I was absolutely thrilled when, on Monday, I received an email congratulating me on becoming a finalist in the Muddy Stilletos award for best Norfolk Food & Drink producer. This news followed a fantastic day on Sunday at the Big Norfolk Sausage Bash in Aylsham. The sun shone, we had loads of fun and sold out of our pots. Don’t be fooled; not every day is so filled with joy. The life of a small scale food producer is fraught with disappointment, burns, endless washing up and not to mention the chilblains from standing outside at events in freezing cold, driving rain and wind. Then there’s the occasions when you spend all week cooking your fresh products to discover that your only event of the week has been cancelled due to bad weather. I persevere with grit and determination all because I’m on a mission to spread the bace love!
I never imagined how hard it would be to get a product launched and then actually sell it. I’ve made it even harder for myself by launching something that is totally unique. Maybe I’m crazy! The hours I spend explaining the merits of my versatile products. It’s a challenging marketplace, healthy eating isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people screw their face up when you mention peas and beans. Fortunately others are open to a new way of eating and embrace the idea that plant-based protein could help the future of our planet. I do feel like the tide of change is coming. Peas, beans and lentils are a sustainable option. They use little of the planet’s resources and are a great source of protein, fibre and nutrients.
I’m trying to do the right thing – bringing wholesome convenience to busy people, not adding sugar, keeping salt content very low, using British-grown peas and beans and not adding any nasties. My pots are recyclable and I use WoolCool insulated packaging for my online orders which is also fully recyclable. I receive loads of really great feedback all the time. My customers tell me that my plant-based protein pots offer them convenience, endless meal options and encourage them to eat healthily. They love the recipes that I share on social media, via my website and the recipe cards that I hand out at events.
I’m making steady progress all the time. I feel proud of my achievements and feel positive about the future of bace. It’s a difficult balancing act though. I’ve got two small children so family life is really busy. I feel guilty about the time I spend away from them at weekends when I’m at events. I’m constantly cooking and then I have to fit in all the other work that comes with running a business. On the plus side they’ve seen me starting a business from scratch so I really hope that I’ve inspired them.
Of course I’d love to win. Who wouldn’t? Though I feel privileged just to be a finalist alongside Candi’s Chutney, Crush Foods, Old Hall Farm and All Fudged Up. I know the first three businesses very well and they’ve been a huge support to me; offering advice, guidance and stocking my products. We’re all doing our bit to bring the people of Norfolk (and beyond) top quality food and drink. We’re all Proudly Norfolk members; an organisation led by a group of passionate foodies. It’s great to feel part of that family.
If you think that I’m a deserved winner please vote for me here. I’m really grateful for your ongoing support and custom. Happy voting!