Vegetarian week – Supplier Q&A with Olive’s Kitchen

In the first of our Supplier blogs we spoke to Charlie at Olive’s Kitchen who spared some time to answer some questions for us. 

A small family run business based in Dorset with a real passion for preparing, cooking and supplying great quality hearty food.
We stock a range of their meals which are frozen quality ready meals – they use local products and ingredients and that really shows in the taste. 

As we are promoting Vegetarian week he told us about their most popular vegetarian meals. 

As part of Vegetarian week our ‘Orchardlea Weekly offer’ this week is 10% off the Olive’s Kitchen Vegetarian meals we stock, checkout our facebook post from yesterday for details of the code. 

Q: How long has Olive’s Kitchen been running?

A: 5 years

Q: What do you like the most and least about working in the food industry?

A: Most – We love the journey from sourcing the ingredients to cooking our delicious meals. Creating something people can enjoy! 

Least – Like all business, of course we have our bad days, but generally speaking it’s a great industry to be a part of.

Q: You ran a Deli before Olive’s Kitchen came about, what was it that made you decide to launch Olive’s Kitchen?

A: We were already producing Olive’s Kitchen whilst in the deli as a small line for our customers.
The demand grew to such an extent that we decided to follow this path. 5 years on, demand is still growing!

Q: Have you seen an increase in your sales during the pandemic?

A: Yes – Significant increase in all areas.  

Q: How have you adapted your business during this past year?

A: We haven’t needed to adapt really, as we were perfectly placed in the market. All it has meant is we need to cook more!

Q: We are promoting Vegetarian week the w/c 10th May, which is your bestselling vegetarian meal?

A: They all sell in quite equal volume. However, the Butternut Squash Lasagne and the Macaroni Cheese are probably just in front.

Q: Have you got any new recipes/products in the pipeline?

Yes – Roasted Vegetable Lasagne, Chicken Korma, Roasted Vegetable Penne Pasta and a Chicken and Mushroom Pie.

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat locally?

A: We love our local pub! Proper pub grub with a really friendly service. Its great to see them back open (and others!)

Q: Is there anything you have learnt from running your own business?

A: Don’t worry about making mistakes, they will happen. Just learn from them and don’t make them again!

Q: Last question, social media is so huge these days and most businesses have some form of Social Media we just wondered out of interest why you don’t currently use Facebook/Instagram etc?

A: Social media is an area of our business that we need to look into and develop. That said, we are not sure that we follow the general perception that social media is essential to survive We do incredibly well from word of mouth and our own personable approach.

If you haven’t tried stocking any of the Olive’s Kitchen range then now is a great time to try – order yours today when placing your order with us.

Facebooktwitterinstagram

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!

Facebooktwitterinstagram

Q&A – Ide Community Shop

Thank you for taking the time to read our first blog in our series
‘The Heart of our Company’
Every month we will be doing a Q&A with one of our Customers or Suppliers from all across the South West, if you are reading this and would like to get involved just drop us an email to info@iscafoods.co.uk or message us on facebook. We are very much open to other ideas for this Blog series too.

Thank you to Ide Community Shop who are the first of our Loyal Customers to take part in our Question & Answer blog.


Q: Can you tell us abit about Ide Community Shop and how long it has been running? 

A: Ide Community Shop was started by local people in 2009 when the previous shop closed due to the ill health of the owners.  It moved to its purpose-built premises in 2013 and is still staffed and run by volunteers.

Q: What do you like the most and least about working in the food industry?

A: As we are a community shop the best bit is being of service to the villagers and getting to know them personally and going over and above the normal service of service a standard shop can offer and helping them out in various ways and looking out for the older members and checking they are ok if they have not been in etc

Q: If you were putting together a Cheese board what would be your top 3 Cheeses?

A: Somerset Brie, Barnstormer Cheddar and Cornish Yarg

Q: Have you seen an increase in people shopping locally since the Pandemic?

A: Definitely – people are coming in a lot more as we are smaller and limiting number in the shop at one time, so they feel safer and because they just do not want to go into town with more people around.  Also, as more people are home working and home schooling they are coming in as not travelling to work or school etc

Q: How long have you been a Customer of Isca?

A: 10 Years plus

Q: What are some of your best-selling products? Have these changed during the past year?

Bacon, cheese, crisps, eggs, milk & wine

A: Sales have gone up across the board on most lines – a lot more alcohol has sold during lockdown as people have to drink at home.  Chocolate and crisps sales have also increased as people treat themselves more as a result of having to stay in.  Also, more lunchtime type foods are selling as again people eat at home and feed their children more at home rather than them having school dinners.

Q: Is there anything we don’t sell currently that you’d like to see available?

We get everything we need of you and think you carry a great range – we especially like all the local products as we try and buy as much local and support local producers and suppliers much as we can.  This has always been our policy since the start

Q: When Covid has decided to leave us alone and we can finally start to do fun things again, what is the first thing you are going to do/ or have booked already?

Definitely to have time with friends and family – I have so missed seeing people especially the older relatives during this time

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat locally?

A: Hard to say as we have so many great local places around us – the two pubs in the village by the shop, The Huntsman Inn, and The Poachers Inn both are great places to eat with brilliant atmospheres and have fantastic landlords and again are a huge part of village life.  Further afield the London Inn at Morchard Bishop is great with an exceptional landlord in Vera and they offer fantastic home cooked food in huge portions.

Q: As a very valued Customer is there anything we can do better to improve the service you are receiving from us?

A: Isca offer great service and great customer care skills on every level – no improvement necessary
(just to confirm there was no free cheese given from Isca as a bribe for this answer!)  

 

 Facebooktwitterinstagram