What innovations can we look forward to from Harbour & Jones over the
next year?
More forgotten fruits! Those lovely British fruits with heritage and flavour, such
as damsons, gooseberries, rhubarb and blackcurrants. Street food – food
that requires people’s involvement and interactive dining. Tea! We are
working with Tregothnan Tea Company in Cornwall and are training ‘tea
artists’ - a bit like the coffee shop baristas, or sommeliers - people who really
know their tea, and can engage customers.
What do you think of the British Hen Welfare Trust’s efforts to promote free
range eggs and support British egg farmers?
It speaks for itself – we are a patron of the charity. We are hugely
supportive. For example, every Christmas we give our clients a gift relating
to our business. A few years ago we did a British Hen Welfare Trust themed
one. We did the ultimate breakfast gift pack with free range eggs, a bottle
of Champagne and a DVD of ‘Chicken Run’, with the story behind the
British Hen Welfare Trust and how we’re proud to be associated with it. It
was tongue in cheek, but it got the message across. It’s great to see people
like Jane Howorth who really care. It’s really important, because if people
don’t have more knowledge, they’ll go into mainstream supermarkets
where egg packaging (barn eggs etc.) gives you the feel-good factor. It’s
only when you read the small print that you see that the eggs are from not
so happy chickens…
And finally, I would love to know a little more about you and ask a
couple of personal questions if I may. What is your favourite egg dish?
My Sunday morning ritual – a dippy egg! A Cotswold Legbar egg, soft
boiled for 4 minutes, with sourdough and Marmite soldiers, with Maldon salt,
coffee and the Sunday papers. It’s as close to paradise at breakfast as you
can get!
Are you a hen-lover and would you ever consider keeping hens as
I’d love to have hens, but my wife won’t let me!! We have a member of
staff called Sukie – we call her the ampersand between Harbour & Jones –
she’s the first employee we ever had. She moved to Wiltshire and is the
living example of The Good Life, with her goats, hens, ducks and horses. I’m
always envious of the stories she tells! When I tell my wife, she reminds me
about having to put powder around hens’ bottoms to stop the lice and the
problems with the foxes getting in!
We recently went glamping in Devon where you could rent a chicken
coop. The children weren’t the slightest bit interested, but I was like a kid in
a candy store! The hens dutifully laid their eggs – but I don’t have any at
home yet. Maybe one day I will persuade my wife…