Friday, 21 November 2014


In the second of our new series called Behind the Scene, we took a trip to Grayingham, near Gainsborough to Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, Butchery and Café.  

The award winning Farm Shop, Butchery and Café based in the Lincolnshire countryside, and showcases the best in local and regional food and drink.

Winners of over 100 industry awards, the family run business continues to go from strength to strength every year.

We caught up with Emma Ward, General Manager (and the next generation of the family learning the ropes), to find out where her passion for local food and drink comes from – and to find out why the business was called Uncle Henry’s? 

Tell us about your background and how you came to the role you are in?
My passion is great tasting local food! Growing up on a pork and potato farm, I have always had an interest in food. I’ve spent the last few years exploring various aspects of food industry, from manufacturing to large scale retailing before returning home to run Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, Butchery & Café, our family business. Our mission is to be the heart of good food; we aim to provide an exceptional customer food shopping and eating experience, making us the destination of choice for local people.

What does Lincolnshire mean to you?
Lincolnshire to me means wide open spaces, the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds, glorious sunsets and of course prime agricultural land producing much of our countries cereals, vegetables, ornamental crops, pigs, eggs & poultry, prime Lincoln Red Cattle & Lincolnshire , sheep.

How did you get started?
We are a family run farm shop, butchery and café, just off the A15 near Kirton-in-Lindsey. Uncle Henry’s was started by my parents in 2006 although we’ve been producing and butchering top quality food in our family for five generations. The business takes its name from our family friend Henry Wright who used to live in the house behind the farm shop which is still visible from our outside dining courtyard. The name of the business was taken from my brothers & I asking our Mum if we could ‘go and visit Uncle Henry’s?’ as we used to love playing in the then derelict barns when we were younger! The former agricultural barns have now been converted into the farm shop, butchery and café, retaining and enhancing many of their existing features.

Team – Tell us about your team.
All of our efforts would not be possible without our dedicated team of 24 full and part time staff members. All of our team are local people themselves, and they are essential to our business success. We are Investors in People and we invest in our team’s training and development but above all else, we make Uncle Henry’s an enjoyable place to work.

Tell us which local producers do you use
Uncle Henry’s majors on sourcing fresh, local and seasonal products. We produce and make many of the products that we sell ourselves including our award winning sausages and bacon and we’re always developing new lines to add to our range. We use as many local ingredients in our home produced added value products as we can – for example our Argy Bargy Sausage is made using Mr Huda’s Curry Paste from Scunthorpe.

We are proud to support over 40 Lincolnshire producers; our local food heroes! We see ourselves as a hub for Lincolnshire food and an outlet for local food businesses to showcase their product. We have some fantastic local producers from Primrose Free Range Eggs from Goltho, to Pollybell Organic Vegetables from Epworth, Myers Plumbread in Horncastle and local Croft Apiaries Honey from Bishop Norton whose bee’s hive on our farm.

Do you engage with local community groups or put on events?
We strive to make a positive difference to our community, whether that be through our support of other local food businesses, educating children through over 40 school visits per year, our work with local charities and groups or just being a fun destination for local people to meet, greet, relax and enjoy!

Our calendar of events is action packed and ever expanding. Some of our events have been so popular that they are now annual calendar fixture. Our annual Open Farm Sunday attracts both young and old with over 3,000 attending this year. It is a free event and a fantastic opportunity for us to bring together both the farm shop and farming side of the business and for our customers to learn more about how their food is produced. We run the event in conjunction with our local Rotary Club and all proceeds go to their chosen charities – this year, we raised £2,576.86.

In July, we ran a curry night to raise funds for Lindsey Lodge Hospice where one of our expert Lincolnshire producers ‘Green Saffron’ were chefs for the evening and we raised over £150. We also support charity events held outside of Uncle Henry’s through donations of raffle prizes for example. This year to date, we have donated over twenty high tea’s for two for events such as Hibaldstow’s Scarecrow and Open Garden Day which raised £2,546.00 and Wise Owls Nursery in Kirton-in-Lindsey who raised £224.00.

On an international platform, where does Lincolnshire sit?
One of Lincolnshire’s primary industries is Agriculture, providing export products of all agricultural commodities.

Lincolnshire is becoming a great tourist destination and through our rail and air travel links, the county is highly accessible. Uncle Henry’s caters for this growing tourist market through our position as a one stop shopping destination.

What’s your favourite food fantasy/recipe and why?
It will probably come as no surprise (being pig farmers!) that we have chosen a pork recipe as our favourite. Coming into the autumn and winter months, this is a firm favourite for Sunday lunch.

What would you say to other Select Lincolnshire members?
If you’re a grower or producer, come and speak to us – we are always looking for new products & ideas!!

How do you channel your food passion within your business and personally.
We consider our USP to be our farm to fork experience, providing the very best in locally sourced produce whether that’s grown, made or butchered here at Uncle Henry’s or sourced from our Lincolnshire suppliers. We do however need to keep our shopping experience interesting and exciting for our customers and I channel my food passion through Uncle Henry’s by always looking ahead to the next new idea to ensure that we continue to delight our customers through our fantastic food offer which is great quality and affordable.

I channel my passion for food personally through cooking and I am an avid collector of recipe books! I will happily sit down in an evening and read a good recipe book and my favourite at the moment is Rosie Ramsden’s The Recipe Wheel. I love the concept of this cookbook which turns the style of a traditional recipe book completely around. Her book is based around a range of simple core recipes such as a risotto. From this core recipe, a bit like a mind map, leads different recipe options to suit your time, the occasion and your budget.

More information


A delicious Lincolnshire recipe which serves six people. 
2.25kg Uncle Henry’s Lincolnshire Pork Lion, bone in
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil (we love Ownsworth’s, made in South Lincolnshire near Grantham)
Sea salt

For the glaze:
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey

For the stuffed apples:
6 eating apples
60g butter
1 medium onion peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 lemons, rind of, finely grated
1 lemon, juice
120g fine fresh breadcrumbs
Sea salt and black pepper


  • Pre heat the oven to 220/gas mark 7.
  • Rub the pork all over with the cut sides of the halved garlic cloves, drizzle with the oil and massage the sea salt into the rind.
  • Place the pork in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature of the oven to 180/gas mark 4 and cook for a further one hour.
  • Mix together all of the ingredients needed for the balsamic glaze, remove the pork from the oven and brush with the glaze mixture. Return to the oven and cook for the remaining hour, basting every 10-15 minutes.
  • For the stuffed apples, cut the tops off all of the apples approximately 1/3 down from the top and remove the entire core. Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft and golden in colour. Add the rosemary, parsley and lemon rind and stir well.
  • Remove from the heat and add the mixture to the fresh breadcrumbs and use the lemon juice to bind. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Generously stuff the apples with the mixture and place the lid of the apples back on top.  Drizzle with a little pork juice over the top of the apples. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 180 until soft.

Serve the apples around the roast pork and enjoy!

For more information -


  • Save the date - 22 to 25 March 2015, at ExCel in London 
Select Lincolnshire for Food will be going to the International Food and Drink event in March 2015 to represent Lincolnshire’s food and drink sector.

IFE attracts thousands of high quality attendees from close to 100 countries. All sectors within retail, foodservice, wholesale, distribution and import, manufacturing and export markets are full represented.

If you are interested in attending this event with Select Lincolnshire or sponsorship opportunities please contact

You can read more about the event on the IFE official website.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Story & Picture credit – The Lincolnite

Shoppers in Dunholme can now take advantage of a £1 million Lincolnshire Co-op food store, which opened its doors in October. 

Pic Credit The Lincolnite: Staff at the new £1 million Dunholme Lincolnshire Co-op food store. Photo: Chris Vaughan
Goods sold will include a wide range of groceries like Lincolnshire meat, bread and cakes from the society’s own bakers Gadsby’s and products from the Love Local range, sourced from smaller producers across Lincolnshire Co-op’s trading area.

Some 10 jobs have been created at the 3,000 outlet on Market Rasen Road, which will house an in-store bakery, lottery and an ATM machine.

Opening hours will be from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week.

To read the full story please see The Lincolnite’s website.


The case is subject to a possible appeal, but Roythornes Solicitors employment law team have been studying the Tribunal's findings and produced a detailed briefing note which covers a number of issues which have arisen from the judgment.

Is overtime to be included?
  • Increased rate of pay for 4 weeks or 5.6 weeks holiday?
  • Limitation - how far back can underpayment claims go? 

Our view
The briefing is free of charge and can be found here.

We have already discussed the issues raised with a number of clients and contacts, but if you have any questions about how it affects your business, please contact one of the employment law team.

Roythornes Employment Law contacts
You will be aware of the widely reported decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal which ruled that overtime should be included in holiday pay.


Story and pic credit – The Lincolnite

After cooking up a storm in this year’s Great British Bake Off, and landing the baking crown, Lincolnshire’s own Nancy Birtwhistle will be passing on her skills to Lincoln crowds at a popular Christmas event. 
Credit - Lincolnite: Nancy Birtwhistle
The Lincolnshire Showground in Lincoln will host the 13th Lincolnshire’s Food and Gift Fair for two days on Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 November and runs from 10am to 4pm each day.

The annual event showcases some of the county’s finest foods, gifts and crafts from a large number of exhibitors and runs.

There will also be demonstrations from a number of Lincolnshire’s best chefs and cocktail makers including Nick and Charlie from The Strait and Narrow, Louise Jarvis from Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop and Pete Welbourne.

Special guest Nancy, from Barton-Upon-Humber, will be running a cookery demonstration at the event on Sunday, November 30.

Read the full story on the Lincolnite.



Select Lincolnshire for Food member, The Lincolnshire Chef, has an online journal full of delicious, easy to follow recipes for all year round. 

Plus tips and tricks for in the kitchen and great places to visit in and around Lincolnshire.

Steven Bennett, from Grimsby, talks about growing up as a baker and butchers son in Louth. As well as his journey working his way up the 'cooking ladder'.

20 years of experience later, he now runs an award winning restaurant The Comfy Duck, and hotel with hospitality consultancy Perfect Palate Solutions Ltd - The Lincolnshire Chef.

Visit the website here.


Working with the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Select Lincolnshire for Food members can take advantage and attend all the training listed on the Chamber’s website

Businesses are at the heart of the Lincolnshire economy. As the needs of employers change, so does the delivery of training and skills packages. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with training provider across the county in a range of different sectors and industries. This allows us to deliver up to date and relevant skills workshops- not only for our members, but the whole Lincolnshire business community.

Improving the skills of individuals, whole teams and companies is crucial to securing a stronger economy for Lincolnshire and its residents.

What training is available?
Have a look at the training section on for new training events and workshops.


"... the single most important piece of information for business planning ..."

Fill out the QES Survey - click here. 

What is QES?
The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is a business questionnaire that gives a ‘health check’ on Lincolnshire’s economy. It is done four times a year at the beginning of each trading quarter. It forms part of the British Chambers of Commerce’s national survey, and the results given by Lincolnshire businesses contributes to the body of evidence.

Why is it important?
QES is the most authoritative national business confidence survey and the first to be published in each quarter. Its results are closely watched by HM Treasury and the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. The results can be used and referenced by Lincolnshire businesses in applications and tenders, as well as the press. It is a valuable document for anyone needing to quote the latest economic trading results for Lincolnshire.

How to contribute
Any business that is based in Lincolnshire is eligible to fill it out. The survey comprises of no more than 25 tick box questions covering demand, employment, confidence, investment and external factors and takes just two minutes to complete. No detailed information is required and the survey is completely anonymous. The Quarter 1 survey for 2014 will be available to fill out on Monday 24 February for two weeks.
What to get involved?

Fill out the QES survey by clicking here.

Where will I see the results?
Look out for the results on after the survey period ends, and you can follow #ChamberQES on twitter.

Find out more information
If you would like more information about contributing and using the QES results please contact or call 01522 523333.


Story & pic credit - Louth Leader 

Butchers and bakers in Louth are celebrating after achieving unrivalled success in the Lincolnshire Poacher Competition this year.

Pic Credit - Louth Leader - Hollie Pocklington with sales assistant Justin Burnham, with some of the award-winning haslet
Trevor Fairburn Butchers, Lakings of Louth, Jackson’s Butchers, Meridian Meats and Pocklington’s Bakery all helped to retain Louth’s crown as the food capital of Lincolnshire when they each won a multitude of awards at the Lincolnshire Showground on Wednesday October 15.

Pocklington’s Bakery, based in Withern, earned special commendation when they were crowned as the ‘class champion’ in the haslet category, in which they were also the only gold award winners.

The categories in this year’s competition were Lincolnshire Sausage, speciality sausage, gluten-free sausage, stuffed chine, haslet, plum bread, pork pie, sausage roll, steak pie, burger, bacon and ‘innovations’ (meat and non-meat).

Read the full story on the Louth Leader's website.


Welcome to the Autumn and Winter edition of Good Taste celebrating Lincolnshire’s local food and drink.

We’re delighted to tell you that you can catch up with Good Taste Magazine online. Just scroll through the pages on your computer, tablet or mobile.

In this autumn and winter edition we look at some great puddings – which have all be tested by the team! Rachel Green has also been looking through some old recipe books looking for inspiration and shares her find with you in the magazine.

We have windmills, pumpkins and beers too and an update on the Lincoln Castle Revealed Project also.

It’s a great read, so please sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy the latest edition.


Shoppers and food lovers across Lincolnshire are being invited to judge the county’s best growers, producers and hospitality businesses in this year’s Select Lincolnshire Food awards.

Winner 2013 Peoples Choice Mountains Boston Sausage with Nicola Berry Lincolnshire Coop
The annual awards recognise and reward the people and businesses behind Lincolnshire’s billion pound food and farming industry.

One of the most competitive categories is the ‘People’s Choice Award’ which gives consumers; as well as local chefs, cooks and shoppers, the chance to vote for their favourite local food business which they feel is worthy of an extra-special prize.

Talking about this year’s awards, Gillian Richardson, Business Development Manager for Select Lincolnshire for Food, said: “In Lincolnshire, fresh local produce has a special place in people’s hearts.

“In fact, food feeds more than appetites here. We’re a county full of food experts. Growers, producers, processors, chefs, bakers and artisan businesses make Lincolnshire the jewel in the UK food industry’s crown.

“We’re thrilled to be organising the food, drink and hospitality awards again this year. But out of the 14 different categories, it is the ‘People’s Choice Award’ that businesses most want to win.

“It’s the second year that I have been involved in these awards, and the People’s Choice Award is about giving the vote to consumers. It would not be possible without the support of Lincolnshire Co-operative which is sponsoring the award.

“Lincolnshire Co-operative, through its Love Local range in its food stores, continues to be at the forefront of supporting local food businesses breaking into the retail market.

“I’d like to invite everyone to cast their vote on the Select Lincolnshire for Food website, and help us find the most rewarding business worthy of the People’s Choice Award”.

Vote here - To place your People’s Choice vote visit the Select Lincolnshire for Food website. 

The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony next year.

For more information about the awards next year, and how to be involved in with sponsorship please email 


  • Stokes Collection Café
  • Cuisine: Contemporary British
  • Party menu: £29.95 per person, to include a welcome drink/cocktail, a three course meal, and a disco
  • Party size: 2-60
  • Dates: every Thursday throughout late November and December

This Christmas, come and enjoy a Christmas bash in Stokes’ sleek and quirky Collection Café. After being welcomed with a complementary cocktail, settle in for a delicious three course supper.

Enjoy a wonderful turkey Christmas dinner complete with figgy pudding or try something a little different from our tempting menu. Vegetarian and gluten free options also available. Round off the meal with a cup of our famous coffee or award-winning tea, or enjoy drinks from our fully licensed bar, open until 11pm.

With a superb menu in a unique location, Stokes Collection Café is the jewel in Lincoln’s crown… or at least in its cracker hat.

Call us on 01522 523548 to find out more.

Stokes Collection Café, 1 Danes Terrace, Lincoln, LN2 1LP


The Pink Pig restaurant has had a makeover! Owner Sally Jackson, has been agonising over table cloths, lights and paints for weeks...

During the work a pop-up café was set up in the Farm Shop Studio serving tea, coffee, cake, sandwiches & Panini's. And of course the Oink Café in the Playbarn was still open for hot snacks and bigger meals.

We've asked for pictures of the new restaurant, so we can share them with you! But if you have never been, you can see a video here of what's on offer.


Would you like to take part in the Spalding Town Centre's Christmas Market? 
  • Sunday 30th November 2014
  • 10am - 4pm
  • Free Parking all day

Currently there are over 60 stalls, including craft, gift, seasonal and foods. Stalls will extend from the Market Place into Bridge Street and Hall Place with children's rides located in Red Lion Street. And enquiries for stalls are now being received daily.

It is hoped that there may be upwards of 100 stalls including catering and food stalls.

There will be a festive atmosphere throughout the day and a sheep trail in participating stores in conjunction with Spalding churches. Organisers are hoping for street entertainers to be involved during the day.

Hills department store are opening over the weekend, and Spalding will very much be open for business with shops being encouraged to enter into the spirit of Christmas. Ayscoughfee Hall is also holding a Victorian Craft Fayre.

More information - for more information please email


Solicitors Roythornes are having their logo frozen in ice at an international event as part of their business development work in the food sector.

The 1m block of Ice will be on display at one of the largest Food events in Europe, IFE, which takes place next year at the ExCel in London.

The block is one of a number arranged into an impressive ‘Ice Wall’ by the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) and is one of the most photographed exhibits at the event, which attracts over 26,000 visitors from across the world.

Speaking about the promotion, Marketing Manager Mark Dodds said: “It really is a unique opportunity to promote the firm to a key target sector in an innovative and eye catching way. We will also have a team at the event and will be making some great contacts over the four days.”
Graeme Day, Head of Commercial at the BFFF said:

“We’re delighted to have Roythornes on board. They know a great deal about the sector and we’re very grateful for their support for one of the major events in our calendar.”

The move comes hot on the heels of the news earlier this month that that Roythornes were Highly Commended in a National Marketing Award for their food sector work.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Businesses in the food industry are leaving themselves exposed to risk when it comes to social media according to the third annual Social Media at Work Survey conducted by specialist food lawyers, Roythornes. 

Members of the Fresh Produce Consortium, The Food and Drink Forum, the British Frozen Food Federation, the Artisan Food Trail and Tastes of Anglia were asked about policies and practices they had adopted in relation to social media use in the workplace.

The 2014 results show that despite the fact that 70% of businesses have some form of presence in social media, an incredible 43% have no policy on how it should be used.

In addition, the survey reveals that the number of firms allowing staff to bring their own devices in to work for professional purposes has increased significantly from 42% in 2012 to 54% this year. This coincides with a slight increase in the number of companies introducing controls over what employees can do on social media channels while in the workplace, however nearly two-thirds of businesses still do not have any controls in place whatsoever.

Peter Bennett, head of the Food and Drink team at Roythornes, said organisations are making themselves more open to reputational damage.

Commenting on the results Mr Bennett said: “The statistics are a little surprising given recent high profile incidents involving social media. The ‘overheard in Waitrose’ Facebook page and the Twitter debacle surrounding Sainsbury’s 50p challenge poster are examples of how social media can pose serious problems for the food industry.

“While both retailers responded quickly and appropriately, these cases evidence a real risk of reputational damage. Food businesses are well advised to take notice and implement policies and practices to deal with such an occurrence.”

The research also indicates that there remains over 30% of businesses who do not monitor their online presence.

Mr Bennett added, “It is surprising to see there are still businesses that do not monitor their presence on digital platforms – reputational damage can still be done whether a business operates a social media account or not.

“We have stated for the last two years and continue to stress that without policies, rules and practices in place, the use of social media in the workplace will continue unmonitored and the consequences could be dire.

Mr Bennett concluded: “Those that have not implemented a policy or are not monitoring their online presence need to consider doing so, as the popularity of social media and the expanding number of channels means that robust, wider reaching policies are now needed.”

For full results and an infographic summarising the main findings please click on one of the links below:
For information on how we can help you draft your social media policy, please take a look at our web site here:


The Business School at the University of Lincoln is looking to produce a series of short case studies on Lincolnshire businesses who have seen a positive return on the use of superfast broadband. 

Talking about it, Chris Heighton, from the University, said: “As part of the OnLincolnshire scheme we want to explore the value of broadband to the Lincolnshire economy, and how can the availability of higher bandwidth along with the innovative use of broadband contribute to business growth and sustainability?”

The research will focus specifically on use of broadband by SME’s (EU Definition) and has two core aims:

1. To produce a series of short case studies demonstrating the effects of increased bandwidth, coupled with business models that make best use of the digital economy.

2. To identify ways in which the economy of Lincolnshire, and individual enterprises can be further developed through digital technologies.

Chris continued: “The project involves collaboration between a group of researchers from the University, a group of exemplary small and medium enterprises, and a wider OnLincolnshire Knowledge Base Forum (OK Forum).

“Approximately 20 Case studies will be produced by collaborations between owner managers of small and medium sized enterprises and the research team. The cases will cover a range of sectors, with firm sizes between 5 and 200 employees.

“The aim is to capture and promote excellent examples of the use of online technologies for business purposes, but also to demonstrate the impact of increased broadband speeds and the challenges of remaining competitive in zero or low-bandwidth areas of the county.

“The SMEs will be encouraged to participate in the wider OK Forum and share intelligence for the Onlincolnshire Knowledgebase. The OK Forum members are people and organisations actively developing or researching the economic and social impact and value of online technologies and the digital economy.

“The Forum comprises small business owners, experts in digital technology and broadband, digital media and marketing and business model design. The Forum will also include people with expertise on the Lincolnshire economy.

“One of the target business sectors for the research is Visitor Economy, so we’d really like to hear from anyone who might fit the above criteria and would be interested in engaging in the research programme?

“There is no direct cost to engage in the programme other than the commitment of staff time to develop collaborative programmes. Potential benefits to SME’s interested in taking part in the programme include opportunities to develop new Business to Education partnerships that have been proven to support growth locally.

“In addition, engaging in the research can also facilitate new ideas, content, develop new relationships with different audiences and access highly specialist expertise and resources. Academic partnerships can inspire great ideas, provide essential insights, increase capacity and strengthen relationships.”

If you would like to take part please email

See what funded training is available for your business here:


The leader of an international company in the agricultural technology sector has been appointed to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership board.

Ian Munnery has been recruited to help drive forward the work of the LEP, a private sector-led organisation which works to create sustainable economic growth in Greater Lincolnshire.

He is General Manager and Director of SESVanderHave UK Ltd based in Wellingore near Lincoln, which is the UK arm of the world’s largest specialist breeder of sugar beet seed.

Ian said: “The Greater Lincolnshire region is an important asset to the agri-food sector and to the UK economy and environment.”

“I am passionate about our county and our agri-food sector because it continues to deliver sustainable and secure food production and processing for much of the UK.”

“I’m looking forward to being involved in the LEP’s plans for the agri-food sector and contributing to the growth of our county’s economy.”

Ian brings over 20 years’ practical agribusiness experience to the board both in the UK and at a European level. In his career he has held a range of technical and commercial roles working with a wide range of arable crops, with a strong focus on research and agri-technology innovation and how this can be leveraged to increase exports, productivity, profits and employment.

After studying for a degree in Botany and Microbiology at Royal Holloway & Bedford College, University of London and a postgraduate diploma in Crop Protection at Harper Adams University, Ian began his career in the early 1990s at Sharpes International Seeds in Sleaford as a combinable crop trader.

He moved to Fishers Seed & Grain, as an area manager in North Lincolnshire before joining the co-operative United Oilseeds, becoming Commercial Manager, where he spent 11 years.

Becoming General Manager of the UK division of SESVanderHave in 2012, he established it as the leading supplier of sugar beet varieties in the UK and at the forefront of agri-tech innovation.

In addition to his business activity, Mr Munnery has served on a number of industry boards, comittees and working groups involved in both technical developments and commercial activities in the agricultural sector.

Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We wanted to appoint a food industry leader who would be able to think strategically and take a broad view across the full range of issues affecting Greater Lincolnshire.

“Ian fulfils that requirement, and I’m delighted to welcome him to the LEP board.

“I am certain that Ian’s experience in every facet of the agri-food industry will bring additional strength to the board and benefit the whole region as we continue to develop the economy of Greater Lincolnshire.

“We have ambitious plans for the region as outlined in our recent Strategic Economic Plan and it is vital that we have the expertise to realise these ambitions over the coming years.”


Our PR and Marketing Manager, Charlotte Goy, went along to see the latest version of Chamber Business Matters rolling off the print press at Morton Print, a Chamber member based in Horncastle.

The focus of this edition, Oct & Nov, explores Lincolnshire businesses which are reaping the rewards of exporting - including Pipers Crisps, which is selling to customers overseas! 

She was joined by Chris Strawson, from DPS Digital, to see the bi-monthly magazine rolling off the print press and being packaged up before being sent off to Chamber members.

Read the October & November Magazine here
You can download the magazine here. And see more pictures from the production line on the Chamber's website.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Sadie Hirst is an award winning baker and member of the British Society of Baking. With her Husband Russell they a have a multi award winning butchers shop in Woodhall Spa.

With November 5th looming only a couple of weeks away, this month’s recipe is a bit of fun and perfect fodder for a Bonfire party. Like most people these days, we go to a safe organised event, we are lucky enough to have some terrific ones in our area; we really are spoilt for choice. You get all of the “whizz bangs” and a big bonfire and of course don’t forget the obligatory sparklers. We always go to the Lions Club event on top of Thimbleby Hill in Horncastle, the real highlight for us is the enormous bonfire. There is something very ancient and special about a group of people gathering around a big fire in celebration. We then trek home and have our bonfire food in the warm, in the Hirst household it’s Hotdogs made with Lincolnshire Chipolatas served with ketchup and onions, Steak burgers and for pudding – Chocolate Orange Bonfire Muffins.

This is my recipe that seems to have evolved over a number of years, tweaking here and there. It’s a bit on the modern side for me, but I do have a weak spot for classic American Muffins. They are really easy to make, you just have to remember that they require a very different approach to making them than our British Fairy Cakes. You need to handle the mixture really gently and not mix it too much at all, once the wet and dry ingredients are barely combined, that’s it –stop.

 This recipe is very chocolaty and orangey and there is nothing subtle or restrained about these muffins and they are massive. I always think there is something compelling about a cake that is not far off the size of one’s own head! Don’t think about the calories, if you are watching your diet, please don’t make them as they are irresistible and very very calorific. I’ve tried eating one with a diet coke to see if that balances things out, it appears not.

You will need two big mixing bowls (one for wet ingredients and one for your dry)

Measuring spoons, sieve, big metal spoon, measuring jug, whisk, little saucepan to melt your butter in, chopping board, chopping knife, zester, lemon squeezer, scales, couple of spatulas, muffin cases (nice in orange or brown), muffin tins, mixer or food processor to make buttercream.

Bowl number one

  • 12oz/350g plain flour
  • 3oz/85g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 260g chopped up orange Matchmaker Chocolates (2 boxes)
  • 1tbsp/15ml baking powder
  • ½ tsp/2.5ml bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp/2.5ml salt

Bowl number two

  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 4floz/ 120ml whole milk.
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 4floz/120ml juice from the orange
  • 6oz/175g butter melted
  • 7oz/200g soft Demerara sugar
  • Orange Butter Icing and Decoration
  • 6oz/150g butter at room temperature
  • 11oz/300g sieved icing sugar
  • Drop of red food colouring, I used 1 drop of liquid red to five spots of Sugarflair yellow paste concentrate.
  • Box of Orange Matchmaker Chocolates (so three boxes in total)
  • Gold leaf if feeling really decadent
  • Non toxic gold and orange glitter.


  • Preheat oven to fan 180c/gas mark 5/ 375F
  • Sieve plain flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into bowl number one.
  • Chop up roughly two boxes of matchmakers and mix into your dry mix in bowl number one.
  • Lightly beat your eggs in bowl number two.
  • Melt your butter in a little pan
  • Zest and juice your orange
  • Add your milk, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and butter to the eggs and give it a good whisk together.
  • Gently fold in the wet ingredients to the dry. Don’t over mix it; stop when it has just come together.
  • Fill your muffin cases right up to the top, that way you will get your classic domed muffin top.
  • You should get about 12 big ones out of the mix. 
  • If you want to be a bit chefy, put a shallow tray of water in the bottom of your oven, the steam created will help your muffins rise a bit more.
  • Bake for about 20min, you don’t want to over bake these.
  • Take out of the oven when done, leave to cool for about 5 min in the tray and then take them out and put onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold.

Now for the butter cream, either with a hand held whisk, a food processor or freestanding mixer start to whisk your butter, this does need to be butter and not stork or margarine as it needs to firm up in the fridge after you have decorated the muffins.

 When it is starting to get pale and fluffy add in your sieved icing sugar. I use a food processor as it minimises clouds of icing sugar going all over your kitchen. At this stage I put my food colour in.  I don’t put any orange flavouring into the buttercream, as you have got it in the muffins and again in the matchmaker decoration. Chill the buttercream for a few minutes to firm up ready for decorating. It doesn’t want to be rock hard, as you need to be able to work it up into a bonfire shape.

Now for the exciting bit, I put a good dome of buttercream on top of the muffin in the middle. You don’t want to cover the whole surface of the muffin, or it is just too much buttercream. You need to be aiming for a big walnut size blob in the middle and drag it up into a peak, so you have a good shape to start with. Then break the matchmakers into rough thirds and stick them in the buttercream sloping up to a point to make a bonfire shape, with bits of the buttercream showing through to look like flames. I then used some edible glitter in orange and gold to sprinkle over the top (please check the label as there are different sorts of glitter, make sure it is edible) finally finish the top with a tiny bit of gold leaf. Gold leaf is expensive, so if these are going to be eaten outside in potentially foul weather I wouldn’t bother with it – your expense and wrestling with it will be lost. The only reason to use gold leaf is to show off and that’s it. The best way to handle it is to use a clean pair of tweezers; otherwise it will stick to your fingers and dissolve into thin air. Makes sure your windows and doors are closed too or it inclined to blow away into nothing. If these muffins are going to be inside as part of a party spread I think the extra touches are worth it as they do look quite impressive. When you have finished decorating them, pop them in the fridge to firm up. They will keep for a couple of days.

Wishing you all a happy, sparkling and safe Bonfire Night.

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Email Loryn Good with the full method, ingredients and a few nice pictures to be included!