Tasty, flavourful treats from local sources
■ What do you do?
I make small batch jam, pickles and chutneys and infused vinegars, which are my core line. Then on Saturdays I also sell freshly made hummus, pesto and baba ghanoush. Without additives or preservatives, all my goodies are things that you wouldn’t find in the supermarket. I am a great believer in sourcing my ingredients locally from small businesses and, where possible, using foods in season from the UK. I think that supporting local and independent shops is increasingly important to people.
■ Where are you based?
I am based at Draper’s Yard in The Hornet, Chichester. I started out as a trader at the Yard’s YUM Saturdays and then recently took a unit as my base. Here I also sell locally-made hand-painted ceramics and candles made by a friend to my specification of fragrances. Supporting and buying local is important to me; there are no unnecessary air miles and it boosts the local economy. My plants, which are peat free, come from Billingshurst. The only thing that isn’t so local is my Turtle bags. These are made from sea grass and provide women in India with a fair wage.
■ You clearly have a talent for flavours. Where does that come from?
I have always been in catering and have worked in many places. Connecting flavours is something I do automatically in my head. My grandparents were keen cooks and gardeners and so I grew up experimenting with them in the kitchen and garden. Nowadays people have TV cooking to inspire them.
■ Has there been a bit of a flavour revival during lockdown?
Yes; I think that in having more time on their hands people have taken more interest in food and flavours. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for things like my mixed berry and thyme, strawberry and mint and pear and lavender jams, for instance. I also offer loose tea in different flavours and these have been very popular too. I am always happy to make recommendations for flavour combinations and even gift ideas.
■ What’s your best-seller at the moment?
My mustard is really, really popular! I use a combination of spices and a very specific maturing process.
■ Are you enjoying being at Draper’s Yard?
I really love it here. It’s a great community and it has a great feel. In the future we are hoping to set up some workshops, with things like candle making and aromatherapy. Then people can come and learn something, have a lovely lunch from the café and finish up with a bit of shopping. It’s a lovely area of Chichester and the Yard offers a unique and very personal shopping experience.
■ What is your own personal favourite tasty treat from your shelves at the moment?
Possibly the cucumbers pickled in gin. Or maybe it’s my mustard? But then again it could be my raspberry and cardamom jam... Oh no! It’s just too difficult to choose a favourite!
■ Where can we find out more?
For more information visit www.paulosussex.com