It seems there are a wealth of well kept secrets in Crewe. I was under the impression that Mornflake had breakfast tied up in the local area but then I discovered a 2nd generation family business – Mrs Darlingtons. They’re a premium manufacturer of jams, curds, pickles and chutneys, and all will soon become favourites of mine.
In order to find out more about this tasty family business I interviewed their marketing manager Krista Large who is responsible for all areas of social media, website and new retail customers to find out more about this hidden gem in Crewe.
Can you tell us a little about Mrs Darlingtons for those people who may not have discovered you yet?
KL “Marion Darlington started making her award-winning range of products in the 1980s. Now in her 70’s, Marion is still the ‘Mary Berry’ of recipe creation in the family firm – there are few to rival her skill in creating preserves and chutneys with such a fabulous homemade taste. However, one of those rivals might just be her eldest daughter Sarah – they’ve been working together for 27 years, so when we say on our jars ‘Made with Love’, we really mean it! You can read the full story of how our family business started on our website.”
You’re now well established in Crewe how many people do you employ?
KL “We’ve grown a lot since from our farm production and currently employ 19 people in a wide range of roles that support everything from admin through to production, packaging and despatch.”
Can you tell us what the top selling products i?
KL “That’s an easy one – our bestselling line is lemon curd and has been for the last 30 years, hence we have now renamed it Legendary Lemon Curd.”
What does an average day look like at Mrs Darlingtons?
KL “Our day starts early at 6am, when the cooking pans are fired up and the ingredients for the first batch of the day are entered. Our labelling staff arrive at 7.45am and by then the first products of the day are ready for labelling. This continues throughout the day. We make approx. 10 batches a day usually of the same type e.g. marmalades, jams etc.”
Do you just sell your products locally?
KL “No, actually our family products are sold all over the UK. We also export to the USA, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany Belgium, Ireland, Greece and the Falkland Islands. You won’t find us in any supermarkets though as we prefer to supply local artisan markets and sellers.
But if you’d like to buy some in the Crewe area then please visit our local stockists:
Minshulls Nursery Eardswick Lane, 01270-522482
Bailey’s Butchers 151 Nantwich Road, 01270-255262
Hodnetts Egg & Cheese Stall Crewe Indoor Market”
As a Crewe based business do you use local suppliers?
KL “We try and deal with as many local suppliers as possible, we use local companies for maintenance, office supplies and graphic design, and of course we all shop locally as well.”
Is there any exciting news about the future that you’d like to share with our readers?
KL “We have just launched 4 new products within the last week. They are Blackcurrant Curd, Christmas Preserve, Blue Cheese Mayo and Hot Chilli Mayo. We will also be launching an online sales offering within the next month or so.”
I can’t believe what a well kept secret this is in the local area. I’ve asked quite a few people if they’ve heard of Mrs Darlingtons since I heard about them and the majority answer no. Hopefully we’ll start to see more people shopping local and supporting Crewe businesses once they make these discoveries.
If you feel the need to indulge yourselves like I did after find out about Mrs Darlingtons, why not take a look around their website here, and of course check out some of their mouth watering recipes here before popping in to one of the local stockists to treat yourself.
I’d like to thank Krista for sparing some time for our interview, and would love it if you could share any photos of Mrs Darlingtons products and any of your creations using their products with us via Twitter or Facebook. I’m off to Minshulls to stock up the cupboards with my latest discovery.
ps Did you read our last interview with Ed Whitby from Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Vans?