Published in Feast issue 40 – October 2019
Who are you and what do you do? I’m Suzy Smith, the founder of bace foods. I make quick and easy meal pots using unusual varieties of British-grown peas and beans. The pots are deliciously versatile; you can use them as a topper, base, stir-in or side. They’re perfect for busy people who want to eat well but don’t always have time to cook from scratch.
Where are you based? I’m based in Hethersett, South Norfolk, and I work from home.
How did you get started? I spent nearly two years in the experimental cooking and planning stages. I tried out my recipes on family and friends and kept refining until I came up with three flavours which offer loads of different meal options from every pot. I was lucky in that I had a great mentor, with loads of food business experience.
What prompted you to get into the ‘healthy eating’ market? I’m a firm believer in eating for health. I try to eat 5-10 portions of fruit and veg a day. The issue for a lot of people is lack of time to prepare healthy meals. I’m giving them a shortcut to a versatile range of meal options. I don’t add any sugar or preservatives to my products. They’re all freshly made and offer a plant-based protein hit. We’ve recently registered our products with the The Vegan Society but they’re not just for vegans!
You’re a mum of two – how are you juggling work and home life? I started working seriously on the idea of launching a food business when my youngest started school. I’ve built myself a flexible solution to the conundrum of wanting to work but with the desire to be there for my children when they come home from school. I’ve got a great network of friends and family who step in to help with the children.
Describe your range There are three varieties of plant-based meal pots, all containing amazing British beans or peas and packed full of veg. Our ‘baked beans with benefits’ contain red haricot beans, tomatoes, red pepper, sweet potato, carrots and more. A far cry from regular baked beans! Our ‘aromatic peas with perks’ contain carlin peas (a bit like chickpeas but much tastier!), sweet potato, carrot, onion and more. Finally our ‘popping peas with perks’ contain garden peas, green split peas, fava beans, spinach and more.
Where can readers find your products? Our products are available in shops such as Rainbow Wholefoods, The Green Grocers, White House Farm and Old Hall Farm. Check out our website for a full list of stockists.
Where do you source your ingredients from and how important is it to you to keep local? We buy our dried beans and peas from the pioneering British suppliers Hodmedod’s. They’re based in Suffolk and source from farmers across East Anglia and beyond.
Have you a favourite go-to recipe as we approach autumn? I love curry, anytime of the year, but, as we approach autumn, the warming spices will warm the cockles of your heart. My aromatic peas are the perfect base to a curry. Currently my favourite is a carlin pea, sweet potato and cauliflower curry. I make it in a slow cooker but you can cook it in a casserole pan. Check out our website for this recipe and more.
How has Proudly Norfolk been able to help you? It’s a fantastic organisation for any food and drink producer based in Norfolk. They’re a great bunch of friendly food and drink loving enthusiasts who have a passion for the wonderful bounty that Norfolk has to offer.