The much-anticipated LandLove Awards have been handed out and we're celebrating our countryside champions, as voted for by you, by chatting to some of the winners
Today, we're talking to HECK, winner of Britain's favourite food producer. The North Yorkshire based food producer works hard to produce scrumptious sausages, meatballs and burgers from their family farm.
1 Congratulations on winning Britain's favourite food producer - what makes Heck Sausages standout?
From the outset we’ve had an uncompromising approach to the food we make and this award win is a real reflection of the hard work the whole HECK team delivers every day and the passion we all share for the production of good food. People like our honest approach, no smoke screens, and we use our own homemade seasoning which makes a big difference and means we can control exactly what goes into our recipes. The food we make is driven by what our customers want and we love coming up with new ideas. We’re conscientious, absolutely, but we don't forget to have fun either, and delivering well made food that we know people want is what keeps us doing what we love.
2 What inspired you to start the Heck business?
HECK began with the aim of producing farmers' market quality sausages for the British high street, with a vision to create a sustainable family business that our four children could become involved in and eventually take over the running of. We got the name from our 'what the heck' approach to life and the way we do things, so not just waiting for opportunity to come knocking, but getting up and going out to make it happen!
3 Have you got any new and exciting flavours/products coming out?
Our products have become known for their quality and the good ingredients we use, and people love the fact that they’re also gluten-free, but innovation is also really important to our business. A good, traditional British banger is always going to top the list for many people but we are always working on bringing more unusual ideas to the supermarket shelves. Some examples are our square sausages which are perfect for sandwiches and won’t fall through the BBQ grill, and our lower fat chicken range which has been well received as people look for healthier versions of their favourite foods.
4 How would you recommend our readers best serve your sausages (any favourite recipes)?
We always say there are many ways to cook a sausage! Our preferred way is to grill them if you’re eating them on their own in a sandwich or with a nice pile of mash, but they are also very versatile and can be used in recipes as an ingredient. We have a great skinless sausage which is ideal for rolling into balls because there’s no skins to worry about splitting and removing. Our chicken sausages are perfect for cutting up into risottos and pasta dishes, and for a healthier option in a Full English breakfast. For Valentine’s Day we’ve even got our PECK heart-shaped patties. There’s lots of recipes on our website www.heckfood.co.uk and customers regularly send us in their own creations, so we’ll often put these up on the website as well.