Today we introduce Sussex Simple Pleasures, who will be joining us with her yummy festive hampers at our racecourse fair on December 6th!…
My name is Michelle prior & I am Sussex Simple Pleasures. I make seasonal preserves and specialise in made to order gift baskets including homemade sweets & cakes. I started my business mostly as a way of avoiding the high street scrum at Christmas, and my family & friends liked their hampers so much they started asking me to make extra for their loved ones!
I try to use local produce whenever I can, I get my strawberries from Sharnfold pick your own farm, I also get lots of great produce from Anthony, the fruit & veg trader at Crowborough & Uckfield markets, along with friends who trade me produce for jars of finished product, my poor freezer is always groaning!
Ive now been officially trading for approximately 18 months, but I was using friends & collegues as willing guinea pigs for a few months before I decided to be a bit serious about it.
My best sellers tend to be whatever is in season, so early rhubarb jam in spring, first summer strawberry. At the moment the Xmas spiced marmalade & cranberry & orange sauce with clementine liqueur are very popular, but there are some products that always sell out, onion marmalade with port & thyme, chilli pepper jelly and 3 fruit marmalade with whiskey.
My favourite products to make are the ones that make the kitchen (and house!) small gorgeous, at the moment thats the Xmas soured marmalade, cranberry sauce, cider & rum mincemeat and of course, the Xmas cakes for the gift baskets.
This years Xmas baskets are based around tea, mostly because I think we’d all like over the festive period to sit and enjoy a quiet cuppa! They come in a one or two cup size and include some lovely loose leaf tea from Perk & Pearl in Tunbridge Wells, along with preserves and a boozy Xmas cake. There will also be gift packs of 2 or 3 jars available which can be made up with your choice of flavour, complete with a gift tag, so your only job is to write something lovely!
In the future I’d love to be stocked in more farm shops and other retail outlets to give me an excuse to spend my day in the kitchen coming up with new recipes.
To me Xmas = feeding the people I love.
Please check out my website; sussexsimplepleasures.co.uk or come and visit the Crowborough or Uckfield markets where you can sample my products.