News

COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE


Customer Notice - 23/03/20 - 15:00 

It is with great sadness that we have now taken the decision to close all of our Tiptree Tea Rooms and shops. Following government advice, we now believe that it is in the best interests of our staff and customers to remain closed until further notice.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to our Tiptree Tea Rooms once we are able to. The smell of freshly baked scones will fill the air and our friendly staff will be here to greet you with a big smile and a cup of tea.


 

Royalty at Tiptree Celebrating a Birthday

10th March 2020

The staff and directors of Wilkin & Sons were delighted to welcome TRH The Earl & Countess of Wessex who visited the farm and factory on Tuesday afternoon.  The Earl of Wessex has a special interest in farming and water while The Countess of Wessex is Honorary President of LEAF (Linking the Environment AND Farming), an organization that promotes a better understanding of sustainable farming with close links to the Tiptree farm.

The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, introduced the welcome party including the Mayor of Colchester Borough Council, Cllr Nick Cope, the chairman of Tiptree Parish Council and other dignitaries and the company’s directors. Chris Newenham, joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons invited The Earl and Countess to plant a tree, a very special Tilia Europaea - Golden Sunset Lime tree that will be part of a new avenue of lime trees. 

On arrival at the factory Walter Scott, chairman of the company, greeted the Earl and Countess as they started their tour of the traditional factory.  They were keen to talk to the staff who were checking and preparing the fruit for jam and splitting the oranges for marmalade before moving to the busy filling room where they spotted the hundreds of mini jars being filled with Strawberry Conserve.  As they left the factory the group passed the photographs of HM The Queen’s visit in October 2010 marking 125 years of jam making at Tiptree.

“As a significant Essex food manufacturer who is also a LEAF demonstration farm of which the Countess is patron, Wilkin & Sons seemed the perfect location for their visit,” said Chris Newenham joint managing director.  “It was a very special occasion and we really appreciate the time the Earl and Countess spent talking to so many staff and then greeting the local children and families that had gathered outside to wave them farewell”.

Following the tour of the factory the royal party moved to the tea room where Scott Goodfellow, joint managing director, and Georgina Offord, finance director introduced representatives from across the family of Wilkin’s businesses.  The highlight came when the Earl of Wessex was invited to cut his birthday cake, a special chocolate cake made at Tiptree Patisserie and Walter Scott said, “Your Royal Highnesses, on behalf of the company I’d like to say we hope you enjoyed your visit – we did, I’d like to ask you to cut the cake.”  The Earl of Wessex responded, “Thank you very much for inviting us to look at this very famous factory that makes jams, cakes and sauces.”

The Earl and Countess signed the visitors’ book, received a basket of preserves from David Cross, who has been with the company for 60 years and the Countess was presented with a posy by Jackie Dustan, one of the supervisors who joined in 1997.

Leaving the Tiptree visitors’ centre the royal party were met by a crowd of smiling faces from local school children, friends and families; and they spent time chatting to many of the children who also sung Happy Birthday. 

   


 

The Bread Oscars are back – in New York

The Tiptree World Bread Awards supported by American Bakers’ Association are coming to New York again for 2020 to recognise the very best American bread bakers.  The Awards are now open for online registration:www.worldbreadawardsusa.com

The Awards are at the heart of New York Bread Week, which takes place November 13 - 19 2020 and celebrates all things bread for one wonderful week, in partnership with Edible Queens.

The Judging Day of the Awards will take place at the International Culinary Center on November 18 2020 where a top panel of 40 judges will taste, discuss and debate their way through all the entries.

The 2020 Awards have 15 categories, from sourdough to bagel and, for the first time, the Burger Bun category; we are in search of the best bun for America’s great traditional food, the burger! We are also delighted to introduce the new Flatbread category celebrating all the wonderful flatbreads of different cuisines from around the world.

The judges, a line-up of New York’s food aristocracy, will include legendary New York baker and James Beard Foundation Award nominee Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit, New York’s top foodie instagrammer Alexa Matthews of EatingNYC, Gregory Lofts, Deputy Food Editor, Martha Stewart Living, and Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations, International Culinary Center.

Last year loaves were received from all round the country for the Judging Day in Brooklyn. The Overall Winner was Jonathan Bethony of Seylou, Washington, DC who received a cheque for $1000 and global publicity.

This year, excitingly, the entry fee also includes a ticket to the fabulous VIP Awards Evening in Manhattan on November 19 2020 to mingle with the upper crust of the food and baking world and the press.

Photo : Stephen Hallam, Chairman of Judges, Jonathan Bethony, Overall Winner, Philippine Coste, International Sales Manager, Tiptree
Credit: Henry Kenyon


 

“60 years of loyal service at Tiptree”

This week marks 60 years of loyal service for David Cross at Wilkin & Sons Ltd at Tiptree. 

On the 4th January 1960, David aged 15, started working with Charlie Challis in the Box Room, he then moved to the Crate Room where the fruit is checked and cleaned before going to the jam making process.  Today David will still be on site at 6.30 a.m. busy clearing, helping people and as he calls it being a generally “gopher”.  Ask David and he will know where it is, a term that has been linked to him for many years.

Walter Scott, chairman of Wilkin & Sons, marked David’s special anniversary by presenting him with a cake with a message “marking sixty years of loyal distinguished service” ; friends and colleagues shared the celebration.

Walter said: “When David joined us we only had two television channels and they were black and white. When I joined in 1985 he was in charge of the Crate Room, we paced it together when his daughter was due to be born. Now that daughter is on maternity leave from our company.”  Walter thanked him both personally and on behalf of the company for his service and his loyalty. Several of the old pieces of equipment that David worked on when he was first with the company, such as the cherry stoner, can now be seen in the Tiptree Museum.

David was born in the village of Easthorpe and now lives in Tiptree.

Ten years ago David was asked about his best times at Tiptree, and his response is the same today: “the people:  you get to work with and have a laugh with that’s what makes it special.”


 

 

Phil Vickery & Tiptree on ITV “This Morning”

Friday 6th December between 10.30 - 12.30 

The ITV “This Morning” cameras and chef Phil Vickery filmed late Autumn fruit at Goldhanger, then visited the jam factory and the museum.  The feature with Phil Vickery and some of the people from Wilkin & Sons will be screened on Friday 6 December 10.30 – 12.30.

Late autumn fruits on the farm include raspberries, quince and medlars – which ones will be shown?

Watch out for one of Phil’s special recipes – apparently, it’s a secret, even we don’t know what he is making.


 

Tiptree Shows

Christmas shows are the busiest time for the Tiptree show team; it’s a chance to meet consumers face to face as they sample some of the amazing new spirits and Christmas treats.

Eat & Drink Festival - The new big red double decker Tiptree 1885 bus was on show in London for the first time at the Eat & Drink Festival in the Ideal Home Show.  Visitors could enjoy a Tipsy Tiptree Cream Tea in the bus or relax with a coffee in the seating area around the bus – great for a photo opportunity.

The amazing Christmas Kitchen at the Eat & Drink Festival was sponsored by Tiptree and special guest Jaimie Laing talked about the best Prosecco and Champagne for the festive season.  The Tiptree Fruit Liqueurs (gin, vodka and rum) are the perfect addition to a sparkling Prosecco.  Cooking tips from Rachel Green are always appreciated and really useful for everyone planning their festive feasts.

Taste of London - The attractive Tiptree Bar and Gift Shop at the Taste of London encouraged hundreds of visitors to pop in to learn about festive cocktails and try some of our Tiptree Salted Caramel Martini’s. We also showcased a collection of our gift range – a great day out and Christmas presents sorted. 

 


 

 

“Made in Britain” Tiptree on TV

A fascinating insight into British industry showing the intricacies of making simple and fantastic products.  “Made in Britain” shown on ITV Four the 13th November selected a diverse group of products:  The programme featured Tiptree jam, safety razors, mattresses and clocks a real insight into the expertise and commitment that goes into making these products. 

The TV crew filmed at Tiptree in mid summer when the strawberries were at their peak and ready to be made into Strawberry Conserve.  Chris Newenham walks and talks amongst the strawberries while Tracy Warren guides us through the jam making process in the factory.  A great programme – with some surprising glimpses into the world of manufacturing in Britain.

If you missed it – try - https://www.itv.com/hub/made-in-britain/2a5692a0018


 

America’s best loaf at the Tiptree World Bread Awards

 

Stars of the bread-baking world gathered together at Landmark on the Park, Manhattan, New York City on Wednesday October 30 for the hotly-anticipated announcement of the winners of the 2019 Tiptree World Bread Awards supported by American Bakers’ Association

The glamorous awards ceremony was hosted by Stephen Hallam, Master Baker, Managing Director of Dickinson & Morris in England and Chair of the Judges who was delighted to declare Jonathan Bethony of Seylou, Washington, DC as Overall Winner for his loaf ‘Pain Au Levain’.   Philippine Coste, Export Sales Manager, Wilkin & Sons Limited and Stephen Hallam, Chair of Judges handed Jonathan a cheque for $1000, a Tiptree hamper and trophy.

Jonathan beat off competition from loaves sent in from around the United States – delivered by courier and in person on the morning of the judging at Landmark on the Park to ensure maximum freshness.

 “The field was incredibly competitive,” says Hallam, whose fellow judges, more than 30 of them, included legendary bakers Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit, Dana Cowin Founder, Speaking Broadly, Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery and Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bread as well as David and Tracey Zabar of Zabars, the historic New York food emporium.

Guests celebrated the occasion with an array of food and drink from both sides of the pond from Tiptree gin cocktails mixed with Fever-Tree, Nouaison Gin to Paul-Marie & Fils Pineaudes Charentes along with a feast of award-winning British cheeses from Cote Hill and Colston Bassett.

Tiptree World Bread Awards supported by American Bakers Association seek to celebrate the very best of American bread baking. “Only our second year in the USA and we have had a bumper crop of amazing entries,” says Caroline Kenyon, Director of the Awards. “The choice, range and quality of bread in America today is immense.”

Full list of categories and winners:  www.worldbreadawardsusa.com

Photo: Henry Kenyon


 

Tiptree World Tiptree Bread Awards with Brook Food

The first of the Bread Awards events of the season took place in the beautiful Westminster Cathedral Hall when nearly 100 judges: chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, bloggers and others,  were tasked with judging the quality of each loaf made by experienced bakers and home bakers.

There is a gentle buzz as you entered the hall where each entry is on show but as the judges become more involved and more passionate about each entry the sound level rises to an excited babble as every loaf is viewed, cut and tried.  There was an great assortment of flat breads, fruit breads, sour doughs loaves, classic white bread, gluten free and many other classes.  The judging is done in pairs and the overall class winner is carefully selected, all under the supervision of master baker Stephen Hallam, chair of judges. 

The results will be revealed in mid-October.

The bread wasn’t wasted, some went to a local charity for the homeless at Westminster Cathedral and the remainder was sent to Windsor & Eton Brewery for a special brew.


 

Judging the Breads

The delicious smell of freshly baked bread greeted the  judges as they entered Westminster Cathedral Hall for the Tiptree World Bread Awards with Brooke Foods. 90 bakers, chefs, food writers and producers worked in pairs to mark every loaf,  all under the guidance of Stephen Hallam chair of judges.

There was an amazing array of sour dough, flat breads, fruit breads gluten-free and even simple white loaves. The gentle buzz around the room, as everyone gathered, soon developed into an excited babble, as judges evaluated and discussed each loaf.  

There will be some very worthy winners announced at the Awards evening.

 

 


 

World Record breaking Tiptree Strawberry Race

At Sixties theme event

 

The fastest picker at the annual Tiptree Little Scarlet Race, Nicolae Petrechivta, has beaten our world record with an amazing pick of 8.92 kilos in just one hour.  He was joined by farm workers, guest teams and staff teams who competed to be fastest picker and the best dressed – sixties style.  The race started with the traditional horn blowing as pickers tried to pick as many tiny Little Scarlet strawberries as possible on what was a magnificent summers day.

As he presented the prizes Walter Scott, chairman of Wilkin & Sons Ltd said, “welcome everyone and what wonderful attire on this beautiful day. Last year I remarked that the Tiptree Strawberry Race was a quirky event similar to the Maldon Mud Race; but unlike that muddy event we are dependent on the weather and this year we had to delay the race because of the late harvest.  Walter then introduced Debbie de Boltz from Farleigh Hospice who said:  “A huge thank you to the staff of Wilkin & Sons for voting for Farleigh Hospice to be this year’s Strawberry Race charity.  Farleigh provides care for people with life limiting illness.  Our pledge is that they will receive care free of charge and it is thanks to people like you and Tiptree that we can do this.  We ask for money, we spend it then we ask for more – it really works – thank you!!”

The competition lasts just one hour, the fruit is then weighed, put into a chill store and then taken to the jam factory where it will be made into Little Scarlet Strawberry Conserve; before being shipped to shops and hotels in the UK, Paris, New York and Sydney. 

 

Results

Fastest picker Nicolae Petrechivta of Romania with 8.92 kilos

Fastest team – guests - English Spirit Distillery 12.42 kilos

Best dressed individual -  Coral Salmon of Dummett Copp LLP

Best dressed guest team - Crest Nicholson Eastern

Best dressed – in house team – Pudding Room Ladies

 


 

 

“Preserving the Peace”

Surprise drop into Open Farm Sunday

Visitors to Open Farm Sunday at Wilkin & Sons’ farm at Tiptree were amazed to see a BE2e aircraft approaching a nearby field and dropping a message streamer requesting “more jam”; replicating an act that took place 100 years ago during the First World War.  People left the tasting tables where they had been enjoying fresh strawberries and juicy cherries, curds, jams and cakes to watch this historic aircraft as it flew over the wheat fields and dropped the streamer with messages, this time, about “preserving the peace”.

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust and Tiptree farms worked together to recreate the dropping of a replica message streamer.  On Sunday it contained messages from HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jenny Tolhurst, Dan Snow MBE and Lt. Col. Steve Caldwell but this time, about “preserving the peace”.

Chairman of the WWI Aviation Heritage Trust, Dick Forsythe, gave a commentary of the progress of the BE2e as it approached the Tiptree farm.  The most poignant time was as Dick read a letter from Lt Colin Milburn, a young pilot who thanked Wilkin & Sons for jam in a letter dated 6th January 1918, sadly Lt Milburn was killed less than a month after his letter was written.  Dick Forsythe said “it’s a great pleasure to be part of this event and as a charity our role is to preserve the heritage of World War 1 for future generations.”

 

The streamer and pouch were collected from the field by Arnold Frost, Tiptree’s sign writer, and presented to Walter Scott, chairman of Wilkin & Sons who said:  “I’d like to thank the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust and our friends at Stow Maries for their work in recreating this amazing flypast.  Open Farm Sunday is a national event, but we concentrate on farming in this area: with Wicks Manor Pork, the delicious fruit and vegetable displays, huge farm machinery on show, a bee enthusiast along with hawks, lawn mowers, charity stands and an interactive field to fork display of wheat”   

Open Farm Sunday is a great opportunity for visitors to take a ride across the farm to see the different fruits that are grown at Tiptree and the acres of strawberry plants, many loaded with ripe berries, waiting for the next morning’s pickers.   The event provides fun for the family, a taster of local food and this year a special message “preserving the peace” thanks to the visit of the BE2e.


 

 

“Welcome to your new home” - The Wilkin tradition continues

Wilkin & Sons were delighted to hand thirteen new 1-3 bed homes over to staff on Thursday where Walter Scott, Chairman of Wilkin & Sons, cut the ribbon to officially open the new Nine Acres site opposite the jam factory.  Walter was joined by Peter Wilkin, directors, Mark Vanson the project manager, Crest Nicholson’s site manager and the young families who are just moving into their new homes.

“We are proud to continue the Wilkin tradition of providing local homes for our staff.  I can remember when this was a field and now there are homes and open spaces for local families just a few steps away from their work,” said Walter Scott.  “It is a lovely opportunity to offer these homes to our staff and we hope they will all be very happy – at least they already know their neighbours!”

These new highly energy efficient homes continue a Wilkin tradition, first started over 100 years ago of providing accommodation for their staff.  During Victorian times many benevolent companies provided homes for their workforce: Francis Henry Crittall conceived the idea of a model village at Silver End, Cadbury’s built a community in Bourneville, Levers had a large village at Port Sunlight and Sir Titus Salt developed an amazing textile mill and village homes, which is now a world heritage site, each company creating local accommodation for their workers but we think Wilkin & Sons are one of a very few who continue this tradition. 


 

New Tiptree truck proves its life-saving potential

Tim Sharp, a Wilkin & Sons’ driver, was at the wheel of his new Mercedes-Benz Actros when a woman stepped off the kerb in front of him – and the truck’s Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking system intervened instantly to prevent an accident.

“I was on my way out of London,” he recalled. “A lady was on her phone and decided to take a short cut to a zebra crossing. The vehicle picked up on her before I could, and brought me safely to a halt in good time. I didn’t touch anything; the truck did it all. And the speed with which it did so... I was just blown away. Fantastic!”

Active Brake Assist 4 employs multi-mode radar to monitor moving and stationary objects in front of the vehicle and sounds an audible warning when it senses potential for a collision. If the driver takes no action, it will apply staged braking followed by full braking power to prevent a crash, or dramatically reduce the effects of an impact. The system is looking for moving pedestrians from a standstill, even one stepping into the truck’s path from behind a parked car.

We have an amazing team of drivers and some very special trucks - their distinctive green and gold colours can be spotted on motorways and delivering Tiptree products to customers across the country.


 

The Bread “Oscars” return to New York

After a stunning debut last year, the Tiptree World Bread Awards, supported by American Bakers Association, are coming to New York again for 2019 to celebrate the very best American bread bakers; registration is now open.

The Judging Day will take place at Landmark on the Park on Tuesday October 29, 2019 where a top panel of 40 judges will taste and argue their way through all the entries. The 2019 Awards will have 14 categories, from sourdough to bagel and, for the first time for the USA, include a category dedicated to the talented Home Baker.

The judges, a line-up of New York’s food aristocracy include: bakers, food editors, pastry chefs, deli owners, food specialists and the sponsors. 

Inspired by the UK Awards, the top annual competition for professional bakers in the United Kingdom, the USA Awards were a great success - loaves were received from all round the country on the Judging Day in Brooklyn last October. The 2018 winner was Sarah Owens of Ritual Fine Foods in Queens, NYC who received a cheque for $1000 and global publicity.

The 2019 Awards are now open for online registration at: www.worldbreadawardsusa.com

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @breadawardsUSA

For more information: Cat Shaw cat@thefoodawardscompany.co.uk 00 44 7866 689932

www.worldbreadawardsusa.com.


 

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