shops and delis, and will shortly be on sale in Harrods and Selfridges. RRP is £2.29.

This summer, Mrs Crimble’s is packaging its choc macaroons (RRP £1.50) in Breast Cancer Campaign branded boxes with 10p from every sale going to the charity. The producer hopes to raise over £10,000 from product sale donations through the limited edition charity-branded packs.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

A promotional feature for the Guild of Fine Food

May’s exclusive Guild member promotions ALDER TREE

Alder Tree’s unique fruit cream ices are “packed full of fruit and bursting with flavour”. The producer, which has over 30 Great Taste awards to its name, makes every batch by hand on its Suffolk fruit farm. The range includes fruit flavours such as stem ginger & rhubarb and summer fruits. Elderflower is now in season so the producer is urging retailers to stock up on its gooseberry & elderflower, which is available in 125ml and 500ml tubs (RRP £1.99 and £5.25 respectively). THE DEAL: Buy 4 cases of any flavour and get 1 free case of gooseberry & elderflower (in the same size) AVAILABILITY: Nationwide CONTACT: Stephany Hardingham on 01449 721220 or

ROSE FARM Rose Farm is a family-owned and operated preserve company based in Somerset. It produces more than 150 different lines – including chutneys, pickles, sauces, mustards, jams and marmalades – by hand using only natural ingredients and traditional methods. The company’s products, which come in various retail sizes and catering tubs, are only supplied to independent shops. THE DEAL: Order 6 cases of 12 jars and receive 18 jars of your choice free or 3x12 jars and receive 9 free jars or your choice AVAILABILITY: Nationwide. Free delivery. Minimum order is 3x12jars. CONTACT: Charlotte Wright on 01934 712347 or


GORDON RHODES Gordon Rhodes’ ranges of gourmet rubs, crumbs and sprinkles have been created to help time-conscious home cooks. Its chilli, lime & coriander and garlic & herb coaters can be used in meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Its Firecracker Quick Hot Rub and Good Old Fashioned Vigorous Rub can spice up meatballs while its two sprinkles can be used to liven up potatoes and veg. THE DEAL: Buy any 6 cases for the price of 5 AVAILABILITY: Nationwide (pro forma payment required) CONTACT: Gemma Richardson on 01274 758007 or

DONATANTONIO The Italian food importer has launched Lupetta, its own range of authentic products sourced from several regions. It features cherry tomato sauce (cases of 6x330g bottles) and semi-dried cherry tomatoes (6x200g jars) from Sicily, PDO San Marzano Tomatoes (12x400g tins) from Campania, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (6x250ml bottles) and spicy Calabrian pork spread ’Nduja (6x175g jars). THE DEAL: Buy any 4 cases from the range, get a 5th free AVAILABILITY: Free delivery to UK Mainland only CONTACT: Lee Hall on 020 8236 2222 or

LOCH DUART Based in the Outer Hebrides, Loch Duart Artisan Smokehouse supplies its award-winning, premium smoked salmon direct to retailers and foodservice. The SALSA-accredited company uses Loch Duart Scottish salmon exclusively to make its oak-smoked salmon, hot-smoked with honey & thyme and its “iconic”, multi-award winning oak-roasted flaky smoked salmon. THE DEAL: Buy any 5 portion packs and receive 1 free pack of 150g oak roasted flaky salmon. Quote: FFD04 when the placing order. AVAILABILITY: Nationwide. Payment on proforma or credit account by application. Minimum order £75. CONTACT: Fiona MacDonald on 01870 610324 or


Vegusto specialises in Swiss 100% plant-based freefrom cheese and meat-free alternatives. Free from dairy, cholesterol, phosphate, palm oil, sugar, soya, and GMO, its products are suitable for vegan, vegetarian, Kosher and Halal diets. Among the awards Vegusto has collected are a 2014 Free From Food Award for its No Moo cheese sauce and Great Taste 2013 one-stars for its No Moo Melty cheese and mushroom & cheese burger. THE DEAL: 20% off first order. Enter GUILDPROMO20 in voucher code box at the checkout AVAILABILITY: Nationwide. CONTACT: Vian Ng on 01273 936010 or

JTS – FAIRLY TRADED PRODUCTS JTS specialises in importing and distributing quality, specialty foods from fair trade producers.Its wide range of products includes jams, chutneys and pickles from Swaziland and coconut milk from Sri Lanka as well as a unique range of African sauces and seasonings from South Africa. THE DEAL: 10% off first order, free box of Eswatini Medium Curry Sauce and free carriage. AVAILABILITY: Free to UK mainland. Minimum order £50. Please quote GUILD when placing order. CONTACT: Maree Nicoll on 0141 887 2882 or

WARNER EDWARDS Warner Edwards artisan gin is distilled by Tom Warner and Sion Edwards in their 200-year old converted barn on Falls Farm, in the village of Harrington, Northamptonshire. They blend spring water, grain spirit, homegrown elderflower and 10 other botanicals inside their still, Curiosity, to create a “fantastically smooth and aromatic” dry gin, which recently received Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Warner Edwards focuses on selling through independent retailers. THE DEAL: Buy 6 bottles, get 1 free to use for in-store sampling AVAILABILITY: Nationwide, free delivery on one case orders. CONTACT: Tom Warner on 01536 710623 or

All offers valid until the end of this month and available to Guild retail members only





Buy 4 cases of any flavour and get 1 free case of gooseberry & elderflower (in the same size)

01449 721220


Buy any 4 cases from the Lupetta range and get a 5th free

0208 236 2222

GORDON RHODES Buy any 6 cases (of crumbs, sprinkles and rubs) for the price of 5 01274 758007

JTS – FAIRLY TRADED 10% off first order, free box of Eswatini Medium Curry Sauce PRODUCTS and free carriage

0141 887 2882


Buy any 5 portion packs and receive 1 free pack of 150g oak roasted flaky salmon. Quote: FFD04 when placing order

01870 610324


Order 6 cases of 12 jars and receive 18 jars of your choice free OR 3x12 jars and receive 9 free jars or your choice

01934 712347


20% off on first order. Enter code GUILDPROMO20 at the checkout on

01273 936010

01536 710623

WARNER EDWARDS Buy 6 bottles, get 1 free to use for in store sampling

RETAILERS: To take advantage of these promotions, you have to be a retail member of the Guild of Fine Food. For more information or to join, contact SUPPLIERS: You must be a producer member of the Guild to promote your latest offers on this page. If you’re already signed up and interested in booking a slot, contact

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

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product update

speciality oils

Slick and sleek LYNDA SEARBY pores over the latest oils on the market

l Honest Toil’s extra virgin olive oil has switched to a 500ml swing-top bottle, enabling customers to reuse and refill more easily.

l Gotas de Italy’s largest independent olive oil producer is targeting a higher price point with a new range of regional extra virgin olive oils that will retail at £10 for a 500ml bottle. Its Gran Cru oils are already listed with Tesco nationwide, but Filippo Berio is also hoping to reach ‘an increasingly inquisitive British foodie audience’ via the independent trade, and is in the process of presenting the oils to several speciality distributors. The three-strong range features PGI and PDO certified oils from Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia. .

Made with Kollovi and Andramytiani olives peculiar to the Greek island of Lesvos, Avlaki’s single estate oils from its Agatherí Groves and Avlaki Groves are now available in smaller 250ml bottles (RRP £12 each, cases of 12 cost £144 including a pair of sample bottles). Avlaki has also introduced Lesvos Groves, an unfiltered oil for everyday cooking, in 750ml bottles (RRP from £12).

Abril, a new ‘intense and fruity’ olive oil from Spanish producer Aceites Abril, blends Frantoio, Hojiblanca and Arbequina olives.

l Arganic, a brand of Moroccan argan oil that supports ethical trade, is now listed in Selfridges and Planet Organic.

Spanish producer Masia El Altet has launched three new limited edition oils from the 2013 harvest. ‘High end’, a single variety Picual, and ‘special selection’, a single variety Royal Changlot, are both available in 500ml bottles, whilst the white truffle extra virgin olive oil comes in a 250ml bottle in presentation gift box. All are available to the trade via Verita Vita and have an RRP of £12.99+.

l Olive Fabrica in Corfu claims to be the first producer to bring a single variety Lianiolia extra virgin olive oil to the global market, with its brand The Governor (500ml, trade £16.50, RRP £33).

French producer Castelas has released its classic and organic extra virgin olive oils and Fruité Noir virgin olive oil in smaller 250ml bottles, available in the UK from the Oil Merchant, and priced at £7.50, £7.65 and £7.65 respectively to the trade.

Cheese Cellar has added three new extra virgin olive oils to its portfolio: Agatherí Groves from Avlaki (RRP £18-20+ for 500ml), South African Morgenster (RRP £15 for 500ml) and Cortijo de Suerte Alta, an organic finishing oil that blends Picuda, Hojiblanca and Picual olives from Baena in Spain (RRP £13.50 for 500ml).

New to olive oil... Having inherited the family business, Greek-born Evan Michaels is drawing on a career in marketing to create a new brand of extra virgin olive oil. He says the mission of London-based business Honestly Good is to bring the consumer fresh, affordable olive oil from a single variety grown on a single estate. Honestly Good launched this year with three product lines from southern Greece. Freshly squeezed olive oil (RRP £5.99 for 500ml) and organic olive oil (RRP £9.99 for 500ml) are from Koroneiki olives, while ‘little olive oil’ is a very low acidity organic olive oil especially for kids and babies (RRP £6.99 for 250ml).

Top sellers…

and Abbey Café Creake e, or th Creak Food Hall, N Norfolk

e oil refill a virgin oliv Incanto extr l ish truffle oi ustard Engl Scarlett & M almond oil A zada virgin oil ustard basil Scarlett & M walnut oil A zada virgin

l Spanish newcomer Aguilar Segura is seeking UK listings after winning two stars in Great Taste 2013. The extra virgin olive oil, a blend of Picual and Hojiblanca olives, is available direct in 500ml, 250ml and 100ml bottles.

l On the back of achieving three stars in the 2013 Great Taste awards, Bell and Loxton’s Devon rapeseed oil is now listed with Harrods. www. bellandloxton.

l Mrs Middleton’s rapeseed oil, which is produced from seed grown on Barton Hill Farm in Bedfordshire, has been awarded a Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) marque.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


product update l Unlike most producers, Mother’s Garden has always included the pressing and bottling dates on every container of its Arbequina olive oil, and now, for 2014, has redesigned its labelling to give this information top billing, with a separate, prominent, hand-written label.

l New Cretan brand Rhyton hopes its ‘fruity, citrusy extra virgin olive oil, with grassy notes and a pepper spike’, will build a UK following.

Home-grown talent The latest news from Britain and Ireland’s rapeseed oil producers Perthshire’s Summer Harvest Oils has elevated its rapeseed oil offering with a white truffle infused variant, available at £4 per 100ml bottle from wholesaler The Cress Co. The company has also created a gourmet oil gift pack, containing 100ml bottles of white truffle rapeseed oil, oak-smoked oil and original cold pressed rapeseed oil.

Northamptonshire’s Farrington Oils has created a new rapeseed oil and dressings gift set for Christmas 2014. With an RRP of £11, the Mellow Yellow oil & dressings set is available exclusively through Hider Foods and contains 250ml bottles of cold pressed

www.liaoliveoil. com

l With an RRP of £3.95 for 100ml, Cottage Delight’s new Mediterranean inspired dipping olive oils – porcini mushroom & white balsamic, lemon zest & pink peppercorn and basil with roasted garlic – are supplied in a countertop display box.

l The first batch of ethical extra virgin olive oil from Good Hope Olive Estate in South Africa is now available to UK retailers, at a trade price of £5 per bottle (RRP £7.50). All proceeds are channelled back into the farm.


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

rapeseed oil, infused chilli oil and honey & mustard dressing.

Northern Irish producer Broighter Gold has introduced a gift pack (RRP £9.99) containing

ttish Deli, The Sco thshire Dunkeld, Per

Eleadora, a new brand of Greek olive oil, is seeking a UK distributor. Eleadora is the brainchild of Brusselsbased Anastasia Moraitou, a mother-of-two and former teacher who started the company to provide an international platform for olive oils from her homeland, Monemvasia in Peloponnese, Greece.

four 125ml plastic bottles of basil, rosemary & garlic, lemon and chilli infused oils.

As the concept grows in popularity, Seymours has added four new flavoured rapeseed oils to its on-tap range. Made on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate by the Keeling family in Somerset, the garlic, rosemary, chilli and lemon oils are available to retailers at £45 for five litres, and can be sold for around £16 for one litre plus glass bottle.

Top sellers…

l Lia is a new Greek premium extra virgin low acidity olive oil made from Koroneiki olives in Messenia. Its signature white bottle is modern take on Ancient Greek oil containers.

speciality oils

fused e oregano in Supernatur rapeseed oil oil d rapeseed e basil infuse Supernatur essed vest cold pr Summer Har rapeseed oil walnut oil Cooks & Co peanut oil Cooks & Co

This year, Suffolk’s Hillfarm Oils celebrates a decade of producing extra virgin rapeseed oil, becoming the first UK producer to reach this milestone.

2013 saw County Kilkenny’s Second Nature Oils introduce a rosemaryinfused rapeseed oil and a new 500ml bottle design for its organic rapeseed oil.

In its quest to source new olive oils with more complex flavours, Spanish food importer Iberica Delights discovered Cooperativa de La Granadella in Catatonia, which produces an oil from Arbequina olives that is “slightly bitter, with a distinctive spicy taste and intense fruitiness of green olives, artichoke, almond and other fresh herbs”. Degustus extra virgin olive oil is available in three bottle sizes: 750ml (RRP £8.99), 500ml (RRP £6.50) and 250ml (RRP £4.20).

New to olive oil... Rob Marsden and Pam Pantazi, partners in business and life, have pledged to bring the ‘smooth and exquisite taste’ of Cyprus olive oil to the UK. Their OOO Company brand of extra virgin olive oil launched in March and is currently being sold direct to the public via markets, although Marsden says they welcome trade enquiries. The olive oil is produced on a family farm in the coastal village of Pervolia, Cyprus, and bottled in Cambridgeshire.

Mark Dyer, aka The Gay Farmer, has chosen a tin plate can with a blackblack label as the striking packaging format for his Spanish extra virgin olive oil. The organic oil, a 50/50 split of Arbequina and Picual varieties, is now stocked in 10 London delis with an RRP of £10. Wholesale price is £120 for a case of 20. www.thegayfarmer.


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Vol.15 Issue 4 路 May 2014


product update Cretan producer Olive Branch has launched a refill service so shops can sell its Koroneiki olive oil loose. Olive Branch supplies retailers with stainless steel dispensers along with a bottling service so shops can order bottles in different styles and sizes. Co-founder Maria Koinaki says: “The refill service has been incredibly popular as shop customers are able to taste our olive oil before they buy. One of our early stockists in North London sells 40 litres each month.”

speciality oils

New to olive oil... Newcomer Eliris believes that combining several olive varieties has given its oil distinct character and greater flavour dimensions than oils produced solely from the Koroneiki variety, which is the standard in Greece. The brand was created by city workers Sam Lord and Iris Efthimiadou, who gave up their careers to rejuvenate the Efthimiadou family olive grove in northern Greece. The oil launched in Selfridges last September in 250ml bottle in a gift tube with pourer (RRP £25.99) and sold out within three months. Eliris is keen to secure listings with other independent retailers and has a distribution arrangement in place with Turners Fine Foods. Besides the gift format, the oil is available in 100ml and 250ml bottles at a trade cost of £3.80 and £7.20 respectively.

Pressing issue Seggiano’s David Harrison tells FFD about 2013’s tough harvesting season

Another Cretan olive oil making its international debut is Kritsa, a DOP extra virgin olive oil from Koroneki olives. Described as ‘a delicate olive oil with light to moderate notes of bitterness and pungency and a predominance of green fruitiness’, this oil is available to UK retailers for the first time from RH Amar with an RRP of £8.99.

Despite concerns in the oil world that last summer might have had a detrimental effect on taste, Kefalonian producer Ionio says its 2014 vintage is as good as last year, with its “fresh, grassy flavour, peppery finish and smooth palate”. An early harvest oil is available at a trade price of £6.39 for 250ml (RRP £8.95-9.95), whilst Ionio extra virgin olive oil has a trade price of £5.76 (RRP £7.95-8.95) for 250ml and £11.25 (RRP £16.5017.50) for 500ml.


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

2013 was one of the worst harvests in living memory for a lot of European extra virgin olive oil producers. The wet warm summer, compounded by heavy storms in the run-up to the actual harvest and a horrific attack of olive fly, made production a real challenge in many parts of the Mediterranean. In Seggiano, we had to tear up the rule book, waiting later in the season to harvest our crop, so that the fly-blown olives had dropped off the trees before picking. We also had to mill in a different way than usual. Our extra virgin olive oil – made exclusively from the olivastra seggianese varietal olive – is known and appreciated as a sweet, delicate, creamy oil but this year we had to mill our olives to accentuate their more robust elements, to ensure the oil lasts the season. My feeling is that there are a lot of poor oils on the shelves, so consumers need to be attentive about what they buy from early summer onwards, when any defects will manifest. We all need to be more careful than usual in how we store our oils, especially shops selling loose oil from dispensers. Oil sitting around in drums, when not in perfect condition, can react with oxygen becoming rancid. Only the most experienced producers have managed to overcome most of the problems nature threw at them.

l New from Catalonian producer Olis Solé is a collection of four aromatic oils which fuse Arbequina extra virgin olive oil with herbs and spices. The Cayena (cayenne), Romero (rosemary), Pimienta (four peppers) and Hierbas Provenxales (Provencal herbs) oils come in 250ml bottles, RRP £8.75.

l Eleonia is a new PGI status, organic extra virgin olive oil from the Kolovi olive, unique to the Greek island of Lesvos.

Bath Harvest has linked up with Bristol-based Upton Cheyney Chilli Company to create a Bhut Jolokia chilli infused rapeseed oil said to be suitable for everything from dipping to stir-frying, marinating and roasting. The oil is available to retailers in Somerset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire via The Good Egg Company at a trade price of £3.50 for 250ml (RRP £4.95).

Currently seeking UK importers, Nono Sentido, a Portuguese producer of gourmet foods, has collaborated with the University of Marine Resources (ESTM – Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar) to create a basil & lemon flavoured extra virgin olive oil enriched with antioxidantrich marine seaweed. Especial Saladas is recommended for finishing salads and cold pasta and has an RRP of £9.95 for 250ml. Nono Sentido also offers a white truffle oil, Especial Al Tartufo (250ml, RRP £17.45).

New to olive oil... Six years after moving to Brindisi Puglia to realise a childhood ambition, Mike Carlucci has supplied the first bottles of Tenuta Marmorelle ZERO extra virgin olive oil to The Olive Oil Company in London and Zottadeli in Wokingham. Shortly after arriving in Puglia, Carlucci decided that he wanted to produce, bottle and sell his own high quality oil, and after consulting local experts, elected to focus on quality rather than quantity. The fruit are harvested early in the olive season, picked directly from the tree onto nets, and pressed within hours. The oil is obtained by cold extraction at a controlled temperature, resulting in a low acidity level of 0.2% and higher than average levels of proteins and polyphenols. Trade cost per 500ml bottle is £6.95.

Top sellers…

Deli, London Earlsfield

h refill Olive Branc oil virgin olive 0.3% extra h nc ra B e Oliv tra virgin io lemon ex Seggiano luna olive oil a virgin io garlic extr Seggiano luna olive oil d’Oro white olano Bosco Prodotto Asc truffle oil

Explore the Regional Flavours of Italy. Selected exclusively by

INTRODUCING GRAN CRU A range of three superb Extra Virgin Olive Oils. From the home of Filippo Berio, Tuscany, comes sweet, fruity Toscano; from Sicily comes the intense, full bodied Monti Iblei; and from Puglia in the heel of Italy, is the region’s signature tangy, aromatic Dauno oil. As different and bursting with local personality as the regions themselves, our Gran Cru regional oils will delight the taste buds, and recall the spirit of culinary adventure first experienced by Filippo Berio all those years ago. Available at Tesco and online at

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014



Discover La Bandiera Premium Olive Oil

Connoisseurs of olive oil will delight in tasting the exceptional extra virgin olive oil from La Bandiera. This delicious olive oil is produced in the traditional wine growing area of Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast – home of the Super Tuscan vineyards of Ornellaia and Sassicaia.

The team at La Bandiera continues to use the traditional methods of selecting the best time to harvest the olives to ensure the acidity level is low thereby creating the perfect blend. The result is a smooth yet full-bodied olive oil, endorsed by the IGP in recognition of its quality and origin. Gold award winner in the 2013 New York International Olive Oil Competition, La Bandiera olive oil is available for delivery throughout the UK in sizes ranging from 250ml bottles up to 5 litre cans. Visit or call 0207 243 5150

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May 2014 ¡ Vol.15 Issue 4

shelf talk

products, promotions & people

Italian importer launches first retail range in a century By MICHAEL LANE

After more than a century supplying ingredients to chefs and food manufacturers, Donatantonio is pitching its first ever retail range of Italian regional foods to independents. First trademarked in 1967 as a sister brand for the importer and distributor’s Lupa catering range, Lupetta has finally come to fruition with an initial line-up of five products. These include PDO San Marzano tomatoes from Campania, PGI Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and spicy pork ‘NDuja paste from Calabria. Despite Donatantonio’s relationships with major retailers and manufacturers, CEO Simon Bell told FFD that he was “not under pressure” to sell to supermarkets and speciality food retail was the right place for consumers to discover the new range. “Although the business has been around a long time, we’re not in retail,” he said. “We’re starting from scratch. “We’d rather get invited to the party than gatecrash it. We’re not Unilever or P&G. We’re not going to chuck loads of this straight into Tesco.“

Bell, formerly the MD of New Covent Garden Soup, said that the range is being sold at a “sensible” rather than “super premium” price. “Because we’re buying a lot of other things from Italy already, it doesn’t really cost too much to get these things across,” he added. Bell said the next batch of Lupetta-branded lines is already in development with pasta, oils, pestos and sauces all in the pipeline and 10-15 products expected to debut later this year. The target, he said, is to offer 30-40 product from across Italy’s 20 regions. “In Italy, people would never dream of having tomatoes from an adjacent region, even pasta,” he said. “Somebody in the south would never eat a Northern pasta shape. “Other brands tend to be just from one region or they tend to be a family company that just does olive oil or vinegar.” Bell said a great deal of time had gone into developing the brand’s

What’s in the range? l Cherry tomato sauce from Sicily: cases of 6x330g glass bottles, RRP £2.75 each l Semi dried cherry tomatoes from Sicily: 6x200g glass jars RRP £4.89, l ’Nduja paste from Calabria: 6x175g glass jars, RRP £4.99 l PDO San Marzano Tomatoes from Campania: 12x400g tins, RRP £1.75. l PGI Balsamic Vinegar of Modena: 6x250ml bottles, RRP £2.69 “forward-facing, modern” look. “I didn’t want to go down the family, kitchen table, ‘mama’s cooking’ route,” he said adding that the range of ingredients has been modelled on the Italian consumer

trend for assembly rather than scratch-cooking weeknight meals. Donatantonio is currently in discussions with several speciality food distributors.

New and natural Here’s a round-up of new launches at last month’s The Natural Food Show 2014 Tick Tock and Dragonfly Tea unveiled four new flavours for 2014. Green Gaucho Organic Mate Tea is the new addition for Dragonfly Tea while Tick Tock Tea’s new brews are Restore & Renew, Rooibos Vanilla Chai and Earl Grey Rooibos.

Heavenly Tasty Organics has introduced a range of chilled dairy- and gluten-free baby meals, including lentil & vegetable soup, spaghetti bolognese, minced beef & potato, and tomato & pasta.

Zingology launched a range of fruit and vegetable powders made from raw ingredients using a drying technique that preserves nutrients. Flavours include beetroot, carrot, strawberry, and raspberry.

Based in Dorset, Primrose’s Kitchen is expanding its range for 2014 with lines including a raw almond & chia nut butter and an energy superfood powder juice mix.

added but red grape 100% juice, aronia juice and elderflower juice with acacia honey join the range this spring. www.grannyssecret.

Dried and ground naturally to lock in their intense umami flavour, Mara Seaweed’s range of hand-harvested seaweed seasonings are stored in shaker/taster tins for ease of use. Varieties in this mineral rich range of salt alternatives include kombu, shony, and pepper dulse.

Granny’s Secret UK is the first British supplier to import completely sugar-free real fruit juices and jams from Serbia. New natural and organic flavours are constantly being

Pulsin’ has two new additions to its range of snack bars. The latest Beond-branded organic range is a blueberry bar made with organic almonds, dates and blueberries. It has also added a vanilla choc chip protein bar to its own-branded range. The bar combines almonds, rice protein, chocolate chips and vanilla to provide 12g of protein. It is also free from gluten, dairy, soya, egg and wheat.

Organic, free-from specialist Conscious Chocolates’ new lines include the Cheeky Cherry bar

(agave soaked organic cherries with a liqueur-like quality) and The Dark Side 85%.

New chickpea crispbreads from Easy Bean are naturally gluten-free. Handmade in Easy Bean’s Somerset bakery, with nuttytasting chickpea flour and buttermilk from local farms, they are topped with toasted seeds for extra crunch. The three flavours are mung bean & chive, Moroccan spice and seeds & black pepper.

The Foods of Athenry’s new gluten- and wheat-free baked bitesizes – including pure oat mini flapjacks and Cookie Shots – were on show in resealable packs.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


shelf talk

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


Top chefs tell CLARE HARGREAVES their deli essentials

Whittard aims for indies with Cotswold Fayre tie-up

Tom van Zeller Chef-patron Van Zeller, Harrogate

Wharfe Valley extra virgin coldpressed rapeseed oil

Cotswold Fayre has signed a deal to become the main UK distributor for hot drink manufacturer Whittard of Chelsea. The Berkshire-based company will offer a range of Whittard’s coffees, teas, drinking chocolate and gifting lines to delis, farm shops, garden centres and department stores. Whittard, founded as a retailer in 1886, will continue to supply products to its own 57-strong chain of stores and trade accounts with certain hotels, restaurants and catering events. Whittard UK wholesale business manager Angela Hibbard said the

company has chosen to outsource distribution following considerable wholesale growth. She added: “Cotswold Fayre has an excellent reputation within the speciality food industry and this, combined with the company’s strong contacts and track record, made them the perfect choice for us.” Cotswold Fayre MD Paul Hargreaves said: “We are confident that we can continue the sales growth of Whittard of Chelsea’s products in this specialist retail arena and look forward to introducing the range to our customers.”

Cawston’s cans to spearhead ambitious growth plans Apple juice specialist Cawston Press has set it sights on tripling its turnover inside the next three years following the launch of its first canned soft drinks. The £6m firm has launched cloudy apple and rhubarb drinks in 330ml cans (single cans 99p, six packs £4.99), which it is pitching as an alternative to “overly sweet, additive-packed and made-from-concentrate” soft drinks. Cawston Press sales director Dan Broughton said: “There’s a major opportunity to fulfil growing consumer demand with a healthier,

more natural, soft drink offering. “There is little opportunity for consumers to choose a sparkling can that contains genuinely high quality natural ingredients with decent amounts of not-from-concentrate fruit.” Cawston’s new additions are both made with pressed apple juice and sparkling water. Single cans will be available from Whole Foods, As Nature Intended and Planet Organic, while six packs have already been listed in Waitrose and Booths.

WICKER WANDERER: Packaging and display specialist Gadsby is gearing up for summer with the launch of two fully equipped picnic hampers. The wicker hampers feature a blue and red “retro” strawberry lining and come with cutlery and crockery. They are available kitted out for either two (from £19.94 wholesale) or four (from £28.96) people. Marketing manager Will Gadsby said: “Our new offering fits the summer trend for picnic hampers, perfect for enjoying the British summer in a classic way, whether it’s sold for personal usage or for displaying gifts. We see them appealing to a range of retailers, including department stores, gift shops, garden centres and farm shops.”


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

Davy’s pink peppercorns in vinegar

The pastry section uses these pink peppercorns in a glucose-based tuile; it gives it a bite, mainly from the liquor that the peppercorns are in. We mix them with some raw ones crushed up. This gives a nice twist to a dessert; I guess it’s an extension of the black peppercorn idea. I love pink, green and white peppercorns too and the flavours of these pink ones are gentle because they are in brine. We buy them from Wellocks.

Global Harvest wild fennel pollen

We put this into the bite-size donuts that we offer with some desserts. As the donut cooks, the heat opens up the flavour of the pollen, so you taste and smell the perfume. Again, it’s part of our playful approach to food – we turn something people enjoy eating into a fine dining experience. Incidentally, this product, procured by Dorset-based Global Harvest, won two gold stars at the 2012 Great Taste awards. We buy our pollen in 28g packs from Wellocks.

Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum

This is a blend of Caribbean rums that’s infused with spices such as vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon – following the old sailor’s tradition. We add a dash to the lime granita that we serve as a pre-dessert. It gives it depth and provides a bit of fun too.

Barony Mill beremeal

Beremeal is a type of barley grown in Orkney, and is probably Britain’s oldest cereal in continuous cultivation. Now it’s milled and sold by just one place: Barony Mill in Birsay, Orkney. We buy it in 2kg bags. The locals use it in biscuits and bannock. I always offer a vegetarian starter so I started making beremeal biscuits by mixing the beremeal with a bit of white flour and some decent butter. I crumble it and use it in my starter of carrots with buttermilk ice cream, homemade fresh cheese and prune purée. The crumbled beremeal biscuit is good as it supports the buttermilk ice cream and stops it sliding around the plate. The flavour is rich and good as it’s a whole wheat. Again, heat opens it up and you get a toasty, nutty, comforting flavour. Colin Keldie K4graphics


I live in the Wharfe Valley so it’s great to find a product that’s both local and very good. It’s lighter than olive oil and has a fabulous colour. They do an oak smoked version too. I buy the oil in 5 litre tubs as we get through a lot. It’s wonderfully versatile. You can use it for deep-frying – it gives a good colour to chips – and we also use it in dressings, mixed with white balsamic and a little water. Rich in vitamin E and omega 3, 6 and 9, it has strong health benefits too.

NEW barbeque range NOW available!

BE INSPIRED AT THE HARROGATE SPECIALITY FOOD SHOW: • Great Taste judging – come and see how our judging process works • Deliciouslyorkshire @ Harrogate Speciality Food Show – a meet the producer event • Source new specialities to refresh your range • Taste rival brands and compare prices HALL




• Meet producers face to face and learn more about the products you stock • Benefit from exclusive show offers • Gain expert business advice and support • Take part in seminars and tutored tastings in the Fine Food Live theatre • Watch suppliers pitch to big-name food buyers in our live Feed The Dragon sessions • Benefit from easy access and free parking at the Yorkshire Event Centre This is a trade show. Students by prior arrangement only.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Delis, Farmshop, Foodhalls, Garden Centres, Pubs & restaurants, Hotels, Cafes & coffee shops, Butchers, Bakers, High-end grocers, Heritage & gift shops

REGISTER NOW FOR YOUR FREE VISITOR PASS AT | #hazzer Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


shelf talk what’s new Kenyan blends

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

“a major space in the high end sugar-boiled confectionery market” with the launch of the Ultimate English branded range, which is exclusive to independent retailers. The range, which includes snacking and sharing packs of luxury fudge, toffee, brittle, honeycomb and coconut ice, is initially being piloted across Yorkshire with a national roll-out scheduled for later this year.

Handmade Cheesecakes



The producer has launched two blends unique to single farms. Zinga Black, which can be drunk with or without milk, is made from the leaves of Ejulu bushes grown on the hillsides of Williamson’s Zinga farm on the edge of the Nyayo forest. Purple Blush is a uniquely Kenyan, antioxidantrich tea grown in a special valley on the company’s Changoi farm. Trade cases of both (£21.96) contain six cylinder units (RRP £6.50 each), each of which contains 15 Fuso nylon teabags.

Emma Plumb, founder of Sussex-based Plum Perfection Cake Co, supplies all of her cheesecakes frozen, to lock in flavour and boost their shelf life. Among the line-up is Summerlicious, a white chocolate baked cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries, meringue pieces, raspberry coulis and white chocolate shavings. Other flavours include apple crumble, salted caramel, a classic New York-style cake and Chocoholic’s Delight, topped with brownies. The majority of its 8” cakes (1-1.25kg depending on variety, RRP £18) are baked and provide a maximum of 12 slices each. In addition to its roster of cheesecakes, the producer will also be selling chocolate brownies, lemon drizzle cake and cherry Bakewell tarts.

Italian drinks


Exotic Fruit

salad dressing to its catalogue. The brand, founded 90 years ago by the famous salad’s creator Caesar Cardini, has added jalapenos to its traditional recipe dressing and hopes to tap into consumer demand for hotter food. The dressing comes in 350ml bottles.

Summer soups

TOUCAN FRUIT Exotic fruit specialist Toucan has added a host of new produce from South America, Asia and Africa. Among its recent imports from Colombia are the “royal fruit” lulo, which has a lemony, pineapple flavour and the succulent pepino melon, similar to honeydews in taste. Other new arrivals include the mango-like hog plum from Mauritius and snake fruit from Thailand. Top sellers include the Pina Colada-esque soursop and the colon-cleansing guava Feijoa. Toucan currently supplies Harrods, Partridges, Harvey Nichols and Panzers Delicatessen.

Spicy Caesar dressing RH AMAR

Importer and distributor RH Amar has added Cardini’s red jalapeno Caesar


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4


Devon-based Rod and Ben’s has added three seasonal flavours to its range of summer soups, all made with fresh organic vegetables and herbs and leaves grown in the founder’s very own walled garden. Roast chicken, lemon & thyme soup, new potato, creamed onion & rocket and fresh summer carrot & herb soup come in 600g pots with an RRP of £3.49£3.99. Fellow Devonian business Hillside Speciality Foods created the recipes for these soups, which are wheat-, glutenand dairy-free.

Added brownies


The company has boosted its chocolate offering, with the addition of brownies. As well as its Great Taste one-star chocolate brownie (2011), it will also be selling a fig & orange brownie, made with chunks of fresh figs, and a “strongly flavoured” dark coffee fudge & walnut brownie. The Fabulous Food Co also produces a range of macaroons including five different chocolate varieties.

Boiled sweets


A sister to own label company Confection By Design, this Harrogate firm is aiming to fill

This family-run soft drink producer from Italy’s north east has made its debut in the UK with a range of gently sparkling organic fruit drinks in four different flavours: Sicilian lemon, Sicilian ruby orange, Sicilian clementine and red grapefruit. The whole range is made with handpicked, tree-ripened organic fruit. All four flavours come in 355ml bottles and all but red grapefruit come in 750ml. Available through Cotswold Fayre.

Cocktail preserves

hawkshead relish

Hawkshead Relish has declared a Happy Hour with its latest creations. Both the Mojito marmalade which has already claimed a silver at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards, and the strawberry Daiquiri jam are laced with white rum and come in 227g jars (RRP £2.60). The Cumbrian producer recommends pepping up seafood dishes with its Margarita jelly (RRP £2.95), made with tequila and Halen Mon sea salt, while the Bloody Mary chutney (RRP £3.75) is said to be good with burgers or sausages. Both come in 200g jars.

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Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4


telephone 01472 269871

NEWFOUNDLAND SCREECH BBQ SAUCE “Screech” is the infamous Jamaican rum which the Newfoundlanders’ imported in exchange for salt-fish. The rum became the traditional drink of Newfoundland and the salt-fish became the national dish of Jamaica. Wildly Delicious has blended this legendary rum to create a unique and tangy BBQ sauce with a fruity Caribbean flair. | 01706 313 001 Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


shelf talk Michael Dale and Annette Holliday are now looking to take their deli concept to other locations

getting Umami off the ground. That covered the cost of stock, shopfitters and designers. A £30,000 chunk of this spend went on a London branding agency. Dale and Holliday talk me through mood boards, buzz words and a brand book, which Dale calls “the most expensive I’ve ever bought in my life”. We look at the 1913 Kandinsky painting Squares with Concentric Circles, which they used to brief designers about the “timeless” look they were after. “In 10 years’ time we want it to look just as fresh as it does now,” says Holliday. Before we’ve even got onto the aspirational words and jar silhouettes (representing the five tastes) that appear on the shop windows, it’s pretty clear that this is very much a concept with roll-out potential, not just a single deli. “Umami is a taste that everyone’s aware of but they’re not always aware of the name,” says Dale. “Our shop offers a taste or a flavour that they might not be aware of but once they are aware of it, they like it.” Holliday, whose business card gives her job title as ‘Umami Mummy’, and ‘Deli Daddy’ Dale are unequivocal that their baby has been nurtured for bigger things. “When we moved to Wantage, to some extent we needed to test out our theories and have some confidence in ourselves in this industry but, yes the investment was so that we could roll it out,” Holliday says. “Now we’ve proved the concept I think we’d have the confidence to go somewhere a little bit bigger. Maybe not Oxford given the level of competition there, but a bigger town like Marlow or Henley.” They have already considered franchising, she adds, but weren’t willing to risk diluting the brand. They have also mooted moving Umami to a bigger site. to the rear. One long service area For now, the Wantage location is runs along the right hand side with serving them well, even if the town is a serveover, counter and an open “half way along a road from nowhere kitchen at the back. There are constant to somewhere” and has a Waitrose. reminders for customers about where “A new double-sized Waitrose they are, whether it’s the branded opened two or three months after we coffee cups and brown paper bags or opened,” says Dale. “We were dead the large, branded sign on the front of chuffed about that the counter. because they’d It’s a world away We didn’t want a done the research. from the typical British deli that people say is They know that small town deli. It’s ‘like an Aladdin’s Cave they can bring well lit, it’s spacious and Joni Mitchell is of jam’ or made people people in.” Umami is also on the stereo. None think ‘purveyors of bringing in its fair of this has happened fine foods’ share of people. by accident, or on the The deli majors on cheap. serving coffee and food-to-go to a mix Dale makes me a flat white, of professionals – such as members of which is still steaming as Umami’s the nearby Williams Formula 1 team owners unfurl a floor plan across their and local MP Ed Vasey – and yummy office desk, pointing out details like mummies during the week when the the differing floor tiles designed to average basket is £6.50. And come subconsciously separate the eat-in area Friday, when that figure hits £10-12, from the counter area. Dale’s cheese counter has a devoted In total, they spent £150,000

A vision expressed

The owners of Umami in Wantage have steered clear of the ‘local’ trend and drawn up their own brand-focused blueprint for the modern deli



ven though they’ve named their shop after the savoury “fifth taste”, Umami Delicatessen’s owners Michael Dale and Annette Holliday were inspired by something sweet and sour. When the equally zeitgeist-y pomegranate molasses proved elusive on a shopping trip (in North London of all places), Dale vowed that it would be on his ‘must-stocks’ list if he had a deli. Then it dawned on him and his partner that maybe they should open that deli. This ingredient-led epiphany might sound like whim but what followed was quite the opposite. Grounded in meticulousness from careers in logistics consultancy and


May 2014 · Vol.15 Issue 4

supply chain management, Dale and Holliday spent nine months searching for premises before discovering a former electrical shop on the main road in the South Oxfordshire town of Wantage. And that’s when the real work on their grand vision began. “We didn’t want to have a deli that people say is ‘like an Aladdin’s Cave of jam’ or anything that made people think ‘cornucopia’ or ‘purveyors of fine foods’,” says Dale. “We wanted it to be edgy, slick, urban, modern.” Even now, well into its third year, Umami seems to fit the bill. The large, uncluttered windows are at odds with those of neighbouring independent businesses and the bold, minimalist, green signage outdoes any of the recognised high street livery lurking further down the road. It’s similarly striking inside. A wooden seating area takes up the front portion of the shop floor, and then there is a modest but neat array of groceries on shelving and gondolas

products, promotions & people


following of local foodies, including the Waitrose counter staff. Although the business is profitable and turnover has increased by 20% year-on-year since opening, Umami’s owners are targeting more growth via their fledging catering operation. As well as pulling South Oxfordshire’s ABC1 population into the deli, Dale and Holliday are now taking the deli to them, specifically the area’s raft of high-tech businesses. So far Umami is supplying sandwiches, packed lunches and cold buffets to just two firms locally but this is already accounting for 8% of sales. While they are making a solid margin on food-to-go sales in store, Dale says corporate lunches are even better earners and could increase to 15% of turnover without difficulty. In truth, the hard thinking on sandwiches had already been put in. “Before we opened up, we went right through the town and we bought a ploughman’s sandwich from absolutely everywhere we could get one, all on the same day,” he recalls. The resulting deconstruction of Wantage’s sandwich offer allowed Dale and Holliday to establish a line-up including some classics – egg mayonnaise, brie & cranberry – and some creations of their own. All of them come on locally baked Degustibus bread, which is a real coup because most of it goes straight from the bakery to London’s foodie markets and high-end restaurants. But, more importantly, they are priced around the £3.50 mark with the most popular and most expensive, at £3.85, being The Umami sandwich – a combination of pastrami, chicken, roast veg,

izo Brindisa chor e Meaux D e ri Dongé B grey Teapigs earl tion coffee Union revela

to customers with dried Moscatel grapes. The grocery section, which Holliday takes the lead on, is equally eclectic but the range is unified by one factor. “We spent a m ha ill H Dukes lot on our brand and Parma Prosciutto di therefore the brand molasses te na in our shop is very ra eg Pom ) important to us,” (Terra Rossa gh ei says Holliday. “So, nl ee B e Ticklemor as well as it tasting se ee ch e lu B beautiful, it’s got to look beautiful. Part of our selection mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. process will be ‘What does this While lunches and hot drinks company’s brand look like?’ before we make up the bulk of sales, the cheese put it on the shelf.’” counter is also a big contributor. Among these chosen producers The 70-strong range, most of are brands like Hawkshead Relish, which comes from Carron Lodge and ready-meal maker Smoke & Pickle and Brindisa, contains all the deli staples: oil and mezze producer Olive Branch. Montgomery’s and Barber’s cheddar, Unlike most independent retailers, Colston Bassett Stilton and Dongé there’s very little in the shop that could Brie de Meaux. There some lesserbe deemed ‘local’. known territorials, such as Charles “For Umami, it’s not relevant,” Martell’s Single Gloucester (“one of says Dale. “We could buy local but, if the best cheeses on the counter”) we did, we’d be buying what everyone and the brightly waxed organic else is buying around here. We want to Lancashire Bob’s Knob from Leagrams, be different. We want people to come and Continental heavyweights like here and be convinced that we’ll give Manchego and Le Gruyère AOP. There them quality.” are also a number of modern British “People aren’t price-obsessed with cheeses, including Stinking Bishop, us, they’re not local obsessed either. It’s Mongomery’s raclette-style Ogleshield about quality and stuff they’ve not had and, when it’s in season, Ticklemore’s before.” sheep’s milk Beenleigh Blue. However, Dale and Holliday are Dale also likes a challenge, price-obsessed. “We’ll never compete whether it’s an impossibly hard on price,” they state in unison. They four-year-old Gouda or the “macho” don’t do promotions or bogofs. If it Spanish blue Tresviso, which he pitches erodes margin, they’re not interested. Hawkshead chutney Westmorland h sun dried Olive Branc e st pa o at m to scan loaf Tu s bu Degusti tomatoOlives Et Al es iv ol d fe uf st

If Waitrose lists something, they’ll de-list it, with a few exceptions like Teapigs. They buy products direct and through distributors but that doesn’t mean they won’t switch between the two routes for the same line if they can get a better deal. They always do their damnedest to secure samples for in-store tastings as well. “As far as possible in this business we try not to leave things to chance,” says Dale. “So we’ll plan, we’ll preempt, we’ll train and do whatever we can to optimise our turnover and profit.” While the tight grip on the numbers comes naturally to both owners, there isn’t much else in retailing they haven’t been able to conquer. Whether it’s successfully defending their right to serve coffee despite the building’s A1 use class (apparently Starbucks set a precedent for this) or solving the age-old problem of what music to play in store (stick your iTunes on shuffle), Dale and Holliday have found a way. There is one “conundrum” that is holding them back, though. Aside from an assistant manager, Dale and Holliday are the only full-time members of staff. They can call on their pool of part-timers to cover busy days but there is no-one able to take over the back office. Until they’ve found the right person at the right price, setting up their next outlet will have to wait. You get the feeling that, if they do crack this one, it’s only a matter of time before we see Umami’s green frontage in other locations.

Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


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Getting it right in December can save your year. Come and learn how you can crack Christmas from two retailers who have done over twenty between them. You too could •spend ingredients • packaging January on the beach.

NEED TO KNOW Monday June 23 Hall 2, Yorkshire Event Centre HG2 8PW, 10.30am-2.00pm £45.00 plus VAT Come along and spend the afternoon at the show What will you learn • What a 2% increase in margin can do to your profitability • How you can extend your Christmas sales into November • How you can play the cash flow game to your advantage CHARLIE • How to create a business plan specifically TURNBULL, for this time of year Turnbulls Deli & Café • How to make sure your food shop is top of your customers Christmas list • How to manage wastage and how to stock season-specific products

GEORGIE MASON, Gonalston Farm Shop


To enrol call 01747 825200 or email Vol.15 Issue 4 · May 2014


Vol.15 Issue 4 路 May 2014


FFD May 2014  
FFD May 2014