Reynolds are not a household name, yet their products have been eaten by most of us in the UK.
Starting from humble beginnings as a Hackney greengrocer this family firm quickly moved from the streets to supplying restaurants and food service outlets across the SouthEast.
Now they have five depots across the UK and supply fresh produce and more to hospitals, pubs and restaurants, fast food outlets, travel and educational establishments.
When it comes to new menu and food ideas, I find their value-added approach to product development particularly fascinating.
Chef Ian Nottage heads up the company’s food development team at its Waltham Cross National Distribution Centre. I recently joined Ian and Tony Reynolds (the third generation to run the family firm) for a development kitchen lunch and it turned out to be one of the most inspiring of 2015.
Ian served a cleverly mixed selection of seasonal produce (apples, beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes, salsify) with a wide range of garnishes, sauces and styles. These menus are designed to inspire both chefs and buyers with ideas that can immediately be implemented in their own businesses. Recipes are also shared online for the same reason.
Reynolds love to be challenged – not just on seasonality but also on how to develop meals to suit the tight margins of mass catering demands.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create value-added vegetables then you will find useful advice from Reynolds in my guide to developing new value-added vegetable products – written in conjunction with my business partner Hazel Mactavish West.