Salads are no longer ordinary, nor do they have to come from some anonymous far flung location. Those salads in plastic pillow packs were likely to have been washed in chemicals to keep them fresh. So, we were very excited to hear of saladworx, Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards – overall Product of the Year, 2011.
They’re based in Dornoch and supply many top chefs and restaurants. Let me introduce husband and wife -Michelle Bowley and David Herbert:
Tell me about saladworx
We are based in Dornoch, Sutherland. We grow around 90 different varieties of salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers, supplying our loose leaf mix direct into hotels, restaurants and selected retail outlets. We supply Skibo Castle, Albert Roux, James Martin has used our product and we supplied the Master Chef contestants when they were in the Highlands last year. Our leaves are naturally grown, without the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides.
We have been inspired to produce quality dressings to accompany our multi-award winning salad, based on the same “clean”, natural ethos. Our dressings contain our own herbs grown and dried on the farm, together with some surprising and unusual ingredients. Our dressings really taste how they should. Our salad has recently been named “DRESS ME UP!” It is perfect with our range of dressings.
What inspired you to start the company?
We had a surplus of produce which we were growing for our young family. An elderly neighbour suggested that we take it to the local shop. The feedback was excellent. The rest is history!
Where can readers find your products?
We will be opening our on-line shop within the next few months, in the meantime, please ring or email direct for orders of salad and dressings on 01862 811 591 or saladworx @ gmail.com. All of our salad is harvested to order. We do not have any sitting in the fridge waiting. We have built up our reputation on excellent quality and sameday freshness.
Our salad is available in 50g, 100g boxes for retail or direct to customers and in 0.5kg and 1kg boxes for foodservice. We deliver within a 60 mile radius of the farm and use a carrier for deliveries further afield.
We will be visiting selected retail outlets in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the forthcoming weeks and introducing our products, in the meantime, you can buy our 100g boxes of “DRESS ME UP!“ salad at Craigies Farm Shop, South Queensferry.
What is the secret of your success?
Jolly hard work and determination and a couple of excellent staff.
What drives you to succeed?
To be the best.
We have won a string of awards recently, including The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Award – Innovation, 2010, Business of the Year, Highland and Moray, 2011, Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards – Product Innovation, 2011. and a real surprise at the end of the Awards ceremony…. Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards – overall Product of the Year, 2011.
It has been fantastic to have recognition and a seal of approval by industry leaders.
What are you looking forward to this year?
To our new packaging facility and kitchen. We have outgrown our old facility and can’t wait to move into our new purpose built premises on the farm. We are actually building our new premises ourselves. David and I were roofing the new building during the recent hailstorms and torrential rain!
What do you most like to eat?
I love flavoursome food, especially proper Italian dishes.
I think we can learn a lot from the way Italians use vegetables and leaves. David enjoys traditional roast dinners.
When can readers come and meet you?
We plan to attend a number of shows next year. (perhaps we can let readers know which ones in the New Year?) once we’ve finished all our building works.
If any retailers would like me to do a tasting session, I’ll happily arrange it. Still under wraps at the moment, but we are planning a couple of ventures with Central Belt retailers. We hope to announce details shortly.
Describe your salad for someone who hasn’t tasted it before
“So this is what salad tastes like!”, was a recent comment from a customer, who had until recently only been used to salad bags from the supermarket. Our salad leaves have different and flavoursome tastes. It’s a bit like wine tasting, when people pull out an unusual leaf and try it, they’ll say – it’s like….
“DRESS ME UP!” as our salad is known, is a fine mixture of up to 90 different and unusual, tasty salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers. You will not find the usual Lollo Rosso lettuce, curly endive and red thick chicory that you find in so many places. Chefs love it. It makes their job so much easier.
Tel: 01862 811 591