Cornish Charcuterie with Harding and Mason

It’s been quite a while since my last producer profile, so when Kate from Cornish Charcuterie got in touch, and I was going to be visiting the area on holiday over the summer in seemed like the stars had aligned to get me posting again! Kate, who helps manage the business side of the operation set up for me to spend the morning with owner Richard Harding so I headed over there a few weeks back  to check out what they were up to. Cornish Charcuterie is the brainchild of husband and wife team Richard and Fionagh Harding. They moved to Norton Barton Farm, just outside Bude in Cornwall, seven years ago. “We were living in Kent and were both working as Investment Managers in the City. We’d recently become parents and weren’t happy with our quality...

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Razzle Dazzle’em with Dairy free Ice Creams

In this latest producer profile I was fortunate enough to be asked to come meet with a very new Artisan producer – Razzle Dazzle Ices, started in March of 2011. After writing about Otter Brewery in my last post, the largest producer to date that I have profiled, this gives me an excellent way in which to bring a little balance back and explore the very different challenges of those early days of getting up and running and securing your first orders.   Razzle Dazzle Ices is owned and run by Darrelle and Phil Bower from their Taunton home. “After we discovered that our son’s skin condition was being caused by an allergy to dairy products I started making dairy free sorbets and ice creams a few years ago purely for ourselves. We were disappointed with...

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Otter Brewery – Five Generations of Brewing Tradition

A date long in the diary, yesterday I was very pleased to be able to to go meet with Patrick McCaig at Otter Brewery.  Set high in the Blackdown  Hills just a few miles from my home, Otter is one of my favourite local tipples, so the blog would not be complete with a producer profile on them! As I say, I love their beers, which are widely available in the pubs around the Somerset and Devon area where I live, but as a marketing guy by trade, I also love the strong, vibrant brand which they have managed to establish and I was especially keen to explore this aspect of building an Artisan business with Patrick who, in a former life,  spent ten+ years in London in top flight Advertising Agencies. How important should brand building really be for Artisans? Five...

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Tracebridge Sourdough – The Staff of a Sustainable Life

This producer profile, my first in a few  weeks, actually keeps me pretty close to home for the first time. I came across the breads and buns on offer from the folks at Tracebridge quite by chance at  Sustainable Energy Fair held in Cullompton in May, and I have to say this was my best “chance food find” for a long time. Tracebridge Sourdough is undoubtedly the best bread I have tasted in part of the South West, and as good or better than any I have tasted anywhere. So, after dropping a card with their “WWOOF’er” (more on this later) at the fair,  I was really excited when Katie Venner got in touch and agreed for me to go visit to write a profile… Located in the small hamlet of Tracebridge, west of the Somerset town of...

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Sargie’s Cornish Kitchen – Building a Business from Scratch..

Cornish born and bred, Dave Sargent aka. “Chef Sargie” had always known two things. One that he wanted to cook, and second that he wanted to run his own business. Though not an academic at school, he loved his home economics lessons, and spurred on by his teacher he resisted the urge to jump from education into a kitchen at the age of sixteen with a basic NVQ qualification and instead went on to college to become a fully qualified  Chef. After leaving college, Dave worked in a variety of local hotels and restaurants, including as Sous Chef at Pescadou in Padstow, but the life of a full time Chef began to take its toll. “The hours are punishing” says Dave “and I never got to spend any time with my kids who were just babies at the...

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The Harbour, Port Isaac – Building a Brand through Artisan Fare..

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to take up an offer from Emily Scott to go meet with her at her restaurant in the beautiful fishing village of Port Isaac, to get a sneak  preview of her latest development plans. If you’re not already familiar with the place, it is best known outside of the area as the fictional village of “Port Wenn” in the ITV series “Doc. Martin”. On arriving you can see why TV producers would drool over such a location. It’s a place that harks back to a bygone era, with narrow winding streets from a time well before the motor car, so I parked up at the top of the village and took the short 5 minute stroll down the coastal path to the restaurant. It’s on days like this when I think about my...

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