Two things our customers can always be sure of is that we are constantly creating tantalising new recipes and use only the finest ingredients. We love cooking up fantastic new flavour combinations and are always on the lookout for suppliers who share our ethos when it comes to crafting high quality handmade products.
Last year we added a new heavenly morsel to our range – the exquisite elderflower with strawberry truffle, made using a very special cordial from fellow East Yorkshire business Side Oven, as well as our very own Amy’s home-made strawberry jam. Side Oven recently pipped us to the post at the annual REYTA awards in the 'Remarkable Taste of East Yorkshire' category, so we're in good company!
Side Oven is run by the Sellers family – we asked director Jessica Sellers to tell us about the bakery’s history and amazing produce.
A passion for provenance
“Side Oven is based at Carr House Farm on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds in Foston-on-the-Wolds, where our family have lived and worked for five generations,” said Jessica.
“Currently, Side Oven is run by my mum and dad, along with me and my sister Hester. It’s very much a family business, there are seven people working here in total on the farm and in the bakery.”
And their – literally homegrown – offering is evolving all the time.
“It has evolved very much over the past 14 years. We started out making bread, using our homegrown wheat which is stoneground into flour, and now produce a range of organic foods including honey toasted mueslis and granolas, flour, apple juices and fruit cordials.
“We also offer breadmaking courses and occasionally put on open days for the general public and arrange educational visits for schools, which is great fun for us as well as the guests!”
It’s no wonder there is growing demand for the family’s fare, given their truly holistic approach to food production.
“We aim to produce tasty foods using the very best natural ingredients to create traditional products that reflect the characteristics and heritage of the environment that we nurture through organic farming,” continued Jessica.
“Our products are genuinely organic – this is a mark of premium quality and high standards, so customers can be assured that none of them contain any pesticide or fertiliser residue.”
Their inspiration for all this? Mother Earth.
“Our product ideas are pretty much inspired by what we are able to grow – everything we make uses ingredients grown or sourced from our farm. Our organic apples, elderflowers and blackcurrants that we use are grown and processed on the farm, with many growing in a field just a short walk from the bakery,” added Jessica.
“Provenance is our passion, it’s something we take very seriously whether it is milling our wheat, pressing apples or using our farm-sourced spring water in the cordials.
“Even the timber we use to fire our purpose-built woodburning oven is taken from our farmland. The ebbing heat of the oven is ideal for toasting our granola, giving an even bake and a superior flavour.”
So, what’s her personal favourite from everything they produce in this way?
“Choosing a favourite product is tricky,” she said. “But I think it would have to be our organic honey toasted granola with dark chocolate – it’s so moreish! We are looking at cooking up some tasty new additions to our range so watch this space…”
Not surprisingly, the cordial we use is one of the most popular items in Side Oven’s range.
“Our handmade elderflower cordial has been a bestseller for years because it is so refreshing and versatile. It really does have a stunning flavour – full bodied with a hint of lemon,” explained Jessica.
“I’m not going to reveal the secret recipe but what I can say is that it is made using our homegrown organic elderflowers that are all handpicked when the flower is at its peak, which when combined with lemons and our Carr House spring water gives real depth to the taste.
“We never add concentrates or flavourings and allow time for the flavours to infuse before bottling, which all contributes to creating a superior product. The cordial can be used as a refreshing drink with still or sparkling water, as a fragrant mixer with prosecco or gin, or if you are a talented chocolatier like the White Rabbit team, to add a zingy twist to your confectionery!
“It’s fantastic to be able to supply a local business that clearly values quality as we do and also to see our cordial being used in such a creative way. I’m looking forward to trying a White Rabbit elderflower with strawberry truffle, they sound amazing!”
Carr House Farm is situated on one of the upper headwaters of the River Hull and is an area designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI). Jessica’s family work closely with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and their traditional methods and involvement in an environmental stewardship scheme has also created a brilliant habitat for a wide range of wildlife.
“Through working with the land and providing space for nature, both wildlife and farming are in balance,” said Jessica proudly.
Side Oven product stockists
If you would like to buy any Side Oven products, please see their website www.sideoven.com for a list of stockists across the area, or you can make an online order.
Elderflower with strawberry truffles are available exclusively from our White Rabbit shop at 14-16 Dyer Lane, Beverley, HU17 8AE, online at www.whiterabbitchocolatiers.co.uk or by calling us on (01482) 679325.