Organic growth

first_imgLocated in the heart of the Cotswold hills in the picturesque village of Shipton-under-Wychwood, specialist independent flour miller FWP Matthews has been putting its money where its mouth is.The company is owned and run by Paul and Graham Matthews, great great grandsons of the founder Frederick William Powell Matthews, who commissioned the building of the mill, which was completed in 1912. However, the history of the company dates back as far as the 1860s, when Marmaduke Matthews started a small business selling seeds from his barn in Fifield, Oxfordshire.The company now supplies organic, speciality and conventional flours, as well as distributing a wide range of French flours from Moul-Bie. It sources as much wheat from local suppliers as possible and local farmers still personally deliver their wheat to the mill, which currently employs around 38 people.Despite having its feet firmly rooted in the grains of tradition, FWP has recently made a considerable investment in its mill, namely with the building of the new warehouse – The Wychwood Building – which was officially opened in February this year by HRH Princess Royal. Among the family members at the opening were the architects and builders who completed the project, as well as representatives from various local community groups, such as the local football team, the Brownies and the local theatre group, to which FWP contributes money.Alongside the new warehouse, the company is also installing an on-site test bakery, as well as a new blending plant and £50,000 palletiser, at a total cost of around £1.2m. “We had outgrown our existing warehouse to the extent that we had a bit of warehousing we rented about a mile away,” explains joint managing director Paul Matthews, who says a lack of office space had also resulted in the need for a portacabin to house three members of staff. “It took around two years to get planning permission, but we started building in January 2008 and completed in October/November.”The new building provides the firm with a flour warehousing facility and extra office space, and has also enabled them to install the test bakery, which is due to be completed soon. “It will be great for when we have customer days or are working on specific product development for individual companies,” Matthews explains. “It will also be used for quality control, which will be useful for our organic works, as well as our conventional and French works.”The test bakery will also be used to bake test various wheat blends, for product development with customers at their request, principally with Moul-Bie, and for introducing customers to the French products as well as our own, he says. “The flour will come through to the new blending plant and then we can bake-test it. When we have customer or company days, we can then bake-off various products at their request and they’ll be able to do a tasting panel if they like.”FWP Matthews is capable of producing around 600 tonnes of flour a week, but it is one of the smaller mills in the country – the larger being the likes of Rank Hovis, ADM and Allied Mills. As it cannot compete in terms of the volume of flour it produces, how does FWP differentiate itself? “In the last eight or nine years, we’ve specialised in the more premium products, such as organic, speciality French – we do around 50-60 products for Moul-Bie – and the more premium-type flours, saying that we’ll provide standard flours for large bakeries as well,” says Matthews.In terms of trends, he says, value breads are definitely making a comeback, purely on the grounds of cost. “Some organic bread is actually cheaper than conventional branded loaves, but the problem we have is the perception of organic – namely, that it’s expensive.” Matthews believes they’ll be playing a waiting game over the next couple of months to see which way consumers decide to go. The organic trade is difficult enough as it is – and more so in the current climate, he says; production has fallen dramatically, so it is difficult to know how much wheat to buy. “You’ve got major retailers pushing prices down, so at the moment, we’re very squeezed on our organics supply,” he adds.Currency has also had an effect in terms of wheat that’s imported from outside the UK, with regard to TRQs – tariff rate quotas. The wheat only comes without a levy if it’s high enough in protein: if it’s not 15.3% protein, a E94 (£85.35) levy is slapped on it. “Buying organic wheat is extremely fraught, as we’ve had two bad summers and we’ve hardly been able to buy any UK organic wheat this season,” says Matthews.”I believe retailers are looking to promote home-grown organic products, and we’re hoping to have a good harvest this year, and that there’s going to be a lot of promotion around 100% organic UK loaves.”There is only one word for why organic wheat does so badly in the UK and that’s ’climate’ – or rather unsuitable climate. “You can grow it, but at the end of the day, to make a loaf of bread, you need a certain amount of protein and you cannot get it by artificial means. On top of all that, you need a lot of sunlight hours between the beginning of June and the middle of July,” explains Matthews. FWP has sourced organic wheat from the likes of Canada, Argentina and Eastern Europe, as well as the UK.In terms of the recession, Matthews views it as just another challenge. “Obviously we’ve invested heavily in the new facility and we’ve just put a new flour tanker on the road,” he says. “I think that, although it is tough, there will be tremendous opportunities for us. We have many advantages, not least that we are a small team – there are essentially only three or four of us that make the decisions.”Matthews believes it is being able to act on decisions quickly that has helped the success of the business. Although the family aspect of the business is important, he says that decisions have to be made for the good of the business, not the family, or that’s where things start going wrong.—-=== Then and now ===Founded by: Frederick William Powell Matthews and now run by great great grandsons Paul and Graham MatthewsHistory: Dates back to the 1860s, when Marmaduke Matthews started selling seeds from a barn in Oxfordshire. Mill completed in 1912New developments: £1.2m investment, including the building of a new warehouse, The Wychwood Building, an on-site test bakery and a £50k palletiser, completed last yearlast_img read more

What’s Sutton Foster Up to in the Younger Season Two Premiere?

first_imgAnd we’re back! At the start of season two of TV Land’s Younger, Liza (two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster) adds one more person to her “Do Not Tell” list while navigating her relationship with Josh (Nico Tortorella), who as you’ll recall, now knows Liza is 40 and not 26. Let’s take a look back at what went down in the January 13 two-part premiere.SEASON 2, EPISODE 1Emoji UpdateAs you can obviously see from the above emoji, Liza’s college-age daughter Caitlin returns from India, and Liza decides not to fill her in on her “Tootsie with age” scheme. Meanwhile, at Empirical Press, Kelsey (Hilary Duff) unsuccessfully pitches a book about blowjobs. In a Debi Mazar meta-moment, Maggie shows off her Italian knowledge and hosts a wine tasting. Liza leaved to meet up with Josh at a bar and gets stood up. Diana (Miriam Shor) and Charles (Peter Hermann) dine at Bobby Flay’s restaurant to win a book deal with the celebrity chef, but makes a mess of the evening by chipping a tooth. Caitlin reveals that she got a tattoo from a hot tattoo artist not knowing it was (gasp!) Josh. Small world. Liza confronts/makes out with him…as her daughter secretly spies on them.Biggest OMG MomentYikes! We hate it when we kiss our hot tattoo artist boyfriend and our daughter, who just got some ink from him, is watching from the window. Ew.Millennial GlossaryThe Three Dots: (noun) The portentous, fickle animation that pops up in iMessage when the other person (in this case, Josh) is typing. Or…when the other person is thinking? We’re not sure. Moment That Made Us Ask:Why does Liza continue to wait for Josh at the bar for so long?! Yes, he eventually texts a cryptic, punctuation-less apology, but only after Liza sits (mostly) alone for two hours and is berated by an impatient fellow bar patron (and former vlogger) Ryann Redmond! You know Reeno Sweeney wouldn’t stand for that. What the f*ck, Sutton Foster?!Diana’s Statement Jewelry Update!Miriam Shor made her entrance this season without a power necklace, but she more than made up for it in a later scene with this piece of chainmail around her neck. That’s right: Diana Trout steps into her kingdom (her office) with actual medieval armor. Wait, is this Galavant? Are we recapping Galavant now?SEASON 2, EPISODE 2Emoji UpdateCaitlin, after catching her mom with Josh, leaves to stay with her dad. Liza nails ‘90s trivia, but after imbibing her boozy prize, Josh isn’t sober enough for sexy time. The gang goes to a launch party for Lauren’s (Molly Bernard) new company, at which Kelsey gets an offer at a competing firm, Maggie and Liza play ping pong and Josh leaves after being interrogated about their relationship status by Liza’s friends. But before he and Liza can talk it out, Liza has to drop off a manuscript at Charles’ apartment. Maggie and Lauren continue their May-December fling. At Empirical, Kelsey gets promoted (after Liza intervenes) and aks Liza to join her team.Biggest OMG MomentMaggie and Lauren’s drug-fueled tryst from last season was not a one-time thing! And now Lauren’s roaming around half-naked post-coitus like some millennial Desiree Armfeldt. No judgment!Millennial GlossarySick Lit: (noun) A genre of young adult fiction in which a prominent character is terminally ill. Think The Fault in Our Stars or, according to the world of Younger, the Rob Olive bestseller #ImDying.Moment That Made Us Ask:Liza, what makes you think Diana Trout is going to put up with your equestrian wordplay? “I bet Seabiscuit would love a Gallup poll” is the sort of joke that people who write that Waitress has “a cast to pie for” would find hysterical, but Diana has more important things to do. Like wear statement necklaces. What the f*ck, Sutton Foster?!Diana’s Statement Jewelry Update!Imagine having a shower mat made of sapphire. Now, imagine wrapping it around your neck. Congratulations, you have Diana’s statement necklace of the week! Pairs perfectly with a gold cuff, a dismissive eyeroll and Dove Nourishing Body Wash. View Commentslast_img read more

Travel Diary: “The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado / Hunter Mountain Hop”

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantFor those of us whose entire year revolves around the wet, chilly, wintery mixes that call forth ski boots and snowboard gear like a siren song across the warmer months, this time of year is cause to celebrate, for the winter holidays beckon. That feeling you recognize in the depths of your belly—it’s a tingle, it’s a calling—is ski season.It’s up to you to answer.Long Island living is rife with advantages. In the summers, we have beaches. In the fall, harvest festivals abound from the lush wineries that dot our North Shore. For the rest of the year, New York City sits like the sparkling jewel she is, ready for the excitement of a night out, the opulence of the restaurant scene, or the spectacle of Broadway.However, in the winter months, upstate New York shines brightest; the ski-slope encrusted faces of the mountains bring tourists and adventurers from all over the world. Lucky for us, the Hunter Mountain slopes are just a drive away.Click here to learn more about NY Auto GiantYou’re going to need some rugged mountain wheels to take you up there. The 2015 all-new Chevrolet Colorado is the perfect vehicle to take you up, up, up into those fabled mountains. Sleek, but gritty, this rugged mid-size truck is efficient, safe, and versatile. With a formidable V6 engine that provides best-in-class towing and payload, you’d be surprised at how quiet the interior is. With advanced technology options and upgraded safety features, like Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning—this is the truck to carry you through the winter months.After your upstate trek to Hunter, you can hole-up, slope-side at the Kaatskill Mountain Club, which offers ski-in, ski-out privileges, full kitchens, and fireplaces, amongst other amenities. You can choose from spacious studios, to one-, tw0-, or three-bedroom suites or upgrade to executive or penthouse suites for some upscale fun.If bed and breakfast accommodations are more your thing, check out the cozy B&B called “Beds on Clouds.” Couldn’t imagine anything more welcoming after a kick-ass day skiing, could you? Besides the heavenly sleeping arrangements, you will wake up in this restored 1854 Victorian home, complete with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and filtered water throughout, to organic fluffy homemade omelets to order. And coffee, of course. You’ll need some coffee. We all do.Hungry? Last Chance Antiques and Cheese Café is one place you cannot miss while you’re up there. This cheese stop and restaurant is quintessential mountain town cuisine with the ambiance you drove up here for. From sumptuous concoctions like their Portobello Mushroom and Garlic Goat Cheese Sandwich to their French Onion Soup and Fondue, this place will fill your belly and warm your soul. Order an egg cream while you’re there. You’re on vacation.“Polar vortex,” you say? “Wintery mix?” Is the weatherman calling for 3-to-6 inches of snow in New York?Bring. It. On.To get in a new 2015 Chevy Colorado of your own, call Ronnie DeTommaso of Atlantic Cadillac and Chevrolet of Huntington or Bay Shore.(PS – Is the title of this piece a poorly veiled Led Zeppelin reference? Why yes! Yes, of course!)last_img read more