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Published in Feast issue 38 – July 2019
What led you to setting up Horkey and Mardle?
Essentially a real passion for food and local ingredients has led to the creation of Horkey and Mardle. Working in the local food industry, I have got to know some great people, making some fantastic products and using Norfolk produce – what better way to celebrate and showcase them than grazing tables?!
Who came up with the name and what does it mean?
I really struggled with the name. I wanted Norfolk to be included but could not find anything that sounded right. I had an idea to read a book on historical Norfolk dialect and did some research on some relevant words. ‘Horkey’ is a term used to describe the end of harvest feast and ‘mardle’ means to chat with your friends.
Where are you based?
I am based in King’s Lynn at the moment, which is where I was born and have grown up.
What was it that appealed about the ‘grazing table’ concept?
Grazing tables are such a fantastic way to celebrate and enjoy food. For me, the main reason for this is the social aspect of dining in this way. Watching people enjoy and comment on the food is so lovely, and people really interact with each other about what they like and should try together.
Can you cater for any event, big or small? And how far can you travel?
Grazing works for parties of all sizes, whether it is a wedding for 150 people or a girls’ night in for eight friends. The large grazes look spectacular but small ones can be just as special! I am focusing mainly on Norfolk based venues while I am getting established but hope to take Norfolk produce further afield one day.
What is the ethos of your business?
The ethos that drives Horkey & Mardle is the promotion and celebration of locally grown and created products. I want to pull together as many top quality Norfolk suppliers as I can and really show off what this county produces. Supporting local business and top quality is at the heart of what I am trying to achieve.
Would you like to name any of the Norfolk food producers you are working with?
Of course! I am proud to work with fantastic suppliers such as Marsh Pig charcuterie, Mrs Temple’s Cheese, Candi’s Chutney, Krusty Loaf bakery, Crush Foods, Cross Keys Bees Honey and Three Counties Field Kitchen. Hopefully there will be many more involved by the time I’m done!
We understand Lucy and Richard Golding have been an inspiration?
I have worked for Lucy and Richard for a few years now, first waitressing at Market Bistro and now managing their pub, Goldings. They have certainly taught me a lot and both of their businesses focus on using seasonal and local produce, which has definitely influenced me.
Where do you think your business might take you in the future?
My dream for Horkey & Mardle would be that it grows, enabling me to promote Norfolk produce all over the country. I will also be spending some time writing a journal each week for the website, about Norfolk suppliers and the language I researched for the name.
How do you think becoming a member of Proudly Norfolk Food and Drink will help you?
Proudly Norfolk embodies everything Horkey and Mardle is about. Lots of the suppliers I have used are already members and it creates a real sense of community. Having them there for support will prove very valuable in the coming months I am sure.