I’m one of six children, my two older brothers went to university but I was a bit of a black sheep, didn’t do very well at school but soon found something that I was passionate about. I got a job at Baxters Butchers in Dereham at 15 and loved the creative work and the people. At 16 I went to catering college at Kings Lynn, was I to become a chef? I loved the idea of cooking great food, but was better at eating it so back to the Butchers I went. At 21 I managed my first butcher’s shop for Dewhurst in Swaffham. A year later I was asked to manage Dewhurst North Walsham and then the Norwich shop at Bowthorpe. At 23 I was asked to be a sales promoter for Dewhurst Butchers, helping the then 22 shops on the Norwich district to promote sales. Great experience.
At 24 I had the opportunity of becoming a partner in Mac’s Butchers Cromer. I went for it and ran the shop from day one. In 1990 I bought my partner out and changed the name to Icarus Hines Butchers. My wife Sandra has been behind me all the way and has always been a great support. In 1998 I opened the Sheringham shop and now run the two with the help of a great team.
We buy fresh local produce whenever possible and then try and add value to it and make it special for our customers. We take a great pride in our display and keep it looking bright and fresh. I love being a Butcher here on the North Norfolk Coast and feel very lucky to be here. Over the past thirty yeas we have built great relationships with customers, colleagues, and the community. I’m now looking forward to working with NFAD15 and helping other producers promote their great local products.
I organise the schools and public events programme for the John Innes Centre and Institute of Food Research, both of which are on the Norwich Research Park to the south of the City. I want to make Norwich proud of the internationally renowned science here tackling issues from pre farm to post fork. How can we improve the crops we grow faced with the vagaries of climate change, increasing population and decreasing arable land? What happens to food when we eat it? What is the relationship between food and health? How and why are some foods better for us than others? Major questions being addressed by some of the worlds leading scientists right on your doorstep. I have lived in Norwich since the mid 70s and love Norfolk and have been involved in the Festival for 8 years now. I love food and marvel at the wealth of fresh local produce in our county. From fish and chips to a gourmet dinner or a great cup of coffee in one of the many wonderful coffee houses, pub grub to street food, I just can’t wait to help celebrate all that is good about Norfolk Food and Drink as one of the Food Champions for 2015.
For nearly twenty years now ‘The Brecks’ in West Norfolk has been my home. It is in this unique landscape that Rob & I have reared our children and grown our business – Scotts Field Pork.
Food – its sourcing, preparation, cooking and eating of plays an integral part of our family life. Supper which we eat together most evenings is the one time of day when we can catch up with each other’s lives. As a busy farmer’s wife with my own business and two teenage children the reality is that this is sometimes a supermarket pizza or frozen fish & chips. I do try to support local food producers whenever possible. The health benefits apart, this makes sound economic sense as well – for every £1 that I spend with them 75% stays in Norfolk’s economy. The same £1 spent in a supermarket only sees 5% staying locally.
As a the owner of a frock shop I am still slightly bemused as to why I am deemed suitable as a Norfolk Food Champion but am honoured to have been asked. It is great to think that we might take the story of the incredible food & drink offering that we have here in Norfolk and it’s integral link to the landscape outside of East Anglia – perhaps encouraging a few more people to visit and discover it themselves.