The last few months have been a complete whirlwind and we think that now is finally the time to take a moment to introduce ourselves. We asked you, our customers, to pose a Q&A with us, hopefully giving you a bit of an insight into Best British Produce. Here are your questions answered below!
Let’s start by introducing ourselves and who Best British Produce are?
Hi, we are Melissa & Rob, proud owners of Best British Produce! Best British Produce is an online retailer providing a platform for Food, Drink and Gift producers from across the British isles to sell their produce and reach customers across the globe.
How did the business come about, is this something that you have wanted to do for a while?
If we're totally honest, it came about earlier this year, so it was quite impulsive really! Like most people last year, we were sitting at home during lockdown, wishing that we could go away somewhere with the kids. We started to reminisce and it reminded me (Rob) of a delicious local jam we had on holiday in Yorkshire. I tried to order it online but with no success, I was fairly disappointed! We had a bit of a spark and then spent the next few months drawing up a plan. Finally, in August 2020, Best British Produce was born and we officially started trading in October 2020!
Why do you only sell British Products?
We have a few reasons, first and foremost we believe that Britain is home to some of the finest produce in the world. Our original plan was to take the best chocolate, the best jams, the best cakes from each region and make them available to all regions. In our eyes, there is no need to rely so heavily on imported goods when we have such an array of amazing produce right here on our doorstep and we want to make those products as accessible as possible, to the entire nation and beyond.
What do you look for when choosing a product? How do you make sure that it is BEST BRITISH PRODUCE?
Our golden rule is that we do not sell any food or drink that we have not tasted ourselves, it has to be delicious and British. One thing that crossed our minds during lockdown was that the small ‘local’ food producers supported us when times were hard, they carried on working through the pandemic to keep the nation fed and we wanted to give something back to them. We hold stock of everything we sell so we like to think that we are doing our small bit, to repay them for their hard work and commitment by buying their products.
So you sell food and what else?
We have a great range of stock that is expanding daily and are always searching for new hidden gems. We try not to stock products that are available in supermarkets, again to try and support our smaller scale suppliers. We have a fantastic range of drinks including craft spirits, mainly Gin, which we know has made a massive come back in the last few years thanks to the global ‘Ginassaince’. However, I think we are proudest of our Hamper Collection.
Can you tell us more about the Hampers?
We offer a variety of Luxury Wicker Hampers and also our Embossed Logo Gift boxes are coming soon that can be filled with a variety of delicious treats and drinks. There are a range of pre-set hampers such as our very popular Luxury Ginger Hamper but we also offer a ‘Build Your Own’ service. This allows you to choose between a 5, 10 or 15 item hamper and fill it only with the products that you choose. We know that everybody has their own tastes, so we let the customer choose their own perfect produce! This is my area (Melissa), as I always disliked getting a hamper with food I didn’t like and thought a ‘Build Your Own’ concept would be perfect, meaning you always get exactly what you chose! You can also add a gift message to your order, which we can then deliver directly to the recipient, which has also proven very popular with our customers.
What occasion are hampers for?
Hampers are great for every occasion or for no occasion at all! Just ‘because you can’ is good enough! They are a fantastic birthday gift. We have specifically put together Hampers that we know you will love, currently we have the Valentine’s Day hamper and very soon we will release a great surprise for Mother’s Day! Mum’s the word though….we don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Our hampers were hugely popular over the Christmas period from friends and family to large corporate orders! Make sure you order in plenty of time for these ones!
You mention on your website that you have children, do they also support Best British Produce?
Haha – Yes, they are our number one fans and helpers. When we first started out, we requested a lot of samples from suppliers to try and I think at one point we had about 30 jars of jams/preserves in our fridge. We brought them all out one day and lined them up for each of our girls to try a few flavours. Our girls were then 2, 4 and 6 and you would think that they were world renowned food critics with the feedback they were giving. We were particularly surprised by how well received some of the more unusual flavours were, including the Lemon & Fennel Jam, which our 2 year old could have demolished in one sitting, had we not quickly locked it away! They are always asking to come to our office to help us stack shelves etc, which they can now do extremely well!
Your office looks a really tempting place to work. How hard is it to avoid eating all of your stock?
We have mentioned it to each other a few times, especially when we are working around lunch time, sometimes it takes a lot of effort to keep away from the stock! We are actually moving into larger premises 3 times our current size in the next month, which will allow us to add even more products to our ever-expanding range. This will most likely make resisting temptation even more difficult.
What do you sell that you CAN'T eat or drink?
We have actually just received our first 3 orders of beautiful handmade candles from Beesy Beeswax Candles, Echo Candles and The White Candle Company. They each have their own unique story, and each is made differently. Some are made using natural beeswax and others made using 100% Soy Wax! Coming in all shapes and sizes they really do make fantastic gifts anytime of the year. Also, something we are really excited about are the ‘Candle Making Kits’ from The White Candle Company which, as the name suggests includes everything you need to create your own candles at home – something a bit different we thought.
One last question before we bring this Q&A to a close. If you HAD to choose any 3 favourite products what would they be?
How could we possibly choose only 3?! All of our stock is fantastic … or we wouldn’t sell it!
Personally I (Rob) prefer savoury treats over sweet, so I would probably have to choose something along those lines. Really hard to pinpoint 3 but I absolutely ADORE the Marmite & Cheddar Biscuits from Just Biscuits By Jilly, I know marmite is a love/hate thing, so this answer wont please everyone! To go with these I would choose a chutney as well, I am a big fan of the Pear Chutney from Raydale Preserves. I’d need a drink to go with them as well, so it has to be Pear & Ginger Cordial from Urban Cordials.
So, I (Melissa) am the opposite with a sweet tooth and I have no shame in saying that I would always go for the Milk Chocolate Chip Chunk Cookies by Cartwright & Butler first! We also stock a really tasty, natural honey from The Honey Store Northumberland which I like on toast or straight from the jar. Sticking with the sweet theme, my favourite drink would be the hot chocolate using the Milk Chocolate Stirrers we stock from Cocoa Ooze. Don’t want to let the savoury side down either so I am going to raise your 3 to 4 and go with the Garlic or Lemon Mayonnaise from Stokes, amazing with chips or potato skins!
Thank you for reading our Q&A
As always if there is anything else you would like to know, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org