Farmer’s Markets. Stupidly popular now, they’ve not only turned a lot of foodies onto ‘real’ meats, cheeses, breads and Beers, but also provided a much-needed lifeline to our precious farming community. A good thing, then – if you can get to them.
On the back of this, Chris Wildman saw an opportunity to increase the presence of online food-buying, and set up Paganum Produce
– bringing that awesome food from the Dales directly to you at home. There’s also a great blog, which I have linked (pop over there if you wanna see copious amounts of Hogroast and Scottish Breakfasts!)
Chris spared a little time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for TGS.
TGS: Tell us a little about yourself – and how you became involved in Paganum.
I am from a family of Butchers and Farmers so have always been involved in the industry – but my commercial work experience has been in branding and labelling in the Label industry and IT project management, so a combination of skills built up over the years. I have always wanted to setup an online business and with the growing importance of local food, provenance and farmers markets this seemed a great idea. Also many farmers struggle to market thier fantastic products direct to both to the trade, and direct to the consumer – and with our skills we think we can improve this and maybe make a living as well.
How’s business at the moment? It’s early days as we are still a very new business – so we are not quite planning our retirement yet but we are really trying to promote the business and our products, and hoping that with increased awareness, business will flourish.
Where do people’s tastes lie? What’s popular right now? Lamb is probably one of our most popular items and our sausages and burgers have been selling well. I think people are really talking care of where there food is coming from now and like to know the provenance of the meat they eat
How do the farming fraternity (the likes of Bolton Abbey and your other partners) treat Paganum? Was there any resistance to going ‘on-line’ rather than maintaining a ‘Farmers Market/Direct approach? Or are Farmers these days aware to what can be achieved via the internet? No resistance at all they see it as a different route to market that compliments the other traditional sales methods.
What’s your personal fave from the Paganum range? I love my steaks and I am a bit of a self confessed sausage snob they have to be good for me to like them!
… and Favourite recipe? Well, a quality breakfast is probably one of my favourites and eggs Benedict probably my all time greatest. A nice family roast of beef or lamb with all the trimmings including Yorkshire Puds also hits the mark.
Favourite Pint/Local Brewer? My favourite really has to be Timothy Taylors Landlord (I’m nodding in agreement) but I can’t believe how expensive it has got considering it’s a local beer, only travels 18 miles to me so quite often I will be happy with Golden Best!!! We are spoilt for choice in this area now with Copper Dragon in Skipton and Folly Ale in Hetton.
What does 2008/2009 hold for Paganum? 2008 has really been all about setting up our infrastructure, logistics and a good range of quality suppliers we know and can trust, next year we are hoping to expand both our trade and direct customer base.
When my parcel of Paganum meat arrived, the first thing I did was grab two of those thick, heavy burgers, slap them onto a smoking griddle pan and melt some smoked cheddar on them. Some leftover Parma Ham went on top of that, and the whole thing was plonked onto a bun with tomato, pickled peppers and gherkin. Wonderful – the humble burger, much like sausages or pies, can be a thing of wonder when done correctly, with the best produce. The quality of meat is excellent, and I can personally vouch for Bolton Abbey Beef; it’s among the best I have tasted
Paganum are worth checking out if you care about where meat comes from and that the people who make the produce are getting the rewards.