Ten Mile Steve……..
http://www.tenmilemenu.co.uk……..Today we had the pleasure of meeting Steve Sidhu, the brains behind the wonderful Ten Mile Menu idea, our local Chilterns online supermarket . As you know, here at Heart Kitchen, we are passionate about provenance and sourcing, so it was great to talk to Steve, who, after many years working in recruitment, decided to follow his passion – the result of which we talked about today. Having left Uni with no idea of what to do, Steve took a job with a large recruitment company. He shortly found that not only was he rather good at what he did, he rather liked it – he was dealing with people, placing them in positions that suited them, making a reasonable living – what more could a guy want? Hmm – then along came the mother of recessions – the like of which we hadn’t seen for many a year. One recruiter laid off over 70% of their work force it was that bad. Steve and a team of colleagues were more fortunate and were able to start up on their own, with the support of Dragon’s Den Entrepreneur James Caan, and Steve quickly shot through the ranks, making a name for himself in the field. He soon realised however, that this business was no longer about people, more bottom line and figures, so Steve jumped ship and started hiking round the Chiltern Hills racking his brain to think what direction he could possibly go, using the skills he had acquired. How about a Pig Farmer? – Hmm, no land, no experience. Or a cheese maker? Hmm, probably need a large dairy at the very least……..Or what about someone who puts all these businesses together and helps them market their products – something which brings my love of the countryside with my passion for food, sourcing local products, the provenance of which is guaranteed? LIGHTBULB! Ten Mile menu was born in August 2012, and was up and running, complete with Land Rover Defender, fancy website, flat cap and hunter wellies by November 2012! Since then, Steve has gone from strength to strength, – he has realised that as a small start-up business he cannot do everything at once, so has taken a step back to consolidate the core values of his business, which is to provide a local, seasonal veg box to customers within a 10 mile radius of where the produce is sourced; along with supplying great quality meats, game, poultry, eggs and dairy foods; as well as little treats such as home baked brownies and biscuits, chutneys and jams. With the provenance of every product checked and guaranteed, Steve can be 100% certain that the produce he sells is going to be the best tasting and freshest; from Lacey Farm milk – decanted from Daisy on Tuesday, delivered to your door Thursday; to fresh laid eggs, – laid on Wednesday, fried for breakfast on Saturday. He can even watch most of the vegetables growing in the local fields as he drives around the Chilterns. His vision is to have a River Cottage style HQ where kids can visit and see healthy animals frolicking about in their natural environment, blissfully unaware of their fate; courses on butchery are given, as well as cookery courses, growing courses etc., to educate and inspire consumers to get more involved with their food and where it comes from. Ideally he would have a core group of suppliers in each town then we really could source great food locally and eat seasonally! Hopefully with climate change, Steve will soon be able to locally source avocadoes, pineapple, coffee and lemons; when that happens and he starts delivering loo rolls and washing powder, we can ditch the Supermarkets totally! I can’t wait! ***Incidentally, how often do you consider where YOUR food comes from? We challenge you to take a step nearer to finding out where the products you put into your shopping basket come from. It could be as simple as making sure that all of the fresh produce you buy (Meat, Milk, Eggs etc) carries the Red Tractor logo, which ensures that all animals are fed healthy diets, animals are treated with respect and allowed to live with other, same sized, same aged animals in enough space to move around; to talking at length with your local butcher to find out where he gets his meat from, what the animals are fed on, how much space do they have to live in, do they have access to both indoor and outdoor locations, does he know that if one of his farmers sends an animal to slaughter, he will get the same carcass back? Have your French beans been grown on a farm in the next county, or have they been picked, cut and flown from Kenya? And if so, is that a problem as buying from African countries might ensure that they also have a prosperous economy, or at the very least keep families fed……………. I could go on and on about this subject, but watch out for ‘Strange tales from the food chain’….. which I will be posting weekly…….
The Rambler, AKA Celia Dulieu
Celia has been sharing food, wine, recipes and friendship with Simon and Sue Gale for more than 15 years.
In a former life she was a mass caterer, working for large companies such as Selfridges, London; but after moving to the countryside with husband, 2 kids and dog, she resurrected her love of food, - particularly by entertaining her large extended family to lunches ,sharing informal get togethers with friends, and developing her small but productive kitchen garden. She is passionate about all things to do with food and wine; from where it is produced to how it arrived on her doorstep.
Celia’s love of meeting people, visiting places and trying different things has culminated in being invited to get involve with writing up the experiences of the Heart Kitchen and sharing her love of food with you through her ramblings.