Welcome to the second interview in my series on local Great Taste Award 2014 winners! Last month you heard from Ouse Valley Foods founder Julian Warrender on her glorious preserves, the star of this month’s post is..
Barties Sussex Faire
I spoke to John Barteltt, owner of Barties Sussex Faire..
Which of your products won Great Taste Awards?
2012 – Spicy Pineapple Chutney & Serious Chilli Chutney
2013 – Chilli Jam, Spiced Aubergine Chutney, Blackcurrant, Cassis & Vanilla Jam
2014 – Apricot & Armagnac Jam
What do you think sets them apart from the rest?
In a word – real honest flavour. They all have good depth and a richness which develops on the tongue. The chutneys are very flexible and can be used with many different foods to enhance the dish. The jams are first and foremost – fruit – full-on and fresh tasting.
Have you always been in the food industry?
This is my second career – my first was nothing to do with food but the recession gave me an opportunity at the end of 2009 to turn a hobby (or as my wife would say – my other ‘love’! – into something more.
It all started with a crop of fruit from trees at our house in France about 8 years ago – hence Faire – to make! From that I started to make a few jams and then just kept going and now have over eighty different products.
Can you describe a day in the life at Sussex Faire?
Describing a day is difficult as they vary so much.
I guess the most standard day is when I get up at about 5.00am to go to the local wholesaler to pick up my fruit/veg for the days cooking – get back and after a quick breakfast with the family before they leave for work and then it’s prepping, cooking, bottling whilst listening to a French radio station called NRJ until the day is done – which can be as early as 6pm or as late as midnight.
That’s probably 2 or 3 days a week. Others will be me – and my family – out on the road at weekends and some weekdays, at fairs, markets etc selling face-to-face and hopefully adding to my increasing list of retail outlets that stock my products.
Other days are slotted in for deliveries and admin as best I can.
If you want to learn more about Barties Sussex Faire, check out their website here.