At Fruits of the Forage we are a family business conceived by Fred Thorneycroft in 2014. Older brother, Bert and younger brother, Archie joined the endeavour under the watchful eye of mum, Claire. Growing up on the edge of the Peak District we always had a passion for the outdoors, spending our free time fishing, climbing, camping and exploring the hills.
We inherited our love of cooking from Claire, who is a keen cook and preserve maker. Our family’s culinary pursuits and passion for the outdoors sparked an interest in the abundant wild fruit and herbs found in the local countryside. Various experimentations followed: nettle beer was always a favourite and some enthusiastic cider-making one autumn led to our first big hauls of fruit.
Our attention soon turned to jams and chutneys and after university Bert and Fred had a go at producing a range of preserves made using foraged fruit and herbs. Our first sales were made at a charity Christmas market organised by Claire. These went down a storm and after selling out Fred had caught the bug. Ever determined, he committed to building a preserve company picking and utilising fruit that would otherwise go to waste. After an autumn picking and processing as much foraged fruit as he could find, he spent that winter experimenting with recipes and by spring the fledgling range of Fruits of the Forage products was born.
The eight years since then have been a constant learning process focused on the search for wild plants and heritage fruit and discovering their uses. No lies – the first years were hard!