Newly created Cornish ketchup is proving to be the flavour of the month for shops and restaurants in both Cornwall and further afield.
Kris Fleming and Chris Gordon, from Truro, founded the Cornish Ketchup Company with the aim of using local growers and manufacturers to give the traditional condiment a unique twist.
After months of hard work and a successful partnership with a local gardening charity, the enterprising duo have finally launched their new sauces in Cornwall and are now setting their sites on getting their product to the rest of the region.
“We wanted to prove that you don’t have to be ruthless to get on in business - you can source locally and do something charitable at the same time,” Mr Gordon said.
“We’ve been trading for over two months now and we’ve produced over 1,500 bottles so far for farm shops, restaurants and hamper companies, so we’re doing well.
“But we have now set ourselves a target of producing around 1,000 bottles a week as we try to get the ketchup into stores outside of Cornwall.”
The two friends came up with the idea to create not one, but four new varieties of the tomato sauce - original, chilli, smokey and red pepper - to suit every gastronomic situation.
But the pair were also determined to work with as many local companies as possible during the process.
This led to a collaboration with the Pentewan-based People and Gardens project - a social enterprise which helps people with learning disabilities and mental health issues develop work and social skills through gardening.
The project is one of the few commercial tomato suppliers in Cornwall and Mr Gordon and Mr Fleming decided it would be the perfect place to source the fresh tomatoes for the ketchup.
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been able to source our ingredients so locally,” Mr Gordon said.
“We recently ordered our second batch of tomatoes from People and Gardens and have just started working with another local producer in Hayle which also does some great work in the community.
Ken Radford, founder of People and Gardens, said the opportunity to supply the company had been very beneficial to the project.
“Being involved with Cornish Ketchup has enabled us to remain at the forefront of the community in promoting emotional and mental well being,” he said.
“Chris and Kris have shown a huge understanding and empathy for our work during this partnership. They’re going about their business in a very compassionate way.”
The businessmen also used two Penryn-based food manufacturers - Sisley and Crellow - to produce the ketchup and Design Room Cornwall for the branding.