So, Robert and Laura, what made you decide to start making crisps at the beginning?
Our families have been farming in East Anglia for three generations. It seemed natural to us to make a consumer product from one of our crops; potatoes. In 2006 we decided to start making hand cooked crisps. In the beginning, we out-sourced our crisp production and then in 2011 we brought production to the farm so we could better control quality. We also started making vegetable crisps in 2013.
What were your expectations to start with?
We knew it would not be easy that’s for sure – and we were proved right! We wanted to make the best crisps possible from our potatoes using locally sourced flavours. We now work with our good friends at Aspall Cyder, Wicks Farm Manor, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and Adnams Brewery to make great tasting crisps with specially developed natural flavours which have provenance without using artificial additives.
We heard from your staff that you are both incredibly hard working, what does a normal day consist of for you both?
Doest’t everyone in farming work hard? We’re used to it – getting up early and working long days sometimes seven days a week. Fortunately, we enjoy what we’re doing. We typically start at 6am and work 12 hours a day and longer during harvest. The weather plays such an important part of our lives that we have to take every opportunity to make sure the crops and equipment are being well looked after. This year this has been particularly difficult given the amount of rain we’ve had in short periods followed by dry spells. This makes growing potatoes quite a challenge – being British, naturally we never moan about the weather!
Being that you work together all day, do you still discuss business at home?
Yes we do and this is unavoidable, but given that we have two young children of five and seven, we make every effort to switch-off whenever we possibly can.