Mary and I produce an award winning range of delights from our home. We take great care in sourcing our ingredients – from our garden, from friends and neighbours, and from wonderful growers across the UK. In this way we can be certain of only using the finest fruits and flowers with the knowledge of exactly where, and how each, has been grown.
Succulent soft fruits, savoury herbs, spicy aromatics, single estate extra virgin olive oils, organically grown citrus fruits all offer their individual perfections in providing perfectly balanced combinations. Sweet fruit vinegars, rare flower vinegars, herb vinegars, fruit balsamics, infused olive oils, salt preserved lemons, spiced fruits…and the list goes on. There seems no limit to our capacity for discovery, invention and the quest for fabulous flavours.
Mary stepped out of a long career in teaching to launch stratta in the summer of 2004. What had been a 25 year interest in the creation of delicious produce for family and friends using fruits, flowers and herbs now became all-absorbing. Such was the positive reaction of those who sampled the growing range on offer at Farmers’ Markets and Fine Food Fairs that it became clear that one person alone could not meet the demand.
In the summer of 2005, I left my career in catering management to join Mary in the exciting venture. Together – a formidable force with creativity and exuberance, boundless enthusiasm, a real love of good food, a spirit of adventure and perhaps more than a hint of eccentricity. What a recipe!!
We are members of the ‘Guild of Fine Food’, as well as being co-ordinating judges for the annual Great Taste Awards. Our products and recipes have featured in Sarah Raven’s two inspirational cookbooks and our vinegars used by Michelin star chefs Robert Thompson originally at ‘The Hambrough’ and now chef patron of ‘Thompsons’ in Newport in the Isle of Wight, Theo Randall who uses our vinegar on TV (and at home) and wrote of us in the Telegraph, Peter Howarth of the Samling in Cumbria, along with Jonny Spiers at the exclusive Botanica Restaurant at South Lodge Spa, and Koj at his award winning restaurant in Cheltenham. We were in the select group of finalists in the Waitrose and Country Living Magazine ‘Produced in Britain Awards’.
We have entered a number of our vinegars and oils for judging in the Great Taste Awards each year since 2005 and each time have achieved Gold Awards – 48 stars so far! In 2011 we gained the supreme accolade of the Golden Fork for Best Ambient Product in UK for our raspberry vinegar. The equivalent of a culinary ‘Oscar’ we have been absolutely thrilled with the recognition. We have always set out to create the best, and we always will.