Have you met: The Hawkins family
Christmas is a time for feasting and a trip to Frocester Fayre’s stall this Christmas will give you all the opportunity you need! Stock up on Boxing Day meats, festive pies and those all-important breakfast sausages. Nicky Pinker tells us why she’ll be looking forward to the Boxing Day spread in her house this year…
For how many generations has your family been farming in Frocester?
I’m the fourth generation and I work with my nephew, Chris Whincup, who is fifth generation. Our family, originally the Hawkins family, has been farming in Frocester since 1895. The whole family works together on the farm and in the farm shop to bring the best possible products to our customers.
What is your best-selling product?
We make sausages with lots of fantastic flavours, including pork and apple, and pork and cider but our Farmhouse sausages and chipolatas are still the most popular. There’s not much added to them but they are made with quality cuts of pork shoulder and leg meat. Our chicken and ham pies are also popular – they are handmade using our own chicken breasts and ham and encased in puff pastry. At the Farmers’ Market our scotch eggs always go down well too.
You also sell joints of meat – what makes your meat so special?
The fact that it’s reared on the farm and doesn’t have to travel far means none of our animals are stressed. Our beef is all hung for at least three weeks which makes it really tender. We also offer a really personal approach – Terry Deacon, our butcher, can offer advice on any cuts – we recently had someone asking for brisket as she’d seen it in a recipe but didn’t want to cook it for so long – Terry knew what she wanted to achieve and could offer her something that suited her needs more.
What do you recommend for Christmas?
We have a good supply of turkeys but a big joint of pork, lamb or rib of beef is always good. We make a special Christmas pie which contains chicken breast, sausage meat, chestnuts, cranberries and apricots – people ask for it all year round but we only get time to make it at Christmas! We also do a Christmas pork pie with cranberries and apricots – perfect with our gammon joints on Boxing Day. We offer cooked hams and joints of meat ready to cook in any size, which are ideal for Boxing Day spreads.
And what will you be having for Christmas dinner this year?
I’m a traditionalist so I will have turkey but we do get lots of requests for rib of beef on the bone and sirloin joints for Christmas. I will also look forward to all the cold meats on Boxing Day – we’ll have our rib eye of beef and honey roast ham on the bone.