In the begining..
Joanna Hunter of Piglets Pantry was introduced to me as a result of a referral from Henry Thurlow at The Flour Pot Bakery – Brighton. I have a referral scheme where anyone that introduces me to a new client will be rewarded. It took a little while to get to talk to Jo as she was busy running her amazing pie empire. I remember our first meeting, at that stage I still don’t think she had fully realised what an achievement and success Piglets Pantry had become. Not fully! At that point she was 8 years along her journey and had gone from making pies at home in her kitchen to a small unit then on to their new unit with plenty of space to grow. I genuinely was impressed and I have to say it was great to see a successful woman at the helm of the business. I worry about comments like this because being great is just about being great regardless of being male or female, but there are less women in that position and it is great to have a female as well as a male role model.
Piglets Pantry sell pies and sausage rolls to sports stadiums across the country, the pies are hand filled and the pastry for the pies is made on site. The standard of food safety on the site was great with good systems and procedures. The business was used to external audits by their Corporate customers and they always passed. But, it was the HACCP (see below) that needed to be finely tuned. It can be the case that HACCP’s are written in a way that requires the business to fit into what is written on the paper, rather than being written to reflect what is actually happening. This was case for Piglets.
HACCP leading to SALSA..
So, we formed our HACCP team and I really got to know how the business operated to ensure the food produced on site was to the highest of quality and standards. As a result, audits got easier and last year it was decided that the business was ready to achieve the SALSA accreditation. This was achieved in February this year with just 3 actions; which is excellent for a first audit.
During the audit, the possible effects of coronavirus were discussed. I can honestly say, nobody around the table predicted this outcome. As you can imagine, cancellation of sporting events could have been catastrophic for the company, but not for Jo. If you go to Jo’s LinkedIn page, you can see how she and her team have turned the business around into a pie home delivery service. Amazing!
A great team.
I do have to mention that Jo has a great team around her. The day of the SALSA audit both Jo and I were so proud of them. Heather is the only lady in the world I trust to do document changes. J
If you fancy a pie delivery, go to www.pigletspantry.co.uk. I would.
What is HACCP? Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point – Very basically, it is where you take a step-by-step look at the cooking process of your product from supplier to plate. You then identify which steps are critical to control to ensure the food eaten by the customer is safe to eat. It was designed for producing safe food for astronauts. Think about it….what would happen if you had food poisoning whilst in space?