Creating an award-winning charcuterie business rich with gorgeous dried meats in the time of increased awareness regarding animal welfare, vegan culture, commodification and unconscious buying habits.
00:00:00 Marks Introduction
00:02:15 Meeting Karen, setting the scene in Rampisham, Dorset
00:03:11 How did Karen’s journey into charcuterie begin?
- 00:05:08 “So we started with Bacon. All the things that people start with, I have to say, the first bacon was completely inedible. It was so salty. It was just awful.”
00:05:57 Progressing, talking chefs & sourcing meat
- 00:05:59 “if you’re going to start a business, just ignore your friends and family and whatever it is you’re producing it, give it to somebody you don’t know who’s in the business. So with us it was chefs.”
00:07:29 Why doesn’t Karen worry so much about her meat being organic?
- 00:07:39 “Some of the organic farms are wonderful and I have seen some amazing farms and some of them are not, but because they have an organic tag, people say wonderful, wonderful and the price is high, but it’s actually not the product that you always want”
00:09:43 Starting the business, getting some new ‘toys’
00:13:14 Playing around with food and flavours, chatting about what Capreolus has to offer
00:15:41 Charcuterie around the world – how are other countries doing it differently?
00:18:20 Karen’s love for using rare breeds, and why fat on meat is actually GOOD for making the best charcuterie
00:20:22 Suppliers & producers
- 00:20:25 Sam’s Pigs – feeding them acorns to make darker, more delicious meat
00:23:26 Trying new things, and how attitudes are changing across the industry
- 00:26:15 How does Karen keep on top of food fads and the ever-changing industry when it takes so long to produce some of her products?
- 00:26:48 “You have to watch that watch things like the great British menu. Just see what the chefs are telling each other they’re using. So if they’re all using Lardo than we know, we’ll probably get a run on Lardo. TV programs do for, for a few weeks, suddenly make things sell in a different direction.”
00:28:26 The science behind drying, and adding spices, herbs and smoking when the meat is ready
00:33:30 Supplying amazing chefs
00:34:38 Is there anything Karen would have done differently?
00:36:26 Feeding Valentine Warner, making people happy with food
00:37:40 Does Karen want to start exporting her charcuterie?
- 00:38:22 “We’re a really exciting time for British food because 20 years ago we didn’t have a very good reputation for food and now we’ve got a phenomenal reputation”
00:39:47 The strive to keep creating, and the passion behind the industry
00:41:19 Animal welfare, cheap imports and the importance of knowing where your meat comes from
- 00:41:37 “So really the customer always needs to understand why it’s expensive. They need to understand that it’s a slow process. We haven’t been speeding things up with chemicals or anything else.”
- 00:43:08 What is PGI beef?
00:44:05 Are people becoming more educated? Karen thinks the situation is getting better – particularly in chefs
- 00:44:50 “I think it’s important to ask where your food comes from and by knowing where it comes from an asking, you are contributing very much to what goes on in this country and long may it last, may it grow, maybe continue to buy from these poor farmers who are struggling to make ends meet because that’s the way things are.”
00:45:24 Thoughts on vegan and vegetarian diets
00:47:26 Is there more concern for animal welfare now?
- 00:48:23 “The amount that we spend on food now has dropped from 30%”
00:49:13 Good and bad advice Karen has received over the years
00:55:07 The story of the pineapple, as told by Mark!
00:56:17 Money and starting a business – who to loan from, and always loaning on business – even if it is family!
00:57:14 What’s next for Capreolus Charcuterie?
00:58:26 Where can you go to access Capreolus products?
01:00:28 Marks final thoughts
Looking to learn a bit more about Karen, her husband David and their gorgeous produce? Listen to the full Podcast here, or check them on their website and social channels: