About Jam Today and Diana's Breads.
Back at the beginning of this century, many people wondered how we could produce more of the food we need sustainably, and locally. I was involved in this. Farmers markets had began to emerge in many parts of the world and local groups managed to bring together a Farmers market for Stafford.
I was invited to take part in this. To begin with I was producing many different things, including plants, seeds, textiles, and cakes and jam. Jam and marmalade were the first things that the customers encouraged me to make.
After a few years of doing this, I decided to test myself by submitting some preserves to the Great Taste Awards, and I won a number of gold awards. Things got a bit silly for a while. I was featured in one of the Sunday magazines and got a load of new customers wanting their jams mail order, then Harrods started ordering too.
This was all a bit more than I was really looking for as my interest has always been in doing something local and distinctive, so I focused on making preserves for customers in Stafford.
As I got older, I decided I needed to watch my sugar intake, and take care of my customers too, so I went back to what has always been my first love and started making breads, in addition to the preserves.
With bread, there is an awful lot to learn. After a number of years of producing increasing amounts of bread, I feel confident that I am offering customers breads that are really interesting, and generally pretty good for people too.
I am very particular about ingredients. I source most of my flour, which is organic, from Shipton Mill.
Other ingredients, such as pulses and dried fruit, are also organic, and I get most of these through another interesting local food business, Roots Larder
My breads are different, (though you will find quite a lot of similar kinds of bread in the Borough Market in London) and it means that customers have to be a little bit adventurous