Traditionally September and October are awaited with bated breath by farmers across the globe, be it Apricots and Hazels in Turkey or Almonds and Walnuts in California, waiting for more sun, more rain or even the reverse. And then we have exchange rates, fluctuating on a word from the politicians, bankers or interested parties, and correlating all these variables is not easy! Then, throw in President Trump and Brexit and the odd frost for good measure. So forgive me for asking you to check with us, as and when you need pricing for a special project; suffice to say that one way or another we will have stock at an averaged price!
I can report though that we have a brand new delivery fleet of smart, black lorries awaiting your orders, backed by a local/national pallet delivery service, but the deadline of Christmas is immovable, so please get those orders in early!
Over the summer I have continued to visit suppliers, and discuss with them how best to forge links with our retailers, by means of samples and tastings and talking not just to you the retailer, but also to the actual consumer direct. One of these is the venerable firm of Gordon Rhodes. They have had a torrid year after a fire devastated their factory, but they had a disaster plan and business is now back to their normal high standard. We have the new range of ready to make meat ball sauces, which formed our delicious mid-morning snack. With a creamy Swedish sauce, spicy Mexican or more traditional Italian, they are full of authentic flavour. Be you a butcher, farm shop or deli, these products would enhance your display and sales.
On a totally different tack, you may have read the latest Fine Food Digest magazine in which Duncan was asked a range of questions on life at Hider Foods. He notes that his biggest clanger was not getting footage of me attempting to get out from the back of our transit van, full of extra stock, in the car park next to an exhibition. The back was locked, the front had a tiny window in the divider between the driver’s seats and the storage. The facts were that it took me an hour of trying every possible exit, and in the end I made myself as slim as possible and clambered through the link, designed as a viewing opening only! I was more nimble in those days and more hurt that they had not missed me in the exhibition! Or was it a sure way of keeping me outside? If that is his worst clanger, then the business is safe in his hands!
Whilst aware that your shelves will be filling with seasonal fayre very soon we do have a few new lines to tempt you including 3 classic sauces from Atkins & Potts under the Inspired Dining label: Mushroom, Peppercorn and Red Wine. Dr Wills has 3 mayonnaises: Classic, Avocado and Spicy. Thomas Fudge has new toasts, flatbreads and biscuits, with Marmite, Beetroot and Chick Pea & Sesame amongst the interesting flavours. Fentimans have more tonics, Pink Rhubarb and Oriental Yuzu flavours, and Fever-Tree has a Clementine & Cinnamon limited edition tonic. If you want a Peppa Pig inspired gingerbread house kit, look no further than an aptly named company, Little Treats Bakery in Cheshire – let the children help both build the house and then demolish it!
Whilst mentioning new products you will have read about our acquisition of the Butlers Grove brand and I would personally like to welcome existing customers of that range to our Fine Food Family and to ask you to trawl through the 4,000 other lines you’ll find in this catalogue – our reps and telesales will be delighted to make recommendations.
Finally consider the health benefits of pistachios, low in calories, high in Vitamin B and several antioxidants, like Lutein, which helps eye health. They also taste good and are available from two main origins, California, the largest supplier and Iran, regarded as close to the historic centre of supply.
So on to Christmas, and if we have not yet received your order please, please give us a call to discuss, before we run out of some of our more limited stock. Time and Christmas wait for no one!
I wish you and your family all the very best for an exciting Christmas, and a healthy and peaceful New Year.
P.S. Following on from my comments on meeting the producers I met for lunch last week with Henry Amar, Chairman of RH Amar one of the UK’s leading fine food importers. His company represents some of the best names in the specialised food sector (Mary Berry, Buiteman, Cooks & Co., Ella’s Kitchen etc) and these are the guys who can help you promote these brands. Please do realise however that he is a Middlesex and Arsenal fan, so may end up discussing their fortunes as well!