A DOWN to earth food business is hoping to turn its ‘Nowt Poncy’ name into a global brand. When Managing Director Jools Abel drives his distinctive liveried van around he gets people stopping him all the time to comment on the name.
Jools and his wife and Operations Director Karen, from Water in Rossendale, set up The Nowt Poncy Food Company in July 2016 and in the first year of trading it was shortlisted for three business awards including the Valley at Work organised Rossendale Business Awards.
They have just returned from The Farm Shop & Deli Show at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre where their range of sauces with its distinctive brand and labelling went down a storm with the visitors. The brand has been trademarked in 11 different business sectors from hotels to accommodation, books to insurance, as the couple can see a global future for the ‘Nowt Poncy’ title.
Jools is a time-served mechanical engineer spent 25 years in the photographic equipment repair industry, but he has always had a passion for cooking. Karen was a headteacher and met Jools when they both attended Manchester Polytechnic in 1987. That was the time when nouvelle cuisine was at its height and the couple found themselves searching for restaurants that still served ‘real food’.
The Birmingham exhibition was over three days, had 30,000 attendees and featured 1,500 exhibitors.
Jools said: “I also got asked to showcase our sauces to a range of six industry experts in a Dragons’ Pantry. The sauces are all based on authentic recipes so the tomato and basil tastes like it was made in Italy, our Creole is true to its New Orleans origin and our curry is to a North India recipe. Our range tastes like you made it yourself, is low in sugar, salt, saturated fats, has no active preservatives and is low in calories. I wanted to use the minimum of ingredients to achieve the best flavour and not use anything poncy; just great produce and a little time and love.”
Four out of the five sauces are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, coeliacs and people with a gluten intolerance. Nowt Poncy sauces are available in Simply Veg in Rawtenstall and Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth, at Benedicts of Whalley, Bowland Food Hall, Clitheroe, and at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire; the products are also sold online. The sauces were devised in Jools and Karen’s kitchen in Water and are now manufactured in a commercial kitchen in Blackburn.
Nowt Poncy will be exhibiting in the Taste Lancashire marquee at The National Festival of Making in Blackburn on May 12 and 13.
For more information log on to www.nowtponcy.co.uk
Story by Catherine Smyth