Big welcome back to returning FBC Alumni Partner, Steenbergs Organic (@Steenbergs) adding pinches of spice and flavour to the much acclaimed #FBC14 goodie bags! Connecting you closer to your food and the brands, we’re pleased to bring you more information about Steenbergs from the duo themselves, Axel and Sophie.
Since the very beginning, we have looked to source the best and most interesting spices and herbs from around the world, and creating our own authentic range of seasonings. Since the outset, we have been organic and worked with Fairtrade on launching the first range for spices as Fairtrade in the UK. Being good for the people we work with and the environment is core to our philosophy. Quality and ethics are the very heart of who we are as people and the business.
We create, blend and pack all our own products at our factory in rural North Yorkshire. Our packaging is designed for cooks – you can put a teaspoon or grab a pinch of your favourite seasoning from our jars. (They are also stackable – great for full spice shelves – and don’t spill like refills). We offer a wide range of seasonings inspired from around the world. We’re also very friendly and after 10 years still completely passionate about what we do and how we do it! We are a husband and wife team who started Steenbergs 10 years ago. Both of us are keen travellers and cooks – we are fascinated with how the different seasonings completely change food.
We have enjoyed working with our suppliers for over 10 years and we’ve grown together – including selling the first spices in the UK carrying the Fairtrade Mark. Our inspirations are those apparently normal people from around the world and close to us in Yorkshire who do the most incredible things with food in their everyday life and work to make the world a better place for people and the environment. We like to break the norms whenever possible – closer to farmers and real people – so new products for organic, for Fairtrade and from difficult countries.
How did you hear about FBC?
We heard about FBC through blogger Helen Best-Shaw (Fuss Free Flavours). Over recent years we’ve enjoyed working with many bloggers, are always willing to help with reasonable requests for ingredients and love hearing how bloggers create amazing dishes with our spices and blends, or taste our teas.
As a returning alumni partner, is there a particular item you will be showcasing again or for the first time this year?
We will be showcasing our brand new Afghan saffron which we’ve sourced through women-only cooperatives in Herat. This helps women in Afghanistan, converting them from opium growing to saffron. It’s the kind of supply chain that we love and we’re thrilled that it has all happened – despite happening over the recent Afghan round of presidential elections when transport became a tad tricky for a short while. We’re also giving our bestselling organic rose water – great in both savoury and sweet dishes.
How can other bloggers get their hands on your product?
We are online, via Twitter or email us direct. Our products are stocked in a variety of retailers including most of the Wholefoods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, farm shops and delis. We have distributors in Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden, and are stocked in a few outlets in Germany, Portugal and Spain. Soon to be taken by a distributor in the Netherlands.
Are you a fan of food, travel, lifestyle blogs?
Ms Marmite Lover, Fuss Free Flavours, KaveyEats are amongst three bloggers we work with, however we are always interested in reading and hearing from bloggers – there is always something to think of and people’s sheer imagination and creativity is always an inspiration.
How has social media helped you connect and engage more with a wider audience and particularly bloggers?
It’s made it much easier to connect via Twitter particularly, sharing and RT photos, reviews and competitions and getting in touch. Facebook also provides an ongoing conversation with customers that creates a 3D personality for our brand.
The great thing about food blogs, twitter and facebook is that it gives a platform for everyone who is doing extraordinary things to show what they are up to and connect.
New and different viewpoints and routes to other cooks. New and original ways to use ingredients. Bloggers are also constantly refreshing their space unlike magazines that are less timely and become stale.
Are food trends for following religiously, setting yourself or ignoring all together?
We are always interested in trends of tastes and cooking but continue to offer a wide range of spice blends, baking ingredients and spices to cover honest home made cooking creations.
If you could tell people to eat one thing more often what would it be and why?
Homemade cake – it makes everyone’s day brighter.
Any favourite recipes to share with the bloggers?
Absolutely! Our favourite savoury recipe at the moment is Dukkah encrusted Lamb chops – delicious on the BBQ and our favourite sweet recipe is this Steenbergs Rose water shortbread, try it out with your Steenbergs sample in the #FBC14 goodie bag!
– Axel & Sophie Steenberg
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