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July 2010 · Vol 11 Issue 6

at the heart of speciality food and drink


Cash cows

With high margins and no best-before date, should gifts and kitchenware be taking more space in store?

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National Trust abandons farm shops plan after ‘substantial’ loss at pilot store


Our special 12-page pull-out guide to must-stock cheeses from the British Isles UNION MARKET

Long-awaited challenger to Whole Foods in London

DELI CHEF Creativity – and careful costing – at Woody’s



e: · t: 020 8905 2252 e:


in this issue

“I had three suits from the Waitrose down the road checking out my place last week,” the deli owner told me. “Cheeky beggars – nicking all my ideas.” That’s what supermarkets do, and it helps explain why they make billions while independent delis struggle. The multiples constantly check out the competition to ensure they stock the widest range at the most competitive prices. But surely independent delis and farm shops hold the edge? They stock fabulous foods made in small batches using the best ingredients – foods that supermarkets can’t get their hands on because the producers can’t supply the quantities they need. Or do they? For years I’ve ranted on about supermarket own-label products. They’re not what they’re cracked up to be, you can’t taste the difference and they’re not the finest around. Mostly they flatter to deceive, and delis do them better. I’ve got a horrible feeling I’m about to get local free-range egg all over my face. It’ll soon become public knowledge that a number of Tesco Finest, Sainsbury Taste the Difference and Asda Extra Special foods have collected two- and three-star golds in this year’s Great Taste Awards. Now, we don’t allow supermarkets to enter the Great Taste Awards, because they don’t make food, they just sell it. But there’s nothing to stop the small producers who make these own-label foods entering them, and this year, presumably with encouragement from supermarkets, they did just that. David Williams of Godfrey Williams in Sandbach runs one of this country’s top delicatessens and recently spent a day judging with us in Wincanton during one of his regular tours around West Country food producers. He first raised the alarm after blind-tasting a stunning horseradish sauce and, along with 15 other judges who tasted it, awarding it two gold stars. After the blind tasting, David looked for the packaged version of the product among the boxes stacked around our tasting room. He was shocked to find that he and his fellow judges had awarded two stars to a Tesco Finest product, and immediately returned to his shop to check the quality of the horseradish he stocks. Those supermarket ‘suits’ visiting your shop aren’t just checking what you’re charging. They’re checking quality too, and will then try to find small suppliers capable of doing it better. That’s bad news. Even more worrying are deli and farm shop owners who never taste their products against those stocked in local supermarkets. Many don’t even visit food fairs or trade shows to meet new producers. Benchmarking is fundamental to survival in competitive markets and those who don’t will lose customers to supermarkets. If Tesco stocks six Great Taste Awards gold-winning own label foods this autumn, you need to be stocking 106. That way, your customers will be certain you do it better – and I won’t have egg on my face.

❝For years I’ve ranted on about supermarket own-label products, but I’ve got a horrible feeling I’m about to get local freerange egg all over my face❞

Bob Farrand

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

What they’re saying ❝There are 20 other people out there doing canned tomatoes at all price points. If we’re going to position ourselves as a premium brand we’ve got to make sure the products deliver and the packaging makes people want to eat them.❞ John Potter, Epicure director at Petty, Wood – p42

fine food news

National Trust pulls the plug on plans for 12-strong farm shop chain p6

deli of the month: farrington’s farm shop

How Paul Castle is helping Tish and Andy Jeffrey get to grips with a booming business p15

focus on: kitchenware & gifts

The margins are great, but cookware and non-food gifts need a whole new set of buying skills p31

focus on: pasta

Is quality fresh pasta a realistic option for smaller stores? ANNE BRUCE investigates. p35

product update olives p39


news deli of the month deli chef cheesewire shelf talk

4 15 21 25 42

EDITORIAL Editor: Mick Whitworth News editor: Patrick McGuigan Art director: Mark Windsor Editorial production: Richard Charnley Contributors: Gail Hunt, Anne Bruce ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey Circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Publisher & managing director: Bob Farrand Associate publisher & director: John Farrand THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD Membership secretary & director: Linda Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance

t: 01963 824464 Fax: 01963 824651 e: w: Published by: Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd. Fine Food Digest is published 10 times a year and is available on subscription for £40pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Advent Colour, Hants © Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2010. 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, recipes, photographs or illustrations. Vol.11 Issue 1 · January-February 2010


fine food news Independent stores could act as delivery hubs for consumer-run ventures, says the Soil Association

Shops urged to get on board with consumer buying groups By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Farm shops and delis are being urged to get involved in the emerging movement for consumer buying groups and food co-ops in the UK, rather than seeing them as a threat. As FFD went to press, the Soil Association was hosting a free seminar in Swindon looking into how consumers can organise themselves into buying groups and co-ops to buy in bulk directly from food producers and suppliers – a practice well established in the US and continental Europe. “The seminar aims to raise awareness of how consumers can work together in buying groups to enable greater access to fresh, local, ethically produced food at affordable prices, and provide a secure market to local farmers,” said Traci Lewis, organic buying groups project manager at the Soil Association. “Farmers have successfully co-operated across all sectors in order to survive, but once they reach a larger scale of production they are usually dependant on supermarkets for their customers.” She told FFD: “This might sound like

direct competition for delis and farm shops, but working with consumer buying groups could complement a retailer’s business, opening it up to a new audience and increasing footfall. “There’s potential for retailers to be used as drop-off points for buying groups. You could also have independent retail buying groups whereby shop owners join together to make bulk orders.” At food and farming group Sustain, food co-op project officer Maresa Bossano said there were already over 1,000 informal buying groups across the country, where members of the public club together to buy bulk orders of food direct from suppliers. “Farm shops could supply consumer cooperatives with produce they grow or with products they stock in their shops, especially if these groups are far enough away not to be seen as competition,” she said. “The shop could also work as a hub for products that it doesn’t sell but that a local buying group may want to buy, such as a weekly veg box. The retailer could even become part of the buying group to get better buying power.”

Bridie’s Yard organic food co-op in Glastonbury, where consumer groups can bulk-order food, is run by a team of volunteers

Community shops are on the rise The next step beyond buying groups is for local communities to actually open their own shops. The Plunkett Foundation, which helps support people looking to set up community-owned stores, says there are around 240 such outlets in the UK, with 38 opened last year. Many of these are based

in villages, but the idea is starting to spread to cities. In Exeter, a group of local people is attempting to open a 2,400 sq ft local food shop, café and bakery called The Real Food Store. Funding for the communityowned store is being raised

through a community share offer, which was launched last month and has a target of £190,000. The share offer, which ends on July 23, enables local residents to buy shares in the shop, with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum of £20,000. A dividend is expected to be paid after three years of trading. In London, chef Arthur Potts Dawson opened a similar venture last month called the People’s Supermarket. Customers who shop at the Holborn-based cooperative can become members and co-owners by paying a £25 annual fee and giving up four hours of their time every month to work there. In return they get a 10% discount. PEOPLE POWER: The Real Food Store share issue is launched at a residents’ meeting in Exeter


July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

Over there and coming here? Consumer buying groups are well established in Europe and the US, where many have been running since the 1980s. The Purple Dragon Co-op in the US, for example was formed in 1987 in New Jersey and is a group of families that buy food together directly from farmers. It has grown to comprise around 900 families, each paying around $50 for a basket of mixed organic produce, which they collect from a central hub every other week. One person from the household also works one hour every three months, locally, helping to divide the produce. In Italy, Gruppi di Aquisto Soledale (GAS) started with one consumer buying group in 1994 and has now grown to between 500-1,000 groups. These are set up by friends who buy from local, organic, smallscale producers and use the GAS website and online forum to exchange information.

inbrief shopfitting A survey of FARMA members has revealed that most strawberries from ‘pick your own’ farms will sell for less than £4 per kg this year, compared to an average of £6 per kg on offer in the supermarkets and £12 per kg at full price. ● Gloucester Old Spot pork has become the second product to gain Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) accreditation under EU law. Traditional Farmfresh Turkey achieved protection 10 years ago.

Union Market: launch was delayed by nearly a year

Union Market finally ready to take on Whole Foods Union Market’s flagship food hall has finally opened in Fulham with plans to open a chain of 20 in the capital over the next five years. As reported exclusively in FFD last year, the new retail chain aims to rival Whole Foods, combining the shopping experience of a farmers’ market with the convenience and reliability of a supermarket. A spokesperson for the new chain said five shops were planned over the next two years, followed by 15 more in the following three years. Research conducted by the retailer has found that there are over 100 sites at which the concept would

work across the UK. Scheduled to launch last September, the opening of the first outlet was delayed until this month because of problems finding a site. Located in a Grade 2 listed building, which was previously Fulham Broadway tube station, the 5,500 sq ft store aims to champion British food producers. Around 90% of the cheeses, 100% of the bread and bakery goods, 100% of fresh meat, and at least 80% of its vegetable range will be UK-sourced. The Cheese Room will sell at least 30 farmhouse cheeses from all over the British Isles, sourced

through Neal’s Yard Dairy, while the meat counter is supplied by producers including Buttercross Farm in Shropshire, Adlingtons in Warwickshire, Turton’s of Devon and Musk’s Newmarket Sausages. Bread and cakes are supplied by The Bread Factory and The Flour Station, while the wine store features an international selection from Bordeaux-based producer Rothschild. The new chain is funded by investment group Odey Asset Management, and is headed by former Selfridges and Whole Foods executives.

food hygiene

Scores on the Doors turns its back on stars Numbers rather than stars are likely to be used to rate food hygiene standards at shops and restaurants in the national Scores on the Doors scheme, due to roll out in the autumn. The majority of schemes already in place across the UK currently use stars to highlight a business’s food hygiene performance, based on its EHO inspection. But consumer research commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that people were confused by stars and preferred a numerical system. The preferred design (pictured right) highlights an establishment’s hygiene rating out of six levels (0-5) with a corresponding descriptor, such as ‘urgent improvement necessary’ for 0, ‘satisfactory’ for 3 and ‘very good’ for 5. This is likely to be used as a base for the national scheme when it rolls out in the autumn in England and Wales, with

councils expected to change over from their existing systems to the FSA’s preferred model. A two-tier ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ scheme will operate in Scotland. Under the schemes, hygiene ratings are available for public scrutiny online and businesses will be encouraged to display their score on the premises, although this is currently not mandatory. THEY’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER: How scores will look in England and Wales

Waitrose opened its first smaller format convenience store last month in Cambridge. The pilot store, which is under 3,000 sq ft, has been designed so customers can navigate the shelves for what they need for the next 24-48 hours. The retailer plans to open four trial stores, before rolling the concept out nationally. ● A study of shopping trends in Mayfair boutiques has found that Chinese shoppers are now outnumbering Russians by a factor of almost 15:1 as the Chinese economy continues to boom and the ultra-rich develop a taste for international luxury goods.

Traffic lights labelling of nutritional content is unlikely to go ahead after MEPs voted against proposals to make the system mandatory, instead backing the GDA (guideline daily amounts) system favoured by Tesco. Guild of Fine Food national director Bob Farrand thought he was at last month’s Good Housekeeping Food Awards to hand out one of the gongs. Instead, Farrand – who is also FFD’s publisher – found himself the recipient of the big-selling consumer magazine’s Outstanding Contribution to Food award. The judges said: “The founder of the Guild and the man behind the World Cheese and Great Taste Awards is on a mission to promote excellence in speciality foods, helping create close links between suppliers and retailers in the independent sector – and we applaud him for it.” He’s pictured at the ceremony with celebrity presenters Jane Asher and John Torode. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


news small producers

Investment by Cottage Delight’s Cope funds brewery expansion Staffordshire real ale producer Leek Brewery has expanded into a 10,000 sq ft unit on its site at Cheddleton after Cottage Delight founder and chairman Nigel Cope took a stake in the business. The brewer – which also operates the Staffordshire Cheese Company from the adjacent unit on Churnetside Business Park – now plans to install a high-speed bottling line that will take capacity to 1,500 bottles an hour. A spokesman said the move would help Leek Brewery capitalise on the busy Christmas period as well as contract-bottling for small local companies that would otherwise need to transport products to Manchester or Birmingham for filling. Leek Brewery was founded in 2002 by Adrian Corke and Susan Carline, and the pair later bought the neighbouring Staffordshire Cheese Co from founder John Knox. They now make six cheeses, including two Protected Designation of Origin recipes: Staffordshire Cheese and Dovedale Blue. Cope, who says he is “very excited by the potential of both businesses”, is now a director and shareholder but has no day-to-day involvement. However, Cottage Delight is now distributing some Leek Brewery products.

farm shops

National Trust scraps farm shop plans after ‘substantial loss’ However, the entire project has been abandoned after disappointing sales and the shop is currently being converted into a café with a small retail offering. Keith Jordan, who was appointed regional farm shop operations manager to drive the development, has now left the organisation. “In terms of standards and presentation the shop was excellent but it just wasn’t delivering the business we had hoped for, so we had to take some fairly radical action,” said Simon Bird, head of retail operations. “We didn’t succeed in building up a local following. We were Polesden Lacey store was to be the model for a dozen farm shops at key sites too reliant on general visitors and tourists and the average spend with that type of By PATRICK McGUIGAN person was just not high enough. There is also a lot The National Trust has scrapped plans to open a chain of of competition in the area from well-established farm farm shops after its recently opened flagship branch made shops and a strong high-end supermarket offer such as a “substantial loss”. Waitrose.” The Trust opened the shop at Polesden Lacey in Surrey He added: “The location was also factor. It’s a place last year as part of a three year, £3.5m programme of you have to make a special trip to. A lot of our properties improvements to the visitor facilities at the site. are off the beaten track, so it’s always going to be an The shop was due to be a pilot for a chain of farm issue for us. The shop ticked the boxes of supporting shops in other National Trust sites, with a second outlet local producers, which was great, but we couldn’t afford due to open at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire and up to to operate it at a loss, and quite a substantial loss at that.” 10 more after that.


Buying ‘local’ isn’t always enough

Brewers and cheese-makers work in adjoining units in Cheddleton


July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

Sir, I was interested to read the recent correspondence in FFD about deli buyers, and also your ice-cream feature which focused on the importance of quality. I would like to share a trend I have noticed regarding ethnic products. As a curry sauce producer with many Great Taste Awards under our belts, we like to think we are fairly well known in the speciality market. However, in recent months, I have noticed a trend for independent retailers to say they are only stocking products local to them. One deli said: “Unfortunately I won’t be able to put your fab sauces etc into the shop. We have a strict local ethic on products – up to a 50 mile limit from here.” Supporting local producers and reducing food miles is admirable on many levels. It also makes commercial sense to give customers what they want. Indeed, I benefit from this in my local area. But I am concerned

retailers could be missing a trick by dismissing out of hand all products made elsewhere. Curry sauces, for example, will vary widely in ingredients, production methods, concentration, strength, etc. Rather than turning down a product because it is made out of the area, my advice would be to discover more about the products and how customers can use them. My products, for example, are free from sugar (except for some chutneys), dairy, gluten, onion and garlic, and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so they appeal to a wider audience. This must be equally true in other food and drink categories: local suppliers cannot supply quality products to fill every niche. Consumers are discerning. If they like something they will return. Please give them the chance to try products with a real point of difference – regardless of where they are based. Anila Vaghela, Anila’s Authentic Sauces w

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Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


Follow the Star, find the true Italian quality.

Negroni, “the brand with the star”, was established in 1907 in Cremona in the heart of the Po valley. Thanks to its expertise and strong links to this area with a long tradition in farming and food, Negroni is now one of Italy’s most prestigious and authentic Italian Delicatessen Meat brands with a leading position in many markets. With a wide variety of deli counter products which include traditional salamis, mortadella, cured and cooked hams and many other regional specialities, the Negroni Star has always been synonymous with quality. All the authenticity of Negroni flavours is also available in our finely sliced pre-cut “Stella” range. A wide selection of specialities, packed in sterile premises to preserve the taste and its original freshness. Negroni, a reference point for anyone who wishes to savor Italy’s finest delicatessen meats.



news cheese shops

La Cave à Fromage chain could reach 20 stores

Eric Charriaux and Amnon Paldi (left) are searching for sites throughout the South-East

Premier Cheese will open a second La Cave à Fromage cheese shop in Brighton this month as part of a plan to build a national chain of up to 20 stores over the next five years. The cheese wholesaler, which is owned by Eric Charriaux and Amnon Paldi, has been improving its human resources and training programme at its first store in Kensington ahead of the roll-out. Paldi told FFD that the company has been searching across London and the South East for suitable locations. “It’s not easy to find the right

sites. We want locations that have very large windows so customers can see in and we can achieve a light and airy atmosphere,” he said. The Brighton shop is located on Western Road and will sell around 200 British and Continental cheeses, some of which are made and matured exclusively for Premier. The shop will also contain a 40-seater café selling cheese and charcuterie platters with bread from Boulangerie de Paris. Like the Kensington outlet, staff will mingle with customers offering tastings and carrying out transactions via hand-held computers and printers. “We are looking to open 12-20 shops over the next five years and we are open to sites across the UK,” said Paldi. “We are also considering whether to do this by franchising.”


Women’s farming group backtracks over ‘ban supermarkets’ stunt the supermarkets, so we have to be slightly careful about that,” she said. “We don’t want to cross The new London branch of the Women’s them off the list completely. If you have to go to a Food & Farming Union has been forced to supermarket, take time to look where your food hurriedly amend plans for a campaign ‘banning’ comes from and only buy food from within a 25 supermarkets for a month, after realising many mile radius.” British farmers actually supply the multiples. Previously Lady Apsley had launched the ‘ban The branch’s new spokeswoman, Lady Sara the supermarket challenge’ saying: Apsley, launched a ‘ban the “For one month this summer, I supermarket challenge’ in the would like to invite everyone in press last month, encouraging this great nation of ours to ban women to stop shopping at themselves from buying their supermarkets for a month and fresh produce from the big-name, switch to buying locally sourced commercialised supermarkets.” food from independent retailers The campaign is due to launch and direct from producers. in September with a meal made However, Lady Apsley told from local ingredients, cooked FFD that the campaign had now Lady Sara Apsley: ‘A lot by Lady Apsley and her friend been adapted to include local of farmers supply the Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen, wife of products sold in supermarkets, supermarkets, so we have TV presenter Laurence Llewelynsuch as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. to be slightly careful’ Bowen. “A lot of [British] farmers supply By PATRICK McGUIGAN

If I’d known then what I know now… Stephen Shaw, Fine Food Theatre, Malton, North Yorkshire We opened the deli 12 years ago after 20 years spent running a bakery business with two small shops and wholesale deliveries. Our smallest sandwich shop was next door to a deli that had failed twice in the previous year, but we were up for the challenge and understood what was necessary for it to work. Anyone buying a business must make the effort to study the area closely, understand the footfall and the potential customer mix. We got that right. An identity change was essential to break the link with the previous failures. Our refitted shop included a takeaway food operation and a bistro-style café in addition to the deli. This broader base gave the business a chance to survive. A year later we added our own bakery facilities and have not looked back. The bakery is the beating heart of the deli. All our bread, rolls and quiches are made on site and we do

“We could have focused more on getting our presence known” not make anything for any other shop. With so much competition, you have to do something special to get people through the door. We got that right too. There are things we could have done much better. We could have focused more on getting our presence known. It was only a year ago we paid for new signage over the shop front. That has worked wonderfully and I kick myself for not doing it earlier. We have been poor at promoting our products but our daughter Helen has done a lot to improve this area recently. We stock 60 different cheeses and she now displays and promotes them by nationality. She has also entered us in a national deli competition and has done a lot to get feedback from our customers. We now stock the deli with items that sell, rather than being self-indulgent. Customers decide what the shelves should carry. We opened our shop full of items bought after visiting a food fair and listening to the reps. Things like jars of fruit and fancy gift items. That was a big mistake. Though the shop looked good, many of those higher end items never sold. One of my other regrets is giving three years trading figures to a potential purchaser of the business, only to find that same person open up in competition to us. That’s a lesson for everyone selling a business. Our response was to play to our strengths and we went up a gear in the bakery, bringing in organic breads, olive and garlic cobs and sourdough. It seems to have worked because we’ve just had our best year yet. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN Vol.11 Issue 1 · January-February 2010


Letter from Ludlow

news high-class grocers

Melrose & Morgan grows to make full use of kitchen Summer promotions are keeping SANDY BOYD fully occupied at Ludlow Food Centre It’s a crucial time for us from now until the Ludlow and Abergavenny food festivals in September. We get a lot of people coming on holiday during the summer and locals are looking for days out with their kids. Christmas apart, this is our busiest period, so we’ve got to make sure everything is right – from stocking the right products to running effective promotions. We’ve just had a promotion on rapeseed oil, as well as dressings and mayonnaise made with it, from our suppliers Just Oil and Great Ness. They’re Summery products that are new to many customers, so we sold them at a 20% discount with lots of tastings. Sales have increased 10-fold. But working out how far to go with promotions

“Every customer has their price – the point where they almost can’t resist the deal’’ is tricky. Every customer has their price – the point where they almost can’t resist the deal. The trick is finding that tipping point. Would we have sold twice as many bottles of rapeseed oil if we had offered a 40% discount? I don’t think so, but you don’t really know until you try it. Flexibility is important when it comes to getting the product range right for the summer. We have a big tourist trade staying in caravans and cottages, so we have stocked up on breakfast and lunch treats, such as our breakfast hampers filled with muesli, tea, awardwinning marmalade and bacon. It’s also about getting the right balance for rainy and sunny days. Sausages and burgers for the barbecue are important, but you also need salads, cheese and beer if people are going to eat indoors. Our butcher has just developed a pastrami product, which will be great for the summer. At this time of year people aren’t doing pot roasts, so we struggle to sell brisket. But he salts it down and smokes it to make pastrami. We get a good price for it and we continue to use the whole of the animal. We’re also thinking about putting on a producers’ fair, where we bring in some animals from the farm and invite our suppliers to set up stalls. We’re still working out how to do it so it’s fair to everyone. Do we charge producers to attend and they can sell directly to our customers? Or ask them to come and do tastings, but we sell the products and they get a big lift in sales? At the end of the day, it’s what’s easiest for the customer that really matters. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN


March 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 2

Upmarket London grocer Melrose & Morgan has opened a second shop in Hampstead and is planning a third after setting up a central production kitchen. The 1,000 sq ft kitchen in Chalk Farm was opened last year and makes tarts, cakes, pastries, ready-meals, pies and preserves, which are then delivered to the shops and displayed on a central ‘table of abundance’. The self-service display is changed three times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with chefs also working in the shops preparing salads and other fresh food to take away. “Making our own food gives us integrity, control over quality and a real point of difference,” said co-owner Nick Selby. “Customers are happy to pay a premium for food made by hand in small batches. “We’ve worked hard on recipes since we opened our first shop in Primrose Hill in 2004 and with the central kitchen we are now hoping to open other shops. The kitchen really needs to

be supplying at least three.” The new 1,000 sq ft shop on Oriel Place features an open mezzanine kitchen and a hanging display unit known as ‘the cloud’ filled with seasonal food. Products from small producers include charcuterie from Brindisa, cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy and bread from the Flour Station.

Chef-made foods set out on a ‘table of abundance’

garden centres

Brown & Green exploits overlap with garden centre shoppers Shepherd’s Farm Shop is the latest retailer targeting green-fingered shoppers, after opening a new food store concept in conjunction with upmarket garden centre chain Blue Diamond. The new 4,500 sq ft Brown & Green shop, which promotes local, ethical and artisan food, features striking displays of plants and garden products. It is located at Trentham Shopping Village in Staffordshire and the brand has been designed to be rolled out to several other Blue Diamond garden centres around the country over the coming years. Shepherd’s Farm Shop has run a concession at the chain’s Gloucestershire garden centre since 2007, but has entered into a joint venture with Blue Diamond for the Brown & Green concept. The deal is part of a growing trend for fine food shops in garden centres. The Dobbies chain, which is owned by Tesco, has committed to including Farm Foodhalls in all its new garden centres, while Roots farm shop opened a concession at Wyevale’s Bicester store last year. “There is a lot of overlap between farm shops and garden centres with opportunities to complement each other,” said Shepherd’s owner Susie Keenan. “Our offering fits with the demographic that shops at Blue Diamond stores and the farm shop gives people another reason to visit. There is also excellent footfall and it’s convenient to visit because there’s lots of parking.” Blue Diamond currently operates nine garden centres in the Midlands, South West and Jersey, and Keenan said farm shops could be opened at three or four of the sites. DEVON CREAM: Mary Quicke of Quickes Traditional collects the Supreme Champion trophy for dairy produce at the Devon County Show from Major Ranulf Rayner, president elect of the Devon County Agricultural Association. Quickes took the top prize for the second year running with its bestselling mature cheddar. Other prizes for Quickes include firsts for its oak smoked cheddar and hard goats’ cheese, second for cheddar with herb and third for mild cheddar.

Vol.11 Issue 6 路 July 2010



July 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 6

fine food news

shopfitting better retailing GORDON LEATHERDALE

Visitors choose Choc-affair as star of this year’s Harrogate show Chocolatier Choc-affair, run by Linda Barrie (left), was chosen as Best Stand in a poll of visitors, with one of those who voted receiving a WBC hamper of fine foods in a prize draw

Best Stand winner Choc-affair was among the fine food & drink suppliers celebrating after last month's Harrogate Speciality Food Show. Ethical coffee supplier Martina Gruppo, aka The Coffee Fairy, secured a listing with eight Harvey Nichols stores after exhibiting at the show for the second year running. Harvey Nichols’ Claire Mossford and Harrods’ Tim Howard were also among the buyers who

took part in a Feed the Dragon live buying panel at Harrogate, along with Sangita Tryner (Delilah deli), Georgie Mason (Gonalston Farm Shop) and Duncan Hider of distributor Hider Foods. In the War of the Roses Cheese Challenge, supported by Rowcliffe, Lancashire cheese-maker and ex soap star Sean Wilson’s Smelly Apeth lost out to Yorkshire Blue from Shepherd’s Purse, which secured twice as many votes from show visitors.

I’ve been out and about, looking for fine food retailers that have really got things right, and you won’t find a more fitting example than The Pear Tree Deli in Sherborne, Dorset – my home territory. A combined deli and eatery, The Pear Tree encapsulates the attributes a deli needs if it’s to prosper: • Market understanding: The place was packed with the ‘grey pound’. In fact, I don’t think I saw a soul in the shop who was under 45. Using www.upmystreet. com, I quickly discovered that the female grey pound is the wealthiest demographic in the area, so The Pear Tree clearly knows who its core customers are. is a free and useful way to establish essential facts about your local market. • The offer: With 45 covers, the Sherborne deli doesn’t have an enormous restaurant but it serves 70 to 150 customers a day (according to one of the waitresses). At around a tenner per cover that’s £343,000 per annum on foodservice. People will pay that much for lunch so long as they perceive they are getting value for money. I noticed The Pear Tree’s soup comes in larger bowls than usual. At little extra cost to the deli, these dishes appear better value than nearby competitors. • Product mix: There is balance between upmarket and everyday items, so it’s easy for a customer to

“ is a free and useful way to establish essential facts about your local market’’

Judy Bell (above left) of Shepherds Purse beat ex-Corrie star-turned-cheese-maker Sean Wilson in the War of the Roses charity birds: Gonalston Farm Shop boss Georgie Mason (right) and her yellow friend Kibo worked the stands relentlessly at Harrogate to raise awareness of Mason’s upcoming charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The Nottinghamshire retailer and husband Ross will scale Africa’s highest peak in October to raise money for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK, and have adopted Kibo as their hard-to-miss mascot for the fundraiser. Some FFD readers may already have met Kibo, as the bird is currently on a tour of independent food shops, supported by retail IT company LCCS. Shop owners who receive Kibo through the post are asked to take a whacky photo of their team with the bird and email it to LCCS for inclusion in its Kibo web gallery. They then post Kibo on to another independent food store of their choosing. LCCS will donate £10 to the Kilimanjaro Challenge Fund for every store that takes part. To support Ross and Georgie, who is pictured here with Lynne McCaw of LCCS, visit and follow the Kibo links.

drop by to pick up both convenience products and treats. The shop feels special, but is also very ‘busy’ – the kind of shop you need to visit regularly. • Well trained staff: The owner was away but the shop didn’t feel like it lacked leadership. All sales staff were mature women. Perhaps as most customers are female, it makes sense to use the same demographic to sell to them. Many successful retailers, like the ‘university outfitters’ Jack Wills, operate on the same principle. Staff at The Pear Tree clearly take pride in their work and are able to use common sense. The owner’s attitude appears to be one of empowerment rather than over-management. Interaction between chef and the shop staff was also strong. The chef seemed proactive in liaising with colleagues in the retail section, putting in an appearance several times during my visit. It was good to see, because it suggests he thinks diligently about what he can use from the shop to serve in the restaurant. He seemed completely in tune with the deli’s ethos. So there are four good tips from one brief reconnaissance mission: remember who your target consumers are, provide real value, choose your product range carefully to encourage regular customer visits, and empower your staff to think for themselves. Vol.7 Issue 1 · January 2006


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Good, better and best

Business development manager Paul Castle with Farrington’s co-owner Tish Jeffrey. She and husband Andy ‘ripped Paul’s arm off’ to get him to join the business, she says.

A new full-service deli is just one of the changes Paul Castle is driving through at Farrington’s Farm Shop to keep shoppers out of Tesco and Sainsbury


ome people hang a ‘welcome’ sign over their front gate. At the entrance to their farm shop at Farrington Gurney near Bristol, Andy and Tish Jeffrey have hung the front half of a Friesian cow. Gert, the fibreglass beast in question (‘Gert lush’ being Bristolian for ‘excellent’), has become the bovine emblem of Farrington’s Farm Shop, appearing on logos, labels and uniforms and putting in regular appearances in the Farrington Flyer customer newsletter too. It’s the kind of cheeky, unpretentious touch that has helped make this one of the best operations of its kind in the country – National Farm Retailer of the Year four years ago and a regular winner in the Taste of the West awards too. Located on a 350 acre mixed farm leased from the Duchy of Cornwall, the shop is pulling in an average of 4,500 customers a week and achieving what the Jeffreys will only refer to as a “multimillion pound” turnover with its combination of farm shop, butchery concession and 60-seater café, serviced by its own busy in-house kitchens. After 20 years in business, Farrington’s has achieved a comfortable volume of regular, midmarket business in this patch of Somerset. It’s

particularly popular with the over-50s, who love the café with its cakes, meals and desserts produced on-site run by former contract caterer Pat Brook and her team. But now Farrington’s is gaining more high-end business and drawing a younger clientele after the addition of a full-service deli counter, slotted between farm shop and café, that gives customers a quality option one or two notches up from the existing pre-pack offer. Run by Ian Talbot, formerly of Loders deli in Crewkerne, the new double serveover – cheeses on one side, meats and Farrington’s own salads on the other – only opened in March. Selling products from the likes of Toppings Pies, chorizo maker The Bath Pig and Gloucester farmhouse cheese-maker Jonathon Crump, it is already averaging sales of £5,000-£5,500 a week. That figure is expected to nearly double once Christmas is taken into account. The deli is among a number of new initiatives being driven forward at Farrington’s by Paul Castle, who joined late last year as business development manager. In March, a wholesale artisan bakery, run by The Thoughtful Bread Co, opened in one of the Jeffreys’ larger barns (FFD May 2010) – the Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010





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July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

deli of the month The new deli, run by Ian Talbot (left), has taken Farrington’s offer up a notch from pre-packed meats and cheeses

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first of what Castle hopes will be a number of small, “compatible” food-related businesses operating from the site, such as a cider-makers or microbrewers. A gift shop is being set up in another empty building, while a florist and a fishmonger now have pitches here on busy days. As FFD went to press Farrington’s was waiting for confirmation of a grant towards a café extension, which will take indoor seating to 100, allow for new indoor toilets and create enough space for a section to be used for cookery demos. And this year will also see a revamp of the instore butchery, which is run as a concession by Somerset wholesale butcher and farm shop operator Jon Thorner. The longstanding relationship with Thorner has been central to the Jeffreys’ business, but until now everything has been sold either frozen or in pre-packs. This year’s redevelopment, which will require structural work to the shop interior, will see the addition of a new full-service butchery counter, with a cutting block as its central feature, creating in-store theatre and adding a premium meat option to the existing mainstream offer. It’s part of a policy of giving shoppers what Paul

For that extra Farrington’s touch, they offered the ‘Gert Scotch egg’ – made with an ostrich egg and sold by the slice

The shop, a few miles south of Bristol, is drawing around 4,500 shoppers a week

Castle calls “good, better and best” options across the board, competing with the multiples on lowerpriced lines but creating clear blue water between them at the premium end. “We’re offering a service that widens the gap between what we are and what the supermarkets are,” he says. “In the butchery, we’re saying that frozen is good, pre-pack is better and the new service counter is best.” Some people are surprised to find imported produce, like New Zealand lamb, on sale in this Somerset farm shop. But Castle says: “What’s interesting here is the mixed demographic, and because of it we can’t afford to be parochial. Yes, we have British product, but sometimes it’s going to be at a premium, and we still have to compete with Tesco and Sainsbury up the road.” For the same reasons he wants to improve ease of shopping at Farrington’s. So, while the fullservice deli and butchery will suit those who want to discuss recipes or ingredients, the pre-packs and freezers provide grab-and-go options for those whizzing round in their lunch-breaks. To clear floor-space for trolley-shoppers the existing, bulky chest freezers that clutter the meat section are to be replaced by shallower, and more energy-efficient wall units. For busy customers, says Castle, a farm shop should offer just as much convenience as a supermarket. “Then in your fresh sections, where you can offer something unique, you need to promote your ‘best’ range because of the opportunities to get people to trade up.” Scotch eggs are a great example. “Before, we had a fairly bog-standard twin-pack selling at £1.99. But now we’re making our own, in different varieties, and selling them on the deli at £2.50 each. They have become by far our biggest selling deli product – we sell 500-600 of them a week. Getting that clear differentiation in quality and service is absolutely key.” For that extra Farrington’s touch, they’ve also been offering the ‘Gert Scotch egg’ – made with an ostrich egg and sold by the slice. Castle’s retail career began as a teenager at his dad’s Spar shop near Marlborough and progressed via Gateway supermarkets to superstore retailing with Kingfisher (B&Q, Comet) and Asda Walmart, followed by four years with high-street optician Dolland & Aitchison. Latterly, after a stint as a consultant, he became managing director at Sir James and Lady Venetia Fuller’s Neston Park Farm Shop in Wiltshire, tasked with getting the fledgling operation to “a size and capacity to stand on its own two feet”. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


deli of the month

He met the Jeffreys though farm shop trade body FARMA, for which Andy Jeffrey is treasurer. Tish Jeffrey says the couple “ripped Paul’s arm off” to come and join them, because they were sinking under the pressure of a business that had grown far beyond expectations. “When we started off we had three people,” she says. “Now we’ve got 50. It was all very egalitarian, with everyone doing the same jobs. But it turns out there’s a reason why other companies have a hierarchy – because things get done that way.” It’s also about accepting when you need expert help to fill your own knowledge gaps, she says. Tish is a catering specialist, Andy is a farmer through and through. The farm shop might have moved forward more quickly, she says, if they had been more systematic about retailing – but sometimes you can’t see the wood for trees. Since Paul Castle’s arrival, there are now daily staff meetings to talk about what’s new, what’s on promotion, and so on, and the kitchen team – who, in the past, rarely set foot in the shop – are very much part of that. Deli manager Ian Talbot also runs morning tasting sessions to help his colleagues develop their product knowledge. There’s a new system of departmental bonuses based on sales results, and both individual and department bonuses linked to a mystery shopping service provided by consultancy Shopper Anonymous. And sales are being analysed more closely too. 18

July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

Paul Castle’s ‘good, better and best’ philosophy at work in cooked and cured meats: price-marked value packs, mid-price vac-packs and, since March, premium deli counter meats too

“We’ve still got a lot to do, but we now know our top 100 lines for each department – and the bottom 100 too,” says Castle. “This is stuff we knew we needed to do,” says Tish Jeffrey, “but none of us had time to follow it through with any continuity.” Although the former Asda man heard a few subtle complaints early on about “trying to turn this place into a supermarket”, what he appears to be doing is bringing some serious retail disciplines to what is, after growing piecemeal for two decades, a serious retail operation. “The business needed controlling,” says Tish Jeffrey, and Castle agrees. “The gut instinct and business acumen here is very strong,” he says. “It was just about bringing it all together – measuring, reviewing and analysing what we do to see what does and doesn’t work.” He adds: “The best thing I’ve done since I’ve been here is keep people focused on our mission and values, and making sure we fish where the big fish are instead of getting caught up in the minutiae.” Despite that momentary lapse, Castle is remarkably light on corporate-speak, and clearly knows how to influence people. Take the new deli, which was established at relatively low cost using second-hand serveover counters that Andy Jeffrey had picked up a while back at auction. “Paul snuck that in on us,” says Tish. “At Christmas we wanted to up our sales of cheese, and Paul suggested we put in one of those old serveover counters that we had in storage. Then after Christmas he said, ‘It would be a shame to take them out again…’” Luckily, around the same time, Ian Talbot called to see if there were any jobs going, as he was looking for a change of location. “He came in, and was absolutely brilliant,” says Tish Jeffrey. “He’s very knowledgeable, and very good at looking after the customers. And the great thing is that we’ve got young girls from the farm shop coming to the deli, trying things, and building their own product knowledge, which is not what you first expect from 19- or 20-year-olds.” Paul Castle, meanwhile, gets that familiar retailer’s glint in his eye when he talks about the £5k-a-week deli’s immediate profitability, given that the projected breakeven point was £1,250 a week. “And a good 40% of sales are coming from our own products,” he says. “The obvious margin implication of that explains why we want to extend the butchery too.” Tish Jeffrey is visibly relieved to have Castle on board to help guide Farrington’s through what looks like being another challenging year, while the man himself doesn’t exactly appear over-stressed at the prospect. “The thing I like about being here it that you’re truly working as part of a family,” he says. “Everyone’s included, everyone takes responsibilty. You hold your hands up if something goes wrong, and you share the credit when it goes right. And Tish and Andy’s fundamental instinct is to look after their employees, which is very rare these days.”

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putting deli ingredients to work

Bake ’em something local for Lammas

STRONG MEAT: Leiths Meat Bible (Bloomsbury, £40) is billed as the “ultimate meat cookbook”, with over 450 recipes designed for both amateurs and professionals, covering everything from classic roasts to cajun alligator. The authors, Max Clark and Susan Spaull, are both graduates of Leaths School of Food & Wine, and Clark now works for Leiths as a buyer.

a mix of local and other English ingredients. One will be a large loaf “with an artistic touch” made with organic British flour, the other is a Yorkshire version of schiacciata, a focaccia-like bread stuffed with fruit or vegetables. The Haxby version is set to include whatever summer fruit are ripe in the area at the end of this month. Ludlow Food Centre has come up with a new tomato & basil loaf, which will be baked for a limited period around Lammas but could become a permanent fixture if it sells well. Historically, the Lammas celebrations included baking a loaf with the first grain of the new harvest. Today, harvesting tends to start well after the traditional festival date of August 1. But there are plenty of artisan mills offering flours that can be cross-merchandised across shop and cafe. Gilchesters Organics and Bacheldre Watermill are among those already involved in Local Loaves for Lammas.

Chris Young/the Real Bread Campaign

Yorkshire bakery and deli Food For Thought and Shropshire’s Ludlow Food Centre are among the businesses that are getting behind the Real Bread Campaign’s Local Loaves for Lammas event (FFD last issue). This is the second year running that the Campaign – which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food programme and champions locally-baked, additive-free bread – has run a promotion around the traditional festival of Lammas, or ‘loaf mass’, which is believed to have its roots in preChristian times. This year, Local Loaves for Lammas events will be running nationally across the weekend of July 31 and August 1. With the Real Bread Campaign picking up more media coverage this year it’s a good time for deli-chefs to get involved, perhaps working with a regional flour miller or inviting a local school or community group to suggest a special recipe. Food for Thought in Haxby, near York, will be baking two very different loaves using

Bakers up and down the country are getting behind the Loaves for Lammas initiative

Go nuts in October If bread is too everyday to excite your creative juices, how about dreaming up some recipes now for National Nut Day on October 22? The promotion, which is apparently well-established in the US, is happening for the first time in Britain, and the organisers are keen to get chefs to include at least one ‘nutty’ meal on their menus. It’s been led by Liberation Foods, a Fairtrade community interest company co-owned by farming groups in Africa, India and South America.

Perfect pairs and odd couples In 2008’s How To Cook Without Recipes (Portico) food writer and friend of FFD Glynn Christian suggested many of us could shed our reliance on recipes and create our own dishes by understanding the ‘flavour trails’ that link different ingredients – using fresh ginger juice, for example, as a bridging flavour between the fat richness of duck and the “sensual texture, flavour and perfume” of mango. Niki Segnit seems to be treading similar ground with The Flavour Thesaurus (Bloomsbury, £18.99), but


Unlikely pairings: oysters and watermelon

whereas Christian talks you through the theory, working out from the ‘primary tastes’ like bitter and sweet, Segnit gives more of a compendium of flavour pairings. Her guide, using the Roget’s Thesaurus format, takes an arbitrary list of 99 flavours (lamb, goats’ cheese, mushroom, olive…) and organises them within 16 categories like ‘earthy’, ‘brine and salt’, ‘fresh fruity’ and ‘citrussy’. Then she suggests pairings for each flavour (‘chocolate & almond’, ‘chocolate & cardamom’, chocolate & chilli’…’) and elaborates on each pairing with wisdom drawn from chefs, food science, writers and food lore. There are also over 200 recipes and suggestions within the text, including goat’s cheese & garlic pizza, lamb & rhubarb khoresh, rose choc-chip ice cream, coffeeorange liqueur and eggnog tart. The pairings she explores range from classics like pork & apple, lamb & apricot, and cucumber & dill to odd couples such as black pudding & chocolate, lemon & beef, blueberry & mushroom and watermelon & oyster. Examining the classic combo of chocolate & peanut, Segnit tells us that, according to French novelist Alexandre Dumas, the Spanish called peanuts cacohuette because of their resemblance in flavour to cocoa and would bulk out expensive cocoa with the nuts to make a sort of cheap chocolate. So now you know who’s to blame for the Snickers bar.

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July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6


putting deli ingredients to work


Tom Newey Woody’s Farm Shop & Dining, Norton St Philip


Head chef Mark Vicary (right) rustles up daily specials for shop and café

Duck liver & whisky paté Tommason/

t would be hard to find a better example of how the farm shop sector has evolved to become big business than Woody’s, at Norton St Philip near Bath. Previously Springleaze farm shop, the site was taken over, refurbished and rebranded last year by Country Food & Dining, a company headed up by the founder of the Firkins pub chain Dave Bruce. Funding for the acquisition came from the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which offers generous tax breaks to wealthy private investors to back small businesses. So far Country Food & Dining has raised £6.5m through the scheme, enabling it to acquire the freehold to four farm shops, including Woody’s, and completely refurbish them. The plan is to sell the sites after three to five years, hopefully making a tidy profit for investors. Improving the cafés at the shops is a key part of the strategy. Following its refurb, Woody’s is now home to a 50-seater eatery serving up breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. “The café is intrinsic to the operation and there has to be parity and synergy between the retail and dining elements,” says operations director Tom Newey. “Having the opportunity to use fresh produce from the shop, which may be nearing the end of its shelflife, in the café is a huge plus for us. It helps immensely in controlling what are very tight margins in retail and is a great cross-selling opportunity.” The menu at Woody’s is far from fancy, with an emphasis on hearty seasonal dishes, which appeal to older consumers. Options range from a full farmhouse breakfast in the morning to honey-glazed gammon with fried eggs and chips for lunch. Deli platters of Godminster, Somerset Brie and Gorgonzola are served with bread from The Thoughtful Bread Company. Head chef Mark Vicary also rustles up several daily specials, as well as homemade quiches, chutney, Scotch eggs and paté, which are sold through the shop. “We made pear, apple and plum chutney today using

Ingredients 1lb duck livers 1lb butter Grated zest and juice of an orange 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme Good handful of wild garlic, chopped or torn 50ml whisky

Method Place 2oz butter in a heavy-based saucepan and melt, turn up the heat until butter just begins to sizzle and then add the duck livers. Add the wild garlic, orange zest, herbs and spices and seasoning, stir in, keeping the livers on the move. Add all but 2oz of the remaining butter and cook for a few minutes until the livers are just cooked through – still soft but not pink. Remove from heat and place mixture in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Meanwhile de-glaze the pan by adding the whisky to the re-heated pan and then add the orange juice. Pour the whisky and orange juice mix to the blended paté and blitz again. Pour into a mould or terrine lined with cling film and place in the refrigerator until set. When the paté is completely set, slowly melt the remaining 2 oz of butter until it separates and pour the clear (clarified) butter over the top and return to the fridge. Serve with toast and pear & plum chutney.

“We’re great lovers of spreadsheets. Before any menu is made live, all the dishes have to be costed”

bruised fruit from the shop. We’ll use some in the café and they can have some for the shop. There’s a trade off. They give us the fruit for free, so they get my time in return. But for things like our patés, which we buy the ingredients for ourselves, we sell that to the shop at a trade price. We make a margin, but they can also add a bit extra so they get their own margin.” As you might gather from these comments, keeping a close control over margins in the café is very important to Country Food & Dining. “There is potential to be very successful with a dining outlet, but you also have the potential for very big losses,” says Newey. “We have strict procedures that we follow to make sure it remains profitable. We’re great lovers of spreadsheets. Before any menu is made live all the dishes from starters to cakes have to be costed and we have a set margin we’re looking to achieve.” He is reluctant to reveal how big this margin is, but it is considerably higher than in the shop. If a chef wants to take an ingredient from the shop, he has to scan it on the EPoS system, which then transfers the cost to the kitchen. “At no point can anyone from the restaurant go into the shop and just take what they want off the shelf,” says Newey. “Costing dishes is a fine art that nobody likes doing. Speak to the chef and they just want to cook. So getting people to do the administration side can be difficult, but it is absolutely essential. Once they understand why they have to do it, they generally come on board. It’s taken us a good 18 months to get this perfected, but we’re on to a winner now.” Paperwork and target margins aside, Vicary has scope to cook what he likes in the kitchen. “There is a lot of flexibility,” he says. “We’re planning a salad bar for the summer. Customers can choose from a piece of homemade quiche, smoked salmon from the Wiltshire Smokehouse or our own duck liver and whisky paté and then help themselves to a ready-made salad.” Giving the chefs the freedom to decide the menu is vital to the success of each shop, says Newey. “We have an overriding theme that we want the menu to follow – hearty farmhouse fare – but it’s up to the chef and the team to come up it,” he says. “They know their customers best, so it’s important they have that autonomy. There are obviously some decisions made centrally, but we like people to run the businesses as if they were their own.” Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


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cheese wire H&B plans moves into cheese-making and retail By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Wholesaler H&B Foods is considering a move into cheese production, enabling it to make its own British products as part of a programme to improve the range of specialities sold to delis and food halls through its Cheese Cellar operation. The company, which has an annual turnover of £70m and supplies restaurants, hotels and independent retailers, is looking to set up its own dairy facility later this year, either from scratch or by taking over an existing producer. “We’ve carried out a gap analysis to see what cheeses are missing from the market and believe there are opportunities for us to develop our own products, such as washed rind cheeses and British versions of French cheeses,” said commercial director Jonnie Archer. “The products we would make would not threaten any of our existing suppliers.” The move would help H&B achieve better margins and would also “send a message” about its commitment

to speciality cheese, said Archer. He also revealed that the company has a long-term ambition to open a retail outlet. “Restaurants want greater provenance on their cheeseboards so they are able to say on the menu that a cheese has come from this or that shop. “Our own outlet would help with this, but also provide a good location for tastings and training.” H&B Foods was bought as a going concern last year by the founding management team of Nick Martin, Jonnie Archer and Simon Yorke, after parent company the Novel Group went into administration. Since then, the company has been working to improve its operations and service. It is also expanding its range of British, Irish and Continental artisan cheeses to the retail sector, recently adding products such as St Tola’s goats’ cheese, Gruth Dhu, Robiola Di Mondovi and Tomino Piemonontesi.

H&B has been growing the range of artisan varieties available through its Cheese Cellar operation

Artisan Advanced Diploma course filling up fast

High Weald sees gap on menus for ‘local’ cheddar High Weald Dairy has launched a new organic Sussex cheddar in response to demand from cafés, pubs and retailers for locally sourced food. The pasteurised cheese, matured for 4-6 months in 3.5kg wheels, has been developed to appeal particularly to restaurant and café owners keen to highlight local producers on their menus. Sarah Hardy (above left), who runs the Horsted Keynes-based company with her husband Mark (right), said: “There are already a lot of cheddars on the market, but there isn’t one being produced in Sussex so we saw a gap in the market. “People want to eat more local food, so restaurants and pubs are trying to highlight where their cheese comes from on their menus. You really need a cheddar for dishes such as ploughman’s and cheese platters.” High Weald Dairy supplies delis and farm shops with a range of organic cows’, sheep’s and goats’ milk cheeses, including Ashdown Forester, Sussex Slipcote and Duddleswell.

Places are still available on the UK’s first Advanced Diploma in Artisan Food Production for students looking to specialise in professional cheese-making. As FFD went to press, four places were still free on the new full-time one-year course, which starts in September at the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. As well as practical classes on artisan food production, the course covers areas such as food science and safety, product development, marketing, business management and logistics. Students will be given introductory classes in baking, cheese-making and butchery, before specialising in their chosen field. The cheese-making element has been devised with help from Neal’s Yard Dairy founder Randolph Hodgson, who is on the school’s board of trustees, and will be headed by cheese consultant Ivan Larcher, a former tutor at the Centre Fromager in Carmejane, France. Around 65% of students’ time will be taken up with practical training in the school’s dairy training room, where they will make a wide range of cheeses, including washed rind, blue, soft and hard. Classes looking at pH levels, fat content, milk selection and maturation times will be included, with students also carrying out two work placements with artisan producers. “We have built up some excellent links with artisan cheese-makers since we opened and many of them will be coming in to give lectures during the course,” said a spokesman. The Diploma costs £14,000, although bursaries are available. It begins on September 27. The closing date for entry applications is July 30.

Classes will be held in the Welbeck school’s dairy training room Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010



Wholesalers co-operate to share artisan shipments from Ireland A conversation at Bord Bia’s Marketplace 2010 led to a new small-order service for Irish farmhouse cheeses By MICK WHITWORTH

Three specialist UK wholesalers have begun sharing pallet-loads of farmhouse cheeses from Ireland in a novel scheme to get more of the country’s artisan products into Britain. Paxton & Whitfield, Michael Lee Fine Cheese in Yorkshire and Carole Faulkner’s Cheese Shop in Chester (featured in FFD in May) are all using a new consolidation service set up by Breda Maher of cheese-maker Cooleeney in Co Tipperary. None of the three companies alone can justify regular full-pallet orders of Irish farmhouse cheeses. So Maher – who already sells her own cheeses to multiples and independents in Great Britain – has begun collating small orders of cheese from farmhouse producers including Coolea, Mulleen and Gubbeen to form a single full pallet, which is then shipped across the Irish Sea and shared between the three wholesalers. The pallet is delivered to Paxton & Whitfield’s depot in Gloucestershire where the contents are split. Cheeses for Michael Lee and The Cheese Shop are collected and transported to the north of England by Faulkners, the cheese transport business run by Carole Faulkner’s husband. While larger UK wholesalers such as Carron Lodge, Ian Mellis or Neal’s Yard are able to buy full pallets of Irish cheese in their own right, Maher said the new service could be a good option for small regional distributors who could only buy smaller quantities. “It just takes a little bit of work to set up, getting the logistics right,” she told FFD. “The cheeses come in to us from the producers on Thursday, it’s despatched from here on a Friday using Brown’s Logistics and it’s delivered in the UK on a Monday or Tuesday. So we can guarantee delivery within a week.” Although Irish artisan producers like Durrus and Gubbeen are highly regarded in Britain, sales have suffered in the past two years because of unfavourable exchange rates, high transport costs and Bord Bia focuses on ‘routes to market’ According to Maria Stokes, trade marketing specialist at Bord Bia’s London office, Britain remains a key target for Irish cheese-makers, but the challenging is finding markets that can be served at a cost that works for everyone. “The routes to market are quite fragmented,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of cheese-makers coming over here to understand what retailers are doing and to see where their cheeses fit into the competitive set.” 26

July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

Cooleeney is putting together mixed pallets of cheeses including (clockwise from top left) Moon Shine, Mossfield, Cashel Blue, Durrus, Milleens, and Wicklow Blue, as well at its own range

the impracticality of buying small volumes direct from remote Irish farms. Earlier this year, William Johnston of Suffolk wholesaler Hamish Johnston told FFD he had cut back heavily on Irish varieties because of rising costs, and Carole Faulkner – one of the first retailers and wholesalers to bring Irish artisan cheese to Britain – has also been carrying a reduced range. Maher, who has known the Faulkner family for a number of years, says the new initiative came about after Carole Faulkner attended Marketplace 2010, a meet-the-buyer event staged by Bord Bia, the Irish food board, at Dublin’s Croke Park in February. “Carole was only buying Irish cheese every six weeks or so, because she needed to order a lot of cheese to justify the carriage costs, and that meant it was often getting close to its use-by date,” Maher told FFD. “We were concerned our own UK sales had

Some may decide that supermarkets or foodservice buyers offer a more realistic target, but Stokes said: “It depends on their scale and their capacity to produce cheese. In retail, the fit has to be right.” Bord Bia is running a distribution support programme to help producers on two levels: finding logistics partners for cheesemakers that only need help with “wheels” and undertaking full sales and marketing projects for those who also need help identifying potential buyers. “For the UK, we’ve challenged ourselves to get a really

been dropping too, and we didn’t really know why. Then Carole said: ‘Why don’t we all get together?” We thought it would be a great idea to put orders for several wholesale distributors all on one pallet. It means everyone is getting the cheese they want, and they’re getting it fresh.” Other Irish cheese-makers taking advantage of the new service include Mossfield, Wicklow Blue, Moon Shine Organic, Durrus, Cashel Blue, Bellingham Blue and the clothbound cheddar maker Hegarty’s. Maher is making a standard charge for providing the consolidation service but is not looking to take a full distributor’s fee, and she said it would be “wonderful” if the same model could be extended to other UK companies, such as Hamish Johnston. “If we could find two or three other people in their area they could be getting the cheese on a full pallet,” she said. “It’s just about making it happen for them.”

good understanding of the market,” said Stokes. “It means we can help companies identify suitable partners, make contact with distributors and set up and facilitate meetings.” Irish farmhouse cheeses were also well represented at Marketplace 2010 in Dublin this Spring, which attracted buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Paxton & Whitfield, Bradbury & Son and Rowcliffe’s. Bord Bia is actively encouraging Irish producers to share resources when developing export sales, and Stokes said Cooleeney provided a good model. “It’s about companies

looking for a situation and stepping up to the mark,” she said. “Breda has a huge amount of experience and she’s a very can-do person. And of course, she’s a cheese-maker too. So she can benefit, but so can the other cheesemakers.” Maria Stokes: ‘It’s about companies stepping up to the mark’

AOC, the sign of special products... A traditional cheese

The cheese of western Switzerland, with a delicate, distinguished flavour. Made since at least 1115 AD in and around the small town of Gruyères, today it is still produced by village cheese dairies in western Switzerland according to the traditional recipe. Le Gruyère AOC owes its characteristic delicacy and flavour to the top quality raw milk produced by cows fed on grass in the summer and hay in winter, coupled with the skill of the mastercheesemakers. No less than 400 litres of fresh milk are needed to produce a single wheel weighing around 35kg. During the slow maturation process, which takes several months in special cheese cellars, the wheels are turned regularly and rubbed down with saltywater. The maturing process lasts between five and 18 months.

Each cheese is systematically identified by the number of the mould and code of the cheese dairy. The day and month of production are also noted on the wheel. These black markings are made with casein, the cheese protein. No artificial additives are involved here either.

Le Gruyère AOC takes pride of place on any cheese platter. It makes for a delicious desert and can be used in tasty warm dishes. What’s more, no real fondue would be complete without genuine Gruyère AOC.

From this time on, the name ‘Gruyère AOC’ and the code of the production facility appears on the heel of each wheel of Gruyère AOC as an effective way of preventing fakes and guaranteeing authenticity. This technique employs branding irons, which give an indentation in the wheel. It is this marking that makes it possible to identify and trace each individual cheese.

The humidity and rind washing process develops the characteristic appearance of the cheese and assists in bringing the cheese into full maturity. This is what gives Le Gruyère AOC its famous, distinct flavour. It’s no great surprise that this authentic gift of nature is appreciated by cheeselovers throughout the world. Cheeses from Switzerland. Switzerland. Naturally.

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Move to new dairy gives Tunworth room to grow After investing £200,000 in a dairy designed by Ivan Larcher, the team at Hampshire Cheeses can finally stop turning away orders By MICK WHITWORTH

Since winning Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards in 2006, Hampshire Cheeses has had one problem with its Camembert-style Tunworth: there hasn’t been enough to go round. The business – which was also named Supreme Champion in the Waitrose Small Producer Awards in 2007 – has been limited to making around 250 cheeses a day, largely due to lack of space at its original, 500ft one-room dairy at Hyde Farm, between Alton and Basingstoke. But that’s set to change after a Charonne Cameron, move to new, much bigger premises Charlotte Spruce just a few minutes down the road at and Stacey Hedges, Herriard Nursery Barn. with young The relocation, completed in Tunworth cheeses, May, followed a parting of the ways in the new dairy’s between Hampshire Cheeses coripening room founders Stacey Hedges and Julie Cheyney late last year. Hedges has June asking for 2,500 cheeses as a one-off order, bought out her former partner, while long-time or saying ‘Can we have 30 ripe cheeses for the employee Charlotte Spruce has taken a stake in weekend?’ It’s not quite as simple as that.” the business and taken charge of cheese-making Tunworth is a relatively young cheese, with a to give Hedges more time to develop sales. The shelflife of about eight weeks from making. After producer has also had a cash injection from a Swiss drying for 36 hours, cheeses are removed from private investor, who provided a loan towards the their moulds and ripened for 8-10 days, during £200,000 cost of the new dairy, while a further which time they are turned by hand daily. They are £98,000 grant funding came via the EU’s Leader then wrapped, boxed and stored ready for release rural development programme. to distributors at three or four weeks old, giving The new dairy has a floor area of nearer 3,000 retailers around three weeks to sell them. sq ft. Designed by French cheese consultant Ivan While advising on the layout of the new Larcher, who has been helping a number of British dairy, Ivan Larcher has also worked with the artisan makers, the unit has separate production, team to minimise some of Tunworth’s natural drying, maturing, storage and packing areas, as inconsistencies. “Ivan has a lot of knowledge, and well as offices, toilets and storage. Some of the he’s very science-based,” says Hedges. “He has new stainless steel kit has been sourced from taught us to look more at the acidity and moisture France where there is a better choice of hardware levels as we’re making and try to understand how purpose-built for small dairy producers. that effects the cheese and the surface mould. It’s “At the old place we could never make enough the Geotrichum that gives us that cabbagy taste and to supply everyone,” says Hedges. “We’ve been also that ‘wiggly worm’ texture, but if we get too turning customers down for four years, and you much mould growth you get a breakdown of the can’t keep doing that. Here we can make 800 surface and the cheese can ripen to quickly.” cheeses a day, compared with 250 before.” Tunworth is on sale in Waitrose nationally as Tunworth is a white mould-ripened cow’s milk part of its speciality range, and to independents cheese with a powerful, quite un-British flavour through wholesalers including Cheese Cellar, that comes partly from the use of Geotrichum Hamish Johnston and Paxton & Whitfield. With candidum to help form the rind. “Our aim was to more capacity, Hedges says she now wants to get a cheese that had a very thin rind and a cabbagy develop more sales to independents. flavour to give it that French oomph,” says Hedges. What about producing a second style of “The downside – as with all unpasteurised cheese? “We might in future, but we’re not in artisan cheeses – is that it’s less stable, less any hurry. At the moment, if we can get 3,000 consistent, and we have to educate our buyers that beautiful Tunworths out there every week we’ll it’s not going to be exactly the same all year round. be happy.” “Most of them understand that, but at the last place we would still get people ringing up in

Le Gruyère is lead sponsor for WCAs Interprofession du Gruyère, the Swiss organisation responsible for global marketing of Le Gruyère AOC cheeses, will be the lead sponsor at the 2010 World Cheese Awards (WCAs), to be held at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham this November. Le Gruyère AOC’s UK & Ireland marketing manager, Maurice Johnson, said he was delighted that the only cheese to have won the World Championship on three separate occasions – 1992, 2002 and 2005 – would be supporting the world’s largest cheese competiton this year. Interprofession du Gruyère is also backing the introduction of a new perpetual award at the WCAs: the John Webb Trophy for the world’s best raw milk cheese. It honours the former owner of H T Webb & Co, who from 1958 through to his retirement in 1997 developed one of the country’s largest independent supplier of speciality cheeses, with a turnover exceeding £52 million. It is hoped the award will encourage cheesemakers around the world to develop more and better raw milk cheeses. Le Gruyère AOC will be joined at the 2010 World Cheese Awards by main sponsors including the US Dairy Export Council, Consorzio di Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano and Isigny Ste Mare.

Cheese sculpture is Pullin’s crowning glory Tanys Pullin, cordon bleu chef, chocolatier and ‘cheese sculptress’, has smashed the record for the world’s largest cheese sculpture, entering it into a competition at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show. Pullin, who is married to Mike Pullin of West Country cheddar maker Ford Farm, didn’t just pip the existing record – she carved a massive 500kg sculpture to beat the previous best by almost 300kg. Her creation was a Royal Crown, made from a specially produced PDO West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, pressed into a large metal mould. “The Queen was crowned on June 2, 1953,” she says, “and as the Royal Bath and West Show opened it’s doors to the public on June 2, it only seemed fitting to use the royal theme for the record.” The world record rules stipulate that the finished work must have been carved from a single cheese with nothing added. If the ’Q’ of ‘Queen’ had dropped off during the making, says Pullin, she would have been forced to start all over again. “A cheese sculpture of this size has never been attempted before so we really broke the mould with this!” she says, adding that the work had to be completed under refrigeration to protect the cheese from mould. Now it’s back to the day job, developing and creating cakes made from cheese and chocolate – mostly for weddings rather than coronations. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


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July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

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kitchenware & gifts

Gifts, gadgets and the coolest cookware

Cookware and foodie gifts promise 50% gross margins and no shelflife worries – if you get your buying right. MICK WHITWORTH takes advice from stores successfully selling fine foods and non-foods side by side, and rounds up some of this year’s new ideas.

Just Slate cheeseboards and trays are selling well near the cheese counter

The cookshop gets through a trolleyload of cupcake cases monthly, says shop manager Will Edwards

Priory Farm Redhill, Surrey

The Shinner family are lucky to have both a longserving farm shop manager, Will Edwards, and a real non-foods expert in the shape of freelance gift buyer Tina Pile for their Priory Farm operation on the North Downs, which includes a plant centre, tearoom, fishing lakes and pick-your-own alongside the conventional farm shop offer. Pile looks after the extensive gifts and cookware sections that visitors must pass through to reach the farm shop and she and Edwards are increasingly trying to tie cookware and food together. Already, they merchandise gadgets like strawberry hullers against the soft fruit in the farm shop or bean slicers in the veg section. “I keep an eye on what’s appearing in the farm shop,” says Pile, “and luckily I can put in orders whenever I need because we have a high turnover. “But we’re just starting to put some higher quality cookware products in the deli, if they are specifically related to food. We’ve had tremendous success with slate trays and cheeseboards from

Bronnley (left) for the older set and Cath Kidston (above) for the Yummy Mummies

Good Grips rubberhandled tools from Oxo go down well with older shoppers

Just Slate. We’ve got things like small trays selling at £24.50, and cheeseboards at £12.50, and they do little napkin holders with heart-shaped place tags, which sell at £20 for 4. It doesn’t seem that price is an issue if it’s a nice product.” Also showcased in the farm shop section is Divine Deli. “They’ve been very clever in combining food with gifts: things like brie bakers, and ceramic trays to sell with their dipping sauces. They’re well priced, beautifully packaged, and they’re in the £20-or-below bracket.” Pile finds non-food suppliers less helpful than food producers when it comes to in-store demos but she says most will supply a free sample either for trial in Priory Farm’s kitchen or for staff to try out at home. “We’ll then put a label on it saying something like ‘Will says this is the best knife he has ever used’, and that recommendation will really help to sell it.” When non-food products don’t move, she says, it’s best to take them off the shelf for a while, “massage” the price slightly, and then put them out again in a different position. “That usually works.” Priory Farm attracts retired folk during the

week and young professionals with families at the weekend, and has to cater for both. Greetings cards are a must for the older generation. “Almost everyone buys a card,” says Pile. “The card section is turning over as much as the cookshop, and that’s possibly down to the age group we attract. Quite often you’ll see older people go through the tills with six or even a dozen cards.” In the giftware section, traditional-style Bronnley bath products are sited alongside trendy Cath Kidston accessories – one for the older ladies, the other a must-stock for Yummy Mummies. “You really have to be on the market trend,” says Pile. “I’m a shopaholic, and I spend my spare time crawling round the cookware and gift shops – but I do have to temper that down when I come here. There’s an awful lot that I like, or that I know Will would like, but that our customers would not. That’s when mistakes can happen – and we end up buying it ourselves!” Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


focus on Cheese & Chutney Saltaire, West Yorks

Matthew Coxon opened his Saltaire deli and cookshop 18 months ago. Originalled called Coxon’s Kitchen, it is currently re-branding after a run-in with TV chef Alan Coxon. “It turned out Alan had registered the name ‘Coxon’s’ as a trademark,” says the deli owner. “So we asked locals to help us come up with a new one, and now we’re becoming Cheese & Chutney of Saltaire.” The shop is on two floors: deli downstairs, and cookware above. Getting shoppers to walk upstairs is a challenge in itself, says Coxon, as is choosing lines that will sell. “It’s easy to pick products for the deli, but with cookware you can easily spend £400 at a trade show on something that looks great, then end up giving half of it away.” Minimum orders are also a problem. “With deli items you can make an impulse buy and it might amount to £50 of stock. But with cookware the minimum order is often £200-300, and that’s not good for cashflow. One supplier I contacted wanted £500 for an initial order, dropping to £200-250 after that. Forget that.” For this reason Coxon tries to use two or three main suppliers. “Eddington’s is one; Dexam is another. Dexam do the Chef’n Garlic Zoom – a little round cylinder with blades inside that chops your garlic for you.” He has also joined the BHF, the cookware and housewares association. Many of its suppliers offer discounts and lower minimum for retail members, and the association also offers an order consolidation service. “The buyer invoices the BHF and the BHF invoices you. That’s better than dealing with those suppliers independently.” Although he still makes buying errors, Coxon says: “When you find something that sells, it can really do well, like the little carbon steel Swiss

knives from Kuhn Rikon, which we sell next to the counter. And then we have Anysharp knife sharpeners, which are £11.99 and really do the job. They’re both really good next to the till. “Cake-decorating accessories are another thing we’re asked for all the time. And cookie cutters are a blinder. They’re only 99p, and mums will come in with their kids and take one away.” In Coxon’s West Yorkshire store, price points are important, particularly if you don’t want to get stuck with high-value stock. “It can get difficult with things like cast iron casseroles that tie up a lot of cash. Here it’s all about functional gadgets, pick-up items and little quirky gifts. And – for some reason that I can’t explain – egg poachers. We sell all sorts of those.” When it comes to margins, Coxon says the cookware industry seems to have settled on a 2.35 multiplier: “You multiply the cost price by 2.35 and that gives you your 50% margin, allowing for VAT. “So in general it’s a pretty good mark-up. Over the last 16 months I’ve starting to realise what products works best. But I still make mistakes.” (Dexam)

Most cookware suppliers work on a 2.35 multiplier, says Coxon, giving the retailer a healthy 50% margin

Quail Ceramics’ huge range of giftware includes numerous jugs, mugs and salt-and-pepper sets in designs suitable for food shops, like these Jersey and Friesian cow jugs. We particularly like the new range of ‘allotment’ mugs and their matching greetings cards.


July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

The Crescendo cheese knife set (RRP £29.95) is one of a range of stainless steel designer utensils brought to the UK this year by The Cutting Edge Cheese Co. Each set is supplied in a custom-made, black wooden box.

‘Retro’ is a big theme in gift retailing. These new linen tea towels (trade price £3.92 and sold in packs of six) are based on an embroidered design by Jane Lindsey of Snapdragon. www. snapdragongarden.

US-based Two Lumps of Sugar caught FFD’s eye at this year’s Spring Fair with a stand full of colourful, on-trend designs like these ‘cupcake’ kitchen timers (above). There are six designs, supplied in mixed packs of 12 at a trade price of £32.50 per pack.

kitchenware & gifts

Spanish food specialist Delicioso is steadily building its range of kitchenware, which includes terracotta dishes, paella pans and new wooden ‘pulpo’ boards – traditionally used for serving Pulpo a la Gallega, or Galician-style octopus. Also new is this hand-painted olive dish (above) with compartments for cocktail sticks and stones.

Anything that introduces kids to cooking is selling well, says Jill Carver

Added Ingredients AnySharp knife sharpeners sell well by the till at Saltaire deli Cheese & Chutney. Retail prices start at around £12.75 (trade £7.50) for the AnySharp blue – putting it in the ‘impulse’ bracket – but the brand’s flagship is the AnySharp Pro (RRP £25.50, trade £15.00).

Elspeth Gardner’s ceramics include tiles, trivets and mugs, many in designs that are ideal for delis or farm outlets. New for 2010 is a range of tablemats (RRP £10 each or £26 for 4) and coasters (£3/£10) in hand-drawn ‘cock and hen’ designs.

Abingdon, Oxfordshire

“We’re doing more and more cookware,” says Jill Carver of Added Ingredients when FFD phones to ask about her food, wine and cookshop in Abingdon, near Oxford. Just how much becomes plain when we visit the store to take photographs. Every spare nook and cranny is filled with implements or gifts for cooks, many items merchandised alongside the relevant food & drink: six shelves of coffee-makers, kettles and cups in the tiny café section, pasta tongs by the pasta, oil pourers with the oils and dressings, and so on. “You do have to actively sell cookware,” says Carver, “although gadgets like zesters, sifters, tongs and cafetieres will almost sell

themselves. Impulse buys here can go as high as £70 – it’s just about having the right thing at the right time. “And you have to make the overall atmosphere right: if you make people feel good about buying it, you can get the sale.” Abingdon’s shoppers are looking for high quality labels like Le Creuset and Joseph Joseph, but these widely available brands can have their downsides too. “My biggest gripe, especially with Le Creuset, is that people come and check for colour and size in my shop, then go home and order on-line,” says Carver. “I keep telling Le Creuset they should be paying rent, because I’m just a showcase for them.”

Gadgets such as zesters, graters and cafetieres ‘almost sell themselves’

Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010



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Is fresh really best? T

here’s a good reason why, even in Italy, fresh pasta takes second place to the dried stuff: the real thing is not for the fainthearted. Traditionally, the hotter south of Italy used dried durum wheat pasta. In the north, where the wheat was a weaker variety, eggs had to be added to bulk up the dough – and this pasta had to be eaten fresh on the day or it went off. The UK supermarket version of fresh pasta is actually a chilled, pasteurised durum wheat pasta – a compromise product with a chamois leather texture and six-week shelf-life. Northern Italians wouldn’t recognise it. But offering a better quality fresh option means accepting a much shorter shelf life. So can fine food retailers offer an authentic fresh product and make the books balance too? One deli owner who tries is Carmen Beale of Deli Adriano in Warsash, Southampton. Beale orders the product direct from Italy in 2kg boxes with a five to seven days shelf-life and sells it loose, at £1.05 per 100g. “We sell tortellini and gnocchi,” she says, “and we can order any other pasta that customers want.” Retail margins are not particularly good, she says, but selling the pasta through Deli Adriano’s café too makes it more viable. But she adds: “To be honest, we cut down on our orders. A lot of it was being eaten by my husband and me or going to waste.” Rob Bookham of Sussex-based manufacturer Bookhams Fine Foods agrees fresh pasta presents challenges to delis. The relatively short shelf-life means they can’t afford to over-stock, but delivery costs can be disproportionately high on small orders. Bookhams makes all its pastas and fillings from scratch and Rob Bookham says he would be most comfortable offering a one-week shelf life, although he adds: “We have achieved 14 days at a stretch by ensuring we have the utmost cleanliness in our production area and by gas-flushing the packs.” A few customers have tried selling his raviolis loose, he says, but most revert to pre-packs due to the high levels of wastage. While he believes there is growing consumer demand for quality filled fresh pasta, particularly locally-produced and seasonal varieties, he says slow-dried, short, unfilled pasta is a better commercial proposition, offering the quality of fresh with the convenience of dried. For this reason his company recently invested in the equipment to produce dried pasta alongside the fresh product. One supplier that sees a clear niche for premium, quality fresh pasta is The Fresh Pasta Company. It was named Speciality Importer of the Year at last year’s Great Taste Awards after picking ● ● ➔

Delis might aspire to sell fresh pasta but the cost and shelf-life issues mean the benefits are not cut and dried, says ANNE BRUCE La Tua is listed by Selfridges and Whole Foods Market. ‘It’s easy to sell fresh pasta if you are convinced of the quality of the product,’ says director Caroline Boggian, which means sampling is crucial.

The Fresh Pasta Co (left) says its products appeals to shoppers who would spend £8-12 on a bottle of red wine

Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


Artisanal Fresh Pasta La Tua Pasta is an established UK producer of award-winning artisanal fresh pasta of the finest quality. We are delighted to introduce you to our NEW range of fresh pasta tailored for the independent retailer! ✔ New shelf life of 2 weeks ✔ New packaging ✔ Made in the UK

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Also available : ✔ Extra Fresh pasta • 5 days shelf life ✔ Frozen range • 1 year shelf life

For more information, please call us on 0208 9618024 or email on

T: 01983 866907, F: 01983 864733 , E:


July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

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product update: pasta • Italian food importer Mediterranean Direct says it has added a number of new products to its best-selling Grania artisan pasta range, sourced from Naples.These include chilli spaghetti, squid ink spaghetti and malfade, all bronze-drawn for a rougher surface and dried at low temperatures. It has also introduced a number of multi-coloured varieties such as orechiette, capelli di chef, teddy bear and heart-shaped pasta. The Grania range now also includes a new line of quality egg pastas, notably tagliatelle, casarecce, papardelle and spaghetti alla chitarra.

Pumpkin (RRP £3.49) sells alongside the original Biona Fresh Organic Gnocchi. The smaller sized gnocchetti take only one minute to heat through. The company also sells six filled fresh pasta lines, including tortellini and ravioli, and offers a range of dried pasta products, some made from spelt.

Southampton’s Deli Adriano makes fresh pasta pay by selling it through the café too

• Bookhams has relaunched its pasta sauces, following a complete overhaul and also introduced two slow dried pastas. The sauces range includes Truly Tomato, Spicy Tomato, truly Tomato with mushrooms, and Spicy Tomato and olives. These are sweetened with carrot purée rather than sugar and made without preservatives. The unpasteurised products are sealed in 350ml jars at high heat with a layer of olive oil on top, allowing a three month shelf life. Retail price is £2.65. Bookhams’ slow dried pastas are Amori (twisted macaroni) and Rigoletti (curls), made using bronze dies from UK durum wheat. All products are suitable for vegans.

• Cottage Delight has sourced two new handmade dried pasta lines from an artisan producer in Langa, Italy. The zebra striped Nero e Bianco Farfalloni, made with durum wheat semolina, have been flavoured with squid ink creating black and white striped bows. They go well with creamy seafood sauces. Colourful Rosso e Bianco Farfalloni have been coloured with beetroot, creating striking red and white pasta bows and are good with chicken and seasonal vegetables.

• Windmill Organics has extended its collection of organic pastas with the recent launch of a new fresh pasta variety under its Biona brand. Biona Fresh Organic Gnocchetti with

• London-based handmade fresh pasta supplier La Tua pasta has launched a variety of new options in recent months. These include new fillings such as aubergines & mozzarella, smoked haddock, peas & shallot, and braised duck. There’s also a chocolate tortelloni, to serve as a dessert. New shapes include gnocchi filled with gorgonzola & walnuts, ravioloni triangles, strozzapreti (rolled strips), ravioli mini (canapé size), quadrucci (tiny squares) and pici (long pasta). The company will be launching a pasteurised range of fresh pastas in July.

up a string of one, two and three-star golds, and managing director Mark Garcia-Oliver feels his Italian-made products could go mainstream. The Fresh Pasta Company’s products are supplied for sale loose on the deli or in 250g retail packs. They are also heat-treated to give a two-week shelf-life, making them a viable proposition for those who can turn their stock fairly swiftly, and the brand is already stocked by premium outlets including Harvey Nichols and Partridges. But it’s a handmade product and will remain in the premium bracket. The target shopper is the discerning type who will spend £8-£12 on a bottle of red wine, Garcia-Oliver says. At Shakespeare Foods, a new London-based producer, owner Rupert Shakespeare initially targeted restaurants with his artisan-style fresh pastas. He says the biggest problems holding back sales in delis are price, speed of turnover and storage space. “I think the public, in general, would find it more convenient and more aesthetically pleasing to buy loose pasta in the exact weight they want,” he says. “But for most retailers this is simply not an option due more than anything else to the high rate of wastage.” His pre-packed pasta has a shelf life of up to 10 days chilled or three months frozen. The pasta is blanched and vacuum-packed in bags that can then be stored flat. Both the pasta and its fillings, such as braised wild rabbit with cider & white wine, are all handmade. Fresh supplier La Tua Pasta, whose products are in the likes of Sainsbury and Whole Foods Market, currently offers a shelf life of five days but is set to launch a pasteurised range this month. Director Caroline Boggian is more upbeat about sales prospects for fresh pasta in delis. She suggests using plain pasta and gnocchi as a starting point as the lower price-point makes it less risky for the consumer to try them. “We think it’s very easy to sell fresh pasta if you’re convinced of the quality,” she says. “It’s crucial the deli does some sampling, and we’re always happy to help out. Customers do appreciate the difference in quality between the real fresh pasta we produce and supermarket, mass-market offers.” The evidence suggests fresh pasta has legs among a discerning consumer base. The decision for delis is whether to join the fresh pioneers or wait a while until customers have been softened up and the shelf life issues have been shaken out. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010



July 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 6

product update


The new black and green MICK WHITWORTH rounds up the latest olive launches, including Kalamatas smoked in Suffolk and green olive stuffed with… olive? • London-based Gigi Specials introduced a new 100% organic Kalamata olive at this year’s Real Food Festival, under the name Amira. Packed in recyclable 280g vacuum bags and bearing the Bio Hellas organic stamp, Amira olives have “a full-bodied aroma, like a good seasoned red wine,” according to Gigi director Ursule Thurnherr. Gigi also offers green Amfissa olives from central Greece, under the name Ashraf, in 400g bags. • Castellino, a small family company in San Severino in the Italian Marche region, has gone beyond the growing trend for stuffing olives with garlic cloves, lemon or pecorino to invent an olive stuffed with olive. According to Steve Smith of exclusive UK importer Anthony Rowcliffe, Castellino uses a “lovely plump, green olive” and stuffs it with black olive paste. “The flavour is intensely olive, with no sharpness or saltiness,” says Smith. The olives are available in 1.9kg tubs or 12 x 180g jars. Castellino has recently relaunched its olives and antipasti in 180g, 2-3 portion jars, with clear labels that let the product stand out. It has also added a new “no fuss” plain green olive (below) using a variety native to the Belice area of Sicily.

• Distributor Deli Conti says olive sales have risen steadily with the arrival of summer, and it is now offering its olives in new packaging to ensure “maximum freshness and retention of flavour”. “They arrive to the customer in vacuum-packed bags that are then placed in a plastic bucket, which is also extra security against damage and oil leakage,” says director Susan Vendone. “The olives are marinaded after they have been de-salted and all ingredients are hand-prepared,” Vendone adds.

• The Micro Mix Olive (below) is one of two lines added to The Fresh Olive Co’s varietal and marinade range for the barbecue season. It’s a blend of in-stone Petit Lucques, Mini Manzilla and Coquillos Nicoise from France and Spain, and is sold in 5 kilo tubs at £23.95 per unit. The other newcomer is a smoked olive mix featuring green Chalkidiki and purple Kalamata olives from Greece, smoked locally over German oak. Marketing manager Lizz Brocklesby describes the smoked olives as “firm at first, but with soft flesh that comes away from the stone while eating”. They are sold in 2kg tubs at £18.35 per unit.

• Maria Cumming Panadero of Spanish foods specialist El Olivo believes she is the first importer to bring caramelised raspberry-stuffed olives to the British market. El Olivo is offering a queen olive variety at an RRP of £1.80 for a 340g jar and a Manzanilla version at £2.90 for 90g. “These olives are extremely nice, sweet – and very rare,” Cumming Panadero tells FFD. “I’ve not seen any in the UK.” Olive oil giant Filippo Berio has launched six olive varieties in oil after identifying that most mainstream ambient olives were packed in brine. The range (RRP £2.99) includes mixed whole olives, queen olives and pimento stuffed olives, packed with labels that echo Filippo Berio’s oils to ensure “brand synergy”. Two years of R&D apparently went into the new Karyatis-branded low-salt olives from Greek food specialist Odysea. The pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives, which contain less than 0.12% sodium, are described as “truly unique” by Odysea’s Nikki Walker. RRP is £1.49 for 300g. New under Odysea’s own brand this year are five new varieties of olives in extra virgin olive oil, hand-picked on the Rovies estate on the picturesque Greek island

of Evia. The 230g range includes garlic stuffed green olives (RRP £2.40), green cracked olives with lemon (£2.49) and hot spiced natural black olives (£2.49). Already an established supplier of loose olives and antipasto for deli counters, Seymours of Norfolk has launched 17 varieties in a 170ml jar format. They include olives stuffed with almond, garlic, feta cheese and sun dried tomato, as well as plain Kalamata olives, red peppers stuffed with feta cheese and four marinated blends. Packed in Norwich, they sell to shops for between £2 and £2.50 with an RRP of around £3.50. A new business on the Suffolk coast, The Artisan Smokehouse is offering Kalamata olives smoked over maple wood, giving what owner Tim Matthews describes as “a rich, distinctive flavour that really complements the olives”. “We use natural hardwood chippings that contain no additives and produces a cleaner smoke,” he told FFD. “And we source unpitted olives, as we believe this maintains flavour and texture.” Most sales have been into restaurants so far, but The Artisan Smokehouse can supply packs from 100g-2kg. “We’re charging 17.50 a kg at present, and looking at a £25 kg at retail price,” says Matthews. “So they’re not cheap – but they are fabulous quality.” Smoked green olives flavoured with green tea & lemon is a new launch from Greek speciality producer Ta Mylelia. Using “simple ingredients, carefully chosen from the Greek countryside”, green olives are pitted and smoked with herbs before being packed in extra virgin olive oil. Ta Mylelia founder Christina Panteleimonitis says they are equally good as an aperetif, in salads or as an ingredient with pasta or meat. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010


Join us for the speciality food world’s most exciting night of the year The 2010 Great Taste Awards Presentation Evening at Fortnum & Mason on Monday September 6

Over 500 celebrity chefs, food writers, buyers, retailers, producers, not to mention the odd TV and radio personality will come together to taste 3-star award-winning foods as we reveal the regional & national winners and finally, the 2010 Supreme Champion. Chefs’ stations around the stunning floor of one of London’s most famous food halls will serve tasters of 3-star award-winning food and drink. See if you agree with the judges’ verdicts. BBC Radio 2 food correspondent, Nigel Barden will again be in charge of proceedings as the awards are announced and celebrity guests will greet the winners on stage. After the winners have received their trophies, enjoy a special dinner prepared by Fortnum & Mason’s renowned executive chef, Sean Hill. Tickets are available for the reception and dinner or just for the reception and awards ceremony. But numbers are limited, so place your booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ticket prices: Option1 Great Taste Reception to include wine and tasters of 3-star award-winning foods followed by 3-course dinner including half bottle of wine: Guild of Fine Food members: £60 inc vat Non-members: £65 inc vat (Tables of 10 or single tickets available)

Option 2 Great Taste Reception to include wine and tasters of 3-star award-winning foods: Guild of Fine Food members: Non-members:

To order tickets visit or contact Charlie Westcar on 01963 824464

£17.50 inc vat £20 inc vat

Green Sweet Olives

OliVerrilli Half Page Portrait Proof 1 Date: 09.09.09

tipo Castelvetrano


liVerrilli has not restricted its products range to what only knows best: olives. Within its vast assortment, OliVerrilli has recently introduced two different ranges of olives anticipating and fully satisfying its clients’ demands and their customer’s taste: the mixed olives fantasy in a easy to handle package and great as snack and with cocktails and the sweet Castelvetrano-like olives, in the Year of the Castelvetrano Olive, according to the San Francisco chronicle, addressed to most refined palates. From olives comes extra virgin olive oil, ideal for the food industry, owning an unique bouquet of flavours which adds taste and aroma to food. Perfect partner to nibble with olives is Carasatu bread, the typical Sardinian thin bread, and the crispy Carasatu Guttiau bread baked twice with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010



products, packaging & promotions

After years in the wilderness, Petty, Wood’s Epicure label has been given a new lease of life. Can it regain its credentials as a ‘speciality’ brand?

Lost and found By MICK WHITWORTH

If names meant anything it ought to be a pillar of the fine food market. But Epicure hasn’t exactly been top of the gourmet’s shopping list for a while. Established in the 1890s by importer Petty, Wood as a label for its globally sourced canned foods, the brand was once a mainstay of high-class provisioners. You’d see shop windows stacked with tins and jars of Epicure product, signalling that this was a stockist of quality, perhaps even luxury, foods. More recently, though, those tins have been gathering a thin layer of dust. Supermarkets buyers now control much of the canned food world, and while data from Kantar Worldpanel suggests canned fruit and veg have seen modest rises in market value in recent years (up 13% and 16% respectively since 2002), volumes have slipped by similar amounts. As Petty, Wood focused more on the wholesaling and distribution of third-party brands (it’s the UK distributor for brands like Walkers shortbread and Lavazza coffee in the independent sector) those tired Epicure tins had to battle for attention even within the company’s own sales team. Its fortunes were not helped by corporate upheavals. Petty, Wood has been through a succession of buy-outs and bank rescues and according to John Potter, who joined as Epicure director two years ago, the house brand had “very much lost its way”, with no real product innovation. Instead, as sales of existing Epicure lines fell, Petty, Wood responded by adding more and more variants. “It went from baked beans to smoked oysters in cottonseed oil,” says Potter. “If it wasn’t frozen or chilled, we were in it.” Potter is a one-time Arla Foods director with 25 years high-level experience in the food industry. After leading a lucrative business turnaround in the fresh produce sector, he took a call from Petty, Wood chief executive Mike Hogg, who was part of the management buy-in that took over business in 2007. “I’ve known Mike for years, and he said to me, ‘We’ve got this brand called Epicure, it’s just sitting there and we don’t know what to do with it.’” Since then, Potter has led a top-tobottom overhaul of the brand. It includes hugely improved packaging and the consolidation of a range that at one stage had sprawled to 600 lines. It’s now down to a more sensible 250. “We were doing ‘cans and jars’ of absolutely anything,” he 42

July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

LESS IS MORE: A new range of wine reductions in doypacks, launching this summer, shows Epicure moving firmly away from cans and jars and into prepared ingredients for time-pressed ‘creative cooks’

The first Creative Cooks lines, launched last year, were these bean mixes in extra virgin olive oil

Packaging has been dramatically improved across the core range of canned fruit, vegetables and pulses

Partridges in London is stocking the new Deli Italia sub-brand

says. “Tomatoes, pulses and fruit were the main rump of the volume, and around those we had some more ‘deli’ products: olive oils, balsamics, and fringe things like smoked oysters. But I thought, there are 20 other people out there doing canned tomatoes at all price points. If we’re going to position ourselves in independents as a premium brand, we’ve got to make sure the products deliver, and that the packaging makes people want to eat them.” So the company’s core Epicure storecupboard lines, like canned fruit and Italian tomatoes, have been given new labels combining arty black-and-white photography of the raw ingredients – part of the language of fine food packaging nowadays – with contrasting colour shots of the contents. And every pack is now marked with a quality stamp reading ‘Feed Your Imagination’. While these products should have wide appeal as store-cupboard ingredients across the board, there is also a new subbrand, Creative Cooks, which targets what Petty, Wood has identified as a key niche: the estimated 12% of UK consumers who aspire to cook restaurant-quality food but need a bit of help and can’t spend hours in the kitchen. Mike Hogg says Creative Cooks is about moving Epicure from a supplier of “tins of…” to being “your friend in the kitchen” – the keen cook is still involved in the process, but these products will remove some more fiddly or time-consuming tasks. The first of these lines were launched last summer – three ready-to-eat ambient bean mixes, vac-packed in extra virgin olive oil, and all produced in Italy. They can be used cold in salads or in cooked meals, and each pack features a recipe devised by Petty, Wood’s consultant development chef, James Moulson, whose background includes stints with Claridges and the QEII. Potter continues: “I’ve said to James, can you write at least five recipes that you could make with each product? If you can’t, the consumer can’t.” Next up under the Creative Cooks banner will be a novel range of five wine reductions in 120g doypack sachets, for those who want to add depth and flavour to soups, stews and gravies but don’t have time to make their own reductions. A natural to sit next to the butchery or fish counter in a farm shop, variants include Madeira & Lamb, Muscat & Saffron and Chiantia & Porcini. RRP is around £2.29.

“I’ve said to [development chef] James Moulson, can you write five recipes you could make with each product? If you can’t, the consumer can’t.” John Potter, Epicure director




THE NEW CUPCAKES? With premium cupcakes moving out of speciality stores and into the mainstream now, could mararoons be the next big thing in deli-cafés? Edinburgh’s L’epicerie, below French restaurant L’Escargot Bleu on Broughton Street, is selling handmade macaroon bars at £1.10 apiece. They’re sourced from Marc Verdant’s pâtisserie-chocolaterie Aux Petits Gourmands in the French ski resort of Pontarlier. A spokeswoman for L’epicerie told FFD: “Marc has won many prizes and is getting to be very well known in France – he’s is often compared to La Durée and Pierre Hemé. He has a very personal way to make his macaroon biscuits. They’re seasonal, crisp outside and soft inside, not dried at all and are made by hand with no extra flavourings and no extra colouring.”

Strawberry vinegar wins North West food award Strawberry vinegar from Agnes Rose Oils & Vinegars triumphed in the savoury mustard, pickles or jam category at this year’s North West Fine Food awards. This success comes in the first year of operation for Agnes Rose, with the strawberry vinegar forming part of an eight-product line-up of fruit and herb infused oils and vinegars. Each is made by hand to old family recipes by owner Naomi Darbishire. All ingredients are sourced through local suppliers with many of the hedgerow fruits being collected from the outcrops surrounding Grayrigg, Cumbria.The strawberry vinegar can be used as a summer dressing or marinade.

Deli meat specialist Bringing Home the Bacon, run by Somerset free-range pig farmer Anna Mogford, is planning a series of promotional packs for its farmhouse bacon and pork sausages. A ‘gourmet breakfast pack’ was launched in time for Father’s Day, with a barbecue pack due out in July and Christmas packs to follow. The breakfast pack contains two packs of dry-cured bacon, either smoked or unsmoked, two packs of sausages chosen from a range of styles including a gluten-free option, and 12 free range farm eggs. Bringing Home the Bacon has won a number of Taste of the West Awards, including silver in 2009 for its natural oak-smoked back bacon and streaky bacon. Retail prices for the various bacons range from £10.90-£14.40/kg, while the sausages retail at £7.90p/kg (£8.20/kg for the gluten-free). Minimum orders are 10 packs and trade prices are “negotiable”, says Mogford. She is offering a 35% margin on the retail price to FFD readers, but there is a delivery charge on all orders. 01460 54878

High-gluten pasta stays al dente for longer

Mediterranean food importer Donatantonio is now sole distributor for La Pasta di S U P LI E P Franciacorta. This pasta range is produced exclusively from Italian durum wheat semolina and contains a minimum 14% protein, which is higher than standard pasta. Donatantonio says this pasta’s intense yellow colour, distinctive taste and smooth silky surface helps to set it apart, while a high gluten content allows the product to hold its shape well and stay al dente for longer. The pasta is available in 12 shapes to suit a wide range of dishes and comes in 500g packs as well as 5kg bags. EDITE CR


Somerset farmer launches ‘seasonal’ meat packs


07775 781251


While the bean mixes were launched in a low-key way last year, the wine reductions were demonstrated to more than 50 consumer journalists and cookery writers during a two-day PR marathon at the Good Housekeeping Institute in June, confirming that Epicure now feels it has something to shout about. The last two years haven’t been great for importer-distributors, hit by high transport costs and exchange rate issues, and Petty, Wood has also seen the loss of one of its long-standing clients – Sacla – which last year switched distribution to RH Amar. But rather than find another Italian pesto to launch under the Epicure brand, the company opted to develop a new range under a further sub-brand, Deli Italia. Featuring nine pestos, tapenades, antipastos and tomato-based sauces, this range has picked up a valuable endorsement with a listing in top London deli Partridges, and Potter says there could be scope for a similar sub-brand in the ethnic market. There’s little doubt the whole look and feel of the Epicure range has seen a stepchange. Mike Hogg told FFD: “For the last 20 years we’ve perhaps been guilty of slapping labels on other manufacturers’ products.” In contrast, John Potter says he now looking to book 100% of chef James Moulson’s time for further NPD. Epicure is not a brand that has been widely sold in delis for some time, so it could take a while to ramp up the interest in this sector. One London food hall buyer told FFD: “We take a few of their big tinned hams – really old-fashioned products – but it’s not a brand we think of as exciting. Just the name Epicure makes it sound old-fashioned. It will be interesting to see if they can change that image.” And there is also the supermarket issue to deal with: while 70% of Petty, Wood products are sold to independents or regional multiples, the company won’t exclude any products from the major supermarkets. Some of the Creative Cooks bean mixes are in Waitrose and Sainsbury, and Petty, Wood has been talking prices with other multiples about the wine reductions. However, while Potter says it’s impossible for a medium-sized business to develop a range on this scale solely on the back of delis, he is confident the new lines will earn their place in fine food stores on merit, and he says Petty, Wood will ensure independents are not disadvantaged on price. “The whole Creative Cooks thing is aimed at top-end delis and multiples. The wine reductions will work equally well in both, so will the beans. There are quite a few delis now taking our canned organic pulses, and Partridges is taking Deli Italia. “As the range takes on more of a premium look, you will see more of it appearing in delis.”



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

020 8236 2222 Vol.11 Issue 6 July 2010





product news from Guild accredited suppliers • Importer and wholesaler House of Westphalia is supplying Alatoni’s range of marinated olives and Mediterranean specialities to the independent sector through its direct-to-store distribution division Medallion Chilled Foods. Alatoni is based in Oxfordshire and its olives come with minimal residual liquid due to a specially developed marinating process, which is said to make handling easier while delivering value for money.


• A distinctive logo, eye-catching patterns and bold colours are combined with serving and recipe suggestions on the redesigned range of sweet and savoury preserves and condiments from Claire’s Handmade. The new-look labels, intended to make the jars stand out better on shelf, were unveiled at the Harrogate Speciality Food Show. New jar sizes have also been introduced. 01697 345974

• Gluten-free specialist Drossa has launched its range of Italian Farabella gluten-free gnocchi in new packaging. Available in three types – classic, mini-sized pearls and mini-sized pearls with spinach – the 500g longlife ambient packs require no refrigeration. The gnocchi is available in cases of 12, which can also be mixed. 020 7431 9382

• El Olivo has added a string of new products to its range of Spanish oils, vinegars, olives, chorizos and patés. They include a 250ml metal tin of olive oil for kids, paprika packed in cloth and tins, saffron in a square glass bottle, a 1kg bag of round rice; a 500g cloth sack of bomba rice; and various new olives. 0131 668 4751

• An awning or canopy doesn’t just protect stock in the window, it can increase a deli or café’s footfall by up to 20%, says awnings specialist InnFresco. MD Duncan Chapman says: “An awning or a parasol can attract more passing trade and customers can relax outside, eating and drinking for longer.” With awnings starting at around £1,000, he says payback can be achieved “in a matter of months”. 0870 80 30 199

01582 590999

• Keylink is now the exclusive supplier of Griottines, a type of Morello cherry from the Balkans that is steeped in Kirsch within six hours of picking for a premium, gourmet appeal. Griottines are described as an added value, speciality gift, and a new promotional booklet containing recipes and serving suggestions will be available free with every jar this Christmas. 0114 245 5400

• Chunky Seville orange & Champagne is the latest variant in the Lady Jay’s marmalade range from My Specialities. It joins other varieties that include lime & gin; chunky orange & whisky; Pina Colada; strawberry & English sparkling wine; strawberry & Champagne; raspberry & vodka and apricot & brandy. All are made to “taste more like fruit than sugar”, the producer says. 01733 370364 • St Kew Products is launching an Oatie Flip with dark chocolate chips and a mature cheddar cheese oatcake. Exclusive packaging and keepsake tins are available for autumn/ Christmas, including the St Kew Christmas market tin, and new gift baskets can also be sourced from the company. 01208 814999

July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6



products, packaging & promotions







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

• TCD Foods is set to get barbecue tongs wagging this summer with a range of Trees Can’t Dance exotic marinade bags. These ziplock bags come in three flavours – Spicy Cajun; Texas Drawwwl and Flaming Mango – and are reworkings of traditional recipes characterised by the blended spices and fresh chillies used in each recipe. Meat, fish or vegetables can be added to the bags, which are left to infuse before cooking. 01434 322455

• The latest addition to the range of products from The Thai Curry Company is Thai red rice, which is described as a healthy alternative to jasmine rice. The product contains more of the rice husk, which is said to give nutritional benefits as well as providing a striking colour. It has a nutty flavour, is full of fibre but is less chewy than brown rice. 0845 258 1289

• Yorkshire Provender has created a range of vegetable soups to be enjoyed cold or warm. Described as the smoothies of the vegetable world, these chilled soups are available in six varieties: pea & fresh spinach with coriander; beetroot with lime, ginger & wasabi; summer vegetable with fresh rocket; minted potato with parsley; tomato & red pepper with Wensleydale & basil; and carrot & fennel with lemon & nigella. 01765 641920

Specialists in Mediterranean Food and Patisseries

G. Miliotis & Son Ltd are a long running, London based family business. For over 30 years we have been supplying the finest food that the Mediterranean has to offer to many areas of the catering world on a face to face basis. Our red vans have been driven hundreds of thousands of miles bringing to the chefs, caterers, restaurateurs, sandwich makers, baristas, deli owners and alike what we believe to be our special service

0208 449 6832 • •

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

Matthew Drennan, former editor of delicious. and aspiring retailer

RetailReady is a two day course that will steer you through the minefield of opening and running a fine food store. The course is designed to equip managers of prospective, new or developing delis and farm shops with the business essentials of fine food and drink retailing. The next course takes place on October 19-20 2010. Visit for more details and an application form. Call us to find out more on 01963 824464.


GREAT TASTE FROM A GREAT PLACE Take a closer look at our bars. Everything you see comes straight from nature. Nothing artificial, no fillers and no chemicals with names as hard to pronounce as they are to digest. From the Himalayans to the tropics to our own backyard, we hand pick only the best 100% certified organic ingredients. Go ahead and try a Taste of Nature bar for yourself – it’s the wholesome, nutritious snack that delivers a world of great taste. This page is dedicated to all the things we do and all the things we don’t do to keep our bars clean, healthy and nutritious. It’s actually pretty easy. We use only certified good stuff, and we don’t use bad stuff. What a concept! | 020 8732 5590 |

Quality Ingredients Certified Organic Non-GMO Quality Manufacturing Certified Vegan Certified Kosher Low Glycemic Index Gluten Free

Vol.11 Issue 6 · July 2010




• bottles & jars

See our extensive range of bakery and food processing equipment at Contact us at: 0116 254 or email


D T Saunders Ltd

• ingredients

• insurance

• ingredients

• insurance

HS HS French Flint Ltd FF Speciality Glassware Suppliers for the moreof equipment for artisan producersproducer. of fruit juices, wines, ciders discerning and oils. Our wide range extends from extraction processes to filtration, bottling, sealing and labelling.

Tel: 01404 892100 Fax: 01404 890263 Email: Tel: 020 7407 3200 Fax: 020 7407 5877

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

103 London Road, Leicester LE2 0PF • baking equipment

• food processing machinery

Do you make PIES? We make PIE MACHINES

In a pickle about where to buy your food jars?


OR CALL + 44 (0) 1204 521831 / 532798 OR FAX + 44 (0) 1204 527306 OR EMAIL

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

Crestchem Ltd., Crest Hse, 152 Station Rd, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5DW

Food Division - suppliers of



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

• food processing machinery


Don’t leave advertisers in the dark – tell them you saw them in digest

Contact: HEATHER AHMED T: 01494 434660 - F: 01494 434990 • ingredients

• labelling

Supplier of High Quality Spices and Dried Herbs Suppliers of equipment for artisan producers of fruit juices, wines, ciders and oils. Our wide range extends from extraction processes to filtration, bottling, sealing and labelling.

at very competitive prices delivered throughout the UK

Relish In Spice Ltd., Wicks Farm, Ford Lane, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 0DF

Tel: 01243 555433 Email:

Tel: 01404 892100 Fax: 01404 890263 Email:

• food photography

• bottles & jars

Need a new van? Find it in

• ingredients

• labelling

L A B E L S Suppliers of: � Confectionery and Gift Packaging � Chocolate � Ingredients


Ring us on Freephone 0800 096 2720

Griottines and Framboisines � Machinery and Display Units �


m S un







SUS 11 Chatto Way Industrial Estate,




GO SEX Torquay, Devon TQ1 4UE LD EX SUN TRA V FLO IRG WE IN RO IL Thi vers s highly perf atile oi ec cook t for l is m high ing uses ost and in omeg. It is cont a-6 ar ains pres tificial no erva tives .

Tel 01803 326818 Fax 01803 313102

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Cont act: Pr Bine iors Byne WestPartridgs Road, Farm , www.Sussex e Green susse RH13 , xgold 8EQ

13 Tel: 0114 245 5400 DRY WHITE WINE


June 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 5

and Bottled on

the premises at:

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The Hogs Back,

11% vol




Contains Sulphite


64x92mm (CH2019






Inform Typic ation Energ al energy y 369 values 3kj Protein (899kc per 100 ml al) Carbo .......... .......... of wh hydrat ..... e... Fat..... ich sug .......... .......... ars ..... .......... 0.0g of wh .......... .......... .. 0.0 ..... g ...... mono ich satura .......... 0.0 ..... polyun-unsatura tes.......... .... 97. g 7g tes of wh saturates .......... ........ 9.4 of wh ich om ............... ...... 16. g Trans ich om ega-3...... ..... 67. 7g Fibre.. fatty aci ega-6...... .......... 3g 0.1 Sod .......... ds........... ........ 67. g ium ......................... .......... 2g .......... .......... 0.0g .......... . 0.0 .... 0.0 g g Use and Storag Keep e Any in a coo low cloudine l, dar Do temper ss is k place. Do not ref atures. natural at the not pourigerate. Not bottle. r hot oil suitab back le for into deep frying .



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• packaging

• refrigeration

Print Your Own Food Labels

• labelling

• packaging

Accredited Suppliers in this issue

• refrigeration

Sweeten up your sales. Advertise in Fine Food Digest.

Ring us on: 01628 668836 or visit us at:

01963 824464 • ingredients Fine Food Digest Ad revB.indd 1

• packaging

• training

2/4/10 5:49 PMHeat

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



Level 2 Award in Food Safety on CD



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

To download demo’s go to Or call: 01507 477589 By J. O. Training

• ingredients

• packaging

• refrigeration

Do your labels lack lustre? Find something flashier in

A W Smith & Sons p32 Alweston Jam & Chutney p39 Anthony Rowcliffe & Son Ltd p28 Bart Spices p39 Bespoke Foods Ltd p22 Border Homebake p39 Carron Lodge Cheese Ltd p28 Cotswold Fayre p31/41 Country Puddings Ltd p40 Curry Cuisine Ltd p39 Dean’s of Huntly Ltd p31 Deli Continental Ltd p8 Eazycuizine Fine Foods Ltd p40 FiberGourmet UK p39 Fosters Traditional Foods Ltd p7 Gilchesters Organics p39 Gourmet World p39 H B Ingredients Limited p46 Infinity Foods Ltd p34 Innavisions Limited p47 Interprofession du Gruyére p26 Jardine Lloyd Thompson p46 Keylink Ltd p46 Kitchen Guru p36 Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers p28 Mantinga UK Ltd p22 Medallion Chilled Foods p44 Moor Organics p18 Olives Direct Ltd p24 Olives Et Al Limited p22 Parkers Packaging p47 Perry’s Cider p36 Pollen True Taste Ltd p41 Quicklabel Systems p47 Rose Farm p39 Silver and Green of Lakeland Ltd p16 Southover Food Company Ltd p32 Spinks Compak Limited p46 Supercherry Ltd p39 TCD Foods Limited p22 The Anglesey Sea Salt Company p36 The Dorset Smokery & Charcuterie p16 The Hawkshead Relish Company Ltd p24 The Inkreadible Label Company p46 Troots Ltd p39 Uncle Roy’s Comestible Concoctions p36 Verner Wheelock Associates Ltd p47 Verstegen Spices & Sauces (UK) Limited Insert Walkers Shortbread Ltd p32/41 West Lake Orchards p39 Zumo Zest p46

digest Vol.11 Issue 5 · June 2010


Dell’iciously Mediterranean Olives, one of the oldest foods known to man, are the foundation of the Dell’Ami brand. Dell’Ami has spent the last 20 years sourcing the best and most renowned local artisan producers in France, Spain, Italy and more recently Greece and Morocco. Our Olives are mixed here in the UK using the finest ingredients to bring you a fresh product that simply brims with Mediterranean Passion, Prestige and Provenance. As well as Olives, Dell’Ami offers an extensive range of speciality Mediterranean fine foods. For more information or a copy of our latest brochure, please contact Marion Scullion on 07966 798 444 or email her at

Exclusively available from: Cheese Cellar 44-54 Stewarts Road, London, SW8 4DF Tel: 020 7819 6001 48

July 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 6

FFD July 2010  

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

FFD July 2010  

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