MAKING THE BEST OF BRITISH IN BUCKS
Celebrating our wealth of home-made heroes
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