Two Minute Tuesdays
We love Yorkshire. The people, the places, the food, the drink, you name it! To celebrate this great county, over the next few weeks we’ll be providing you with some snapshots of some of our favourite local craftspeople, innovators, and businesses.
This week we have Hannah Stacey from The Fruity Kitchen in Sutton-on-the-Forest.
Yorkshire born mother and daughter, Julia Colebatch and Hannah Stacey, head up the Fruity Kitchen team in a small purpose-built kitchen just near Sutton-on-the-Forest, York. The Fruity Kitchen was established by Julia in 2008, with a vision to produce quality handmade preserves for Yorkshire’s best hotels, delis, farm shops, and restaurants. They have since gone on to supply several prestigious 5* London hotels and have spent the last two years on the first-class menu for Virgin Trains East Coast Line.
They create, produce, market and distribute everything themselves, and all products are produced by hand using traditional open pan cooking methods. The Fruity Kitchen is keeping alive a much-missed way of traditional preserve cooking, ‘just like Gran showed us’, offering artisan products to Yorkshire, London and beyond.
Hannah, The Fruity Kitchen
Sutton on the Forest, North Yorkshire
1. So, first things first, how did you get involved in the industry?
The Fruity Kitchen was established in 2008 by my mother, Julia Colebatch. Julia was unfortunately made redundant from a position within a similar company that was sold to new owners. Having settled in her role and having grown up with a family of bakers, farmers, and cooks, Julia had found her calling in cooking jams and chutneys; she set up and bravely went for it and has never looked back.
2. How did you learn all things jam?
After a childhood of helping Gran picking wild fruits and watching her effortlessly turn them into jam, and studiously watching the ladies in my previous role, I became a huge fan of the traditional process. When the opportunity for me to put these skills to use in the working world, it was a dream come true.
3. What does it mean to you to own an independent business?
For us it has been the joy of sticking to our traditional cooking methods in a world of speed and machines. We’re super proud to produce our volumes and still hand cook.
4. What’s been your proudest moment so far?
In 10 years, there’s been a few. But the stand out for us has been working with Robin Read, the exec chef at London’s Firmdale Group. Being recognised as a quality artisan supplier by chefs in the capital has long been a goal.
5. What motivates you most?
The team. We leaped from just 7 to 13 members of staff in a six-month period in 2016. Working together with a group of hard working passionate locals has enabled us to share the proud moments.
6. Any advice to aspiring craftspeople and business owners out there?
Keep it real and invest wisely. Simply enjoy every success and don’t forget to keep in touch with the ‘small’ customers, you never know when they might hit the big time. Word of mouth has been our best marketing tool.
7. Describe your perfect Yorkshire day out.
Ideally on a sunny day taking a stroll, paddle, and a picnic at Burnsall. It is a dreamy part of the English countryside.
8. What are your top tastes of Yorkshire?
Yorkshire puddings! And a sweet treat… the scones at Cedar Barn in Thornton Le Dale are A-MAZ-ING!
9. How would you define the Yorkshire spirit?
One that has truly been passed from generation to generation - hearing Gran’s stories of being the fastest potato picker in the Easingwold area makes me realise we’re all about hard work and getting the job done!
10. Anything coming up that people should know about?
We’re launching gift sets this year and to celebrate our 10th anniversary they’ll include some rather wonderful new flavours. There’s an exciting few months ahead.
11. What’s your favourite Yorkshire hidden gem?
Stanley's Coffee House in Barker & Stonehouse, St James Retail Park, Knaresborough! Helen is such an amazing cook, baker, chef, and all round lovely lady surrounded by a great team.
12. What’s your top pick for a Sunday dinner?
As long as the Yorkies are homemade and the roast potatoes fluffy on the inside and crisp on the out… anywhere is good.
13. What’s your favourite piece of Yorkshire trivia?
After recently moving from Beverly back to York my favourite new Yorkshire knowledge is that the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland is said to be inspired by a stone rabbit carved above a door in St Mary’s Church, Beverley, by an unknown medieval craftsman.
14. Who’s your Yorkshire hero?
Our 103-year-old Gran.
15. Favourite Yorkshire word or saying?
Off t’ pub.
16. Best thing to come out of Yorkshire?
Chocolate! The smell of chocolate around the city never fails to make me smile.
17. You’re stranded on a desert island and can only bring one meal, one book, and one album. What do you choose?
Yorkshire pudding with lashings of red onion relish gravy, The Potter’s House by Rosie Thomas, and music wise… Adele, 21, so I can sing with no one listening.