It seems like only yesterday that I began making the pickles, sauces and chutneys which I now proudly produce under the names of my parents,
St. John & Dolly Smith. When I started making the pickles, I had no previous experience of the catering business in any form and, obviously for this reason, I had never considered entering the pickle business. One day a chance encounter in a shop in Southall, West London, changed my career and perhaps, my life.
Our Potted History will tell you about this strange coincidence which led to the birth of my company which is now bringing a great deal of pleasure to discerning lovers of premium quality Pickles, Sauces and Chutneys.
Many customers are surprised to discover that at present a team of just two people, one full time and one occasional helper, produce the entire output of this small business. In 2004, a customer advised me to enter some of my products in the Great Taste Awards. I did this and was proud to be awarded a Bronze for my Hot Tomato Sauce.
A friend of mine, Nick Goodall, was in the habit of organising BBQ's at work and had introduced some of my products to his friends and colleagues. He told me that a number of them had asked if I made a chilli sauce and, as I didn't have a recipe at the time, I concocted one for a Scotch Bonnet Sauce. I liked the flavour and the heat and having enjoyed some success with the Hot Tomato Sauce the previous year, I decided to submit one of the nine bottles from the very first sample batch to the Great Taste Awards and this time I was rewarded with a Silver award. As a thank you to Nick, I decided to name this sauce after him and "Old Nick" Scotch Bonnet Sauce was born. It has rapidly become a favourite and "left it's mark" throughout the country and, indeed abroad, with many chilli heads who enjoy flavour as well as heat. In June 2011 we introduced a new chilli sauce which I call "Sweet 'n' Hot" Chilli Sauce because that is precisely what it is.......sweet 'n' hot. Absolutely delicious!
Five of the nine products in the current range are from recipes which were known to be used by my paternal grandmother, Gertrude, seen here with my eldest brother Clive. He’s the one being carried!
I am totally committed to producing only the best, by buying nothing but the best. With every batch I strive for the highest standards which were seemingly second nature to my parents. I use the methods they used and perfected over many years. To achieve this we select only the best produce available and make small batches which are prepared and cooked by hand. By refusing to cut corners and in taking the time necessary to produce superior products, we guarantee our customers the premium quality that they have come to expect.
We do not use any artificial preservatives, colouring or flavouring in any of our products and for this reason, as with anything hand made, there can be slight variations from batch to batch. This results in a "home made" quality that our discerning customers can enjoy and take for granted, time after time. If you are a new customer, I can confidently say that you will not have eaten a better pickle.
They are naturally preserved and DO NOT require refrigeration once opened. Simply prevent contamination by serving with a clean , dry spoon and they should remain in perfect condition almost indefinitely. They are suitable for vegetarians. Although the products can be eaten immediately, they improve with age and have a very long shelf life, often way beyond the best before date.
And remember this, we do not claim our pickles are the best......our customers do!
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