Posted 3rd Oct 2014
To round off British Food Fortnight (20th Sept to 5th Oct 2014) we spoke with Adam Fox-Edwards, MD of Devon Hampers and the Arundell Arms Hotel, to find out why he thinks British is best
What inspired you to create your business selling hampers filled with produce from Devon?
We already have great local food and drink suppliers in Devon and nearly everything we serve at the Arundell Arms Hotel is locally sourced. We have a successful e-commerce business that we launched three years ago selling country-themed gifts so The Devon Hamper business was a natural extension of what we were already doing at the hotel.
Who is your ideal customer?
Our ideal customer stays at the Arundell Arms, enjoys our food, drink and the beautiful Devon countryside and wants to take a taste of it home with them. They buy our cream tea hamper and then want to share the taste of Devon with family and friends and order hampers for them too.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Undoubtedly it was coping with the extraordinary demand for hampers during our first Christmas. We had four times as many orders as we expected which put us under great pressure. Our newly formed team rallied round though and our suppliers were great and we managed to get all the orders out in time for Christmas.
What are you inspired by?
I am very biased but the landscape and beauty of Devon never fails to inspire me.
What does your 'typical' work day look like?
Both the hotel and our online businesses are 24/7 so it is fair to say that neither stops. And it may sound like a cliché but no two days are the same. Typically I am at the hotel by 8:45am but I will already have checked online to see overnight sales. After dealing with any immediate issues during the morning, I walk around the hotel and talk to our people in each of the departments.
Our 'Pasty and Pints' hamper has proven very popular and so often mid-morning the corridor is filled with the delicious smell of baking as our freshly baked pasties are taken to our packing area to put into the hampers, and at around 4pm the courier arrives to pick up that day’s hampers. There may be some meetings during the day but I always look forward to those with our suppliers and wine merchants to taste potential new stock selections. During lunchtime and in the evenings I often chat with our guests as ours is still a very person-based business. I seldom depart before 9pm.
Do you have any favourite producers?
I love local brands such as Langage Farm Clotted Cream and Dartmoor Brewery, Jail Ale.
What are your plans for the future?
We will be expanding the range of our hampers and increasing the content in the self-selection area. We will also be producing some hampers on behalf of larger organisations, so spreading the taste of Devon ever wider!
Visit www.devonhampers.com to view the full selection of delicious hampers on offer