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A sauce of success - Ouse Valley Foods of East Sussex

PUBLISHED: 08:31 02 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 20 February 2013

A sauce of success - Ouse Valley Foods of East Sussex

A sauce of success - Ouse Valley Foods of East Sussex

Award-winning Ouse Valley Foods is well known for its delicious Hollandaise Sauce but there is much more to the company than its accompaniment to asparagus, as Kate Eastman discovers from the MD and founder Julian Warrender

Award-winning Ouse Valley Foods is well known for its delicious Hollandaise Sauce but there is much more to the company than its accompaniment to asparagus, as Kate Eastman discovers from the MD and founder Julian Warrender


Managing Director Julian Mary Warrender set up Ouse Vally Foods in the heart of the East Sussex countryside just six years ago.
Back in 2004 I began working from home but graduated to being based at Plumpton Green Studios in 2006. That was when we grew up really, explained Julian.



It all began when she was visiting a local asparagus grower, I mentioned how lovely it would be to have a really good hollandaise sauce to go with their asparagus and so the seed of Ouse Valley Foods was germinated she said.



I started making Hollandaise Sauce for them and then over a period of six months wanted to transform some ideas I had into reality. The first step was what has now become our range of crystal clear jellies. Now you cant stop me experimenting and developing new products regularly.
From that original idea, Ouse Valley Foods now has three full-time members of staff and several part-time members.



The three full time members of staff are in charge of administration and sales, labelling and stores plus the ordering side of the company. The part-time members of staff are mostly the cooks. There is always a buzz in the kitchen with delicious fresh smells coming into my office. Each week we will make about 18 different fresh lines and maybe as many as 30 different jams, jellies and chutneys. Annually, we produce over 100,000 different items across the full range of products, said Julian.



At this time of year, the Hollandaise Sauce out-sells everything else but the other most popular lines arethe Basil and Wild Garlic Pesto, Red Chilly Jelly, Cheeseboard Chutney, Seville Marmalade, Hot Aubergine Pickle and fresh meringues.



My favourite lines are lemon and lavender curd, I like to stick my finger in the jar and eat it like that, not whilst Im making it I hasten to add, said Julian.



Boars head pear and juniper chutney is another favourite, I think pears are exquisite and totally underrated. We like to use the locally produced Boars Head pears. And finally our classic lime marmalade, I have this at breakfast time on toast and it makes me shiver which wakes me up.
Julian is constantly dreaming up new things to make. Our most recent addition has been a fresh tartare sauce and a fresh creamed horseradish. We have also just developed a jelly for our three-year collaboration with Glyndebourne Opera House, which has been very successful for both them and us. Therell be more along any time but I dont want to ruin the surprise just yet.



Some new ranges are created completely by accident, I was chatting away in the kitchen with two flavours of jelly to make; Lime Leaves & Cardamom Jelly and Ginger & Green Peppercorn Jelly and was so engrossed in my conversation that I inadvertently put the Cardamom in with the Ginger, said Julian.



I was furious with myself but tasted it along with a co-worker.
We decided it was rather good so we decided to introduce the line cardamom and ginger jelly and entered it into the Great Taste Awards 2009.
It won a three star Gold Award which is their highest accolade!



Unit 1a, Plumpton Green Studios,
St Helena Lane, Plumpton Green,
East Sussex BN7 3DQ
Email: info@ousevalleyfoods.com
T: 01273 891893
www.ousevalleyfoods.com

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