This year the Speciality Fine Food Fair was in a different part of the Olympia building which meant quite a different layout from previous years. The show was absolutely crammed full as there were over 850 suppliers exhibiting over 2 floors. Of these 850 suppliers, 150 were exciting new start ups who were mostly in the Small Producer Village. These start up companies ranged from people who were making their products in their home kitchen to companies who had created lovely recipes and were using experienced certified manufacturers to make their products.
I only had a day and a half at the show this year and in some categories I only touched the surface of what was available as it was impossible to see everything in the time I had available. I have already booked my hotel for longer for next year to give myself a chance to be more thorough.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most interesting companies that I found, many of them new, and all of them inspiring.
Giribizzi – Curator of Italian Artisanal Delicacies
Carlo di Pamparato is the CEO and founder of the Giribizzi brand (which means little whims, little desires). He says that he is a “Curator of Italian Artisanal Delicacies” and you can see that he has described himself perfectly when you see the incredible range of foods he has put together. He tours Italy searching for unique products that have no preservatives, have amazing flavours and quite often are limited in their production due to seasonality. This careful sourcing of all the products has produced a beautiful and unique offering of the highest quality. I really enjoyed the conversation that we had at the show and it’s refreshing to speak to someone who is so passionate about their heritage and so proud of their national produce. You can find out more about this company at www.giribizzi.co.uk
A Little Bit Food Co
Sophie Lane Fox has created a beautiful range of dressings and sauces which all have a delicious home-made flavour. All of her recipes contain fresh herbs and all of her products are 100% free of preservatives, colourings and additives which is wonderful as this is becoming more and more important to a discerning public. It’s worth taking a few minutes to head over to the website www.alittlebit.co.uk where you will find a very informative blog section in which Sophie writes about a herb of the month and then shares a recipe to go with the blog. I think this is great and I’ve read everything with great interest. I’m particularly keen to try the fennel, orange and beetroot salad.
The Cornish Ketchup Company
Christopher Gordon and Kristian Fleming are friends and the founders of The Cornish Ketchup Company. They have 4 amazing ketchups The Original, The Smokey, The Chilli and The Red Pepper. They have worked with some great people to create their ketchups, for example, all of their tomatoes are grown in Cornwall by a project called People and Gardens. This is a charitable foundation based at the Watering Lane Nurseries near Pentewan. They now collaborate with Sisley and Crellow who manufacture their ketchups for them in their production unit in Penryn. All of the ketchups are made using 100% natural ingredients, with no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. To find out more about this company check out their website at www.cornishketchup.co.uk
South Devon Chilli Farm
The team at the South Devon Chilli Farm are very passionate about their chillies and this was very evident when I managed to catch a quick chat with them on Monday at the show. They grow, cook, eat and talk about chillies and thankfully for all of us they also manufacture a fantastic range of sauces, preserves, chocolate and extreme heat products. They have also created lovely grow your own chilli gift sets. Once I had been at the stand as I had heard what they are doing in Devon I felt sorry that I live so far away. Perhaps I will manage to visit Devon on holiday and visit the farm and enjoy looking around the farm shop and taking a tour. You can find out more at www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk
I first met Melanie at the Dundee Flower and Food Festival in 2014 the year after she created Spice Pots. I watched her company grow from a start up business in her kitchen to the company it is now with all the pots still being hand filled. In that time Melanie has gone from selling at farmers markets to supplying some of the best farm shops and delis in Scotland including Hopetoun Farm Shop, Balgove Larder, Loch Leven’s Larder and the award winning Ardross Farm Shop. While I’ve been writing this blog Melanie has added a stunning range of Mehendi enamel kitchenware which compliments her range beautifully. There are details of the new lines on her website which include jugs, trays, bowls and utensils. You can see all the details on the website www.spicepots.com
In next week’s blog I will be sharing my favourite companies selling cake, shortbread and chocolate.
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