Meet Our Suppliers - Warwickshire Chilli Tree
WHO ARE YOU? WHAT’S YOUR STORY, HOW & WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE BUSINESS?
My name is Ash, and I started the Warwickshire Chilli Tree back in 2013. After growing so many chillies the year before I needed something to do with them all! So being a keen cook, I decided to have a go at making some chilli sauces. I gave them out that year as Christmas presents and people really liked them and said “You could sell these!” So that’s what I decided to do! 8 Years on and the Business is still going strong with many more products in the range. The sauces are still made to my original recipes at home in small batches.
WHAT MAKES THE BUSINESS A COOL PLACE TO BE?
Being a chilli sauce trader, you get to meet some interesting people! Hot Chilli sauces almost have a cult like following and its great to travel the country and get to meet all people who are as enthusiastic about chillies as me! There are dedicated chilli festivals on all over the country and they are some really great events to go to.
IF YOU WEREN’T RUNNING THE BUSINESS WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
As well as running the Warwickshire Chilli Tree, I also work locally as a Retained Fire Fighter in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which is also another big passion of mine. I love working as a Firefighter and helping people and it allows me to give something back to the local community.
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON?
Throughout the pandemic business has been booming and I have been struggling to keep up with demand with the small size kitchen that I use and the time restraint from working in the fire service, so, I am planning on opening up a larger kitchen facility this year to allow me to cook in bigger batch sizes and take on a staff member!
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT?
Being a small producer allows me to be flexible with my products and I have been known to help people out in the past by making them unique jams or sauces for the wedding or other events.
Being invited onto BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Morning show to talk about being an young entrepreneur!
A VALUABLE LESSON?
I you have a business idea that your unsure of, just believe in yourself! You will be amazed at what you can achieve if you believe in yourself and your ideas. There is plenty of business support locally aswell if you ever need advice (Warwickshire Means Business being one).
My favourite sauce I make is the Dragon Slayer Chilli Sauce. I use it on pretty much everything and go through a bottle a week! (Good job I have an unlimited supply!)
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION AND WHY?
Honestly, I would have to say my Wife Christine! I wouldn’t of started this Business without the support and belief in me she had!
THINGS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Music! I love listening to music as much as I can and always do while im cooking sauce!
FAVOURITE MEAL OR GO TO SNACK
Would have to be Homemade Pizza! (With plenty of chilli sauce for dipping!)
WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD TO THE FARM PLAYLIST?
Fleet Foxes ; Helplessness Blues. One of my Favourite songs and it would fit in with the vibe in the shop.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE FARM STRATFORD?
The Farm is such a nice place to go shop, it’s a family adventure, and my kids love to visit the animals and play in the park! The coffee is great plus a great selection of produce. It feels like a day trip out when we visit The Farm!