About us

Penny and Neil Chambers a creative, friendly, motivated couple and the driving force behind this ‘monster’ ….

Penny was enjoying running a thriving catering business from our home in rural Herefordshire whilst (I) Neil was following a slightly more bohemian path painting murals, trompe l’oeil and faux finishes helping out with the labouring and front of house duties at all kinds of events and functions that Penny was organising.

We found that we worked extremely well together, with very different strengths, natural skills, as well as weaknesses, we gave each other the confidence to tackle just about everything that came our way.

Discovering Farmers’ Markets gave us an opportunity to try something new, something that we could develop at our own pace and something more sustainable for the future, after all, living a commission orientated life is not a stable one.

Visiting our local Farmers’ markets we talked with stall holders and customers and felt very much at home, all we needed was a product….

Artistic ideas like ‘fat’ frames, stencil kits, decorative boxes and selling courses were considered and Penny said that she could make Cakes, Quiches and Scotch eggs in her sleep.. little did we know!

We approached the  (then quite daunting) Teme Valley Market, at the Talbot Inn, Knightwick.  A renowned food pub with a huge reputation for championing local, quality food, appearing regularly in the papers and Radio4 and in actual fact one the first 6 ever farmers’ markets to set up in the UK.  Mrs Clift kindly talked us through the Farmers’ market rules and regulations kindly inviting us to join them if we met the strict criteria.

Out of all our ideas the humble Scotch egg shone through, Penny already made a few different recipes for a couple of local shops and a butchers in Worcester so we took along a selection of 5 different Scotch eggs to the Teme Valley Market in June 2003 (even then we couldn’t help ourselves making more than one) and were delighted, as well as relieved, to sell all 60!  Buoyed up by our initial success we tried both Hereford and Worcester markets with similar success and we started to think we may have something that would work alongside our somewhat eclectic careers.

Thinking back now there is a lot to be said for naivety, we were told about a food festival held in Ludlow at the beginning of September, only about an hour from home, so we gave them a call to see if we could come along… well, after the lovely lady on the telephone stopped laughing she was able to explain that there was a year long waiting list for this prestigious event and she would happily send an application form for us to go onto the waiting list, “what are you going to be selling?” she asked,  ” a range of handmade Scotch eggs” said I ( a range! where did that come from?) and that was that.

About an hour later the telephone rings and it’s Ludlow Food Festival, ” you did say, a range of Scotch eggs, didn’t you?” – “Yes, including a Vegetarian one” I piped in – ” we really like the sound of this and have managed to find a space to squeeze you in”… Hurrah!

The ensuing weeks found us tweaking and creating recipes, inviting friends, neighbours, family, delivery people and the postman to taste and comment as well as  of course panicking like hell not knowing what we were letting ourselves in for.

With our minds made up , a range of eggs and a menu list created and printed on our computer we decided to go for broke and between us made 300 Scotch eggs, 100 a day for the event, purchased a garden gazebo and a borrowed a couple of tables from our neighbour Lindsey to create a stall, Neil painted up a couple of promotional boards and we were ready.

Friday morning in the grounds of Ludlow castle amongst a lot of scarily professional looking people and with fingers toes and everything else crossed we are open for business…   Wham! sold out by mid-day! 3 days worth in less than a day and people clamouring for more… thank you Ludlow, the great bit was we were not the only ones, Michael and Debbie of the Organic Smokehouse and Simon of Osmin Olives were in exactly the same boat so we were able to keep each other motivated with telephone calls between us throughout the nights

We worked our proverbial socks off over the next two days but we were never going to keep up, but we were inspired, here we were in a top of the range real food festival and we were liked! this was the moment we decided to concentrate on just one course, the handmade scotch egg course, the rest as they say is history.