MAK­ING THE BEST OF BRI­TISH IN BUCKS

Celebrating our wealth of home-made heroes

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Qasim Per­acha qasim.per­acha@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twitter: @qasim­per­acha

SATUR­DAY is Buy Bri­tish Day and what bet­ter way to help you get in­volved than show­cas­ing some of the best prod­ucts Bucks, and Bri­tain, has to of­fer.

Oc­to­ber 1 is the third an­nual Buy Bri­tish Day and Bucks, the ‘en­tre­pre­neur­ial heart of Bri­tain’ can hap­pily boast world lead­ing cooks, de­sign­ers, pro­duc­ers and in­no­va­tors.

It’s prob­a­bly no sur­prise that food fea­tures heav­ily in the county’s list of spe­cial­i­ties but it may sur­prise you to learn Bucks has a huge part to play in the his­tory of Rock and Roll. Mar­shall am­pli­fiers have been built in the county since 1966 and have gained a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing among the best in the world, hav­ing been used by leg­endary rock gui­tarists from Jimi Hen­drix and Slash to An­gus Young of AC/DC.

Other Bucks made prod­ucts in­clude high qual­ity cycling gear from Wil­doo Ltd, marine pods for sea ves­sels from In­ter­form Marine, and some of the best dance shoes in the world made at In­ter­na­tional Dance Shoes’ fac­tory in Stone­bridge.

Au­berge du Cho­co­lat was set up in 2005 in Ger­rards Cross. In just over 10 years, they have won a to­tal of 13 gold stars for their choco­lates and a fur­ther six for their ice creams, at the Great Taste Awards, con­sid­ered by many to be the Os­cars of food. Even the Prime Min­is­ter is im­pressed with Bucks food. Buck­moorend Farm Shop sup­ply Che­quers with their meat, reared on home-grown bar­ley and grass, pas­tured on their 600 acre Chiltern Hills farm.

Philippa Bat­ting, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Buck­ing­hamshire Busi­ness First said: “Buck­ing­hamshire is the en­tre­pre­neur­ial heart of Bri­tain hav­ing started more busi­nesses than any­where else in the UK for well over a decade.

“We have a wealth of in­no­va­tive and world lead­ing, of­ten small and of­ten fam­ily run busi­nesses, many of whom you may not even re­alise are based right on your doorstep.

“Sup­port­ing Buck­ing­hamshire busi­nesses helps en­sure a strong lo­cal econ­omy and jobs for lo­cal peo­ple.”

FOOD pro­duc­tion cer­tainly seems to be a favourite for Bucks with na­tional brands Beechdean Ice Cream, Nakd, Kid­dy­li­cious, Sa­cla and Slush Puppy all based in the county.

More lo­cally we have Au­berge du Cho­co­lat, a unique ar­ti­san fam­ily busi­ness with a pas­sion for cho­co­late, ice cream and fudge. With all hand made prod­ucts and an em­pha­sis on per­son­alised ser­vice, cus­tomers are even en­cour­aged to get in­volved in mak­ing cho­co­late.

Es­tab­lished in 2005 by Anne and Ian Scott, in Ger­rards Cross, and now in Che­sham, Au­berge du Cho­co­lat has rapidly es­tab­lished a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in the pre­mium cho­co­late com­mu­nity with prize-win­ning (over 70 Acad­emy of Cho­co­late, ICA and Great Taste Awards) choco­lates, ice cream and cho­co­late bars.

Tims Dairy is another mul­ti­ple Great Taste award win­ner and has been based in Ger­rards Cross since 1996. The com­pany pro­duces yo­gurts sold in Waitrose, Ocado and Co-Op as well as in­de­pen­dent shops, but also sup­plies many other prod­ucts to high end ho­tels, restau­rants, schools and hos­pi­tals.

The dairy has re­cently re­branded its en­tire range and looks set to carve out a slice of the mar­ket af­ter it only started sell­ing to con­sumers from 2009.

Lacey’s Fam­ily Farm has been in the same fam­ily for seven gen­er­a­tions. Wil­liam Lacey, one of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion says he loves farm­ing in South Bucks, where on his 450 acres they have more than 120 Guernsey cat­tle, which pro­duce a bet­ter qual­ity milk, but less of it.

The vast ma­jor­ity of cat­tle in the UK are of the Hol­stein breed or de­rived from them. The milk of Guernsey cows has as much as three times more Omega 3, a third more vi­ta­min D and 12% more pro­tein.

With an un­com­pro­mis­ing em­pha­sis on pre­mium qual­ity milk, the farm was forced to make some changes due to the low su­per­mar­ket price of milk which made it im­pos­si­ble for their farm to run.

“About 10 years ago we shifted to a dif­fer­ent mar­ket. We are lucky the peo­ple of Bucks are in­ter­ested in lo­cal pro­duce, so we’ve been able to sell to them di­rectly”, said Wil­liam.

Lacey’s is the only dairy in the UK to win gold stars at the Great Taste Awards for their milk and dou­ble cream. Lacey’s de­liver their milk lo­cally and it can be found in lo­cal shops along with their eggs and ice creams.

A favourite with the great and the good of pol­i­tics is Buck­moorend Farm Shop.

Buck­moorend Farm is a small, fam­ily run farm sur­rounded by wood­land and nes­tled in the beau­ti­ful Chiltern Hills. It is also part of the Che­quers Es­tate, the of­fi­cial coun­try res­i­dence of the Prime Min­is­ter.

The shop’s main fo­cus is home-reared meats. It sells pork, beef and lamb from its own farm and is in­volved in the en­tire chain, from farm to fork.

To com­ple­ment this, the com­pany also works with other small, lo­cal pro­duc­ers who share a pas­sion for good qual­ity food.

Mov­ing from food to drink Bucks boasts the Ch­litern Brew­ery. Les­ley

Star per­former: Au­berge du Cho­co­lat in Ger­rards Cross is one of the county’s suc­cess sto­ries

Ac­co­lade: Awards time for Chiltern Brew­ery. Be­low, a se­lec­tion from Au­berge du Cho­co­lat

From farm to fork: Seven gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily have farmed at Lacey’s. Be­low, some of the farm’s pro­duce

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