• Speaker Blog: Paul Barker the Botanical Baker

    There is a top line up of passionate and knowledgeable speakers for this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Live, including professional Master Baker and qualified flour miller, Paul Barker. At the show he’ll be sharing the secrets behind blending bread with botanicals and how this led to his big win at the British Bakers’ Baking Industry Awards. Ahead of his session on Monday 8th April, we caught up with Paul to get a sneak preview of his talk.

    With 35 years’ experience, do you know everything there is to know about bread?

    When I first mixed flour, salt, yeast and water together 35 years ago, I’d probably have thought that by today I would know everything there is to know about bread…. wrong! Well actually, I do know a fair bit now about the craft and science of bread making. I’ve won awards for my breads and teach the subject too. But I’m never satisfied, and my passion drives me to explore deeper. So, I’m now on a quest to discover how utilising botany within my baking can produce a new generation of natural real breads. You’re probably now wondering if all those early starts are beginning to take their toll on me. Well before I explain what I’m alluding to, let me firstly set the scene.

    Can you give us some history and some facts about bread we may not know?

    Combining flour, salt and water together will produce bread, but it will be dense and inedible. The addition of yeast transforms this dense doughy mass into a light, airy, flavoursome source of food. The majority of breads made today utilise a specific strain of yeast known as Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. A mass-produced ingredient available in many forms, dried is most commonly used by home bakers. Small quantities are added to the dough allowing consistently light and airy breads to be made.

    Before baker’s yeast was identified and mass produced, bread was leavened using a form of sourdough. Thousands of years ago, people would mix flour and water together and bake it for food. Probably without realising why, if this mixture was not baked immediately the final product would then become lighter in texture and more flavoursome. This improvement occurs in a microscopic way, in the form of wild yeasts and bacteria within the dough which, when given a little time, offers these microbes favourable conditions to start fermenting and generating flavours. Our ever-increasing understanding has allowed us the capability to harness and control these actions, which we now benefit from through the production of the wonderful sourdough breads, currently enjoying a renaissance.

    Our sourdough cultures today are a blend of flour and water, which after a few days start to ferment, generating flavours and aromas. When maintained, by feeding with more flour and water, a culture can last for more than our own lifetimes. I have two. A wheat flour culture which is 12 years old and a rye flour one which is 10 years old. So, pause for thought, if flours ferment and can be utilised to make light and airy flavoursome bread, what else could possibly be used?

    Where did the inspiration come from to blend botanicals and bread?

    Okay, let me now bring back the botany I mentioned earlier. Fruit, flowers, plants and vegetables. If it’s safe to eat, why not ferment it! – think sauerkraut. Not only will it raise the dough to produce light and airy breads, but we can also create many wonderful flavours. For example, I could ferment a fig and then use the microbe-laden water to raise and flavour a loaf. But I could then go a step further and add fresh fennel to make a fig and fennel loaf. Combinations could be endless, what’s in season, what’s in my garden?

    Over the past year I’ve been researching and experimenting with botanical ingredients and have now developed a system to produce larger quantities of these breads in a bakery environment so everyone can enjoy them too. I call these Botanical Breads. These breads are now available at Cinnamon Square in Rickmansworth.

    Catch Paul Barker’s Knead to Know session on Monday 8th April, 11:30am at Farm Shop & Deli Live.

    Friday April 05

  • 5 things you’ll love at this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Show

    FSD blog 3 image

    Now in its ninth year, The Farm Shop and Deli Show is as always, packed with delicious discoveries and passionate producers and suppliers. Whether you’re interested in sampling some of the latest gins and craft ales or looking at reducing plastic use in store – it’s all here under one roof. Here are just a few ideas, innovations and trends you might like to look out for on your visit to the show.

    The viral vegan sensation

    On the Mummy Meagz stand (N98) show visitors will find the team behind the vegan cream egg that became a national sensation. The eggs have been featured everywhere from Sky News to the Daily Mail. Thanks to this success Mummy Meagz is fast becoming one of the most recognisable vegan brands in the UK. Show visitors won’t want to miss out on sampling the company’s current range of Rocky Road Cake Bars, targeted at the vegan and gluten free confectionary grab and go market.

    The award winners

    The show really does bring together some of the best suppliers to the farm shop sector. Testament to this is just how many of the show’s passionate exhibitors have award-winning products and services. Winner’s of last year’s Great Taste Golden Fork for the best food or drink from Northern Ireland, Natural Umber, will be on stand L81 with their Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which was a hit with the Great Taste judges. While producer of premium sparking presses, Radnor Hills (stand N101) was recently highlighted in London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 Companies to inspire Britain report, which celebrates the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses. Another award-winning exhibitor you won’t want to miss is The EPOS Bureau on stand D81, who have just scooped Supplier of the Year at the National Farm Retailing Association Awards. Visit their stand to find out why they are recommended by both the Guild of Fine Food and FARMA.

    The problem-solving sink

    With a variety of fresh produce usually on offer at deli counters and farm shops, appropriate hand-washing facilities are important – but what if it’s not easy to access the plumbing and fit a traditional sink? Enter Teal Patents (stand L49) and their portable hand wash units for caterers. Teal sinks are perfect for the food and catering industries, maintaining high levels of hand hygiene, placed wherever needed, with no plumbing required. Visit the stand to find out why they’re ideal for street food suppliers, retailers, farmers’ markets and kiosks, outside catering, fast food outlets, ice cream vendors, coffee kiosks and sandwich bars.

    The proud family businesses

    The institute for Family Business estimates that more than a quarter of UK GDP comes from family-owned businesses.  You’ll find a strong showing of successful family businesses at this year’s show, from dynamic start-ups to well-established brands with decades of history behind them. First time exhibitors Packaging for Retail (stand B100) are husband and wife team who supply beautiful packaging to artisan producers who need smaller quantities. While Ahmad Tea (stand D89) is a Hampshire based, family owned business with four generations of expertise, founded on a commitment to great tea and good causes. Over on stand D77 you’ll find ward-winning family business Tim’s Dairy, who are celebrating 70 years of producing delicious yogurt by launching a brand-new range of Greek style yogurts called ‘The London Collection’. These are just a few of the family businesses exhibiting, visit the show and you’ll have the chance to meet many others.

    The alcoholic indulgence with a health conscience

    When you think about premixed alcoholic drinks, sugar and preservatives can spring to mind – but this is not the case with Silver Swift Drinks (stand J87). Rose Unwin, a semi-elite endurance athlete founded Silver Swift in 2017 with a vision to create a uniquely delicious range of premixed spritzers with a health conscience. Rose’s lifestyle choices revolve around health and well-being, she competes in half Ironman triathlons and other ultra-endurance events in her spare time. The Silver Swift range proves you can lead a healthy life and still enjoy a few of alcoholic drinks without worrying. It’s a must try at The Farm Shop and Deli Show!

    Don’t miss these fantastic exhibitors and many more, register to attend the show today.

    Monday April 01

  • Adapting to the changing consumer

    FSD blog 1 Gourmade

    Consumer behaviour and spending habits are changing as awareness and understanding of issues such as health, wellbeing and sustainability deepens. How should food and drink businesses adapt to meet the needs of the changing consumer? We put the question to Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors to get their views.

    Embrace all aspects of sustainability - Paul Moore – If You Care, stand D61

    “The most pressing and topical issues driving changing consumer behaviour are increasing awareness of sustainability and environmental issues, coupled with growing awareness of the impact of food choice on health and the environment. Social media sharing images of the global consequences of plastics on wildlife, direct experience of unseasonal weather patterns through climate change and the rise in alternative diets towards veganism and reduced meat  driven by health and environmental concerns are clear signposts of these changes.

    These are deep long-term trends. There is a lot of hard commercial evidence that shows consumers are increasingly seeking ways to express their concerns and desire to make a difference by making changes in their spending. The global market for organic foods rose to US$97 Billion (7.7%) in 2017 (Source FiBL Organic Market Report). It is one of the most buoyant markets in retail at the moment. UK organic sales have risen to £2.3 Billion (up 5.5%) (Soil Association Market Report) and very successfully driven through the independent sector and box schemes where customers are seeking quality, integrity and choice. Outside of food, we can also see changes to attitudes around consumables such as plastics (bag tax), the rise in FSC certified products and increased sales of electric cars and renewable energy markets.

    Business needs to adapt to these changes by offering their customers really good environmentally friendly options so customers can make the choice for themselves. If they don’t customers will simply find a way to address their concerns by going elsewhere.”

    Check out the If You Care stand to see their environmentally friendly kitchen and household products that are totally Chlorine Free, unbleached, FSC Certified, compostable and plastic free.

    Harness the positive power of social media - Abi Knee, Marketing Manager at Gourmade Ltd, Stand K41

    “Social Media and Blogging in the food industry are both fantastic ways to reach more customers. However, it's about doing things properly. I believe that giving out content is so important, whether that be helpful recipes to go alongside your product, ways to use your product, or top tips on ways to incorporate a product into your life. Many of the food/drink social media channels that are thriving aren't selling a product at all, they are selling a lifestyle, which is what people will buy into. But this market is becoming more and more saturated. This is exciting for everyone in the industry and shouldn't be seen as a negative, as the more interest, the more discussion and interaction surrounding the topic of food and drink.

    As a business, we should all be harnessing this opportunity, use what we have that's special, shout about our stories and the people we are behind the business! So, shout about everything, from that dodgy tasting session in the development kitchen, to the pure moment of joy when the new packaging samples turn up! We're all important in this industry and all have our own roles, so let's tell everyone all the fantastic things we do!”

    Show visitors will certainly find some inspiring things? to share on social media on the Gourmade stand, where they will be showcasing their range of premium frozen ready meals. All of which are hand finished  using the finest quality ingredients and made in small batches, frozen from fresh within an hour of making.

    Be adventurous with flavour and transparent about provenanceEmily Reed, London Honey Co., Stand L89

    “Consumers have very educated adventurous palates these days, they love to explore flavours and to learn about the subtleties of food. Helping people to navigate and understand your produce is essential - we love to introduce people to how varied British honey is and how to pair different honeys with food and drinks. Many people have never tried real honeycomb before, but they are excited to if you explain how best to eat it, such as with some salty cheese.

    Thankfully people are increasingly aware and concerned about where their food is coming from and the impact of their choices. It’s vital that you can be transparent with people about how, where and by whom your products are produced, that’s why it’s so important to us to be beekeepers ourselves so we understand the whole process. Consumers also want to see that businesses give back, we've found it really easy to give 10p from the sale of every jar of our Organic Zambian Honey to the charity Bees for Development to support their fantastic work.”

    With over 20 years of beekeeping experience and a reputation for supplying honeys of distinction, including to Michelin starred restaurants, show visitors are in for a taste sensation when they visit the London Honey Co. stand.

    Listen to feedback when it comes to flavourNaomi Sigsworth, Zeina Foods, Stand L800

    “At Zeina Foods, we believe that our flavours are adapting with the changing consumer. We aim to work with consumer feedback in order to improve our products, and also to create new ones. The main sensory attribute of food for us are the flavours used, this is why we work hard to develop varied taste profiles. Back in 1983, when our brand launched, our main vision was to create a snack that was nutritious, premium and packed full of flavour. We have over 30 years of experience roasting nuts and use this specialist knowledge to produce the most delicious snacks in the market.”

    A visit to the Zeina Foods stand will leave you in no doubt that they’re serious about flavour. The Zeina Delicious range is a must-try,  featuring five delicious flavours with eye-catching packaging.

    Offer quality and innovation in health - Purebite, part of Tayto Group, Stand P71
    “Food and drink businesses need to be relevant and that’s by offering consumers quality products which meet changing desire for healthy options, free-from and specialist diets.
    People who either need to follow a specialist diet or choose to are incredibly powerful influencers for your business.
    Offering quality and innovation in health allows you to offer your core consumers a chance to eat more healthily.”
    Visit the stand to speak to Purebite and find out more.

    You can get more industry insights, ideas and inspiration by registering to attend The Farm Shop & Deli Show, where you’ll have the chance to meet and connect with over 450 suppliers.

    Monday April 01

  • Ditching plastics and embracing biodegradables


    There’s no denying that single use plastics are increasingly unpopular with consumers as awareness grows surrounding their environmental impact. There are even some consumers who’ve gone or are attempting to go completely plastic free. For a business, cutting back on plastics is no easy task and can’t be achieved overnight. However, by making a few simple switches and some smart supplier choices you can start making a difference. Here are a few of the Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors helping you to do just that.

    Natural Wraps, stand M84

    Cling film, a staple of many food businesses, has traditionally been tough to find an alternative for, that is until Natural Wraps came along. Natural Wraps make handmade beeswax and vegan-friendly rice bran wax food wraps as alternatives to cling film. They are reusable, easy to clean and last around a year, after which time they are fully compostable – making them a perfect addition to any farm shop, deli or garden centre.

    Bag It Don't Bin It Ltd, stand Q71

    BIDBI make branded cotton canvas bags as an eco-friendly, fairly traded alternative to plastic carrier bags. Their high quality, 100% natural cotton bags act as a sustainable marketing tool or ethical accessory for your business or event. It’s a simple, sustainable switch any business could easily embrace.

    Field Fare, stand C69

    Premium frozen food specialists, Field Fare, were eco-trailblazers 40 years ago. Today they continue the quest for zero-waste by actively pushing their stockists to offer Bring Your Own Container options on their loose serve lines. MD, Karen Deans, tells us why:

    “Sustainability has been a central Field Fare concern for over 40 years, and in 2018 we began a proactive push to encourage stockists of our loose frozen lines to enable their customers to bring reusable containers to fill with our fruit, veg, fish and baked goods. We were already offering branded, biodegradable bags, but the scoop-and-serve business model that we’d introduced back in 1987 was ready made for taking the next step towards zero waste, buoyed by a 5,000-strong Iceland survey revealing that 80% of shoppers would welcome a plastic-free shop.

    Uptake was initially hesitant but is now growing exponentially and the fringe benefits for our stockists have been surprising and wonderful. As a unique offer, many report that it has created a destination point out of their shops. It has given them a reason to talk meaningfully to their customers, whether through social media and shop signage, through discounting offers for those bringing their own containers or through their local press. And as most of our 400 stockists are independent garden centres and farm shops, it has underlined their connection with the environment, with farming and the local community and has vicariously provided a ‘responsible and forward-thinking retailer’ rubber-stamp. Precisely the gold dust results that the multiples are currently chasing, in fact.”

    Inkreadible Labels, stand C84

    The team at Inkreadible Labels tell us that the printed labels used on food product packaging generally have a lamination to them and this means they are durable and can have a variety of distinct finishes. However, they are not often biodegradable. For brands contemplating biodegradable product packaging and labelling, it’s well worth chatting to the Inkreadible Labels team about their offering. They provide biodegradable and compostable labels that are uncoated, wood free printing paper composed of 95% sugar cane fibres and 5% hemp and linen, that are specifically designed for complete packaging that should be biodegradable. The adhesive used also conforms with EN 13432 specifications and is therefore considered to be compostable and biodegradable.

    Two Farmers, stand C79

    Two Farmers are the first hand cooked crisp brand to launch in 100% compostable bags. The bags take 26 weeks to compost in a home composter and 12 weeks in an industrial facility.  However, their eco-credentials don’t stop there. The company uses award-winning potatoes grown on their farms in Herefordshire, never more than 2 miles away.  They proudly slice and hand-cook in small batches before flavouring them in the finest locally sourced ingredients.  Their Lightly Salted crisps are flavoured with Droitwich Salt which is harvested by hand just 40 miles away from Two Farmers at Churchfields Saltworks.  Two farmers also use renewable energy produced on their farm. If you’re looking for a unique, sustainable product with low food miles, compostable packaging and provenance flavours – a visit to the Two Farmers stand is a must.

    These are just a few of the sustainable brands exhibiting at The Farm Shop and Deli Show this year. Register to attend the show to discover new suppliers who could help you achieve your environmental goals.

    Monday April 01

  • Quench your thirst at the Farm Shop & Deli Show

    Quench your thirst at the Farm Shop & Deli Show

    Beverages are booming, whether it’s craft ales and spirits, speciality teas or artisan juices, there are numerous exhibitors offering exciting ways to quench your thirst at this year’s show. We caught up with a few of them to find out about the latest trends.

    Time for a tipple

    The popularity of artisan gin shows no sign of slowing down and there’s plenty to choose from among the show’s aisles this year, including Manchester Gin, Boe Gin, Bullards Norwich Gin, Pinkster, Sipsmith and more.

    Could another spirit capture the public’s interest in the way that gin has? We put the question to Jo Painter of Norton Barton Artisan Food Village, who told us that craft rum was a growing trend:

    “We’re starting to see an increase in the interest of craft rum, especially rum that is distilled in the UK rather than imported and blended with other ingredients (which can be in incredibly good in its own right).  At The Cornish Distilling Co (part of Norton Barton Artisan Food Village) we distil British rum from scratch, meaning we ferment too.  Fermentation of the base spirit brings a whole new dimension to the distilling process that requires a new level of skill as well as equipment. This results in a much more complex flavour in our rum.  Because we ferment the base spirit ourselves, we innovate our rum from the very beginning of its life – a true craft spirit.  We are launching our white rum and spiced rum for the Summer of 2018 which we are very excited about!

    If you like the sound of sampling some rum, Aluna Coconut (Stand E112) is worth visiting. It’s made from a blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean with all-natural toasted coconut flavours and has already enjoyed great success in the UK. Co-owner Guy Ritchie commented: "Coconut continues to be a hugely popular flavour and ingredient with UK consumers.  Aluna Coconut was built from coconut out? rather than being a rum line extension or a sticky liqueur and people really notice the difference.  We only use natural coconut ingredients and even add pure, sustainably sourced coconut water when we cut to bottling strength. It is squarely aimed at more discerning drinkers who appreciate well put together products with the best possible flavours."

    Health trends

    It seems the overarching consumer trend towards health and wellness applies even in the alcohol sector, Tori Sotiropoulos of Kold Group (Stand: N91J), told us more: “We believe there is a massive shift towards drinking healthier. No longer is it about quantity but about quality and consumers are willing to spend a little more to get a much better-quality product. Consumers have become more sugar and calorie conscious in the food sector and that is definitely affecting trends in the drinks world, just look at the rise of non-alcoholic spirits and low-abv beers, there is a real demand for lighter drinks and this demand will only increase in the coming years”.

    Kold Group are answering this trend with the launch of Kalosa Spritz, a light and refreshing alcoholic drink with only 99 calories per bottle.

    While you’re exploring alcoholic options at the show don’t miss the vast array of craft ales, premium wines, meads and more. Plus there’s a whole host of clever drinks innovations such as OXI-GIN Botanicals (Stand: E118), who are behind a new concept of handmade infusion bags for Gin & Tonic. Consisting of dehydrated/freeze dried fruits and spices that infuse like a tea bag in your G&T.

    Speciality soft drinks

    If you’re looking to up your soft drinks offering there’s plenty to see and try, why not pay a visit to Nonsuch Shrubs (Stand: F129), to try their lightly sparkling blend of fruit juice, sparkling spring water and cyder vinegar with no added sugar.

    There’s also artisan juices on offer from the likes of The Extraordinary John Starkey (Stand: F136) and Cawston Press (Stand M74) as well as smoothie sachets for cafes and coffee shops by Projuice (Stand G88).

    Grown-up soft drinks are a key trend too, we like the sound of Ceiba Drinks (Stand: D63) who have been craft brewing cinnamon infusions since 2007. Made with natural ingredients, their healthy cinnamon infusions are craft brewed in small batches and then blended with fruit juices to make refreshing adult soft drinks.

    Unique hot drinks

    There’s plenty to see when it comes to hot beverages at the show. For starters, Archivist (Stand E129) will be launching Flamboyant & Co teas, a new range featuring innovative blends including Gin & Tonic, Hot Toddy and Booster Tea.

    For something sweet, we like the sound of Coco Chocolatier (Stand: F91) and their flavour-packed hot chocolate, stored in metal tins and available in dark, milk and white chocolate.

    To see the full array of beverages on offer from exhibitors at the show browse the show’s Products page.

    Friday April 13

  • Trust, marketing and the free from consumer: A catch up with Karen Fewell


    On Monday 16th April at 2pm expert marketer Karen Fewell, Founder of Digital Blonde, will be taking to the live stage talking about trust, marketing and the free from customer. This is not your average talk about appealing to the free-from market. During the discussion Karen will delve into the psychology of trust covering what it actually means and how it’s gained and lost. It’s going to be a fast-paced session and according to Karen, the insights she plans to share will come in handy for improving relationships with all your customers, not just the free from consumers. In short, it’s set to appeal to anyone in the food & drink industry. 

    A unique perspective

    We caught up with Karen ahead of her talk and she told us that her own experiences as a free from customer have informed the talk: “Being diagnosed with coeliac disease means I have a lot of experiences, both good and bad, of the gluten free market, in retail and hospitality. I’ll be running through some personal experiences and a few common mistakes and misconceptions that can be all too easily made by food and drink businesses.”

    As a regular at farm shops and local markets, with a background in hospitality too, Karen says she understands the challenges food & drink businesses face when it comes to allergens. She hopes this talk will provide practical advice and inspiration, leaving attendees enthused about the free from market and the opportunities it provides. She told us: “Free from customers are extremely loyal and often have a strong influence when it comes to group decisions around where to eat and shop. I personally buy a lot from farm shops and local food markets and when I find something I like, I buy it in bulk. So, if your offering isn’t up to scratch you could really be missing out on some significant sales and long term loyal customers.”


    Fusing psychology & marketing

    Of course, having a strong free from offering is just the beginning, to make the most of it, you need to successfully market it. Karen’s marketing expertise will help ensure your message really resonates. She is known for fusing psychology and marketing and her advice is always backed up by insights into how the human brain works. This talk will be no different as Karen explains: “Almost all human decisions are actually made subconsciously, which means that our choices are not the logical, rational thought processes we often assume they are. This applies to our food purchasing and consumption decisions – your customers are making quick, emotional decisions, whether they realise it or not. It’s important to recognise this in your sales and marketing strategies and my session will show you how to successfully achieve this."


    Can you afford to miss out?

    Sessions by Karen are always packed full of the latest marketing stats, trends and advice. So, not only will this talk help you to better market your free from offering, you’ll also come away full of knowledge and insights to improve your overall marketing efforts. Don’t miss it on The Farm Shop & Deli Show Live Stage, Monday 16th April at 2pm.

    Tuesday April 10

  • A quick catch up with our speakers

    FSD speakers blog pic

    We’ve got some exciting guest speakers lined-up at The Farm Shop and Deli Show this year, discussing a range of topics from food waste to business growth. We caught up with four of the show’s special guests ahead of their talks to get some quick-fire insights.


    Laura Hamilton - TV Presenter, Business Woman, Entrepreneur

    Laura Hamilton is best known as one of the faces of Channel 4's popular television show 'A Place in the Sun' and has hands on experience when it comes to property. She started renovating houses aged 19 and has developed 16 properties to date. At the show she’ll be talking to audiences about how she took over her local post office to create a profitable community resource complete with café/deli area. We asked her to sum up her biggest learning during this process and she told us:“I’d had prior experience renovating but I had never taken on a commercial project before. This in itself was a huge challenge - designing the space for commercial use and ensuring I was complying with all the regulations. Staffing and sourcing produce was another challenge, but it was an exciting one and I’m really proud of what our team of 27 and I have achieved in just a year.”


    Matthew Fort - Food Writer & TV Presenter

    Top TV personality, presenter and writer Matthew Fort is one of UK food and drink’s best-respected figures. During the show, he’ll be answering questions about his career so far and talking about food waste and sustainability. We know what an important topic waste is for many of you, so we asked Matthew for some bite-sized advice on tackling this, here are two of the quick tips he gave us:

    1. “Take a look at how Italian, French or Spanish markets present their food so that more is sold and less is spoiled.”

    2. “Make someone with specific responsibility for waste reduction and reward them with the money their programme saves.”


    Adam Henson – TV Presenter and Farmer

    Adam Henson, is a well-known TV presenter, farmer and owner of the successful Cotswold Farm Park. He’s passionate about helping the public understand the integrity and pride farmers take in producing food. At the show he’ll be taking to the stage to discuss his career on-screen, and why it’s important for customers to understand where their weekly shop comes from. We asked him whether consumers are prioritising provenance and how it is best to communicate this, here’s what he told us: “I believe there is a growing section of society who are becoming more conscious about sourcing their food carefully, with provenance and ethical production systems being a priority.  There is therefore a great opportunity for producers to communicate about their farms and use the Happerley traceability system to enhance the trust and confidence in their produce.   As the demand for provenance has grown food retailers and food service outlets are already using this as a positive selling point.  Having trust and confidence in what we consume is very important, so a robust traceability system is essential to avoid confusing and sometimes misleading labels.”


    Paul Hargreaves - Chief Executive of Cotswold Fayre

    Paul Hargreaves is a well-known character within the speciality food world both for his insightful views on the sector, independent retailing, and general business “know how”. Paul’s brilliant blog “Speciality Bites” is widely read by retailers and producers alike. During the show he’ll be talking about speciality producers supporting independent retailers. We asked him for a brief overview of some of the themes he’ll be going into, here’s what he told us:

    “Pricing strategy is just one of the difficult tightropes that start-up and more established speciality food brands need to walk as they struggle to grow their businesses.  In my talk at the Farm Shop and Deli Show I will develop this theme further together with several more as I try to help small brands establish themselves in an increasingly crowded market.  In 2016, there were, according to government figures, an estimated 660,000 start-up businesses.  An estimated 15% (99,000) of these were in the food and drink sector.  Probably 50% of these are no longer trading.  You will reduce the chance of being one of these casualties by coming to my talk at the show.  One of the joys of coming to the show is to see the many new brands exhibiting – at Cotswold Fayre we are very keen to help some of these new brands succeed.”

    Don’t miss these speakers and many more exciting names live on stage at The Farm Shop and Deli Show.

    Tuesday April 10

  • Secrets of a successful cheese offer with Patricia Michelson

    FSD Patricia speaker blog cheese

    On Tuesday 17th April The Farm Shop & Deli Show Live Stage will see Patricia Michelson, the Founder & Director of La Fromagerie London, talking in depth about cheeses and creating the ultimate, customer-pleasing cheese counter. With tasting opportunities and plenty of advice, this interactive session will also see Patricia discussing life as an independent retailer and how to attract customers. We caught up with Patricia ahead of the show to find out more about what she has in store for the session.

    Making your cheese offer work for you

    Patricia advised that it’s important to know how to stock a counter, how to position and label the cheeses and merchandise other products to make it look interesting and worth buying. She explained: “So often the Cheese counter can look like a great deal of choice but with very little to identify itself with.”

    She continued: “My session will go through understanding how each section of the shop/deli performs with each product.  We’ll be looking at ways of correctly placing products relating to the cheeses to get the maximum interest not only in the particular product but how it works with the cheese.” 

    Patricia also plans to cover getting to know your customer and the importance of bringing local producers into the shop.


    Business growth and change

    The session will delve into how a successful cheese offer can really make a difference to your business, Patricia told us: “You can only get out what you put in. So, listen and ask questions – I want to hear of problems and also fears.  It is often the fear of making changes that makes you think the product will not work for you. Once you understand the merchandise and how to show it and talk about it you will be able to sell it and make a return.”

    Words of wisdom

    Having started her business in 1991 and seen it expand and go from strength to strength since then, we thought we’d ask for any words of business wisdom for independent retailers. Patricia’s advice was clear: “Think local, seasonal and honest – if your customers trust your judgement with the products you are selling, and you provide a range that works on several levels, and above all you give information about your producers and local people who are producers then your customers will love you for it.”

    Finally, we asked her what she’s most looking forward to about the show and she told us: “I love meeting people who are from different parts of Britain and finding out how business is for them and what they are trying to achieve.  I want to show that being an independent shopkeeper is the glue to a community and a shopping street, whether in a village, town or within a farm, is still relevant and important to the way we live. How we get customers to come and shop with us is what we will be discussing.”

    You can hear more from Patricia Michelson and sample some special English cheeses in her talk Counter culture: celebrating English cheese, Tuesday 17th April 15:00pm - 15:30pm at the Farm Shop & Deli Live Stage.

    Monday April 09

  • Fresh thinking: A quick catch up with Luca Mathiszig-Lee

    FSD speaker blog Hill Szrok

    Hailed as “a cut above” by The Financial Times, Hill & Szrok is a thriving butchers by day and buzzing restaurant by night. So, the talk from its Director Luca Mathiszig-Lee and Head Butcher Tom Richardson-Hill is one not to be missed at The Farm Shop & Deli Show Live. The duo plan to discuss smart integration and how this can work for you. They’ll also cover how and why consistency counts from website to shop floor, all the while offering you the opportunity to sample some of Hill & Szrok’s delicious organic products.

    We caught up with director Luca Mathiszig-Lee to find out a little more and ask a few questions about what’s in store.

    Speaking about who could benefit from his talk, Luca told us: “The session should be helpful to both current shop owners and also those thinking of opening their own shop. We’ll be discussing how the dual use of the premises at Hill & Szrok has helped our business and promotes the butcher’s industry”

    The talk is set to inspire as Luca shares some of the secrets of Hill & Szrok’s success, he commented: “I’ll be bringing fresh thought to a traditional industry during the session and explaining how this way of thinking can more than double people’s turnovers and increase their GPs”

    Part tasting, part talk, this live session promises to fill you with organic taste sensations and ideas to shake up your business. Luca told us he’s looking forward to speaking to other people in the industry about moving forward, so don’t be shy, stop by the Live Stage on Monday 16th April at 14:45pm to pick up new ideas and have your questions answered.

    Monday April 09

  • Snack Attack

    Snacking Elizabeth Shaw

    Snacking represents a huge market and one that it’s increasingly important for independent retailers, farm shops and delis not to miss out on. We caught up with a few of The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s exhibitors to find out about the latest trends and innovations in the snack sector.


    Snacking is on the up

    Many exhibitors felt that snacking was on the increase due  to busy lifestyles, Tanya Dib from Ape Snacks (Stand H64) told us “Snacking has been steadily rising these past years resulting in us becoming the largest snackers in Europe. We have such a fast-paced lifestyle, snacking has become the easy solution for getting that energy boost when you are facing that ‘afternoon slump’ or haven’t had the time for a proper meal.”

    There’s plenty of data to back up this view too, as Sarah Booth, MD of Fruitypot Family Ltd explained: “Busy millennials are demanding snacks on-the-go. Health and wellbeing are the trends driving their choices. Almost two-thirds (72%) of shoppers in the UK are buying healthy food containing less salt, sugar and fat*. However, they don’t want to compromise on taste.”  (Source *IRI).

    Healthy appetite

    The growth of healthy snacks was a key trend many exhibitors where keen to point towards. The team at Wildings (Stand: D78G) gave us their view: “There seems to be more of a focus on the health aspects of snacks, with the move away from high sugar and carbohydrates because people are more conscious of the food they eat and where it comes from.  If they are replacing meals with snacks, they want to have good quality food that still gives the body what it needs. It is important to me, as a trained chef, to create great tasting food that is also nutritious.”

    Nationwide initiatives have helped play a part in the growth of consumers healthy snacking habits, as Sarah Booth, MD of Fruitypot Family Ltd explained: “The NHS’ new ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign suggests parents should limit children’s snacks to just two at 100 calories each per day. Families are on the lookout for snacks that they can grab and go, that are better for them too. As refined sugar has become enemy number one - this has created a space for innovative and healthier desserts. Farm shops and delis should consider stocking brands like Fruitypot and JellySqueeze.”

    Jake Judd at Fresh Essentials (Stand L75) told us “Snacks like  seed mixes and nuts are healthy alternatives to bread and other sandwich type on the go food.” Other healthy options proving popular include coconut-based snacks. Tanya at Ape Snacks told us: “Ape Snacks have a range of products that not only are a healthy treat but are also, 1 of your 5 a day and keep you fuller for longer. The Crunchy Coconut Bites range are gluten free, with no added sugar and with most packs coming in under 150 calories”


    A little indulgence

    With so much focus on health and nutrition, is there still room for indulgent snacking? What’s the industry’s stance on this? Paul Rostand, Founder of Great British Biscotti (Stand K64) gave us his view: “I think snacking is at a crossroads with consumers opting between health orientated or super indulgent but rarely, woolly half-hearted choices that occupy no-man’s land.”

    The team at Elizabeth Shaw (Stand A83) felt there was definitely a place for ‘a little of what you fancy’. They told us all about the rise of what they call ‘permissible treating’ in the UK’s chocolate market: “This is the thought process that says it really is OK to treat yourself and that as a nation of chocolate lovers when we decide to have that chocolate treat we like to make sure it’s a good one! In fact, a shift towards premium brands and dark chocolate is a clear indication that when we want to treat ourselves it needs to be good quality, great tasting and maybe ‘a little better for me’ – because I’m worth it!” This isn’t just a theory; the behaviour is backed up by research from Mintel that reveals self-treating to be the single biggest reason for buying chocolate. According to this research of consumers 63% agree that it’s OK to eat small amounts of chocolate every day as part of a balanced diet. The Elizabeth Shaw team even went as far as looking into generational differences when it comes to snacking and told us how generation X is driving growth in the UK chocolate market.


    The power of provenance

    Consumers these days are putting more thought into their snack purchases and taking provenance, ingredient quality and ethical sourcing into consideration when it comes to snacking. Many of the exhibitors we spoke to were keen to highlight how their products reflected this trend. The team at Wildings were very clear when it came to provenance, they told us: What’s key is for us to be able to offer provenance. The duck that we use in our Duck Crackling is from a single origin producer from within the British Isles, which gives us a strong measure of consistency and quality. We also know the levels of animal welfare are maintained from our supplier. It’s not always easy to know where ingredients are sourced for other meat snacks, and this can be a bit of a worry which I think is why the snack has been popular in farm shops and delis”.

    Paul at the Great British Biscotti team felt strongly too and told us: “Ingredient transparency and product provenance are pivotal to our success – we’re very proud of our Dorset roots.  I also think in these uncertain, Brexit times, consumers are keener to support home-grown brands wherever feasible.”


    What’s new

    There’s a lot to see and taste from The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s exhibitors, here’s a look at some of the exciting innovations:

    • Fresh Essentials’ new REALLY SEEDY range – they told us it’s a serious and impactful group of super seed mixes with a tongue in cheek positioning that makes it approachable.
    • Ape Snacks’ new Coconut Puffs are a world first in snacking and definitely one to try while at the show. We’re told these are made from “a moreish mixture of coconut, rice and coconut oil and all-natural seasonings – making them light, crunchy and packed with flavour”.
    • Wildings Duck Crackling, which has just been voted joint winner of the Judges Excellence Award and runner up in the Snack category of the UK Paleo Awards 2017.
    • The Drinks Bakery has created a range of delicious premium savoury snacks called Drinks Biscuits. These are expertly flavour-profiled biscuits to match great drinks like Craft Beer, Champagne and quality wines, whisky and of course gin.
    • The range of no added sugar, fruity snacks in a handy pouch or pot from Fruitypot, which they told us “are perfect for health-conscious mums to give to their children. Both products are made with real fruit juice, have no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives and no artificial colours - plus they are vegan, lactose free and gluten free.”

    Browse the exhibitors page on The Farm Shop & Deli Show website to find out more about new launches at the show.

    Monday April 09

  • A Healthy Appetite

    A Healthy Appetite

    These days consumers are more aware of health and nutritional issues than ever before. Whether it’s the benefits of fermented foods or clean eating, there’s a real buzz around health and eating well. We caught up with some of The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s exhibitors to discuss the latest healthy trends and products.

    What’s trending in health?

    Family run artisanal spice and tea company, Spice Kitchen (stand: D60), were keen to highlight the excitement currently surrounding turmeric. They felt that the health benefits of turmeric had very much been in the public sphere over the last 12 months, raising its profile with consumers. According to Spice Kitchen, this has led to more and more people consuming it in food and drink related products.

    Honey and bee pollen are going to be big in the health and wellness sector according to Miod Raw Honey (Stand: E110). They told us about how honey is a great source of energy and vitamins, not to mention the bees digestive enzymes and all the biomatter that come with it. While pollen, on the other hand, is full of natural plant-based proteins and fats. According to the Miod Raw Honey team, it’s a perfect source of nutrients for the body.  Also, eager to highlight honey’s health benefits were the Hilltop Honey (Stand: G130) team, who pointed towards recent reports showing a rise in honey usage per household over the past couple of years. In particular, Manuka honey is continuing to grow in popularity. That’s why Hilltop Honey have recently launched a new range of Manuka honeys available in varying strengths of 5+, 10+ and 15+.

    The team at The Protein Ball Co (Stand: N91G) told us how veganism and gluten free are still the key trends in the healthy food and drink markets. According to them “It’s all about sustainable foods and providing products that suit everyone’s taste, health and lifestyle”. They’re answering this trend with the launch of two new vegan flavours of protein ball made with plant based protein.

    The team at Tideford Organic Foods (Stand: G71) told us about FODMAPs – these are carbohydrates and sugars found in some popular foods that researchers now believe are responsible for many of the symptoms of IBS. Tideford’s latest Vitamin C packed soup recipe is especially designed to contain only low-FODMAP ingredients, it’s a Tomato and Basil Soup with Red Peppers and Miso. The team at GlutenFreegan Ltd (Stand: E106), whose gluten free and vegan baking mixes are all FODMAP friendly, added that “More and more people are realising that they don't need to put up with IBS symptoms and many are finding that following the FODMAP diet is offering relief. Choosing a wheat-free and FODMAP friendly diet is giving many people their lives back.”

    Communicating health

    What’s the best way to talk about health and wellness with consumers? Our exhibitors gave their advice on some of the key messages to deliver:

    “Eat well and often. Do not save money on quality food as it keeps you healthy” - Miod Raw Honey

    “I think we all should embrace a balanced diet, enjoy the food we eat, get creative with our recipes and have fun eating food!” – Hill Top Honey

    “Ingredients and allergen information are the most important information to communicate to consumers as it allows them to make the decisions on what goes in their bodies for themselves” – GlutenFreegan Ltd

    Healthy discoveries

    There’s a whole host of exhibitors dedicated to helping you meet and make the most of the latest health and wellness trends at The Farm Shop and Deli Show – Select the ‘Health / Nutrition’ category on the exhibitors page to explore the full list.

    Wednesday April 04

  • Organic Growth

    Organic Growth

    According to The Soil Association's 2018 Organic Market report, the UK’s organic market is now worth £2.2bn, the highest it has ever been. The report revealed that the market has now had six years of steady growth with organic accounting for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market. This growth has been good for the independent retailers who saw a 9.7% sales increase of organic products.

    Exhibitor views

    With organic food and drink at an all-time popularity high, we took the opportunity to speak to some of The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s organic exhibitors to get their views and find out what’s new.

    The Hilltop Honey (Stand: G130) team told us they had witnessed this increased demand first hand, with over 245,000 units from its current organic honey range leaving their headquarters in the last two years alone. For them it came as no surprise to hear of the organic market’s growth, they felt that with the increased awareness around its benefits, consumers today often prefer to invest in organic products.

    Tideford Organic Foods (Stand: G71), who became the UK's first organic and vegan brand in 2016, have also seen sales growing significantly year on year. They told us this is attributable to a new, health-conscious millennial consumer looking for great tasting, healthy organic vegan food.

    Fresh Essentials (Stand: L75), who are organically certified by The Soil Association and have SLASA accreditation, put it simply when they told us “You know where you are with organic, nothing added nothing taken away, just the pure natural product”. This clarity and transparency that organic products offer may well form part of the reason for the surge in their popularity with consumers, along with the increased awareness of the health and environmental benefits.

    What’s new?

    This increased demand for organic means it’s well worth upping your organic offering and there’s plenty of inspiration amid The Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitor stands. Among the new, organic product launches at the show is Hilltop Honey’s new Organic Fairtrade Honey.

    Tideford Organic Foods say they have always focussed on making food that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary needs and this includes their new Tomato and Basil Soup with Red Peppers and Miso, the first organic FODMAP-friendly accredited soup in the UK.

    The Farm Shop and Deli Show team also liked the sound of the organic oils on offer from AVLAKI Superb Organic Olive Oils (Stand: L98) and the low-calorie, organic, gluten-free, and vegan chickpea puffs from Hippeas (Stand: G98).

    There’s a vast range of organic produce to discover at the show, from wines to chocolates and cheeses – Select the ‘Organic / Fairtrade’ category on the exhibitors page to explore the full list.

    Wednesday April 04

  • How to tame your Dragon

    DRAGONS’ PANTRY – Tuesday 25th April and Wednesday 26th April.

    Dragons Pantry logo

    The heat is on for hopeful participants as the much-anticipated Dragons’ Pantry returns for another year. With a bank of discerning dragons ready to chew over entrepreneurial offerings, pitchers will have just 15 minutes to clinch a deal, gain recognition, garner advice or return home with nothing but food for thought.

    We’ve been getting to know some of this year’s dragons and discovering what sort of pitches will fire them up and what mistakes might extinguish their interest altogether.


    Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre

    Paul Hargreaves cropped

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    A concise pitch with visuals and finished product available to taste are always the better ones from my 5 years’ experience of being a dragon! There is no chance of one of the panellists winning if there isn’t a good amount of time for the dragons to ask questions.

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    Hopefully you have natural passion for your products. Let that passion shine through as this is one of the most compelling features of a good pitch. Do your research on pricing. Know the margins that different wholesalers and retailers require. Have pricing that works!

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    Innovation, passion, great packaging and a world-beating product!


    Jeremy Bowen, Head of Sales at Paxton and Whitfield

    Jeremy B cropped

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    True facts and figures rather than fluff and a story.

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    Listen and learn (we don't know all the answers but our advice comes free).

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    Products and people who have done their homework and delight in a credible dialogue about their yummy product.


    Eleanor Hatfield, Branding Expert

    EH cropped

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    The person giving it. So much of a start up’s success is down to the person or people who are leading it. Their passion and self-belief. Investors buy into the idea, sure. But so much of it comes down to the team.

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    Think about your brand story. What and why are you doing what you do, what makes you truly different and why would someone want to pay for that? Making sure you have a logical yet inspiring narrative where everything stacks up and makes sense will help you stand out. Success depends on excellent storytelling to my mind, these days.

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    A great brand story. Interesting, disruptive, imaginative products that are healthy, wholesome and delicious.


    Dan Shaw, Managing Director of Cognosco

    Dan Shaw

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    A perfect pitch for me is one that is clear, includes all the commercial details possible given a large varied audience and makes you engage with the candidate. I like to hear a brief story of how the company and product came about, what success they have had already and specifically what customers they are targeting. If they can add in their route to market – all well and good.

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    One piece of advice will be to present what they know and if there are particular areas where they may need help, ask specific questions of the panel – otherwise the judges simply home in on areas where the detail may not have been clear or they have a particular skillset or interest.

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    On the day, I’m looking forward to seeing new things that are decent, realistically priced with margins for both wholesaler and retailer and that take into account market trends and are likely to appeal to a Farm shop and Deli customer – i.e. have some volume potential.


    Nicki Stewart, Managing Director of Diverse Fine Foods

    Nicki Stewart

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    A clear, concise pitch which delivers the necessary amount of information, concentrating on both the products and producers. Be mindful to provide origins, the story of how and why you created your products.

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    Know your target market, along with your pricing strategy. Try to make the pitch a little upbeat and interesting for the audience and the Dragons… and do not be afraid, we do not actually bite!

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    We are magpies when good packaging is on the table! This is a must for our company, we are also looking for innovative products, something a little different.


    Zoe Farmer, Business Development Director for Costcutter Supermarkets Groups

    Zoe Farmer

    What makes the perfect pitch?
    I am really keen to see passion, enthusiasm and relevant facts - this is a sales pitch. I want to learn facts quickly that are relevant to my decision on whether this product/s have what it takes to make it in a competitive market place, what is the USP, why does this product make a difference to your life, what is the personal touch? etc

    What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
    Practise, be clear and concise and have a goal of what success for you looks like. Is there a particular question you want the panel to answer and if so make sure you get what you want out of the pitch.

    What will you be looking for on the day?
    Products that are commercial and not me-too products, something that has the edge over others in the market place. Something that is relevant to the shopper/sales sector, something that stands out from the crowd and has scalability. For example, if looking to launch a product into the Healthcare environment make sure it is CQUIN compliant.

    Tuesday 25th April (2pm) and Wednesday 26th April (2:30pm) will see different dragons fiercely grilling hopeful entrepreneurs. Make sure you secure a spot in the audience for this fiery event.


    See the full list of live events taking place at Farm Shop & Deli Live.


    Read more Farm Shop & Deli Show blogs here.



    Friday April 21

  • Get a sneaky peek before our speakers speak

    At the heart of Farm Shop & Deli Show is the wealth of live sessions bringing you demonstrations, advice, industry knowledge and know-how. Be encouraged, entertained and educated, ask questions and be prepared to take many worthwhile notes at Farm Shop & Deli Live. Here’s what just a selection of our amazing experts have to say about what to expect from the main stage.

    FS Dlogo LIVE


    Richard Fox: A compère beyond compare

    Richard Fox

    Farm Shop & Deli Live will again be in the safe and expert hands of acclaimed chef, broadcaster and writer, Richard Fox. Known for his passion and industry expertise, Richard will guide audiences through a programme of exciting live sessions and thought-provoking debates.

    “I’ve been compèring at the show for a number of years now and I love it! It has a great feeling of camaraderie amongst the exhibitors, visitors and participants, and as such I look forward to it every year and to catching up with people who are now more than just business acquaintances.”

    Let Richard make you feel right at home as he introduces you to a bounty of specialist speakers. Here’s just a pick of the proceedings:


    DAY ONE – Monday 24th April


    Tom and Henry Herbert: Baker brothers extraordinaire

    Tom and Henry Herbert cropped

    Visitors to the opening day of the show can witness Tom and Henry Herbert as they divulge their trade secrets. The celebrated baker duo will share their success story and the recipe for their moreish sourdough, whilst revealing insightful tips for retailers from their own Hobbs House stores.

    "We're looking forward to the smells and tastes of this year's Farm Shop & Deli Show; it really is a unique experience. We love getting to meet so many like-minded people with such a passion for good food and clever, wholesome baking. Come and join us for our session: 'Use your Loaf Master Class' on the main stage at Farm Shop & Deli Live where you can hear our story and harvest our top baking and retail tips. Then hear us discuss how locally sourced produce can increase business in our session, 'Cash in on Local' at the Retailer Hub. We'd love to see you there."

    'Use your Loaf Master Class' is at 12:30pm on the main stage and 'Cash in on Local' will follow straight after at 1:45pm at the Retailer Hub.


    Nigel Barden: Judging excellence

    Nigel cropped

    Presenter and Farm Shop & Deli Awards Chair of Judges, Nigel Barden is a stalwart and ardent champion of the show, he says, “It’s huge and cleverly put together. Massively diverse. It’s vibrant, informative, fun!” He has the honour again this year to present the winners of the Farm Shop & Deli Awards.

    “It’s a joyous journey visiting the award finalists around the UK and, with the standards being so high, it's the attention to detail that really makes the winners stand out. It'll be a privilege to hand over the accolades at the awards and to witness the look on the winners' faces that clearly illustrates how all their hard work has paid off.”

    Nigel will also be accompanied by butcher and 2016 'Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year' winner Arthur Howell for a live interview on the subject of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. Join them from 3:15pm at the main stage.


    DAY TWO – Tuesday 25th April


    Paul Hargreaves: A people person

    Paul Hargreaves cropped

    Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre will show visitors how to harness people power. His session will explore how to build a workplace community, get Millennials onside and empower teams so retailers can hold onto their top talent.

    Paul explains: “I hope to empower retailers and producers to go back to their businesses and put new ideas and vision into practice. I find that many businesses within this sector are too insular and could learn a lot from others if only they spent time together. This session is a start to do just that. I guarantee that people will take home at least one good idea that will make their business more profitable.”

    We delved deeper into Paul’s plans by asking him a few questions about his session:

    Q: Why are you looking forward to speaking at the Farm Shop & Deli Show?

    A: The Farm Shop & Deli Show has become one of the key events of the year for specialty food retailers and producers. It is always exciting to pass on my experience of running a company in the sector for nearly two decades to those that are less experienced. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel!


    Q: What can people at the show expect from your session?

    A: I hope to empower retailers and producers to go back to their businesses and put new ideas and vision into practice. I find that many businesses within the sector are too insular and can learn a lot from others if only they spent time together. This session is a start to doing just that.


    Q: What is the No. 1 reason why people should come and listen to your session at the show?

    A: To take home at least one good idea that will make their business more profitable!


    Join Paul at the main stage at 11:35am.


    Nigel Bogle and Duncan Syme: Systematically smart

    Nigel Bogle cropped   Duncan Syme cropped

    Led by Nigel Bogle, Managing Director of Lakeland Computers and Duncan Syme, Founder of Data Strategy Consulting the session, ‘Building Smarter Systems’ will address the considerations and advantages of introducing smart systems to your business.

    Nigel lays out the challenges facing businesses who want to introduce technology systems to their shops:

    “One thing we do see an awful lot is people buying into the wrong 'system' to run their business, whether it be a Farm Shop, Deli, Cheesemonger or whatever. There is a huge educational opportunity for someone to point out that not all systems are created equally and that generic solutions no longer 'make the cut' when you start to consider the complexities of running food-retail businesses. (i.e. waste management, hospitality and retail integration, nutritional data, allergens, traceability requirements, and on and on and on...).”

    “We've seen so many occurrences of private individuals investing (a lot!!) of money into systems without first doing proper research. The operational impact thereafter can be catastrophic... We started a campaign a little while ago about 'Getting EPOS Right - First Time' and it is still very much on trend.”

    “One budget - one chance to spend it wisely... get it wrong and that business just won't have the money to 'have another go'. They will have to live with the consequences of their actions and quite often this is at the start of a business being launched when it needs every bit of help it can get financially to get on its feet properly.”

    That’s where Nigel and Duncan’s session comes in. We asked Duncan about how getting it right and avoiding the pitfalls can really help your business.

    Q: How can using technology help today’s food retailer?

    Duncan: Technology delivers business growth insights swiftly, which then enables actions that will increase revenue - Richer EPOS data (inc. loyalty card data) leads to better understanding of your customer and how they behave when shopping with you. A good system then enables the retailer to use this insight to develop and grow their customers’ spend patterns through targeted campaigns that have relevance to their customers (one size does not fit all!). Technology also saves time in mining data for these insights.


    Q: What’s the biggest barrier to implementing technology that you see in the industry?

    Duncan: Ironically time prevents technology being implemented - many retailers don't know how they would use the extra information "I haven't got the time to do anything with the data I already have, let alone more!". Cost can also be a concern, so Farm shop retailers can default to the "if it ain't broke, then don't try and fix it" approach. But the retailers who do find the time (or resource) to properly analyse their data gain revenues that out-perform the cost of enhanced systems.

    Nigel and Duncan will be joined by Milly Stokes of Farndon Fields Farm Shop and Abbey Jannaway of Newlyns Farm Shop at 3pm at Farm Shop & Deli Live.


    DAY THREE – Wednesday 26th April


    Charlie Turnbull: Striking gold

    Charlie Turnbull

    Charlie Turnbull owner of Turnbulls Deli in Dorset will be hosting two sessions; 'Liquid gold – sourcing superb olive oils' and 'How to expand your digital delicatessen'. Both sessions are on the 26th April and, as in previous years, are likely to prove highly popular.

    We asked him about his sessions:

    Q: Why are you looking forward to speaking at the Farm Shop & Deli Show?

    A: Independent retailers need to find quality foods that taste noticeably better to define their offer and pull customers into their shops. Farm Shop & Deli Show is a goldmine for that.


    Q: What can people at the show expect from your session?

    A: Regarding his olive oil session: It is not enough to have good oils, retailers need to be able to demonstrate it so customers feel the value for themselves and make the purchase. My session focuses on skills that do that.

    A: Regarding his E-commerce session: E-commerce has been around for a while but with over 60% of independent food shops having no online offer, most don't see how it can help them. I give a nuts and bolts tour of the opportunities big and small to increase your income and defend against the online competition.


    Q: What is the No. 1 reason why people should come and listen to your session at the show?

    A: Regarding his olive oil session: It's fun, you'll enjoy it.

    A: Regarding his E-commerce session: It's coming - whether you like it or not. Start now in the shallow end of the e-commerce pool and grow it with your business.


    Karen Fewell: Engaging everyone

    Karen cropped

    Also on day three, and well worth the wait, is Karen Fewell’s session, ‘Social Media Marketing – Not Just for Millennials’. As online retailers are becoming more prominent so is the use of digital marketing. Karen explains: “With retailers needing to market to everyone from Millennials to Baby Boomers it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start, which channels to use and what to say. In this session, I’ll be clarifying how different generations behave online and sharing practical insights to grow a customer base and increase online engagement.” Karen is the founder of Digital Blonde, a marketing agency specialising in the food and drink industry, and the Food Marketing School. She is perfectly placed to help food retailers market across the board to all demographics of potential customers.

    This session will take place at 12 noon on the main stage at Farm Shop & Deli Live.


    Check here to see all our speaker sessions and don’t miss out.


    Thursday April 20

  • The Farm Shop Factor

    With ‘local’, ‘fresh’ and ‘artisan’, all being important words to today’s discerning food customer, it comes as no surprise that farm shops and delis are receiving more and more consumer attention. And as the ‘little-often shop’ looks set to overtake the popularity of the weekly ‘big shop’, the more speciality food establishments are in line to benefit.

    With this exciting shift in mind, we asked Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors what they think attracts customers to a farm shop and, perhaps more importantly, what makes them return?

    Here’s what they said:


    o It is important to have unique products so that your shop becomes a destination for things that can't be found easily elsewhere.

    o In order to make it worth your while, you want to make money on the items, so shelf appeal is key - the product needs to look nice - design and quality packaging can make all the difference in whether a product is chosen by the retailer to stock and ultimately whether the customer chooses to pick it off the shelf.

    o A challenge for farm shops is to increase the over-all basket spend of a customer and to make every inch of shelf space work as hard for them as possible - so mixing a variety of priced items through your shop can help.

    HomeBrewtique – Brew-Your-Own Craft Beer. Stand E38.


    o Convenient rural or semi-rural location with plenty of free parking and set out as a specific retail shop away from the working area of the farm.

    o Planned, logical customer flow with quality fixtures including, where applicable, the meat display counter and other refrigerated display equipment plus shop-fittings such as walls/floors/ceilings/lighting to suit the required shop theme (e.g. contemporary, rustic etc).

    o A dedicated coffee shop and eatery area with a proper servery counter and sufficient quantity of tables/chairs that is designed to match or complement the farm shop itself.

    Watco Systems – Fresh Food Display Systems. Stand J20.


    o The premium quality of the products.

    o The access to unique local and not so local choices.

    o The relationship and trust that they anticipate in the shop. It’s a personal and special experience when you can talk to the owner or manager about the source and wholesome quality of the food. When I created my sauces I did so with exactly the same ethos which my farm shop buyers appreciate, as I build relationships with my customers who love hearing about the story behind my products, my mother’s culinary journey from India, her authentic royal recipes, and my commitment to honestly made food that you can trust.

    The Art of Curry. Stand J51.


    Farm shop and deli owners like to choose products that reflect their passions – for food, that is often great quality, delicious taste and an interesting story (craftsmanship, heritage etc). This is why Maille mustard is so perfect – with a history that dates back 270 years (including featuring as the official mustard to the European Royal Coursts!) and a renowned reputation for the best tasting mustards due to our expert craftsmanship and carefully selected ingredients, Maille is an easy product to be passionate about. By choosing products they love and believe in, retailers can be confident that their consumers will love and purchase them too!
    Maille Boutique. Stand: D60.


    See the full list of Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors here.

    Thursday April 20

  • Be the best by sourcing the best

    How do you go about ensuring you have the very best ingredients from the very best local or authentic suppliers? We asked Farm Shop & Deli Show 2017 exhibitors to share their wisdom and experience when it comes to sourcing the best ingredients and suppliers. How do they do it?

    Here’s what they said: 

    We source directly from farmers and producers and have done for the last 25 years. These relationships mean we know exactly what goes into the finished product and we visit our olive suppliers in Greece, Spain and Italy several times throughout the year – sounds tough doesn’t it?
    Olives Et Al. Stand L41.


    Sourcing local ingredients is key to any brand nowadays, it's really important to research and also ask other local producers to help, after all they may have been producing for a while and will have a good local knowledge of possible ingredient suppliers. It is really important that quality meets your expectations, if your local producer doesn’t have the right quality, work with them to develop the quality you need, if not you will need to offset this against possibly moving out of the area until you can source the required level.
    Great British Biscotti. Stand J60.


    Sourcing the best ingredients is what we’re all about – and also what makes our brand unique. We are the only brand to use completely Indian grown ingredients in our products because we believe that only by developing, sourcing and producing right in the heart of India can we bring our customers a truly authentic taste. So, our onions, tomatoes and vegetables come fresh from the market in Lasalgon while our ginger, garlic and spices are sourced from the best of the region’s farmers. As well as sourcing our ingredients in India, our products are both developed in conjunction with expert Indian chefs and also made in our Indian factory. Our fans say DESI is as good as going for a meal in an Indian restaurant and we reckon DESI is the healthiest and most authentic Indian product on the market today.
    DESI Authentic Indian Food Meal Kits. Stand D69.


    Wherever possible we source ingredients locally to make our treats. Cornwall has some fantastic producers so we work with them collaboratively. Most recently we developed an Earl Grey fudge with Tregothnan Tea and a Gin fudge with Tarquin’s gin. We use Cornish Sea Salt in our best-selling Caramel Sea Salt fudge and Trewithen clotted cream in our classic Clotted Cream fudge. Consumers love to know what is in the products they buy, and focusing on ingredients has proved popular.
    Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery. Stand H73.


    Raisthorpe has an emphasis on using only the best ingredients, traditional methods and recipes which have stood the test of time to produce our award-winning liqueurs. To match our standards we always look for the very best quality ingredients from professional, friendly and responsive suppliers who understand our ethos of creating traditional products with a twist for our discerning customers.
    Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods. Stand D46.


    See the full list of Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors here.

    Thursday April 20

  • Eat me! Drink me! Pick me!

    We all know that having an Alice in Wonderland style label saying “Eat Me” or “Drink Me” just doesn’t cut the mustard. Producers take great care and put hours of thought into their packaging, brand, presentation, story, ingredients, taste, reputation and more to ensure customers pick their products over their competitors’. Learn some clever hints, tips and considerations from a wealth of Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors who are getting it right.

    We asked them: What convinces retailers to choose some products over others and what makes them pick yours?


    Having a really strong USP is essential to securing new listings – A Little Bit’s is the integral role of fresh herbs in every recipe. You also need to be able to convey your brand story effectively to engage with your target audience – so standing out on the shelf is crucial. Then the final but most important step is to knock your prospective customers out with an incredible tasting ‘must stock’ product.
    A Little Bit - Dips and Dressings. Stand L68.


    We started life as a deli and the main things we looked for when sourcing new products were attractive packaging, excellent customer service and, above all, we sought out products of outstanding taste and quality. We have made these qualities the foundation of our business and we believe that this is why people love our products. We pride ourselves on the taste and quality of our produce, along with how good it looks on the shelf and we always aim to be a company who our stockists enjoy dealing with.
    Findlater's Fine Foods. Stand J58.


    Retailers care deeply about providing good quality, well-designed products, to keep customers coming back to their store. bio-bean’s Coffee Logs are briquettes made from waste coffee grounds for use in stoves, fires and chimeneas, developed and tested by in-house scientists and engineers in order to ensure high performance and customer satisfaction. Retailers choose Coffee Logs because they burn hotter and for longer than wood, they have a unique back story, and because eye-catching recyclable packaging ensures they stand out from other fuels.
    Bio-bean Ltd. Stand M111.


    Farm shops and delis like to find unique but on-trend products, plus something a bit different from the supermarkets. Our range is popular with retailers as we have classic treats like peanut brittle and honeycomb, as well as on-trend products like Gin fudge. Our packaging has great shelf stand out, includes a treat for every occasion, and we also provide POS to help retailers with displays.
    Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery. Stand H73.

    We live in a time where people have access to unprecedented quantities of information and they make purchasing choices based on a wide range of criteria such as origin, quality, usability, environmental impact and naturalness. These characteristics can be considered value for money in the eyes of the consumer and everyone attaches their own weighting to them. The growth of specialty retailers and farm shops is driven by giving customers a different experience in terms of customer service, choice to buy local or to buy something that is unavailable through the mainstream. Marienburg charcoal is a natural product with no additives, harvested by small local suppliers and produced in an economically challenged region of Europe where much-needed jobs are created. In cooking, Marienburg charcoal delivers ease of use, excellent sustained heat and unparalleled taste and flavour. Users are loyal to the Marienburg brand, repeat purchasing is normal and it is a hero product for many shops - attracting consumers over considerable distances who make additional purchases in store. In short Marienburg Charcoal provides a great and relevant point of difference for retailers whilst delivering healthy margins.
    Marienburg Charcoal. Stand F100.


    We believe it's a combination of multi-spherical depth of quality and calibre of authenticity that can lend that moment of complete 'wow!' when a retailer (simultaneously a consumer) connects with a product. You can then unbolt the door, allowing their imagination to run free, to experience timeless childlike fervour and to see the future foretelling great sales and consumer joy in a lightning bolt of sensory euphoria. Things like brand charisma and clarity of message also come into play... but as they say - you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    Innate Food. Snack Squares. Stand J60.


    The retailers are in tough times at the moment and as a result, they are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors. More recently the lifestyle issue has come to the forefront and people are looking to make choices based on quality, sustainability and taste - price always being an implicit. Our product is different as it is a disruptor and does not follow the traditional format for the ice cream market - we are not promoting green fields and Cornish Cream etc... We are specialists in making a modern and innovative, all natural ice cream.
    Northern Bloc. Stand L29.

    It’s all about love in our opinion; retailers are ultimately looking for products they feel their customers will love and therefore they will love (as it makes them money!). This is a combination of the quality of the product and the story behind it. The feedback from our stockists is that they get a lot of returning customers who love our spices and teas as well as the fact they are made by hand by a small family company using high-quality raw ingredients.
    Spice Kitchen. Stand D45.


    The choice of products for retailers is overwhelming and therefore it’s essential for independent brands to be original, unique and have a story behind the product. Inspired by the countryside, Tatty Co. cards combine both original design with traditional technique to offer a beautiful, hand-made product that retailers can be proud to stock. People are often surprised that I use the very traditional craft technique of potato printing to create my designs and this offers a point of difference to other card brands.
    Tatty Co. Stand B36.

    View the full list of Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors here.

    Thursday April 20

  • How can collaboration with fellow producers help your business take off?

    Jenny Smith from Jenny's Jams shares her success story with us




    Jenny Smith is a trained chef and has been hand-making her award-winning fruit preserves for over 10 years. But it was when she got chatting with a neighbouring trader at the Brigg Market in Lincolnshire that the idea for her unique Dambusters Beer Chutney was born. She was invited to explore making a chutney using Bomber County Ale from Tom Wood’s Brewery.

    Challenge Accepted!

    Jenny soon set to work with her key ingredient whilst choosing to use a mix of locally sourced vegetables, along with dried apricots, in her own recipe.

    I thought carefully about the chutney and realised that so many recipes feature raisins and sultanas, so I set about creating something really different,” says Jenny.

    That first batch was given a firm thumbs up. Jenny went on to sell a bumper number of jars over Christmas and they’ve been flying off the shelves ever since

    “It goes extremely well with Cote Hill Yellow Belly cheese, with sausages (Lincolnshire, obviously), and with ham in a sandwich,” says Jenny.

    Dambusters Beer Chutney

    Did You Know?

    The name, ‘Bomber County Ale’, derives from Lincolnshire’s wartime history. By the end of World War Two, the county was home to as many as 45 airfields including that of Squadron 617, aka the Dambusters.

    So, the names, ‘Dambuster Beer Chutney’ and ‘Bomber County Ale’ are a reverent salute to the county’s aviation heritage.

    Jenny’s Jams can be found at Stand D40.


    Read more Farm Shop & Deli Show blogs here.

    Wednesday April 12

  • Innate Food Ltd. - the clever thinking behind some smart snacks

    Innate Food founders, Elsa Valentine and Tess Walker believe that food is a combination of art, science and maths. With a vision for putting health back into snack foods, they’ve developed a range of colourful snack squares that are not only good for you but taste good too.


    Air-dried Blends of Flavour

    Something akin to a clever cracker, there are three distinctive flavour combinations available in 28g packets:


    Butternut Squares   The Butternut Squash Squares boast a crunchy, air-dried blend of butternut squash, onion, pepper, coconut, almond, lemon, garlic and spices.
    Beetroot squares   The Beetroot Squares combine beetroot with onion, red pepper, coconut, almond, garlic with select herbs and spices.
    Spinach and coconut squares   The Spinach & Coconut Squares contain spinach, onion, pepper, coconut, lemon, garlic and an accent of nutmeg.


    Thoughtful Goodness

    A good deal of thought has gone into their snacks which are:

    o Nutritionally balanced
    o Full of slow release energy
    o Free from gluten
    o Free from grains
    o Free from soy
    o Free from dairy
    o Free from refined sugar.
    o Paleo friendly and vegan.


    Synergy on Horseback

    Elsa and Tess met on the idyllic South Island of New Zealand at a remote high country lodge. Elsa says, “We pretty soon discovered whilst horse riding in the mountains that we had a great affinity - sharing a mutual passion for adventure and a deep fascination with food, health and well-being. I moved back to the UK to embark on the Innate venture and then asked Tess if she'd be interested in moving over to work with me. We share a similar perspective upon relevant matters and knew we'd have tremendous fun working together.”


    Art, Science and Maths – all in one bite!

    “We believe food is conceived through imagination and then created by means of a harmonic marriage of art and maths, as per nature's pattern. We utilise the golden ratio (maths) and deeply consider the biological implications and nutritional properties of our products (science) in order to create edible art.”


    Making the Impossible Possible

    Innate Food’s logo features the mathematical Penrose tiling pattern, which represents, as Penrose himself put it: “impossibility in its purest form". Elsa says, “It is often considered a paradoxical notion for food to both serve your health and taste remarkable… We found it befitting.”

    Find them at Stand J60.


    Take a look at our other Farm Shop & Deli Show blogs here


    Wednesday April 12

  • Nowt Poncy® Sauces – Where Simple is Best

    Meet the Nowt Poncy® Managing Director, Julian Abel who has a passion for simple, no-nonsense, tasty cooking sauces. Farm Shop & Deli Show is his start-up company’s first major exhibition experience.

    Nowt Poncy

    NOWT noun, pronoun - the plural of which is still nowt
    British Dialect - meaning: Nothing

    PONCY adjective
    British dialect - meaning: Pretentious or affected.


    Where does your story start and how did you get into making sauces?

    I could not have started further from the sauces. I am a time-served mechanical engineer by trade and have spent the past 25 years in the photographic equipment repair industry. I love cooking and food (as my waistline will attest) and I just became really disappointed and disillusioned with the quality of sauce available. It’s highly processed, full of sugar or salt or preservatives and it just looks like baby food. I wanted something that was authentic in flavour and style, something that you would expect to be served in the homes of the Italians or Indians. I wanted to use the minimum of ingredients to achieve the best flavour and not use anything poncy, just great produce and a little time and love.

    A few years ago we gave some of our sauces away as Christmas presents and after some amazing feedback from family, friends and strangers I got fed up with the “you really need to sell this” comments and decided that if we didn’t do it now we never would and The Nowt Poncy Food Company was born.


    What was your first creation?

    The Tomato & Basil. It’s simple, and it’s a classic. Made from just six ingredients it’s got some fantastic nutritionals too AND it’s been certified as being gluten free so it’s suitable for coeliacs.


    What’s your personal favourite?

    You can’t ask that! I’m torn between the Tomato & Basil and the Curry. I love my curries but I don’t however like all the oil or the chilli powder that takeaways use. I do like a good hot curry but on the other hand I love the simplicity and pleasure of a spaghetti marinara or neopolitana. Do I really have to choose? Curry no Tomato & Basil no aaaarrrrgggghhh.


    If they don’t contain any preservatives, how long do your jars stay fresh?

    They are undergoing shelf life testing with a UKAS lab as we speak and we are up to 8 months minimum but we expect them to be in excess of 12 months once fully certified, which is fab given there are no preservatives (except some citric acid in the tomatoes to reduce the Ph). Once opened, they need to be refrigerated and used within 3 days.


    How do your sauces stand out from the crowd – especially in terms of the levels of sugar, salt and preservatives a lot of these jars have?

    The Tomato & Basil sauce has 38 Kcals/100g and the Curry Sauce 47 Kcal/100g. Friends who are trying to lose weight assure us that they are ideal for the most popular weight loss programs. What is verified is that they are legally low in fat, saturated fat and also sugar and salt. One of our testers is diabetic and she had no rise in blood sugars after eating them nor any adverse effects either.


    Where did you get the inspiration for your Curry Sauce? And does it have a similar taste to any Curry Sauce we might recognise?

    The Curry Sauce is nothing like you will get in a takeaway here, after all the majority of “Indian” take away food is either Bangladeshi or Pakistani in origin and the flavours are anglicised. Our Curry Sauce is from a traditional Northern Indian recipe and is one that would be found being eaten at home using, once again, ingredients that are easy to obtain.


    How hot is your Curry Sauce?

    Hmmm – that’s difficult to answer as each person’s idea of hot varies. We use fresh chillies and very little chilli powder (and the chilli powder is the cause of the very unpleasant side effects of hot takeaway curries) so you get the heat without the burn.

    Hot does not always mean flavourful. The Indians tend to reduce the heat but ensure the flavour is exceptional. Make it spicy and flavoursome and NOT blisteringly hot and inedible.

    The best thing to do is come over to stand C50, and try it for yourself!


    Take a look at our other Farm Shop & Deli Blogs here



    Tuesday April 11

  • FareShare blog: Fighting hunger and food waste

    We’ve teamed up with food charity FareShare, to ensure that any surplus food left over from our show is used to feed people in need…

    FS logo small applications RGB



    Turning an environmental problem into a social solution

    The Farm Shop & Deli Show have teamed up with FareShare, the UK’s leading food redistribution charity, to ensure that any surplus food left over from the show is used to feed people in need.

    FS Nick


    What does FareShare do?

    FareShare fights hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities and community groups that support vulnerable people.

    They reach 1,100 towns and cities, providing food for almost 26 million meals a year and supporting nearly half a million people every week. By ensuring good food is not wasted they turn an environmental problem into a social solution.

    FS Vicki Nick snd Marissa by Van     FS Vicki and chef

    The 5,500 charities that receive food through FareShare provide a lifeline to vulnerable people, including homeless hostels, children’s breakfast clubs and lunch clubs for older people. By receiving food through FareShare, these organisations are better able to provide nutritious meals alongside life-changing support.


    How does surplus food occur?

    FareShare works in partnership with food and drink businesses to help them identify where surpluses occur in their operation and to put processes in place to redistribute those surpluses as early as possible to feed people in need.

    No matter how efficient, when operating at scale it is inevitable that every food business will find themselves with food that they cannot sell at some point, for a whole host of reasons such as changes to customer orders, incorrect forecasting, short shelf life of products, unseasonable weather, damaged packaging or mislabelling. When these situations arise, FareShare is here to help.


    The benefits for charities

    The food provided by FareShare helps frontline charities cook nutritious meals for the vulnerable people they support. But there’s more to it than that. Receiving food and drinks from FareShare means the charities can use their budget for other essential things like providing support services, accommodation or facilities to help people back on their feet.

        FS Volunteers


    How exhibitors at the Farm Shop & Deli Show can help

    Exhibiters can help in two ways:

    Firstly, FareShare is working with William Reed to offer a food collection service at the end of Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show & The Forecourt Show 2017. The food will be collected by FareShare West Midlands who will redistribute it to the 150 local charities they support, so it can benefit people in need rather than go to waste. So if you have food left over at the end of the show that’s still fit to eat, then please bring it to the Lowe Refrigeration Area in Hall 20 so that it can be collected and redistributed by FareShare.

    Secondly, does your business have food that can’t be sold as originally intended at your production or manufacturing sites? If so, please get in touch with the FareShare Food team who can work with you to find the most cost and time effective solution for dealing with your unsold food. You might be surprised how simple it can be to turn your surplus food into something positive that can provide a lifeline for people in need. Please email:

    If you’d like to find out more about FareShare, visit their website

    Tuesday April 11

  • Social Media Marketing - not just for Millennials

    By Karen Fewell, Founder of Digital Blonde

    Karen Fewell Cropped


    Though it can be said that technology and social media brings us all closer together, when it comes to marketing your business, it can leave you with a divided audience. Making sure your marketing is engaging for all seems more of a challenge than ever before. How do you successfully connect with both Generation Z, who’ve never known life without Smartphones, and Generation X, who’ve had to catch up with the digital era? And how should you go about meeting the expectations of millennials, who are health and sustainability conscious but demand speed and convenience? I’ll be looking to address these questions and more in my session at The Farm Shop & Deli Show on Wednesday 26th April 12:00pm - 12:45pm.

    Considering consumer behaviour

    Though we all have different relationships with digital and traditional media, there are certain things we all have in common as human beings and this is a good place to start when thinking about marketing. Human behaviour and an understanding of how our brains work should be at the heart of any marketing initiative, whether you’re using digital or traditional media. For example, did you know that 95% of all human decisions are subconsciously made? This means that almost all of our decisions are not the logical, rational choices we often assume they are. We’re making quick decisions emotionally and then rationalising them afterwards.

    Food for thought

    This statistic almost certainly applies to our food purchasing and consumption decisions. In fact, we make on average around 200 decisions about food each day, the majority of which are subconscious. This is true whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer. So there really is a clear need to reach your customers on an emotional level. Whatever their age, if you don’t make an emotional connection, you’ll struggle to get past the unconscious decision making process that happens in your customers’ brains.

    Generational appeal

    At The Farm Shop & Deli Show I’ll be exploring the different ways that social media can help you reach consumers of all ages on an emotional level. There will be the latest research and insights from the worlds of psychology, neuroscience and marketing, along with guidance on how these can be applied to your business. Plus, I’ll be giving my guide to the generations. This is where we’ll look beyond the much talked about millennials and discuss some of the typical traits of each age group and how they engage with media.

    I hope to see you at The Farm Shop & Deli Show on Wednesday 26th April 12:00pm - 12:45pm for what promises to be a lively and informative discussion, packed with practical advice to help broaden your customer base.

    Take a look at the full list of live events here an, if you have not yet done so, REGISTER FOR FREE today.


    Wednesday March 29

  • POPS - Ice lollies for grown-ups

    What would make a summer’s day complete for you? An ice lolly? A cool glass of rosé wine? How about both? A frozen rosé ice lolly: a Frosé.

    Bringing a sparkle of sophistication to summer this year are two old school friends who have mastered the art of the grown-up ice lolly. James Rae and Harry Clarke will be exhibiting their refreshing approach to the traditional popsicle at Farm Shop & Deli Show and they’re inviting you to pop by their stand for a taste of cool refinement.

    James Rae and Harry Clarke



    The company, POPS, was founded in 2014 after James and Harry hit upon the idea to blend the nostalgia of a popsicle with the luxury of champagne. As a result, the world’s first champagne ice popsicle was born.


    Did You Know?
    Miley Cyrus was the first ever person to try their champagne classic popsicle.


    James and Harry say, “As our brand grew, so did our product range and we now offer a range of alcohol and alcohol-free popsicles ensuring there is a POPS suitable for every member of the family to enjoy!



    Their latest creation combines rosé wine and raspberries and, in its pink pinstripe push-up tube, the Frosé looks set to take the summer by storm. James says, “We use our POPScycle bikes as mobile units for events and festivals like Glastonbury. Keep an eye out for one near you this summer! You can even find us throughout Ibiza, where we have a summer office.”


    POPScycle      Poparazzi



    Classic Champagne
    Half a glass of Champagne 
    38 calories 
    4.3% ABV

    Bellini – The Bestseller
    Half a glass of prosecco, peach schnapps, blood orange juice and hibiscus flowers
    56 calories
    3.8% ABV

    Frosé – New
    Rosé wine and raspberry
    30 calories
    4.3% ABV

    Strawberry and Mint
    Made with real fruit
    33 Calories

    Apple and Elderflower
    Made with real fruit
    42 Calories

    And look out for two new flavours coming soon: Watermelon Martini and Chilly Mango.

    Please do slurp responsibly.



    As they are arguably the most decadent of ice lollies on the market, it comes as no surprise that POPS have been served in a number of high-profile locations from the staterooms at St James’s Palace to the pit lanes during the Monaco Grand Prix. They have also attracted a lot of attention from stars and celebrities like Andy Murray, Bella Hadid, The Chainsmokers, Kate Moss, Jonathan Ross, Gordon Ramsay and Alan Carr who have all tried and enjoyed.

    Andy Murray      Gordon Ramsay


    Talk to the POPS team about stocking their products in your own fine establishment at stand K109.



    Wednesday March 29

  • Awards blog: Meet The Courtyard Dairy winner of two Farm Shop & Deli awards 2016

    Catch up with Cheesemonger and North West 2016 winner, The Courtyard Dairy

    After winning the double at the Farm Shop and Deli Show we caught up with Cheesemonger of the Year and North West region winner, Andy Swinscoe, to find out why he decided to enter these awards.


    Andrew Swinscoe from The Courtard Dairy collecting both Cheesemonger of the Year and North West regional awards


    What is so special about the Farm Shop & Deli industry?

    It’s a great industry to be in. The products we work with are fantastic – not only tasting amazing, but the people who make them also have an identity too. For that reason, they are great to work with and build a relationship with. It’s nice to sell stuff that tastes good but you also have personal connection to as well.


    How did you feel when you found out you had won the award?

    Absolutely fantastic – winning the award was a brilliant achievement. I was really proud that we’d be recognised for our contribution towards great cheese and supporting small-scale unpasteurised cheesemaking!


    Why did you decide to enter these awards?

    We felt that everything we were doing was right. We were championing proper farm-made cheese, getting behind small-scale suppliers and helping them develop new and exciting cheeses, giving great service. So we were really happy with the business and what we were achieving and that meant we felt we could go for it. It also helped that lots of our peers and suppliers told us to enter this year.


    How has winning helped your business?

    All our regulars were extremely happy for us and it got us a lot of press locally which has increased visitor numbers. It also gives us and the staff more confidence in that what we are doing is right!


    What advice would you give to those considering entering?

    Go for it! The key is to get across what makes your place so special and different – thankfully the judges saw this in us.


    Read other Awards blogs and press releases.

    Thursday August 04

  • Awards blog: Meet Billingtons Scotland Farm Shop & Deli regional winner 2016

    Business is booming for Billingtons following Farm Shop & Deli Awards win

    Mark and Sue Billlington of Billingtons of Lenzie were absolutely delighted to win the Scotland Retailer of the Year Award at the Farm Shop and Deli Show. We wanted to know how business has been since their win and chatted to them about the experience.


    Mark Billington, Billingtons of Lenzie, collecting the Farm Shop & Deli regional winner - Scotland award


    What is so special about the Farm Shop & Deli industry?

    The Farm Shop & Deli industry brings another dimension to everyday supermarket products, you'll find an array of artisan and small independent producers. Many items never see the supermarket shelves.


    How did you feel when you found out you had won the award?

    We were overjoyed, our team work tirelessly to ensure we offer the best in Deli produce, and give so much to our customers. It was such an achievement and a great morale boaster for all the team to win.


    Why did you decide to enter these awards?

    We have followed the awards for a few years and thought we stood as good a chance as any to be shortlisted.


    How has winning helped your business?

    We had lots of media and social media coverage on winning the award, it's given our Deli a better profile and we have witnessed an upturn in sales on the back of the award.


    What advice would you give to those considering entering in 2017?

    The only advice we would give is that anyone entering, has as much chance of winning as anyone else and you have nothing to lose but loads to gain.


    If you’d like to have a chance of winning the 2017 Farm Shop & Deli Awards there’s still time to enter.  



    Read other Awards blogs and press releases.

    Thursday August 04

  • Awards blog: Meet The Hungry Guest 'Deli of the Year' 2016

    What does it mean to win the Farm Shop & Deli Awards ‘Deli of the Year’?


    With the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2017 entry being open we caught up with Thea Grace Midgley from The Hungry Guest which has won the Best Deli Award at the Farm Shop and Deli Awards for two years running.


    Brett Coleman from The Hungry Guest, collecting 'Delicatessen of the Year' 2016 award


    What is so special about the Farm Shop and Deli industry?

    The independent food industry within the UK has come so far over the last five years and it's absolutely fantastic that the British public has embraced this. Having a local farm shop or deli is a special thing, being able to not only support local producers and suppliers, but also finding those extra special products without needing to visit a large city is great.


    How did you feel when you found out you had won the award? 

    To be honest I was speechless, having won the same award two years in succession is very special. Having a fantastic passionate team behind you is a real springboard into creating something special within ordinary walls, and I thank them for that! 


    Why did you decide to enter these awards?

    Winning awards doesn't have to be a dream, my staff work tirelessly throughout the year so for us to put ourselves forward we really believe in what we do, how we do it and the impact it has creates a real sense of achievement for them. 


    How has winning helped your business?

    Immensely. Having won the Best Deli for the last two years it has brought so much more custom within the shop. Customers have visited purely having seen that we are winners, and our regulars are just thrilled and feel very lucky to have us on their doorstep.

    It's also given us many other opportunities with suppliers and our relationships with them enabling us to bring things into the shop that are just that little bit extra special.


    What advice would you give to those considering entering in 2017?

    Go for it. If you believe in what you do then you have no doubt worked very hard to get there. Being shortlisted is very special, winning is even better. Good luck!





    Read other Awards blogs and press releases.

    Thursday August 04

  • Richard Fox blog: Feel the love - musings from The Farm Shop & Deli Show 2016

    Richard Fox: Feel the love - musings from The Farm Shop & Deli Show 2016

    Richard Fox, food & beer expert, writer, broadcaster and one of the hosts at Farm Shop & Deli show Live, writes for Speciality Food

    When it comes to looking for inspiration, motivation and the general 'feel-the-love' camaraderie of folk with a common passion, the faceless impersonality of a sprawling exhibition centre may not strike you as your go-to destination. However, over three days in April, I found just that in the fresh-airless halls of the NEC for the 2016 Farm Shop and Deli Show. Rarely do I celebrate the concept of 'I can't believe a year has gone by', but as I greet vaguely familiar faces like old friends, embrace colleagues turned buddies, and start salivating at the prospect of sampling hitherto unknown treats, I feel a surge of excited anticipation of what lies ahead.

    As a neutral at this show - I'm not here to sell, buy, or am even required to explore the aisles, over and above my daily return schlep to and from the feature to which I'm assigned to compere and present - I always enjoy the prospect of observing the assembled masses: their wares, idiosyncrasies and general to-ings and fro-ings. But like any old timer in the events presenting business, my musings can often be tainted by more than a soupçon of scepticism. It is therefore both liberating and refreshing, that I find myself shedding the shackles of cynicism like the professional illusionist vanishes his chosen subject with a magical flourish.

    I bound from stand to stand like an exuberant Labrador pup, enthusing and lapping up the fresh, innovative and tasty offerings being aired, often for the first time, to potential distributors, retailers and manufacturers - all in search of the next reggae reggae sauce story, do-it-yourself charcuterie, or impossible taste sensation. But there feels something more to this show for me, over and above being a working foodie in the midst of a gourmet extravaganza; something more intangible, earthy and honest than the familiar trade show routine of business-to-business commerce. For a start, I'm struck by the number of people who have radically changed their lives - at no small risk - simply because of a personal passion for flavour: accountants-turned-meat curers; brokers swapping the square mile for the hectare; students creating a business from a passion for all things chilli. Even the battle-hardened marketeers and distributors seem to soften and melt in the face of entrepreneurialism fuelled simply by the labour of love.

    Maybe there's an element of rose-tinted specs at play here from a man with nothing to lose; a little over-romanticising based on my rather extreme love of anything that touches on the theme of real food. But the point is, that's what this show makes me feel. And without a word of a lie, I'm writing this on my long journey home to begin, what I hope will be, a much longer and more exciting journey to launch my very own little craft food business. Who would have thought a few days at a trade fair could inspire an old timer like me? Certainly not me. See you next year.

    Wednesday May 04

  • Charlie Turnbull Blog: Diversifying with digital

    Charlie Turnbull shares his thoughts on diversifying with digital


    If you ever thought that online retail was just for the ‘big boys’ then think again as at the Farm Shop & Deli Show on 20th April Charlie Turnbull will explain your digital options. In this session, he’ll show you a wide range of online opportunities which can help you keep up with your customers and turn clicks into new revenue.

    Here’s five little insights from Charlie which he will talk more about in his session:

    1. Everyone talks about how businesses need to be online and make it sound so straightforward but there’s more to think about than the technology. You need to consider how online sales will impact your customer service and whether you can meet demands in terms of safe and quick distribution. Websites these days are much more expensive, especially one that needs to be able to take payments and have ordering functionality as well as sync with your back office systems. There’s more to it than putting up product descriptions, photos and a shopping cart and I’ll be sharing more insight on this in my talk.

    2. With so many farm shops and delis in the UK, not all of them are going to be successful nationally so think about your local customers and how you can provide a more convenient way of them purchasing your products.

    3. Ensure your websites are user-friendly, responsive for hand-held devices, practical and kept up-to-date. I see so many websites where someone has spent a great deal of time and money in setting up a website and then it’s left abandoned and isn’t updated. This can be so frustrating for your customers if they are trying to find information.

    4. Think about the age of your customer. If the majority of your customers are aged between 45 and 60 then many of them will be on Facebook, but not all of them will use Twitter. Concentrate your digital marketing effort on where your customers have the opportunity to see your content. Instagram and Pinterest are great for showcasing products, as they are all about images, and farm shops have some amazing photography to share.

    5. Finally, remember you are retailers, and everything you are doing needs to be about selling products. Don’t get bogged down with the technology. As retailers you know what it takes to sell your products and this is what you must be focusing on throughout your marketing activity. Drive football through your website in the same way as you would through the front door of your shop.

    You can find out more from diversifying with digital by registering to attend the Farm Shop & Deli show on Wednesday 20th April. Charlie is also talking about cutting edge charcuterie on the same day which will be a fascinating talk around how you assemble an eye-catching charcuterie counter that has customers hungry for more.

    Monday April 18

  • Rachel Green blog: Game on Masterclass

    Getting game right in-store can boost margins and transform good value cuts into delicious seasonal dishes. Passionate British food expert Rachel Green (who hails from a farming family going back 14 generations) shows you how to get your game on and make this often under estimated homegrown meat part of your menu.

    Being a Lincolnshire girl born and bred, I adore the countryside, and I love love love cooking game. The first partridge and pheasant of the season always inspire me to create some delicious new recipes. Wild mushrooms are another passion of mine, and I enjoy foraging for them in the woods and then cooking them simply with butter, garlic and parsley.

    I will be cooking with Venison sausages at the Farm Shop and Deli Show; they are a low fat, healthy meat, and a delicious, gamey tasting sausage, often flavoured with juniper and red wine. The venison is often mixed with pork fat to ensure the sausages are not too dry. Well suited to casseroling and braising.

    Of course, I am justifiably proud of our sausages, which are one of the things that Lincolnshire is famous for. In fact, I am regularly involved in judging sausages at County Shows, something that I always look forward to. Competition is fierce, the recipes a closely guarded secret, and there is always much deliberation amongst the judges!

    Another great sausage is Wild Boar, a hearty sausage, stronger in flavour and darker in colour than an ordinary pork sausage. Often flavoured with apples, garlic and red wine.

    I am excited to showcase a variety of game recipes at the forthcoming Farm Shop and Deli Show at 10.45 Wednesday 20th April, and have included a little taster recipe below of my Venison Sausages with Roasted Garlic Mash for you to try.

    Venison Sausages with Roasted Garlic Mash

    Serves 4


    2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    8 venison sausages
    1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    8 juniper berries
    1 tbsp plain flour
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    200ml red wine
    300ml chicken / game stock
    1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
    1 bay leaf
    ½ tbsp thyme leaves

    For the roasted garlic mash
    1 head garlic
    4 tbsp rapeseed oil
    1kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
    Sea salt and black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4



    First prepare the garlic for the mash. Cut the head of garlic in half horizontally and place both halves, cut side up, on a sheet of tin foil. Drizzle with half of the rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Loosely wrap the foil over the top of the garlic to make a parcel and twist the edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until the garlic is completely soft and lightly caramelised.

    For the sausages, heat the rapeseed oil in a casserole dish or heavy based saucepan and brown the sausages well on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the juniper berries and flour and cook for a further 2 minutes. Blend in the balsamic vinegar, red wine and stock, stirring all the time, until you have a smooth, thickened sauce. Add the redcurrant jelly and herbs and return the sausages to the pan. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.

    For the mash, place the potatoes in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender; drain very well and purée through a ricer for a very smooth texture. If you do not have a ricer, just ensure that you mash the potatoes as smoothly as possible, season well with sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves. Add the remaining oil and beat in well. Serve with the sausages and sauce.

    Friday April 15

  • Will Torrent blog: An insight into the delicious and tempting world of chocolate

    An insight into the delicious and tempting world of chocolate with Will Torrent

    Who doesn’t love chocolate? The sight, the smell and the taste is simply exquisite and that’s one of the reasons we can’t wait for Tuesday 19th April. The fantastic Will Torrent will be hitting the speciality chocolate sweet spot with his fascinating demo.

    As an award-winning chef who has worked with everyone from Heston to Jamie, international Ambassador for global chocolate brand Cacao Barry and author of 3 books including Chocolate at home and Afternoon tea at home, Will Torrent knows how to work a chocolate dessert. Here he’ll explain practical ways to meet the public’s growing appetite for speciality chocolate, share advice on display and dairy-free options and prepare some mouth-watering creations live on stage.

    Ahead of his talk we are delighted that Will has given us a little info from his book which he’ll be selling and signing straight after his talk. You can catch Will on stage at 1.45pm at the Farm Shop & Deli Live.

    Registration for the Farm Shop & Deli, and its co-located shows, is FREE. If you have not yet done so, please REGISTER HERE.


    Melting and Tempering stages from Chocolate at Home

    Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent (RPS, £19.99) Photography by Jonathan Gregson




    Melting is a really important process in the making of chocolates. If melting chocolate to temper with then it is often best to melt it in the microwave on a low heat, although you must take great are when doing so as it can easily burn and spoil. Some people melt chocolate in a bain-marie by setting a heatproof bowl over a saucepan or pot of simmering water. This is fine when you’re making brownies and have butter in with the chocolate, but when melting chocolate for tempering, a bain-marie is not a good idea. If water splashes into the melting chocolate it will seize up, and it can also be affected by the steam. So, for me, always melt in the microwave. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave in bursts of 30 seconds. Chocolate burns very easily so make sure you clean the sides of the bowl down after each burst of heat.

    Before tempering, make sure the chocolate is all melted and that you don’t have any lumps left in.













     You may have heard this term banded around by chefs and chocolatiers and not have a clue what it means.  Without going into the science of re-crystallizing the crystals in the cocoa butter, it’s basically the way the  chocolate becomes shiny and glossy, and hardens with a crisp snap, not soft or bloomed. ‘Blooming’ is when the  cocoa butter re-crystallizes on the surface of the chocolate often leaving a white residue.

     These steps are for tempering dark/bittersweet chocolate. For milk/semisweet or white, the technique is exactly  the same but the temperatures are slightly different. My preferred method of tempering is to use a marble slab,  palette knife, scraper and an electric probe. It’s important to say at this point to either use chocolate in button or  callet form (see Resources page 174), or from a bar, chopped up finely – this will help melt the chocolate easier.

     Tempering on the marble is the method I have used since I began working with chocolate and is my preferred  method. However, there are other methods that are simpler and easy to master so try the one that appeals to  you most.


    The ‘marble’ technique


    Melt the chocolate pieces, buttons (callets) to 45°C (110°F) for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat.



    Pour out two thirds of the chocolate onto the clean, marble slab – it must be completely dry as any moisture on the marble will cause the chocolate to seize up.



    Begin to spread the chocolate thinly across the marble using a palette knife. This applies a shearing force to the chocolate, which along with temperature, is also critical to the tempering process.



    Bring the spread chocolate back together using a scraper, keep it moving and continue to shear and cool the chocolat



    Continue to do so until the chocolate starts to thicken – you will see peaks form when the chocolate is dropped from the spatula. The cocoa butter within the chocolate is beginning to crystallize and the cooled mass should be 25°C (50°F).



    Working quickly, place the thickened, crystallized chocolate into the remaining chocolate in the bowl and stir thoroughly until the chocolate is smooth again, taking care to stir out any lumps.


    For dark/bittersweet chocolate, it should now be 32°C (90°F) and will be perfectly tempered. Milk/semisweet chocolate should be 29°C (85°F) and white should be 30°C (86°F).

    To make sure the chocolate is well tempered (and it’s always best to make sure), dip a little bit of torn baking parchment into the chocolate and place on your work surface to set a little. It should set hard within a few minutes at an ambient temperature.

    The chocolate is now ready to use for moulding, dipping and decorating. Remember to work quickly and confidently with it to avoid further re-crystallization at room temperature.

    The ‘seeding’ technique

    (or adding more chocolate)

    This is a good way to start your journey of mastering the art of tempering chocolate. Weigh out the total amount of chocolate you need for the recipe, then remove one third of it and set aside. Melt the remaining two thirds of chocolate for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat to 45°C (110°F). Then stir through the third you have reserved. Because the unmelted chocolate is already tempered, by adding it to the melted chocolate 45°C (110°F), you are stirring in the crystallized cocoa butter that you need to complete the tempering process.

    Continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted. Check the temperature of the chocolate. For dark/bittersweet chocolate, it should now be 32°C (90°F) and will be perfectly tempered. Milk/semisweet chocolate should be 29°C (85°F) and white should be 30°C (86°F).


    Tempering in the microwave

    For small batches of chocolate, tempering in the microwave is best as it’s so quick and doesn’t make as much mess. Just like how we melted the chocolate for the marble technique, warm the chocolate for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat, stirring between bursts.

    It is important not to heat the chocolate too quickly as you want to crystallize the cocoa butter slowly, so reduce your microwave power to its lowest heat setting.

    Once the chocolate is three quarters melted, stop heating. Stir the chocolate instead until all the remaining lumps have melted. Just like the marble method be sure to check the chocolate is tempered by dipping a little bit of torn baking parchment into the chocolate and place on your work surface to set a little. It should set within a few minutes.

    The chocolate is now ready to use. Remember to work quickly and confidently with it.


    Thursday April 14

  • Charlotte White blog: Deliciously decorated cakes

    Deliciously decorated cakes with Charlotte White



    Visitors to the Farm Shop & Deli Show on Tuesday 19th April are in for a treat when they will have the opportunity to learn how to make-over frumpy everyday cakes into seductive treats that are as delicious as they are glamorous. This session, taking place at 11.30, will be hosted by the fantastic Charlotte White, author of Burlesque Baking.

    Charlotte White is the creative mind and busy hands behind Restoration Cake. Since its beginning in 2009, Restoration Cake has built a reputation for bespoke Wedding and Celebration cakes with a flair for the dramatic. Ahead of next week’s Farm Shop & Deli Show session you can find out more about Charlotte and her glamorous career.

    Where it all began

    Charlotte’s passion for cake design started in her Nana’s kitchen and her love of opulent design has grown from a love of history and the arts. Charlotte now works with each of her clients to create stunning, edible, works of art that taste every bit as good as they look.


    Baking for the famous

    Previous clients have included Dame Vera Lynn, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, and The Old Vic Theatre. Charlotte has also been commissioned on a number of occasions by ITV, creating cakes for personalities such as Ben Shephard and Richard Arnold as well as a stunning tiered cake for the very last final of Dancing on Ice.

    Several of Charlotte’s cakes have been featured in the press but none more so than the three-tiered Star Trek Borg Cube Cake, created for the UK’s first Klingon Wedding.
    Charlotte has written two cake decorating books, the most recent of which Deliciously Decorated being published by Ryland Peters & Small in February 2015. Charlotte’s previous title Burlesque Baking was published in February 2014 by the same publisher. Both books seek to return glamour to the kitchen, one cake at a time.


    Talking on TV

    Charlotte appeared on ITV’s Lorraine in April 2015, alongside Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, in the popular segment ‘Let Them Tweet Cake’. The feature comprised live studio appearances and recorded masterclasses. Charlotte has also appeared as an expert on The Great British Bake Off.


    Up close and personal

    Charlotte regularly sells out her classroom demonstrations at The Cake & Bake Show and also performed in The Cake & Bake Super Theatre in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester in 2015. Keen bakers and cake decorators have also been able to watch Charlotte’s Burlesque Baking roadshow in the Kenwood Kitchen Theatre at The Goodwood Revival , The Ideal Home Show Xmas (Manchester) and at The Foodies Xmas Festival in London.

    Looking forward to getting back ‘on the road’ in 2016, Charlotte kicks off her year by hosting the main Chef’s Theatre at The Foodies Festival in Brighton over the May Day Bank Holiday.

    Charlotte regularly appears as a guest on BBC 3 Counties Radio’s Weekend Kitchen show – the recipe sheets in which her cakes appear are the most requested at the station. Taking pride in her ‘face for radio’ Charlotte has also appeared on BBC Radio London with Gaby Roslin several times and is a favourite on the vintage radio scene.

    Charlotte’s approach to Cake Decorating, sweet baking, and the teaching of sugarcraft, is completely new. Whilst inspiration may come from vintage fashion and Baroque art, the approach to teaching is all rock’n’roll. Charlotte is passionate about her craft and her mission is to demystify the art of Cake Decorating for a new generation.


    What is Charlotte's favourite recipe?

    Glamorous Ganache Cake - Chocolate Mud Cake. Sometimes, I get asked what my favourite cake is to bake; it’s this one. Hands down. No question about it. You’ll thank me for this one when your kitchen is filled with the heady scent of chocolate and you taste this beauty.

    Charlotte has been kind enough to share her recipe with us for Glamorous Ganache Cake - Chocolate Mud Cake, just one of 40 delectable recipes for show-stopping cakes, cupcakes and cookies from her 'Deliciously Decorated' cook book.


    40 delectable recipes for show-stopping cakes, cupcakes and cookies

    Wednesday April 13

  • Richard Fox blog: It's all about the Hops and Glory

    It’s all about the Hops and Glory


    We’re looking forward to hearing from author, chef and broadcaster, Richard Fox when he takes to the stage at the Farm Shop & Deli Show next week. You can catch Richard’s session on Monday 18th April at the NEC Birmingham. If you haven’t already registered this is the link you need to get your badge Ahead of his talk next week, Richard shares some insight into what he’ll be talking about at the show in this blog.

    Richard will be joined on stage by Heather Copley, from award winning farm shop and deli: Farmer Copleys to explore how the current trend can be embraced and capitalized upon in the farm shop retail sector. The duo will keep things literally flowing with a tasting of craft beers and generic food items to match. It’s one not to be missed.

    Remember when beer on the dinner party shopping list was the token four-pack to satisfy the questionable thirst of an elderly relative or the dubious habit of a wayward cousin? How times change. Now, a selection of ale in your shopping is more likely to reveal you as progressive and cultured; metro-sexual and enlightened, or just downright cool rather than the philistine lager lout of old. So what happened to make us pause over the Pinot, and how should we be cashing in on this remarkable phenomenon?

    It’s actually makes perfect sense. We’ve become taste driven in our search for good old fashioned flavour from our produce – and we want a good story behind it. Hence the burgeoning farm shop and deli industry. Well naturally, it’s not going to take long to start applying the same values to what we pour into our glasses. And make no mistake; this is great news for the artisan retailer. This sea change in consumer habit is all about craft beer revolution. In the last few years we've gone hopping mad for top tasting ale - and lager. Once considered ale's uncouth relation, lager has had a major makeover. The very term - larger- means 'to store' in German, and it's that conditioning time that gives it flavour.

    For the big multinational Brewers, time is money and so the lagering time is reduced at the expense of flavour. The good news is, the new craft brewers on the block, don't give two hoots about industrial processes. They just want everyone to enjoy good old fashioned flavour.

    So, if your local Pilsner style lager can offer a bittering counterbalance to the sweet caramelisation of your perfect your perfectly seared steak, then in the words of another culinary revolutionary, 'happy days'. Or maybe you'd prefer that double drop stout with the dark chocolatey notes to set off the snap of burnt sugar over your brûlée. The point is, get tasting, write tasting notes and start getting your customers drooling over the idea of matching your local, artisan produce with beers that embrace the same values, and everyone's a winner.

    Monday April 11

  • Karen Fewell blog: Emotional decision making

    Karen Fewell shares her insights to 'Emotional decision making and how it affects your business on and offline'.

    At Farm Shop & Deli Live on Tuesday 19 April we'll be welcoming Karen Fewell, owner of agency @DigitalBlonde and the Food Marketing School, for her ‘Social Media and the Psychology of Food Marketing’ session.

    Ahead of the show, Karen has kindly shared below some of her insights and tips on this topic with us:

    95% of all human decisions are subconsciously made – that’s a recent statistic from this Year’s South By South West conference. This means that almost all of our decisions are not the logical, rational choices we often assume they are. We’re making quick decisions emotionally and then rationalising them afterwards. This statistic almost certainly applies to our food purchasing and consumption decisions. In fact, we make on average around 200 decisions about food each day, the majority of which are subconscious.

    Making an emotional connection

    What does all of this mean for food producers and retailers? It shows us that there’s a clear need to reach customers on an emotional level. Without making this emotional connection you’ll struggle to get past the unconscious decision making process that happens in the brain. Of course, there is a lot that goes into making this kind of connection. In store and in person it could be friendly customer service, appealing displays or stories about where produce comes from. These all help give your customers a positive emotional experience – but how do you achieve this online, when you’re not face to face with customers? This is where social media can be a great tool, helping you to establish a connection with consumers and differentiate you from competitors.

    It’s never been so easy or so challenging

    You could argue it’s never been easier to reach consumers thanks to social media, mobile phones, apps and the multiple methods of communication they offer. However, I would argue that it’s equally true to say that it has never been harder to reach people either. The reality online is that there are a lot of food businesses vying for consumers’ attention and you face a lot of competition if you want your content to even be seen. That’s where genuine engagement and making an emotional connection will help you. By focusing your social efforts on growing a community, rather than trying to achieve short term sales success, you’ll be building real long term relationships.

    Social Media and the Psychology of Food Marketing

    My talk at the Farm Shop & Deli show, entitled ‘Social Media and the Psychology of Food Marketing’ will explore the different ways that social media can help you reach consumers emotionally. I’ll be sharing research and insights into the consumers’ emotional connections to food and how these can be applied to social media and marketing. There will be more thought provoking statistics from the world of psychology and marketing too. For example, did you know it’s possible to love a brand more than your loved ones? It’s surprising but science has found this to be true. Love for food brands and what goes into this is another discussion point for my talk.

    The session promises to be a lively, inspiration-packed occasion with ideas and learnings for a range of food businesses to take away. I hope to see you all at ‘Social Media and the Psychology of Food Marketing’ on Tuesday 19th April, at 3.15pm at the Farm Shop & Deli Show.

    Friday April 08

  • Eve Reid blog: Sales at first sight

    Sales at first sight.

    We are really looking forward to hearing from Eve Reid from the Metamorphis Group speaking about ‘Sales at first sight’ at the Farm Shop & Deli Show on Monday 18th April 2016.

    Ahead of the show we’ve been chatting to Eve to get some insight into what she will be talking about and sharing just some of the advice she will explain more on at the event.

    Select your product

    The most effective way to market your business is to sell more to existing customers as gaining new customers can take much more time and effort. However, to continue to sell to existing customers you need to give them a reason to come back and you need to keep them on their toes and get them feeling excited about what you have to offer. Your windows and shop floor are there to help you to push different products throughout the year. The important thing is that you give yourself time to think about what products you want to push, when you want to push them and where to place them.

    Find inspiration

    It’s not just about one great window or display. It’s about keeping the momentum going and creating fabulous windows each and every time! To create fantastic displays and keep your windows looking fresh takes creativity and innovation.

    Sometimes the ideas will just come, but others times you will need to actively seek inspiration. This means stepping outside and taking a look around!

    Choose a theme

    Your window and internal displays will benefit from a theme and this will help to focus your customer’s attention on the products.

    It is crucial that the story or theme speaks to your customers, tapping into their thoughts and desires in order to create an emotional connection to the product.

    The primary source of thematic inspiration for the theme should start with the product itself, taking its cue from the style, purpose, provenance, quality or benefits of the products and drawing upon the visual language of the products themselves.

    Pick a colour palette

    When it comes to selecting what colours and colour techniques you want to use there are two things to consider:

    • The time of year; different colours can be used at different times of the year to project seasonality, to reflect current trends or to create different moods.
    • The theme; certain colours associated with your theme and/or products.

    Develop a strong message

    Word and graphic images can also be used as part of your display to strengthen the visual impact and clarifying the offer or theme. Don’t shy away from using words and messages within your displays even though the message is sometimes one of the most challenging things to get right!

    The purpose of your message can be one of five things:

    • To Inform - to identify sale products or highlight new items
    • To Sell - to points out the benefits and tell customers the price
    • To Educate - to explain the feature and benefits and/or teach how a product can be used
    • To Entertain - to amuse and build rapport with the customers by making them smile, laugh, think or all three!
    • To Emotionalise - to forge an emotional connection with the customer, pull at the customers’ heart strings by tapping into nostalgia, hopefulness, optimism, and/or using evocative images or concepts to trigger an emotional response

    When thinking of a message you need to:
    • Keep it simple with just a few words
    • Make it relevant
    • Show your personality (don’t be afraid to use humour... people love to laugh!)
    • Talk your user’s language
    • Pick an appropriate font style and colour

    Remember retail is detail

    When implementing your windows or displays you must remember that ‘Retail is Detail’. This is the customers first impression of you and can make or break their desire to visit. Think about every detail, pricing, lighting and check it every day! Keep it clean and make sure all products in it are in stock.

    Thursday April 07