BLOGS

Nibble on Warwickshire’s Finest

 

Fowler’s of Warwickshire are one of ‘the oldest family-run cheesemakers in the country’. They’ve been making cheese for fourteen generations.   Established in Staffordshire in 1670 they began by producing the Derby Sage variety.  The family then opened its Warwickshire site in the early 1900’s and in 1932 the famous ‘Warwickshire Truckle cheese’ was created by the Great Grandfather of CEO, Adrian Fowler.

 

This variety is still made today but has been scaled down from a whopping 30lb to a more modest 13lb to accommodate today’s modern refrigeration counters. Taking up to 2 years to mature it is also classed as vintage.

 

From the 1980s,  these producers  have gone from strength to strength and expanded their range including  new locally inspired flavours such as the Forest Blue, the Earl of Arden  (a Ewe milk cheese from Snitterfield, Warwickshire), the Soft Bard (a Warwickshire brie),  Red Lakes  (a red cheese, inspired by their location at Earlswood Lakes).

 

Their cheese is sent all over the world, including Tasmania and is stocked by UK local and national retailers including Morrisons.  Look out Fowlers of Earlswood at Warwickshire’s Food and Drink Expo. 2019

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No Dampener on Warwick Food & Drink

 

Despite the wet and windy weather at the Warwickshire Food & Drink

Showcase on 7 March at Warwick Racecourse, there was a packed marquee full of diverse exhibitors displaying a range of tempting food and drink products available within the county.

 

Buyers attended in a steady stream throughout the day, braving the elements to discover the amazing array of local produce and looking to source new suppliers.

 

The event hosted by Warwickshire County Council, was the second Food & Drink Showcase designed to connect buyers with suppliers - and those interested in attending the next event are welcome to register online. 

                                                                                    The Haselor-based business is a Warwickshire success story in its own right, having grown out of what was just a hobby for Allen Hogan. From the tentative start of taking a few bottles along to Stratford Farmers' Market, Allen's business now produces half a million litres of cider a year.

 

Having blossomed, assisted by a small capital grant from Warwickshire County Council, Hogan Ciders supplies customers locally, across the UK and Europe - a customer-base to which Allen expects to add during Warwickshire Food & Drink  on March 7.

 

"We attended last time and, as a result, picked up local business," Allen said. "Some of it was on our doorstep which makes you think 'why didn't we have this business before?' "But that's the great thing about the Expo - it introduces you to people, both locally and from further afield. They are the right people too. At some events a lot of the visitors are interested but don't have the authority to do business. That is not the case at Warwickshire Food & Drink. There are some serious buyers there. "It's a very informal, well-run event which I am really looking forward to attending."

 

Warwickshire's diverse Food & Drink sector has a long reach with Hogan's Cider even making inroads into one of the tougher markets to crack - Russia. "A Russian guy was in London, came across our cider and liked it so much he got in touch," Allen said. "We now supply his outlets in Moscow and St Petersburg.  We also supply to other countries in Europe but our customers are mainly UK-based and particularly strong in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield at the moment.

 

"It started off literally as a hobby and I never expected it to take off like this. But we have some great people working here and it is lovely to take a raw material and turn it into something that people value and enjoy.

"It took a while for us to get into profit but the grant from Warwickshire County Council was a huge help to our growth. It went towards a £50,000 keg-filler which enabled us to bring that process in house, so we were not reliant on contractors and had much more flexibility.

 

"It is vital that we keep moving the business forward though. That is why we are always creating new products - and why events like Warwickshire Food & Drink are so important, allowing us to make new connections in the industry."

 

*Registration for Warwickshire Food & Drink is free to buyers and inexpensive for suppliers wishing to reserve an exhibitors’ place.

 

For details please refer to the event website https://www.warwick-food-drink.co.uk/

Cider-maker Allen Hogan is looking forward to the Warwickshire Food & Drink Expo 2019 in March after picking up valuable business from the "very well run" inaugural event two years ago.

 

The second ‘meet the buyer and supplier’ event, organised by Warwickshire County Council for the Food & Drink industry in the county, will take place at Warwick Racecourse on Thursday 7th March. A broad range of food and drink will be showcased there.

 

The Expo is designed as a catalyst for producers to connect with new customers both locally and from further afield such as visitor attractions, independent stockists, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.

 

At the first event in 2017 that objective certainly bore fruit for many of the exhibitors, including Hogan Ciders.

 

 

Napton Water Buffalo have since grown and are now milking approximately 140 cows with around 100 young stock. We currently farm approximately 250 acres in and around Chapel Green, Napton. Our Buffalo are a well known sight to boaters on the Oxford Canal.

Wide-eyed curious Buffalo,in for the Winter, ‘Bubalus Bubalis’ are native across most of Asia and there are actually more of them kept worldwide than cows.  However in this country, they are still very much a novelty!