How Did We Get Here
In the late 1980s we lived in southern Belgium where there is both a strong French and Italian influence. Below our apartment was a typical French Deli with hams and salamis hanging from the ceiling, every Sunday there was a food market in the street below us. Not surprisingly we acquired a taste for charcuterie.
After we returned from our travels some 10 years later, we missed the foods we had enjoyed; the charcuterie available in the UK did not taste as good. It seemed like fate when we inherited a Kenwood Major complete with mincer attachment and sausage stuffer, I wondered whether it would be possible to produce my own cured sausages, after all how hard could it be? Mostly by luck, my first attempt came out remarkably well and proved very popular with our friends. The entire batch was consumed within a week!
This early success encouraged me but there were many failures. My wife, Bernadette, arranged a course at The School of Artisan Food which proved a turning point. Over the next nine years with much research and experimentation I refined my skills until a tasty and consistent product had emerged.
With more encouragement from Bernadette we moved to a new home and converted the garage to a micro production unit which started up in Oct 2019.
We produce all our products using traditional curing techniques some of which date back to Roman times. The meat which goes into our charcuterie is sourced from small, local farmers who rear their animals in the open air and are more interested in quality than price. We know from exactly which farm any piece of charcuterie originates. All our ingredients are carefully selected for quality. Our products do not contain many of the additives that you will see on the back of a supermarket salami. This means that all our charcuterie is gluten & dairy free. This does however, mean that they take longer to make and are aged slowly which lets flavours develop to produce a more refined product. We try to be an environmentally friendly business with an energy efficient building, the reuse of materials when possible and using single use plastics only when we must. We would love to be carbon neutral but plans to install solar panels had to be postponed following the outbreak of COVID 19.
We are very aware that manufacturing has a major impact on our environment, I personally feel that
small businesses have a responsibility to take a lead in this area. Small businesses will be bigger
businesses in the future driving a trend towards a sustainable future.
With this in view Loxley’s Larder Ltd is engaging in a number of activities aimed minimising its impact
on our planet:
- Using free range animals, this low-density approach to farming allows waste to be managed in a traditional manner without a negative impact on its surroundings. Of course, this also means that the produce is of the highest quality and the animals have a happy life.
- We try to avoid single use plastics wherever we can. This means that our pre-sliced product are in compostable pouches, we use paper whenever we can. Our online sales do use some plastics however almost all of the packaging is compostable cellulose. We also address the small things like reusing the plastic from milk containers for our tracking tags and using rechargeable batteries.
- An installation of solar panels on the roof of the production unit minimises our carbon footprint. We are still monitoring the output of this equipment; early indications are that there will be an energy surplus over a 12 month period.
- We try to adopt a sustainable mentality which influences everything we do. While there are some additional costs to the business, in the long term we should save money and be a successful business as well as a caring one.