Natural Branscombe, a small farm in the beautiful seaside village of Branscombe in East Devon, won Taste of the West’s Supreme Champion Product Award for their mixed salad bag in 2019. Everyone involved in last year’s Taste of the West Awards judging process raved about this salad. It’s classy, delicious and every mouthful offers a different flavour and texture. The variety of leaves and flowers in each bag is amazing and every single one of them has been grown with skill and care with perfect results.
“You can see from my face in pictures that I most definitely wasn’t expecting to win Taste of the West’s Champion Product,” says Jenny Lonnberg who runs the farm. “For us to win out of thousands of products, well: I was stunned. I certainly hadn’t prepared a speech. It was an amazing moment.”
Containing everything from sorrel to edible dahlia flowers, wild garlic to New Zealand spinach, Natural Branscombe’s fresh mixed salads have long held legendary status in their tucked-away corner of East Devon. But it was not until Jenny’s friend Katy persuaded her to enter the Taste of the West awards that the news spread: these salads are simply superb.
“When we won, Katy gave us a bottle of champagne and said, ‘I told you so,’” Jenny laughs. Jenny and her partner Ian Crowe, with help from their young children, grow their dazzling array of ingredients at their home farm in the seaside village of Branscombe.
“I’ve always had green fingers and gardened as a child growing up in Sweden. When I met Ian, I saw that the land here in Branscombe was very favourable – it’s south-facing, mild and plenty of moisture, just what salad crops enjoy,” says Jenny. Since their win, the couple have expanded the business with a new packing barn and acquired many keen new customers, says Jenny. “We sell the salads locally through independent stores and also to chefs and restaurants. It’s been a huge boost to us to win the top product at the Taste of the West awards. This really has given us a sense of confidence for the future.”