- With artisan producers and farm shops getting the spotlight in the BBC's Top Of The Shop programme, we caught up with the show's presenter, Tom Kerridge, about his experience with start-ups and indie retail
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WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO FRONT THE SHOW?
People who produce artisan food have a huge passion for the process and craft of particular food production. This is something that as a chef I recognise and have a huge amount in common with. We all want to be involved with food for the right reasons: trying to create something that not only tastes fantastic but has real heart and soul and a depth of energy that comes to the end product. Artisan producers are such wonderful people to be around as their focus in life is just about great food.
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY AND SHOPPERS BETTER SUPPORT SMALL-SCALE PRODUCERS OF GREAT FOOD?
Ask questions, gain a depth of understanding of how things are produced, and then you are able to see and visualise that you are not only supporting an industry, you are supporting a person – that is very important.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR START-UP FOODIE BUSINESSES?
Of course a business needs to make profit, it needs to operate on a professional basis, but first and foremost, you need to set it up for the right reason. Don’t get carried away with just the love of making something, if your costings are all wrong, then you will end up not loving making it, or you will love making it but not for very long!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?
We are very lucky that there is a huge growth in food education, more and more people have an understand of history, provenance and heritage, not only of dishes but actual produce. This is incredibly exciting and a wonderful dynamic for the industry. The more food education done with fun, the better.