Summerdown Mint: reviving a forgotten British herb


When I wanted to bring something different but essentially British as a gift on my recent business trip to Australia, there was one brand that sprung to mind immediately – Summerdown Mint.

Their story is a fascinating one. The company was started by Sir Michael Colman, of mustard fame, who set out reviving an English variety of peppermint that in bygone days was famous around the world for its distinct flavour. Frustrated by the fact that British food producers were having to rely on inferior imported peppermint oils, Sir Michael decided to produce and distill the Black Mitcham mint variety at his Hampshire Farm.

You would have thought that after racking up many years at the helm of the family business that you might want to spend your latter years sitting back and enjoying a slower pace of life, but that is not the case for Sir Michael.

Summerdown Mint has become a successful premium brand bearing all the hallmarks of attention to detail, value and fastidious customer service. I enjoyed working with the brand when I was asked to help write some copy to describe the chocolate peppermint. Products are beautifully packaged and the awards for them are steadily growing.

Sir Michael’s vision for the company is very clear. Speaking to Country Life magazine he said: “I’m an “added value” man. I’m not good at cutting costs. That may work in the short term but, for the future, you need to add value.”

Summerdown won’t be found on the supermarket shelves anytime soon (Sir Michael prefers farm shops) and it’s now easy to buy them online direct from the Summerdown Mint website. So as the gift season approaches, why not step back in time and discover a forgotten but beautiful flavour.

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Jane Milton

Food industry expert Jane Milton has been in the business for more than 30 years and has the inside track on all things food!

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Fresh Banter with Giles Christopher ,Food, Drink & Hospitality Photographer
byJane Milton

Fresh Banter with Giles Christopher, the food, drink and hospitality photographer


Giles and I met many years ago through his wife and business partner Abi, and since then we have all worked on a lot of jobs together and have spent a lot of time together socially chatting about business and life.


He got some great advice from his Dad about offering to do things nobody else likes to do at work and making himself a valuable team member and sound found he had multiple job offers …


He’s run his own business for over 20 years and we talk about how basic business skills should be part of the curriculum for everyone nowadays


He shares about the prep that goes into shoots and how technology has changed the job so much and how much time photographers now spend in post production too. And about the sheer weight of kit that he takes to ‘location’ shoots too.


Giles loves tech and is always pushing himself to learn new ways of doing things , or master new equipment and he also talks about keeping up with and ahead of that if you can


A really interesting insight into all that food and drink photography involves, and some great tips for podcasts and business blogs to watch out for too.


I’m really pleased we managed to book Giles for a chat in this last episode of series 3…


Let me introduce you to Giles Christopher

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