It’s fair to say that when we ventured from ‘hobby’ to a proper grown up charcuterie production business from our farmhouse in West Dorset in 2009 we were more than a little ‘naive’. It’ll be fun, we said!!? Little did we know (or consider) the challenges that lay ahead (if we had we probably wouldn’t be here telling a little of our story)! Deciding to turn a passionate hobby into a proper ‘business’ is living the dream you might think (in actual fact it’s relentless…but that’s a whole other story).
Fast forward (in slow mode of course) to November 2021. Like many others in the food industry we had a tricky time during the pandemic. We dug deep and pivoted our efforts from the restaurant trade to selling to retailers and direct to the consumer. Thankfully it worked but it hurtled us into a period of further growth (which is not only a good problem to have but it speaks volumes about our produce). We’ve continued to win fantastic awards year on year and each new accolade fills us with confidence to innovate further, developing new products and using parts of animals that might otherwise be wasted.
Consumers (quite rightly) want more and more to know where their food is from and of course t here’s an increasing demand for food that is better for the planet (ie the opposite to ‘fast’) and brand authenticity. People want food that has a purpose and a story.
From the outset Capreolus charcuterie has been made with meat from animals that have been raised by farmers who really care for them. It is our duty to honour those animals and take as much care as the farmers when we make our charcuterie, wasting the absolute minimum and using the finest spices and herbs that can be found. We have forged relationships with local suppliers based on trust and a shared belief in ethical and sustainable farming.
Capreolus in 2022 is all about growth (we don’t really have an option) to meet the growing demand for our award-winning charcuterie. But one thing is absolutely certain (and also not an option); we will never ever sacrifice our ‘slow’ methods, nor quality and provenance. They all go hand in hand. Over the years we’ve observed (with some dismay) producers who have adopted ‘industrial’ methods of production to meet rapidly increasing demand. Invariably the result is a reduction in quality.
It’s impossible to make an authentic, slowly produced product – whether it is a rare-breed pig, a mature farmhouse cheddar, or an Air-Dried Ham – in haste.
For us there is no compromise. We are fully committed to expansion and growth to produce more of our artisan produce but we will always respect everything about about the process starting with the raw materials, through to the methods and techniques we use in our creation.
Slow mode is who we have always been and who we are; it’s the Capreolus USP.
Karen and David Richards
Capreolus Fine Foods