To learn more about January’s meat box, I caught up with James Mansfield – who together with business partner James Flower founded field&flower (do you see where the name comes from?).
I love your build-your-own box system! What gave you that idea?
We wanted to be the first meat box company that allowed you to choose what you ordered. It means you can make the box fit your lifestyle and try new cuts each month. It’s more work when picking and packing in the butchery but definitely worth it for our customers.
You’ve only been going for just over a year. How does a small start-up shout about itself, in this day and age?
We needed to have something unique that journalists and the public alike would be interested – and our build-your-own box system naturally gained a lot of interest. National press wrote about us, we were featured in Rose Princes’ Good Produce Guide and then Mark Hix and John Torode featured us, we got a bit of a natural PR campaign running. We also take our stall to lots of food shows and meet potential customers throughout the year; we also use Twitter, our blog and Facebook.
You seem to get out and about quite a lot – you even sold at Glastonbury last year! In a dream world, where would you love to serve your meat?
We love selling online so we can reach everyone in the UK but if we could serve anywhere it would Borough Market in London. We sold there when we first started and it was a real privilege to be amongst so many other great producers in such a diverse market.
What’s your favourite produce from your farm, and your favourite recipe to go with it?
My favourite produce is our beef burgers. We spent a day with a fantastic London chef who helped us develop a great tasting beef burger after much experimentation. The burger contains nothing but quality beef, free range eggs, locally grown parsley and onion, with a touch of salt and pepper. There’s not really a recipe just remember to use a very hot griddle and a high quality bun. (If only I knew this before I ordered…!!)
In a fight between a Tamworth pig and a Suffolk sheep, who would win?
Definitely a Tamworth pig, sheep are pretty soft!