The Spice of Life, Cornwall Life Meets The Little Cornwall Curry Company
PUBLISHED: 15:18 18 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 20 February 2013
Cornwall Life magazine meets the Little Cornish Curry Company based near Bodmin.
The Spice of Life
Cornwall Life meets the Little Cornish Curry Company, which is helping to spice up Cornwalls food scene
Louis and Nicky Lewis arrived in Cornwall from what is fondly known as the balti capital in Birmingham in 2004. Although the couple had already had a business at the time, it soon became evident that they needed a second income. So, from their new home between Lanivet and Bodmin and armed with their experience of life in the balti capital, they started up the Little Cornish Curry Company.
Louis explains: We discovered that the market for curries in Cornwall was poor both in terms of outlets and the variety and quality of what was on offer, so we had spotted our niche market. We began by supplying local farm shops, then to pubs including St Austell Brewery, delicatessens and convenience stores.
The company began to expand its range of products as it was meeting with such success. Our range of ready-made meals was soon complemented by a new range of fresh sauces, born out of demand as we found that people like to add their own meat, fish and vegetables, Louis explains. All our products are wheat- and gluten-free, and are free from additives, artificial colours, preservatives and flavourings. This is very important to me as I always take the trouble to read whats in our food and where the ingredients are sourced.
Louis firmly believes in good, healthy cooking and uses this philosophy in his company. After all, we are what we eat and a well-made fresh curry is so good for you. I am a shining example of this, having been free from flu and colds for three years. I am convinced this is because I regularly eat fresh ginger, garlic, onions and chillies, not forgetting turmeric, an important spice recently linked to helping prevent some diseases and cancers, Louis enthuses.
Cornwall seemed like the perfect place to move to as we wanted to be near the coast and bring up our three children in a clean, safe environment. We also wanted to provide a service to locals and tourists alike and food seemed like a good option for a new business, Louis continues.
Success has been good in the three years since the Little Cornish Curry Company began. The past year has been a particular challenge for Louis and Nicky, given harder times for the economy, but with continued hard work and determination they have won a dozen awards for their curries and products. Our greatest success was winning the Best of Ready Meals, Soups & Light Eats award at the Taste of the West Awards 2009. This was for our free-range Chicken Jalfrezi. The award is something we are very proud of as it has been the pinnacle of all our effort and determination.
To combat the challenges of the current climate the company has also expanded into outside catering and started a curry school, which has been a really popular enterprise. Sometime in the spring of this year we hope to start up an online spice shop for people to buy smaller amounts of spices, including our own secret blend that we call The Magic Mix, and also to give customers access to online recipes based on our most successful products, Louis adds.
We believe passionately about our curries and right from the start of the Little Cornish Curry Company, the motto has always been quality and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, explains Louis. During the summer months, demand for the curry products is strong and the couple receive good feedback. We have great support from the locals, which is so important because without them we could not survive, especially during the winter months.
Since the end of February, the company has new packaging for its products. The sauces come in glossy new pouches and the ready-made meals are presented in smart tubs and rebranded as the Hot Tub Range, also with exciting new labels. The company hopes to expand across Cornwall and into Devon and beyond it even has its sights set as far away as Scotland. I am looking forward to the challenge of taking our products into new areas and hopefully employing more staff to cope with any increased demand, Louis says.
For general information or enquiries about the curry school visit: www.thelittlecornishcurrycompany.comand for the online spice shop visit: http://www.spices4curry.com/, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org