It seems incredible that it’s just 10 days since I went to Fine Food Show North in Harrogate. Restaurants were still open, Bettys was still serving tea, and people were still meeting.
How lives change.
But in these times I wanted to pull out a couple of the businesses I met that day. Businesses that had incredible products, and fantastic stories. There are many businesses we all want to see on the other side of these events, and I hope these are still there. I’ve also highlighted what their current situation is, as you might find some useful or worthwhile to support now.
Not the first place you’d think of for pasta. But then there’s been the success story already of the Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese Company, so perhaps not so surprising. And given there might be an interruption in supply from Italy, then possibly the timing could be “good”.
Made using flour from a local mill, this is a young family business that has only just launched. They don’t have any e-commerce as yet, but one to keep an eye on.
This is the most terrific story, one of the most sustainable end to end stories I’ve come across in a while. These guys are creating the UK’s first offshore seaweed farm.
I know, you’re thinking that there’s plenty of seaweed. But like many things in life, I guess it’s not in the right place. But also we’ve never harvested it in a significant way, and it has uses in everything from food to pharmaceuticals, textiles and biodegradable plastics.
There’s going to be everything from an education centre to a restaurant, and you’ll be able to see the research vessel offshore in Scarborough. In the meantime, their seasonings make a change from regular salt, give you a whack of umami, the nutritional benefits of seaweed, and support a fledgeling business. Available to purchase online now as they have had to close their market stall.
What do you crave when you’re not where you want to be and feeling really homesick?
Many of us crave the tastes and dishes of home. Jennifer Munson-Montanez set about baking and now has brought a taste of her home in Venezuela to market here.
I had never heard of Alfajores, but basically think a delicious, more biscuit based version of macarons. Gluten-free, amazing flavours, keep for longer than macarons (to be fair, they never stick around long enough for us to test the shelf life!).
I love this story of longing for home and doing what you can about it. How many of us can relate to that challenge at the moment? Available from the online shop.
So we’ve heard of Yorkshire folk taking on the Italians and the Greeks. Well, Sheffield Cheesemasters are taking on the Canadians with Yorkshire Poutine Cheese Curds. Surely there has never been a better time for cheesy chips, with or without gravy?
Made by hand from start to finish, these are Sheffield’s only cheesemakers. And damned fine ones at that. They have an e-shop for the cheese, with free delivery for several Sheffield postcodes. You can also buy vouchers for cheese and wine events in the future. That future, when we can all get out and support businesses, and each other, face to face again.
There were many great products and stories at the show, but these were probably the “youngest” companies that I met. It doesn’t mean more well-established companies won’t need our support during this period and beyond. It’s just starting a new business is tough enough, without having a pandemic thrown into the mix. I don’t think anyone had put that in their SWOT analysis.
A good story will never compensate for a bad product, not in the long term. But these 4 had both the product and the story. I look forward to seeing their next chapters.