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Frome Show food winner on a roll (sausage, that is)!

A COMPLETE coincidence – that’s how James Hughes-Davies describes how his Mells-based and Frome Show top award winning company, Little Jack Horner’s, got its name.

For when James founded the business, which will be aiming to repeat its success at this year’s Show, he was living in London and he gave it its name because of the nursery rhyme’s association with pies. These were James’s main product at that time but when he introduced sausage rolls to his range he quickly saw that they had greater potential and that it was with them that the future lay.

He had grown up in Somerset and so decided to look for premises there, eventually finding the unit that now bears the company’s name on the outskirts of Mells. And it was not until then that he realised that while the pie association had gone, the village’s historic relationship with Little Jack Horner was even stronger.

That was two years ago and in that short time Little Jack Horner’s sausage rolls have become even firmer favourites with festival and show goers, farmers market customers and, increasingly, households around the country buying them via the internet.

From October, shoppers will also be able to buy them every day in Bath where their mouth watering fragrance will be drawing customers towards a horse cart where all five in James’s sausage roll range will be on sale.

And, of course, they’ll be available in the Local Food Hall at this year’s Frome Show, from where James will be hoping to go back to Mells again with the trophy for the overall top product in both that hall and the Fine Food Hall.

James is passionate about the quality of his sausage rolls and rightly too – after all they’ve been described as “The best sausage rolls we’ve ever tasted” by a leading national style magazine. But he’s equally passionate about that of their ingredients, whether they’re for the more traditional pork and sage variety or the vegetarian option or the savoury chocolate one he produces from time to time. It’s all local, with the meat in particular very carefully sourced with the welfare of the animals from which the meat is used being paramount.

James said, “I’d rather be vegetarian than eat meat whose origins I don’t know.”

So what does the future hold for Little Jack Horners? Like any successful businessman James wants to see his company grow and is helping meet demand by upping his production later this year with the addition of an evening shift. However, the last thing he wants is for Little Jack Horner’s to become remote from its customers.

He said, “I don’t want it to lose its soul.”

Brenda Scott, the show’s secretary said, “Frome Show has grown a huge reputation for the focus it puts every year on the quality of the food in both the Local Food Hall and in the Fine Food Hall, and for James to have taken the top trophy the first time he had taken a stand at the show was quite an achievement.

“This year he’ll have pretty stiff competition again as both Halls are already completely sold out and both regulars and newcomers will be vying for the trophy.

“We wish them all well!”

The show takes place on the West Woodland Showground as usual, on Saturday 12th September.

Advance tickets for the show are already on sale with a new ticket hotline at the Cheese and Grain, tel: 01373 455420, and an online service through the show’s website, where full information about the show is always available.

They can also be bought from the Tourist Information Centre in Frome, from Mole Valley Farmers, White Row Country Foods at Beckington, Mells Village Shop and Acres Supply at Corsley, from the Cheese and Grain and from the show’s offices at Fromefield.

Tickets will, of course, be available on the day, however buying tickets in advance offers a significant saving.