Nurtured in Norfolk have come a long way since July 2009. Starting just as an experiment for Allan and Sue, Nurtured has continued to climb. Now we’re approaching our 10th Christmas as Nurtured in Norfolk, lets reminisce about some of the great milestones.
Early in 2009, Allan and Sue were working at Norwich Restaurant, Rare. The micro cress Allan and Sue were working with was not to a standard they would have liked, and it was this that sparked Nurtured in Norfolk.
Initially, Allan and Sue started growing micro cress on their windowsill at home and began using it at Rare. Their produce was going down well at the restaurant, although they didn’t think much further about it. It was only when their wholesaler, Accent Fresh, were interested. Accent Fresh wanted some micro cress for their customers too.
Allan and Sue were thrilled with this interest, and it was then that they thought about taking the business further. Their first business purchase was made, a 3ft greenhouse sat in their garden.
Growing cress then became a hobby they both did in their spare time. It was only when another wholesaler wanted in on their tasty edibles that Sue dropped to working part-time.
Sue focused on the cress alongside work for the next 4 months, but eventually gave up work. This meant Sue was working solely on the cress for the wholesalers. It only took a few months until Allan also gave up his job to focus on the cress business.
Nurtured in Norfolk began to grow from here. They began to invest in the business more, and were now the proud owners of 2 40-foot greenhouses, and 1 70-foot polytunnel.
In July 2009, it was official. Allan and Sue started renting tables in a greenhouse in Toftwood, so they would be able to grow their cress to meet the high demand. One table turned into two, two turned into three, and after a few years, the whole greenhouse was theirs.
Nurtured continued to expand and reached great milestones with another greenhouse, 4-acres of land, and 2 warehouses. Along with this, the work force grew. The first Christmas as Nurtured in Norfolk, Allan and Sue were running a family business with no more than 10 employees. Now, heading into the 10th Christmas, the company has flourished, with employees working in the greenhouses, pack rooms, and office.
Celebrating the 10th Christmas, Nurtured now have 4-acres of land, several greenhouses, and supply customers on a variety of platforms, including wholesale and website.
2014 – BBC programme Taste of Britain visits Nurtured in Norfolk to explore our unique produce and take a tour of the nursery. Taste of Britain explores different cultures and produce across the UK, so it was a great compliment to have a visit from Janet Street-Porter and Brian Turner.
2017 – Nurtured in Norfolk collaborate with cocktail bar All Bar One on their campaign ‘The Spirits of 2017’. Celebrating the top trends of 2017, All Bar One created 4 new cocktails, garnished with Nurtured’s edible leaves, herbs and edible flowers.
December 2017 – Nurtured is expanding to support the high demand for micros. At the end of 2017, work began on 2 new warehouses for the business.
June 2019 – Nurtured were invited to attend the Royal Norfolk Show to show off their produce and talk to customers first hand.
2019 – Nurtured were finalists for the Marketing Campaign of the Year and the Foodservice Supplier of the Year Awards at the Fresh produce Consortium Awards.
Now at the end of 2019, after 10 years in the business, Nurtured in Norfolk supply some top Michelin star chefs – including Ollie Dabbous, Claire Smyth and Gordon Ramsey Restaurant – airlines and home cooks, own a 4-acre Nursery in Toftwood, Dereham, and work with suppliers across the globe.
The whole journey has been thrilling and as for 2020, the excitement continues. We look forward to continue working alongside our wholesalers, chefs, bakers, mixologists, and home cooks, to be inspired by their work, and to deliver micros to be used in any which way. We hope to continue this work but to also meet new people and collaborate with other talented individuals in the year to come.