Two Minute Tuesdays
We love Yorkshire. The people, the places, the food, the drink, you name it! To celebrate this great county, over the last few months we've been providing you with some snapshots of some of our favourite local craftspeople, innovators, and businesses.
This week we have Simon, AKA The Chilli Jam Man.
You may well have seen Simon at your local food festival with his array of delicious jams, oils, sauces, snacks - anything with chilli in it! His range has picked up many National Awards along the way, including an impressive 10 Great Taste Awards. There’s no excuse for bland or boring food with Simon around!
Simon, The Chilli Jam Man
Malton, North Yorkshire
1. So, first things first, what inspired you to set up your business?
After living in Australia for a few years, I came back home with a real passion for South East Asian flavours. I started making it for myself, then for friends, and decided to try a local food market with 40 jars. I sold out by lunchtime – the rest, as they say, is history!
2. How did you learn your trade?
Lots of trial and error – and eating!
3. What does it mean to you to be a Yorkshire business?
I’m an adopted Yorkshireman, I’m originally from Anglesey – but absolutely love it here. Being part of a thriving local business community I’d say is all about having a great work ethic, and good morals – you need to be proud of what you make. I also love the collaborations I’ve had with local businesses too. Yorkshire produce is going from strength to strength.
4. What’s been your proudest moment so far?
Definitely winning the ‘Yorkshire Food Hero award’, as it was voted for by the public.
5. Any advice to aspiring craftspeople and business owners out there?
Being self-employed is very hard! For this reason you have to completely love what you do.
6. Describe your perfect Yorkshire day out.
It’s got to be a walk on the beach, a couple of hours fishing, followed by fish and chips – and a couple of drinks at the local to finish.
7. What are your top tastes of Yorkshire?
There’s so much to choose from! But you can’t beat a proper roast (with Yorkshire puddings of course), washed down with a pint of Black Sheep. A simple classic.
8. How would you define the Yorkshire spirit?
Pure grit, with a cracking sense of humour.
9. What’s your favourite Yorkshire hidden gem?
10. What’s your favourite piece of Yorkshire trivia?
The Shambles in York is classed as the best preserved medieval street in Europe.
11. Who’s your Yorkshire hero?
It’s got to be heroes – the Yorkshire Cricket team! They don’t need sandpaper to win…
12. Favourite Yorkshire word or saying?
T’werk. For some people it means dancing, for me it’s what I do 16 hours a day.
13. You’re stranded on a desert island and can only bring one meal, one book, and one album. What do you choose?
It’s got to be Sirloin steak and chips, Underworld’s ‘dubnobasswithmyheadman’ and one of my books on Blacksmithing (a real passion of mine). Actually scrap that, if I’m stranded on a desert island, maybe a book on survival and a year’s supply of wine…
If you can handle the heat, find out more about The Chilli Jam Man on the web (www.thechillijamman.com), on Facebook (facebook.com/TheChilliJamMan), Instagram (@thechillijamman) and on Twitter (@thechillijamman).