Meet Anne, queen of our artichoke hearts. She’s the buying boffin behind some of our more bonkers bits and veg-tibobbles. We sat down for a cup of tea and chat to unearth her favourite organic oddities. How many have you tried?
Ask a buyer: organic veg
Tell us a little bit about how you
got started working with food
I’m Anne and I look after the fruit & vegthat you can pick and choose, instead of or in addition to your box. Once upon a time I attended art school and studied sculpture. When I graduated I worked in galleries and on various creative and community projects for a bit but I found it difficult to get truly invested in what I was doing.
When I found Abel & Cole everything started to come together for me. The company has nurtured me as a buyer and I actually met my husband here as well! We now have two little boys who are born and raised on great organic food.
My Dad’s always grown veg and his allotment is his pride and joy. He used to let me and my brother and sister help him lift carrots and we had our own bit of garden to grow flowers in. My mum is amazing at dealing with all his offerings from the allotment, including a fair bit of ‘ugly veg’, turning them into amazing feasts.
What do you love about
working at Abel & Cole?
So my favourite thing about working for Abel & Cole are our fantastic growers who basically do what Mum and Dad do but just on a bigger scale! We have a lot of farmers who work really closely with their families, husbands, wives, sons and daughters, and its lovely to see what the depth of those relationships brings to the food they grow for us.
What you love most about
looking after veg?
My favourite thing about my veg is all the strange, quirky varieties we seek out. People often say ‘it’s fruit & veg, you can’t reinvent the wheel’ but actually there’s so much out there yet to be discovered! It’s been great fun learning about all the wild sea veg our coastlines have to offer, sustainable foraging is very close to my heart and the flavours are amazing. Some of our growers are really passionate about innovation, so I really enjoy the bounty of their trials with unusual fruit & veg such as cucamelons, kalettes and red brussels sprouts.
What's your most memorable
working day so far?
I went to visit our watercress grower in the summer, the watercress beds grow in water that bubbles up from an artesian spring. We went to see the source of the water bubbling up from deep underground, it was a beautiful, refreshing place to be on a boiling hot day.
What else do you think
Abel & Colers should know?
Watercress beds are wildlife havens so it’s a great crop to support, everyone should eat more watercress!