British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 5

Hannah has been with us for just over a year now, she was previously a Civil Servant at Exeter Combined Court for 12 years but after having their second little girl and being Liam’s wife she decided it was the right time to leave the Court Service and join us here at Isca!

As well as setting up Orchardlea Occasion Foods, a new buffet food and hamper side to the business, she has been covering my role while I have been on maternity leave. We will continue to work together on the admin, social media and marketing side of Isca. 

The pie of choice for Hannah is also the flavoursome Homity Pie, “the garlic, potato and cheese flavour is just so satisfying and moreish, the pastry really does round it off.” 

Q & A 

Q: Favourite Pie and why?

A: Homity Pie, but has to be hot! I absolutely love the Chunk homity pie, the potato, garlic and cheese is just immense it is so filling, it is an absolute carb feast but you need carbs especially in the winter months!

 

Q: Chips or Mash?

A: Hard one, I do love pie and mash but the mash has to be good! So probably chips, I don’t tend to have chips much either so always enjoy them when I do. 

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?

A: Starter – Breaded brie and cranberry
Main – Probably roast dinner 
Pudding – Crumble

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?

A: Just over a year properly, but I have been involved with Isca for a long time due to Liam running the business. I’m glad to be a part of the team now and there is a lot in the pipeline for us as a business going forward – exciting times ahead!

Q: What is your role at Isca?

A: I manage ‘Orchardlea Occasion Foods’ our new buffet food/hamper side of the business, but also admin for Isca, taking orders, emails, invoicing, social media, picking orders if we are short of staff/busy, a bit of everything really!

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?

A: Not at all, I loveee food and especially cheese so I am in the right place now! I have always done admin/event based roles but had never used Sage (our invoice system) before. I enjoy a new challenge though so I never mind learning new skills.

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?

A: Definitely seeing friends and family properly, enjoying good food and a break from cooking myself!
Being able to do more with our girls, our youngest (Molly) is nearly 2 and has hardly seen any animals yet!

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 4

Dan started working for us in the complete mayhem of last year and since then has pretty much managed to cover all aspects of the business from picking and packing orders to taking a starring role in our Westcountry Olive promotional videos and recently trying his hand at inputting invoices and updating our website after a slight altercation with his thumb. As the requisite foodie type required to work in this industry Dan said “my death row meal would be pie, pie and chips, pie and mash, pie on its own – just pie”.

His pie of choice is the classic chicken and bacon, “if I know I’ve got a chicken & bacon pie waiting for me at the end of the day it makes it a whole lot better”. We agree, pie does make things better, and the chicken & bacon pie from Chunk of Devon is no exception – lovely and creamy with big chunks of tender chicken combined with intensely smoky bacon pieces in a creamy white wine sauce. What’s not to love?

Q&A with Dan

Q: Favourite chunk pie and why? 

A: Chicken, bacon and leek, combination of flavours really work well together, chunk create smooth yet complex gravy that really combines the chicken and bacon.

Of course the best thing about any chunk pie is the perfect pastry, flacky which is owed to being a great British pie

Q: Chips or mash? 

A: Long pause….. Chips due to the simple fact that you can dip into the gravy/sauce and clean up the plate.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 

A: Starter – mozzarrella dipper, halloumi fries and sweet chilli dip

 

Main – steak and ale pie, yorkshire puddings, roast pudding red cabbage and cauliflower cheese

 

Pudding – sticky pudding toffee

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods? 

 A: Around 6/7 months 

Q: What is your role at Isca? 

A: Olive production manager, Picker, due to a recent cycling incident he has taken more of an admin role currently helping with invoicing and banking.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?

A: No, however life is built on spontaneous experiences which will make great stories for when i am an old man! 

The Acting dream will never die and i may become famous one day

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when Lockdown restrictions have been eased completely? 

A: Leaving the house without a panic of ‘have i got a mask on me!!’

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 3

Today is the turn of yours truly in our staff favouite pie series for British Pie Week. I have worked here for the last four years and over that time my job role has ranged from picking and packing orders in the cutting room to answering the phones, inputting invoices, posting on our social media and, obviously since you’re reading this, writing our blogs. I wasn’t always into food and in fact used to be an incredibly fussy eater however I have always enjoyed a good pie. I would argue that my husband makes the best pies but since that wasn’t an option here my favourite has to be the Kickin Chicken curry pie from Chunk of Devon.

This lightly spiced pie is packed full of flavour from the chunks of tender chicken marinaded in curry spices mixed with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy coconut curry sauce. The buttery shortcrust pastry is lovely and crisp which compliments the filling and paired with some classic chunky chips this is my idea of a perfect pie.

Q&A with Bethany

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Usually I would choose my husbands homemade Chicken & Chorizo pie with a suet pastry top which is basically a huge dumpling and utterly delicious but for this I have chosen the Kickin’ Chicken Curry pie. It’s so full of flavour with just a hint of spice which I love.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: It’s got to be proper thick cut chips deep fried so they are crispy on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: To start I would choose a fish platter mostly because I can never just choose one thing! So on it would be some smoked salmon pate, lightly dressed handpicked crab and grilled oysters with a lemon and thyme butter with some sour dough bread and lots of salted butter – preferably black garlic butter which is absolutely delicious. Then a crab risotto topped with cod loin wrapped in parma ham with some roasted cherry tomatoes and finally a sticky toffee pudding with proper Devon clotted cream. I’ll be the size of a house when I’m finished!

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: I think four years… it’s a bit of a blur.

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Assorted! Anything from inputting invoices, posting on social media, answering the phones etc.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: No but it seems to be where I have ended up, I love eating and writing about food so I think I’m in the right place!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Definitely going out for some nice food and drinks with friends. Dinner, pub lunch, breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, anything. I’m looking forward to eating something that I haven’t had to cook or clear up.

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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 2

Tracey is the second staff member to feature in our staff favourite pie series. Tracey has worked here for six years as a picker and packer in our warehouse as well as a delivery driver. She is also proficient in cutting our block cheeses down to size although this skill has been somewhat neglected over the past few months as we have kept her too busy in the packing room!

Chips are Tracey’s preferred accompaniment to pie and we have to agree that perfectly cooked chips – deliciously fluffy on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside – are hard to beat. The pie that Tracey has chosen as her favourite is the Homity, this is a slightly old fashioned Irish recipe given a Devon twist by Chunk of Devon. A vegetarian classic made with potato, mature Cheddar cheese, onion and garlic and topped with more cheese this is the ultimate cheese lovers delight. The topping is wonderfully oozy and the garlic and cream in this recipe make it rich and hearty – perfect for cold winter days.

Q&A with Tracey

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Homity Pie, different to having gravy in your pie and the flavour is lovely.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: Chips

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: Roast Dinner

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: Coming up to 6 years in August

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Picker

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: Yes from when I did a day at college when I was at school, then when I finished school and went onto college I studied Catering and Hospitality for 2 years.

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Meeting up with family

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It’s British Pie Week!

And just like that it’s the time of year again where the humble pie gets a publicity hit. British Pie Week celebrates everything good about the pie from the delicious buttery pastry (we’re into shortcrust but props to puff and suet pastry toppings too!) to the rich, more-ish filling we love all things pie and this week we want to share that love with you.

Chunk Pies are a very popular go to if staff have forgotten their lunch which funnily enough happens quite often (any excuse for a Chunk Pie for lunch!)
We’ve asked five of our fabulous staff members their favourite Chunk of Devon pie and we’re starting today with the Boss Man himself, Liam!

Liam has been at Isca for over 10 years now, he has been running the business for several years as his father (Tim) wanted to take a back seat.

Liam is very partial to the Ultimate Steak Pie, the classic combination of steak and gravy!
He does also have a close second favourite being the chicken, bacon and leek pie, which comes down to the creamy gravy and the perfect flavour combos.

 

Q&A with Liam

Q: Favourite Chunk Pie and why?
A: I have two Chunk pies that are up both up there, the Ultimate Steak pie and the Chicken, bacon and leek pie.
The steak is just what a good pie should be, tender meat with a hearty gravy, and the chicken and bacon is just the best flavour combination.

Q: Chips or mash?
A: Would depend on what I am having to accompany it but I think mash with pie definitely!

Q: If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 
A: Lamb roast with all the trimmings and a good old cheese board for pudding

Q: How long have you worked at Isca? 
A: 10 years plus

Q:  What is your role at Isca? 
A: Managing Director

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the food industry?
A: No, my main background is I.T (which still comes in very handy at Isca) but I hadn’t planned to be at Isca until in between jobs. Dad had some work for me and then I ended up staying; years later Dad wanted to take a backseat so I took on the running of the business and the rest is history as they say!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have been eased completely?

A: Seeing family and friends, playing sport again and going out for some good food again!

 

Look out for our chat with Tracey tomorrow..!

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Veganuary 2021

January 1 – 31st is the month of ‘Veganuary’ for more details visit the website https://veganuary.com/ it has more information on what is it all about and there are alot of Vegan Recipes to try too.

As a Wholesale Business that specialises in Local Cheeses, Meats and Dairy currently we don’t have a huge amount of vegan products to offer but this is something we are always looking at increasing.

Chunk of Devon who is one of our big suppliers we order large quantities from every day  they they have been promoting the ‘Veganuary’ box for the whole of this month which includes their 4 vegan products that they supply including –

Cheatin’ Cheese Pasty, Spicy Jack Pie, Nips and Nuts Pie, Roast veg Pasty.

All of the above vegan products except the Cheating cheese are available to Wholesale Customers, Cheatin’ Cheese is only part of the veganuary box.

We do usually stock a Vegan cheese ‘Nature & Moi Dairy Free White Cheddar’ available in pre pack and available in 1 KG blocks too,  but due to Coronavirus we have had problems stocking it, we hope to have it back in stock in the near future.

We also stock a good selection of Savoury crackers which were a huge hit at Christmas they are called ‘Cradoc’s Crackers’  and their packaging is fantastic, it is run by the lovely Allie and Ella another family run business.
Cradoc’s Crackers are baked with Wheat, Whole wheat, and Oats as well as loads of veg, fruits, flowers, seeds, herbs and spices.

Egg Free/Nut Free/Sesame Free/Palm-oil Free, Vegetarian and a selection

They have a large selection of flavours, of which 6 are Vegan friendly Beetroot and Garlic, Spinach and Celery, Checkers, Sea Salted, Oat Crackers, Wholemeal wheat, chia and flax seeds.

For more information on our products click here

If you would be interested in a product list or some more information on when we deliver in your area drop us an email info@iscafoods.co.uk

Checkers Beetroot-and-Garlic cradocs crackers Spinach-and-celery-seed_clipped_rev_1mermaid-sea-salted-crackersFacebooktwitterinstagram

The ‘New Normal’

vanThe last few months have been, to use the word of the moment, unprecedented. We are proud to have been able to continue to supply our customers throughout the pandemic and our staff have been working incredibly hard to make this possible. Below we look at the ‘new normal’ for Isca Foods.

Back in March we began seeing the effects of panic buying as customers who wouldn’t normally use their local community or farm shop began relying heavily on them when supermarkets had low stock levels. Shopping locally and supporting local businesses and producers is our central ethos and, while we regret that the support needed came in this way, we are glad that more people than ever are discovering their own local shop. We hope that once this is over, these new found customers will continue to support their local businesses rather than reverting back to the supermarket.cheriton fitz

With many people self isolating and unable to visit supermarkets we began home deliveries. This started with our MD Liam and his wife Hannah leafleting in their local area after discovering the demand their neighbours were experiencing and spring-boarded from there. We added this to the routes our vans would be doing day to day and developed a separate price list for private deliveries. Our team boxed up these orders as normal and our drivers delivered them to the doorstep of customers. This demand has eased somewhat in recent weeks as supermarkets have put in safety measures and orchardlea (2)social distancing rules however at a time when local people were struggling we like to think that we helped to make a difference.

Our sister company Orchardlea Occasion Foods (run by the aforementioned Hannah) recently launched their range of delicious hampers. Prior to the outbreak the business focused on providing food for all occasions and events from weddings and christenings to birthday parties and business lunches. However from mid March many of these events were cancelled or postponed and as a result Hannah decided to diversify the business and added bespoke hampers to their portfolio. These can be pub lunch hamperdelivered to yourself as a well deserved treat or as a gift for a much missed loved one during lock down. The new ‘Pub Lunch’ hamper has just been added to the range which can include: Bays Brewery beer, Sandford Orchard cider or Sandford Orchard fresh pressed apple juice, a selection of West Country cheeses, Cradoc’s savoury biscuits, Waterhouse Fayre chutney, Chunk of Devon pasty, Burts crisps, Cornish Olive Stall olives, pork scratchings, pork pie and a selection of sliced meats as well as anything else that takes your fancy from pub lunch hamper 2our own range of products. Hampers are bespoke and put together to order so can be truly personalised to yours or the intended recipients favourites. Visit their Facebook page or website for more info.

This is a strange time for all of us and like many businesses we are adapting to ever changing customer needs and requirements. There is always more that can be done to make things easier for everyone, but we like to think that we have made a good start.Facebooktwitterinstagram

British Pie Week: Chunk of Devon

Chunk logoWe couldn’t get through a whole British Pie Week without mentioning Chunk of Devon. These pie and savoury producers have been making their award-winning pies since 2006 at ‘the pie factory’ in Ottery St Mary. The combination of locally sourced ingredients and rich, buttery pastry results in some truly delicious pies. We asked members of the Isca Foods team what their favourite pies in the range were:

chicken & baconLiam – Managing Director – Chicken & Bacon Pie
This creamy chicken pie is a classic favourite among our staff and indeed the nation. In a study conducted by Jus-Rol last year to find out Britain’s favourite pies the Chicken & Bacon came in at number 9. Succulent chicken breast and thigh combined with smoked bacon and leeks in a creamy white wine sauce make this pie a delicious treat.

spicy jackTracey – Food Picker – Spicy Jack Pie
The Spicy Jack Pie is the newest addition to the Chunk range. Packed with jack fruit, squash, peppers and sweet potato this lightly spiced pie is bursting with flavour and, now wrapped in wholewheat pastry, is suitable for vegans!

 

steak & stiltonKarl – Floor Supervisor – Steak and Stilton Pie
The Steak & Stilton has already been mentioned this week so it’s no surprise that it comes up as one of our staff favourites. This pie is made with quality beef, tangy Stilton and buttery garlic mushrooms and is wrapped in delicious short crust pastry. What more could you want from a pie?

Bethany – Administrator – Kickin’ Chicken Curry Kickin_chicken_piePie
This pie has been a huge hit with our customers since its introduction a few years ago. Tender chicken chunks are cooked in a light and creamy curry sauce with onions, peppers and potato and wrapped in buttery shortcrust pastry. The filling is full of flavour with a slight kick for lovers of spicy curries!

For the whole of March we will be running a promotion on the Chunk of Devon Homity pies to celebrate Pie Week! This delicious vegetarian pie is filled with potato, mature Cheddar cheese, onion and garlic and topped with more West Country Cheddar cheese. Get in touch for full details!

Click here to view the whole Chunk of Devon range of pies, pasties and savouries. Happy Pie Week!Facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Chunk of Devon

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Chunk of Devon.vFT_ivXsChunk of Devon are producers of award-winning pies and pasties made on their premises in Ottery St Mary. Beginning out of the back of a small butchers shop the business was taken on in 2006 by Simon and Suzi Bryon-Edmond both of whom came from catering backgrounds with a belief that food should be ‘simple, tasty and natural’. Chunk of Devon products can now be found throughout the county and their delicious pies, pasties and savouries are now available in a variety of mouth-watering flavours all made using locally sourced ingredients.

SteakAlePieCropThe Chunk pie selection includes the Kickin’ Chicken pie made with lightly spiced chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy curry sauce, Steak & Ale pie made using Otter Ale brewed at nearby Otter Brewery and locally sourced beef and the Chicken & Bacon pie made with smoked bacon, chicken and leeks in a creamy white wine sauce. All of the pies are wrapped in Chunk’s signature buttery shortcrust pastry and are available in wrapped individual, deli-unwrapped cases and frozen unbaked cases, click here to view the whole range of pies.
Their pasties are made using the same traditional shortcrust pastry recipe and include flavours such as the Chicken & Chorizo pasty full of smoky chorizo, salsa, red onion and smoked paprika, Steak & Blue pasty made using free-range beef and tangy Stilton and the Roasted Vegetable paCheddarBaconBombDeliCropsty with sweet potato, butternut squash and red onion which is now also suitable for vegans. The full range of pasties can be viewed here.
The savoury selection includes the original Chunki Sausage Roll wrapped in buttery puff pasty, the Cheese and Bacon Crown made with mature Cheddar, smoked bacon and onions and topped with tomato and new for this year, the Spinach, Squash and Cheese Roll full of butternut squash, spinach, sun-blushed tomatoes, goats cheese and brie. For more information on the savoury selection click here.

Just in time for the festive season Chunk of Devon have also recently released a range of buffet-style gourmet minis which are available in frozen baked cases of 60 with 20x Ultimate Steak pies, 20x Chicken, Leek & Bacon pies and 20x Roasted Vegetable pasties in each case. Click here for more info.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Chunk of Devon Autumn Offers

lamb maroc pastySo that’s it, most schools re-open for the autumn term today and for many the summer is essentially over. We’ve already had customers request our Christmas brochure and seen more than one pumpkin spiced latte on our Instagram feed. It certainly won’t be long before the leaves begin to turn delightful shades of auburn and we begin to yearn for some warm and nourishing comfort food.

This month Chunk of Devon have two products on special offer with 20% off, one of which is the delicious Sheep pie. Tender chunks of lamb and mutton are mixed with a redcurrant and mint gravy before being wrapped in Chunk’s signature buttery shortcrust pastry. Also on special offer is the Lamb Maroc pasty which we have to admit is one of our favourites. Full of juicy free range lamb, potato and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with fresh rosemary and caraway seeds – this pays homage to the origins of the pasty which is believed to be from the South Mediterranean. sheep pie

Both of these products are available in deli un-wrapped cases, individually wrapped cases and singles and frozen un-baked cases. Contact us to place an order or visit http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/chunk-of-devon/ to view the full range.Facebooktwitterinstagram