Woodcrest Kitchen, Burnopfield, Newcastle upon Tyne
A note from Woodcrest Kitchen’s chef and allotment grower.
How it all started and the journey so far!
I love my kitchen and it’s the centre of activity in our home, from making a cup of tea for a neighbour who calls by to helping the children with their homework. Not to mention cooking daily homely meals and the occasional dinner party for friends and family. Good food, good friends, good times!
With the love of being in the kitchen (and food in general!), one Christmas I experimented with some homemade gifts of jam and chutney. With honest natural ingredients and some beautiful packaging, they went down a storm and people were asking for more! The following Christmas was eagerly awaited for some more chutney creations, but in the meantime I had a go at entering some local jam making competitions at agricultural shows. The preserves section can be full of stiff competition but after winning a few first prize awards I tried my hand in other categories and continued to take first and second prizes, along with a trophy for best in show! All this planted a seed in my mind…maybe one day I could turn my hobby into a business?
After a long wait for an allotment (and then a lot of hard work to make our patch of soil useable!) we started growing our own fruit and vegetables. As anyone with an allotment will know, you get an abundant harvest at certain times of the year, far too much for one family to eat! With a combination of too much produce, my love of working in the kitchen and my previous success with jams and chutneys, Woodcrest Kitchen was born in 2018– an artisan food micro business.
As demand has grown it has been a privilege to work with other local allotment holders and gardeners to use some of their surplus produce in exchange for Woodcrest Kitchen products. This expansion has gone hand in hand with the increasing number of Woodcrest Kitchen stockists, as well as delis and bistros who now use Woodcrest Kitchen products within their own menus.
After much recipe development during the winter months when the allotment is quieter, it was a pleasure to branch out into making homemade marmalade. This culminated in a number of awards received at the World Marmalade Awards.